The Marsh Letters

Scope and Content

A collection of letters from literary figures to Edward Marsh, 1887-1929. The letters relate to literary themes and issues. Notable correspondents include Sir Walter Raleigh (1861-1922), 1913 and Sir Hugh Walpole (1884-1941), 1913.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Edward Howard Marsh, 1872-1953, Knight, Public Servant and Patron of the Arts. Educated at Westminster and Trinity College, Cambridge where he took a first class, parts I and II, classical tripos, 1893-1895. He entered the Colonial Office in 1896 and worked for (Sir) Winston Churchill until 1908. He worked for the Board of Trade, 1908-1910; the Home Office, 1910-1911; Admiralty, 1911-1915; Munitions, 1917; War Office, 1919-1921; Colonial Office, 1921-1922; the Treasury, 1924-1929 and the Dominions Office, 1930-1937. He retired in 1937. Marsh corrected proofs of Churchill's literary writings from Marlborough (4 volumes, 1933-1938) onwards, and also 16 works by Somerset Maugham. Marsh began collecting pictures in 1896; acquired the Horne collection in 1904; became a patron of contemporary British painting and literature; edited 5 volumes of Georgian Poetry , 1912-1922; was literary executor of Rupert Brooke, whose collected poems he published in 1918. His translations include La Fontaine's Fables (2 volumes, 1931) and Odes of Horace , 1941. He published his reminiscences, A Number of People , in 1939, was a trustee of the Tate Gallery, governor of the Old Vic, and chairman of the Contemporary Art Society, 1936-1852; Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, 1937.

Reference: The Concise Dictionary of National Biography ( Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1992 ).


The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Access Information

Open. Access to all registered researchers.

Acquisition Information

This collection was purchased in 1978.

Other Finding Aids

Please see online catalogue for further information

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections. Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.


Further deposits are not expected.