Papers and Correspondence of Coventry Patmore (1823-1896), poet and writer

Scope and Content

The collection consists of correspondence and literary papers. There are letters between Patmore and his friends, 1850-1895. Correspondence concerning research into Patmore's life and career includes letters between Frederick Page and Professor Hewitt to Patmore's widow Harriet, Alice Maynell, Basil Champneys, Edmund Gosse, Gordon Bottomley, Walter de la Mare and others. Only one literary autograph is present; Patmore's last book, The Rod, the Root and the Flower. Other works by him are in printed form, and papers about him include the original manuscript for Page's biography Patmore: A Study as well as published extracts from periodicals and journals. A late photograph of Patmore is also present.

Autograph working notes of Coventry Patmore, including papers concerning The Angel in the House were purchased. These are not yet fully catalogued and access is restricted.

Administrative / Biographical History

Coventry Patmore (1823-1896) began writing at an early age and his first poems were published in 1844.

In 1847 Patmore married Emily Andrews (1824-1862) who bore him six children. In 1864 he became a Roman Catholic, and in the same year married his second wife, Mary Byles (1822-1880). He began his friendship with the architect Basil Champneys, who subsequently edited Patmore's 'Memoirs and Correspondence'(1900).

In 1865 Patmore resigned his post in the printed book department at the British Museum and bought the Heron's Ghyll estate in Sussex. From 1878 onwards he wrote little poetry, concentrating instead on prose.

Patmore's second wife died in 1880, and the following year he married Harriet Robson by whom he had a son, Francis. Patmore sold Heron's Ghyll and moved to The Lodge in Lymington, Hampshire where he spent his final years. His last book, The Rod, the Root and the Flower appeared in 1895.


The collection is divided into three small sections: correspondence, literary papers and miscellaneous.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.

REPROGRAPHIC: Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

Other Finding Aids

NOTE: Copyright on all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

  • In the Reading Room, University of Nottingham Library: Typescript Catalogue, 5 pp
  • At the National Register of Archives, London: Typescript Catalogue, 5 pp

Separated Material

Conditions Governing Use

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email ). The Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but the responsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the reader.

LANGUAGE: English.

Custodial History

The letters from and to Coventry Patmore were purchased in 1953.

Related Material

  • There is also a named Patmore Special Collection of some 100 published items in the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections.