Borrow, George Henry

Scope and Content

Holograph manuscripts, c 1840-1870. SL V 1 is Székely or Dósa Gÿorgy . SL V 2 is Introduction to a Scandinavian Ballad . SL V 3 is The Hedebye-Spectre and The Return of the Dead written by George Borrow.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Borrow was born at East Dereham, Norfolk in 1803. He was educated at the High School in Edinburgh, where the family settled for a period of time. At the age of seventeen Borrow was articled to a solicitor at Norwich. Borrow also studied philology and began to consider literature as a profession.

In 1825 Borrow published Faustus translated from the German of F M von Klinger. Borrow went on to undertake a tour of England and Europe and, whilst in St Petersburg, Borrow published Targum or Metrical Translations from Thirty Languages and Dialects . Borrow also acted as an agent for the British and Foreign Bible Society while he travelled through Europe and he became one of the first correspondents to write letters for the Morning Herald .

With the proceeds from the sale of his works, Borrow purchased an estate on Oulton Broad, Norfolk. At Oulton, Borrow befriended gypsies and permitted them to live on his estate. While living at Oulton, Borrow wrote, Lavengro (1850), The Romany Rye (1857), Wild Wales: Its People, Language and Scenery (1862), Romano Lavo Lil: Word Book of the Romany , (1872) and other works. Borrow won acclaim for his publication of two works in particular, Gypsies in Spain (1841) and an account of his travel in Spain The Bible in Spain (1843). George Borrow died at Oulton in August 1881.

Access Information

Access to the items in the collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Access to archive collections may be restricted under the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Other Finding Aids

University of London Library, The Sterling library: a catalogue of the printed books and literary manuscripts collected by Sir Louis Sterling and presented by him to the University of London , Cambridge, (1954).

Archivist's Note

Separated Material

York University Archives hold correspondence, literary manuscripts and papers; the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center Library, University of Texas at Austin, USA, has correspondence and literary manuscripts, 1828-1878 (Ref: NUC MS 71-1898); Worcester College Library, Oxford University, contains a manuscripts of 'Emelian the fool' and 'The story of Tim' (Ref: CLXXIX, CLXXX); the British Library, London, holds philological manuscripts, including gypsy vocabularies and Bohemian grammar (Ref: Add MSS 34201, 34183, 38726); the Brotherton Library, Leeds University, has literary manuscripts; the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, contains translations of Welsh verse (Ref: NLW MS 5403); the Bodleian Library, Oxford University, holds notes and translations (Ref: MS Lyell empt 40); Norfolk Record Office, Norwich, has an account of the runic cross at Braddon, [1855] (Ref: MC 816), and correspondence and literary manuscripts, 1826-1862; the Beinecke Library, Yale University, Connecticut, USA, contains correspondence and literary manuscripts; Rutgers University Libraries, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, holds papers; Cambridge University Library has letters, 1833-1840; the New York Public Library, USA, contains correspondence with the British and Foreign Missionary Society, 1833-1840 (Ref: NUC MS 68-1069); the Boston Athenaeum, Massachusetts, USA, holds biographical material (Ref: NUC 93-213); trinity College Library, Cambridge University, has letters to Dawson Turner, 1842-1843 (Ref: O 14.31-34).

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.