Significant collection of personal and literary papers of Edith Somerville (1858-1949) and Violet Martin (1862-1915) alias Somerville and Ross, Ireland's most celebrated literary partnership. An important and unique collection reflecting the lives, interests and work of the two authors, the Somerville & Ross Papers consist largely of diaries, correspondence, working papers, and draft manuscripts relating to the authors literary activities, personal interests and affairs.
Of the literary papers can be found annotated, handwritten notes and manuscripts relating to numerous publications produced under the Somerville & Ross name, including that of The Further Experiences of an Irish RM (1908), one of their best known works. Other papers concern the unfinished novel, A Man of the People (c 1897-99) and drafts of Some Irish Yesterdays (1906), Mount Music (1919), The Big House of Inver (1925) and, Somerville's last book, Maria and Some Other Dogs (published 1949). Working notes are also featured and these include an indexed notebook of Irish anecdotes and dialogue compiled by the two writers, c 1886-1945, and various notes on Irish political and cultural affairs, the suffragette movement and Irish agriculture, c 1910-32.
Most notable amongst the personal papers are the extant diaries of both Somerville and Martin and comprehensive series of correspondence from the two writers with friends, relatives and other associates. Of particular significance are the letters between Martin and Lady Augusta Gregory, co-founder of the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, c 1889-1915, and with the artist, William Gorman Wills, c 1885-1890, and Somerville with her brother, Colonel John Somerville, c 1889-1948, and the English Composer and Feminist, Dame Ethel Smyth, c 1918-44. Other interesting items include three notebooks detailing spiritualist sances attended by Somerville, 1930-41, with messages apparently received from Violet Martin and other dead relatives and a number of original illustrations and drawings by Somerville, who, in addition to her literary success enjoyed a good degree of artistic success during her lifetime.