Papers of Arthur Quiller-Couch

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection includes two items. Firstly the corrected manuscript of Hetty Wesley (1903), his historical fiction of Mehetabel Wesley, the poetically gifted sister of John and Charles Wesley who was forced by an unsympathetic father to marry one William Wright when she became pregnant by another man out of wedlock. The second item is a notebook of background material used for the novel, arranged according to character.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch was born at Bodmin on 21 November 1863, the son of a Cornish doctor, and a Devon mother. He was educated at Newton Abbot and Clifton College before going up to Trinity College Oxford in 1882. After his degree and an extra year at Oxford lecturing in classics he took up journalism in London and published his first novel, Dead Man's Rock (Cassell, 1887), using the pseudonym Q which he had first adopted at Oxford. For the next five years he struggled financially, and, after marrying Louisa Amelia Hicks of Fowey in 1887, he returned to a harbourside house in her home town in 1892. There he remained settled for more than half a century, writing more than sixty books, including novels, short stories, literary criticism and poetry. Not least among his achievements was editing The Oxford Book of English Verse (Oxford, 1900). He was knighted in 1910, and was appointed Professor of English Literature at Cambridge University two years later, where he had helped to establish the undergraduate study of English literature. He died at Fowey (of which town he had been elected mayor in 1937) on 12 May 1944, and was buried there.

Conditions Governing Access

Usual EUL arrangements apply.

Note

Listed by Charlotte Berry, Archivist, 10 Oct 2003 and encoded into EAD 28 May 2004. Biographical history by Ian Mortimer.

Other Finding Aids

Currently unlisted.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Custodial History

The two items were donated to the Library in 1995.

Related Material

Other collections relating to Quiller-Couch are held in the following repositories: Oxford University (Trinity College Library); Cornwall Record Office; Royal Institution of Cornwall; Cambridge University (Jesus College Old Library); British Library; National Library of Scotland; Bodleian Library; Duke University (William R. Perkins Library)

Bibliography

Not known.