Letters from Lascelles Abercrombie (1881-1938) to Professor Vivian de Sola Pinto (1895-1969); c.1929-1938

Scope and Content

This small collection consists of 37 letters from Abercrombie to Pinto, predominantly relating to their publications but including testimonials written by Abercrombie for Pinto, recommending him for academic positions. The date range, where given, is 1931-1936, although some undated letters must have been written a few years earlier and one of the testimonials is dated 1938.

Administrative / Biographical History

Vivian de Sola Pinto was born in 1895 and educated at Christchurch College, Oxford where he read classics. His studies were interrupted by the First World War. He volunteered for service and fought in Gallipoli, Sinai, and France, where he became a friend of the English poet, Siegfried Sassoon. He returned to Oxford in 1919, and graduated with a first class honours degree in 1921. After working at the Sorbonne and then in the extra-mural department at University College Nottingham, he was appointed to the chair of English at Southampton in 1926. He left his post in 1938 to take up the chair in English at Nottingham where he remained until his retirement in 1961. He died on 27 July 1969.

Pinto had a wide range of research interests in English literature, with a particular concentration on the 17th-century Restoration poets. On his appointment at Nottingham in 1938 he took a strong personal interest in the local writer D.H. Lawrence and was a major influence on the development of Lawrence studies at Nottingham and the establishment of a collection of Lawrence manuscripts in the University Library. His published work reflected his range of interests. An edition of Charles Sedley (1639-1701) appeared in 1928, followed by a biographical sketch and critical study of the works of Peter Sterry (1613-1672) and a portrait of Rochester whose poems he later edited in 1935. Pinto's later work included The English Renaissance, Crisis in English Poetry and an edition of the collected works of Lawrence. In the year of his death was published the first volume of his autobiography, The City that Shone.

Lascelles Abercrombie (1881-1938) was a journalist and poet. After the First World War he turned to academic work to earn a living. He was lecturer in poetry at Liverpool University from 1919 to 1922, before moving to Leeds University where he occupied the Chair of English literature. Between 1929 and 1935 he was professor of English literature at Bedford College for Women, part of the University of London. He was appointed a fellow of Merton College, Oxford, and Goldsmith's Reader in English, in 1935. Abercrombie published works of literary criticism and gave many public lectures. He died on 27 October 1938.


The letters have been arranged chronologically where possible.

Access Information

Accessible to all readers.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all finding aids belongs to The University of Nottingham.

In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus: Typescript catalogue, 10 pp.


Available on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue, accessible from the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements


Conditions Governing Use

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections

Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Custodial History

The collection was acquired by Manuscripts and Special Collections, The University of Nottingham, in 2008.

Related Material

Collected literary manuscripts of Vivian de Sola Pinto (1895-1969), Professor of English at the University of Nottingham, 1598-1969 (Reference: MS 141)

Research papers of Professor Vivian de Sola Pinto on D.H. Lawrence; [c. 1917-1961]. (Reference: La R 4).

There are also other papers relating to Pinto in other parts of the Lawrence collection, especially La S.

Letters from Pinto and Abercrombie can be found in the Papers and Correspondence of Reginald M. Hewitt (1887-1948), Professor of English, University College, Nottingham, 1910-1953. (Reference: MS 133)