Two autograph letters from Charles Knight (1791-1873) to George Routledge (1812-1888), with related papers; 1863-1864

Scope and Content

The collection comprises:

Letter from Charles Knight to George Routledge dated 17 January 1863, accepting an invitation and looking forward to making acquaintance of Mr Clay (MS 419/1);

Letter from Charles Knight to George Routledge dated 3 October 1864, concerning a specimen of 'Shakspere at Home', and requesting a payment for each number and a royalty, should Routledge be 'inclined to engage in this' (MS 419/2);

Specimen copy of 'Shakspere at Home: being his plays arranged for family, school and local readings, selected and illustrated by Charles Knight, to be completed in thirty-six weekly numbers: The Tempest' (London, 1864) Originally sent with MS 419/2, and annotated with manuscript corrections. (MS 419/3)

Slip of paper with autograph signature of Henry W[adsworth] Longfellow, n.d. (MS 419/4)

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles Knight was a prolific Victorian author, editor, publisher and popular educator. His 'Penny Cyclopedia' appeared in parts between 1833 and 1844; as did his 'Popular History of England', published 1855-1862. Knight was a serious scholar and biographer of Shakespeare, and published a pictorial edition of Shakespeare's works between 1838-41. In later life he produced a further six editions of Shakespeare's works, including 'The works of William Shakspere' (London: George Routledge and Sons, 1867). The edition of 'Shakspere at Home', proposed in this collection, does not appear to have been published.

George Routledge (1812–1888), the successful London publisher, was joined in his business by his son Robert Warne Routledge (1837–1899) in 1858, and Edmund Routledge (1844–1899) in 1865.


No archival arrangement has been necessary

Access Information

Accessible to all readers.

Other Finding Aids

This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on the description belongs to the University of Nottingham.

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Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.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 at the University of Nottingham in March 2005.

Related Material

The Charles Knight Collection (c. 130 items), consisting of works written by or published by Charles Knight, is part of the Special Collections of the University of Nottingham Library.