Sir Geoffrey Keynes: Papers

Scope and Content

MS.Add.8482: Letters to Sir Geoffrey Keynes

Vol. 1: Letters from Rupert Brooke, 1905-1907.

Vol. 2: Letters from Rupert Brooke, 1908-1913, and letters from M.M. Brooke and others, 1915-1927.

MS.Add.8542: Sir Geoffrey Keynes, 'Religio Bibliographici', on bibliography, 1959, 1 volume.

MS.Add.8543: Sir Geoffrey Keynes, 'Henry James in Cambridge', the first version of an essay, c. 1958, concerning James' visit to Cambridge in 1909, 1 volume.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Geoffrey Langdon Keynes (1887-1982), surgeon, bibliographer and literary scholar, was born in Cambridge on 25 March 1887. His brother was John Maynard Keynes, later Lord Keynes. Keynes went to school at Rugby before entering Pembroke College, Cambridge, in 1906, to study natural sciences. He trained at St Bartholomew's Hospital, and served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War. After the war, he became part of the surgical team at Bart's, where he was appointed assistant surgeon in 1928. During the Second World War, he was consulting surgeon to the R.A.F., and was made acting Air Vice-Marshal in 1944. Keynes retired from Bart's in 1952, and received a knighthood in 1955. He died at Brinkley, Cambridgeshire, on 5 July 1982.

Keynes wrote many bibliographies and biographies. The subjects of his works include Jane Austen, Rupert Brooke, John Donne, John Evelyn, William Harvey, William Hazlitt, Siegfried Sassoon, Izaak Walton and, in particular, William Blake. His work on Thomas Willis remained uncompleted at his death. Keynes was also a great admirer of ballet, and wrote his own ballet, Job, with music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, which was first performed by the Camargo Society in 1931.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Received from the library of Sir Geoffrey Keynes, 1982.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Sir Geoffrey Keynes in Lord Blake and C.S. Nicholls, eds, Dictionary of national biography, 1981-1985 (Oxford University Press, 1990), pp. 224-226.

Other Finding Aids


Related Material

Cambridge University Library holds other papers relating to Sir Geoffrey Keynes, MSS.Add.8383, 8633, 8828, 8829 and 9350. MS.Add.8306 includes Henry James' original letters concerning his Cambridge visit and related material, including Keynes' papers concerning the publication of the essay 'Henry James in Cambridge' in various forms.


MS.Add.8482 is no. 1079a in Sir Geoffrey Keynes, Bibliotheca bibliographici (London, 1964), p. 113. Sir Geoffrey Keynes, Henry James in Cambridge, a collection of James' letters regarding his Cambridge visit, was published in Cambridge, 1967.

Geographical Names