107 diaries and notebooks containing automatic writing and notes on the afterlife, seemingly inspired by the death of her only son Arthur during the First World War and by her academic research on Buddhist mythology, along with drafts for her work, What is your Will? , published in 1937.
Davids, Caroline Augusta Foley Rhys-
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 96 MS 1082
- Dates of Creation1918-1940
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical Description5 boxes
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Born, 1857, daughter of John Foley of Wadham College and sometime Vicar of Wadhurst, Sussex, and Caroline E.Windham, of Felbrigg Hall, Cromer; educated at home and at University College London, where she became the John Stuart Mill and Joseph Hume scholar; married Thomas William Rhys-Davids (died 1922).
Rhys-Davids was on the board of the Economic Journal from its inception until 1895, although her academic teaching areas remained largely Indian philosophy and Buddhism; Lecturer in Indian philosophy at Victoria University, Manchester, 1910-1913, and lectured on the history of Buddhism at the School of Oriental Studies, 1918-1933; involved in various societies for children's and working women's welfare, 1890-1894 and later became involved in the women's suffrage movement; Honorary Secretary of the Pali Text Society, founded by her husband in 1881, from 1907 and became President after his death; after the death of her only son, Arthur, during the First World War, Rhys-Davids also became increasingly involved with thoughts of the afterlife, spirit communications and telepathy, and published on the subject; died on 26 June 1942.
Publications: Buddhist Psychol: Ethics , 1900, 1923; various first editions of Buddhist canonical and other works; Buddhist Psychology , 1914, 1924; Buddhism (Home Univ.) 1912, 1934; Buddh. translations, 1910-1931; Old Creeds and New Needs , 1923; The Will to Peace , 1923; Will and Willer , 1925; Gotama the Man , 1928; The Milinda Questions , 1930; Sakya , 1931, etc.; A Manual of Buddhism , 1932; Indian Religion and Survival , 1934; Outlines of Buddhism , 1934; Birth of Indian Psychology , 1935; What is your Will? , 1937; To Become or not to Become? , 1937; What was the Original Gospel in Buddhism? , 1938; More about the Hereafter , 1940; Poems of Cloister and Jungle , 1941; Wayfarer's Words I-III , 1940-1942; (Editor) Lectures on Psychology and Philosophy (Univ-Extn Series) by G. Croom Robertson, 1896.
Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised 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.
In her work. 'What is your Will?', Rhys-Davids indicated that she intended her notebooks and diaries to be donated to the Society of Psychical Research and it is possible they may have come to Senate House Library as part of the E.J.Dingwall collection. Found on the 9th Floor of Senate House Library, 29th November 2004.
Other Finding Aids
A detailed Excel box list exists for this deposit. Please contact the Archivist, Senate House Library.
Compiled by Stefan Dickers. Amended by Richard Temple
Cambridge University: Faculty of Oriental Studies.
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No documents may be photocopied at present.