Papers of Thomas Sturge Moore

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection consists mainly of correspondence; 41 letters and 19 postcards from Thomas Sturge Moore, 1937-1943, and 16 letters and 8 postcards from Marie Sturge Moore (some on behalf of her husband), 1938-1947, to John Gawsworth [Terence Ian Fytton Armstrong]; envelopes; poems by Thomas Sturge Moore; poem by John Gawsworth; galley proofs of poems by Thomas Sturge Moore published in Fifty years of modern verse edited by John Gawsworth; galley proofs of poems by Michael Field published in Fifty years of modern verse with corrections by Thomas Sturge Moore; MS introductory speech by John Gawsworth to a lecture by Thomas Sturge Moore.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Moore was born on 4 March 1870, the eldest son of Daniel Moore and Henrietta Sturge. His mother came from an established Quaker family and Thomas retained some sympathy with this position. Thomas and his three brothers, including G.E. Moore, the eminent philosopher, were educated at Dulwich College. Thomas went on to art school and became a pupil of the artist Charles Ricketts, who taught him wood-engraving. Later, adding his mother's name to his own to distinguish him from the Irish poet, Thomas Sturge Moore also published many poems and plays as well as prose works on art and literature. In 1903 Thomas Sturge Moore married his cousin Marie Appia, daughter of his mother's sister and of a Lutheran pastor living in Paris. In later years they lived in Hampstead where they held poetry readings and other gatherings in their house. Thomas Sturge Moore had a great influence on young and old through his writings and through his loyal friendship. He died after a long illness on 18 July 1944.

John Gawsworth was born Terence Ian Fytton Armstrong in London in 1912. While still at school he had earned the nickname of Book Boy for his obsessive collecting of literary memorabilia and throughout his life he cultivated the friendship and championed the causes of many writers who he felt were unjustly neglected. Gawsworth was himself a prolific poet and gained early recognition, becoming the youngest Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, but although his Collected Poems appeared in 1949 and he was an able editor of the Poetry Review from 1948 to 1952, his subsequent career was marred by a prolonged descent into alcoholism. In his later years he lived off the sale of his enormous collection of literary manuscripts and books. He died on 23 September 1970 aged 58.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to all researchers. No reader's ticket is required but an appointment is necessary. Check www.reading.ac.uk/special-collections/using/sc-using.asp for contact details and opening hours.

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Terence Ian Fytton Armstrong [John Gawsworth] 1958

Note

This description was prepared by Gil Skidmore

Other Finding Aids

Listed to item level

Related Material

There are 33 letters from John Gawsworth to T. Sturge Moore and Marie Sturge Moore, 1938-1947, in the Sturge Moore papers (Boxes 20,43) held in the University of London Library, which may be the other side of the correspondence in this collection