WYLD, Professor Henry Cecil Kennedy (1870-1945)

Scope and Content

Papers of H C Wyld, relating to his work on poetic diction, [1928-1945], including draft chapters, 1930, entitled 'Diction and Style in English Poetry'; papers entitled 'On Translating Beowolf', 'Notes on some common English Christian names', 'Spenser's Poetic Diction in relation to that of Pope' and 'Philology: English Language', 1928 (Wyld had intended to produce a definitive volume on poetic diction, but the material left was not complete enough for publication).

Administrative / Biographical History

Born, 1870; educated at Charterhouse, 1883-1885; privately educated in Lausanne, 1885-1888; Universities of Bonn, Heidelberg and Corpus Christi College, Oxford; B. Litt, 1899; English Language Lecturer, University College, Liverpool, 1899; Special Inspector of the Teaching of Phonetics in the Training Colleges of Scotland 1902-1910; Baines Professor of English Language and Philology, Liverpool University, 1904-1920; Merton Professor of English Language and Literature, Oxford University, 1920-1945; Fellow of Merton College Oxford, 1920-1945; British Academy Biennial Prize for contributions to the study of the English Language and Literature, 1932; published his Universal Dictionary of the English Language , 1932; died, 1945.
Publications: include: Contributions to the History of the Guttural Sounds in English (1899); The Neglect of the Study of the English Language in the training of Teachers (University Press, Liverpool, 1904); The Historical Study of the Mother Tongue (John Murray, London, 1906); The Place of the Mother Tongue in National Education (John Murray, London, 1906); The Growth of English (John Murray, London, 1907); The Teaching of Reading in Training Colleges (John Murray, London, 1908); Elementary Lessons in English Grammar (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1909); The Place Names of Lancashire. Their origin and history with T Oakes Hirst (Constable & Co, London, 1911); Collected Papers of Henry Sweet (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1913); A Short History of English (John Murray, London, 1914); A History of Modern Colloquial English (T Fisher Unwin, London, 1920); South-Eastern and South-East Midland Dialects (1920); Studies in English Rhymes from Surrey to Pope. A chapter in the history of English (John Murray, London, 1923); Diction and Imagery in Anglo-Saxon Poetry (1925); Some aspects of the diction of English poetry (Basil Blackwell, 1933); The Universal Dictionary of the English Language Editor (Amalgamated Press, London, [1931, 32]); The Best English. A claim for the superiority of Received Standard English, together with notes on Mr. Gladstone's pronunciation (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1934).


The papers are arranged as outlined in the scope and content.

Access Information

The Archives are available for access in the Archives Reading Room located on the 2nd Floor of the Mile End Library. The Archives Reading Room is open Mondays to Fridays 9am-4pm by appointment only. Contact the Archives for more information: Archives, Main Library QMUL, 328 Mile End Rd, London E1 4NS, telephone: 020 7882 3873, email: archives@qmul.ac.uk . For more information about the Archives see the website: library.qmul.ac.uk/archives

Acquisition Information

Presented to Westfield College by Professor Beatrice White in 1945

Other Finding Aids

Archivist's Note

Sources: Who's Who 1897-1996, CD-ROM (A & C Black); Historical Manuscripts Commission On-line National Register of Archives; British Library Public on-line catalogue. Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopying at the discretion of the Archivist.

Custodial History

In 1933 Wyld gave three lectures at Westfield College published as Some aspects of the diction of English poetry (Basil Blackwell, 1933). His connection with the College was through Dr Mary Serjeantson, who had worked with him on the Universal Dictionary. Professor Beatrice White succeeded Dr Serjeantson at Westfield and also worked with Wyld. On Wyld's death in 1945 the papers were in Professor White's possession.

Related Material

Letters to Charles Talbot Onions 1927-1941, held by Birmingham University Information Services, Special Collections Department (reference: Onions 455-68).