Papers of Professor William Lindsay Renwick (1889-1970)

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The papers of Professor Renwick consist largely of material on Edmund Spenser. More specifically there are notes on sources for  A view of the present state of Ireland, and for  The Shepheards calendar, as well as collations of textual and bibliographical variants of  The Faerie Queen. There is a draft essay on  The Faerie Queen; a typescript of a lecture; short notes mostly relating to Spenser; and, miscellaneous correspondence and papers mostly on Scholartis Press editions.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Lindsay Renwick was born in Glasgow on 6 January 1889. He studied at Glasgow University, graduating with First Class Honours in English in 1911. He then went on to study French and Italian Literature at Toulouse, the Sorbonne, and the British School in Rome. After the war he studied at Merton College, Oxford, where he received a B.Litt. for a thesis on Edmund Spenser. During the First World War Renwick served with the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), 1914-1919, experiencing trench warfare. In 1921 he was appointed Professor of English Language and Literature at King's College (University of Durham) at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Prior to that appointment he was a Lecturer at Glasgow University. During the Second World War he spent a year in China as a visiting Professor, lecturing with the British Council. Renwick came to Edinburgh University in 1945 and was Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English until 1959. During his time at Edinburgh the sub-department of English for Foreign Students was established and he was also involved in the setting up of the School of Scottish Studies. His publications include  Edmund Spenser - An essay on renaissance poetry (1925),  Spenser's works (1928),  John of Bordeaux (1936),  The beginnings of English literature (1939), a contribution to the  Oxford history of English literature dealing with the period 1715-1815. He also edited Spenser's  A view of the present state of Ireland (1934). William Lindsay Renwick died in Edinburgh on 25 November 1970.

Conditions Governing Access

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Note

The biographical history was compiled using the following material: (1) Who's who 1968-1969 (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1968). (3) University of Edinburgh Journal, Vol.13. 1944-1945, pp.69-70 (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd). (4) University of Edinburgh Journal, Vol.25. 1971-1972, p.70 (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd).

Other Finding Aids

An important finding aid is the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives. Additions to the typed slips in sheaf binders were made until 1987.

Additional Information

The biographical history was compiled using the following material: (1) Who's who 1968-1969 (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1968). (3) University of Edinburgh Journal, Vol.13. 1944-1945, pp.69-70 (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd). (4) University of Edinburgh Journal, Vol.25. 1971-1972, p.70 (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd).