Mary Hope Allen: Correspondence and Papers

Scope and Content

Correspondence of Robin Allen, Sir Ernest King Allen and Mary Hope Allen; articles, reviews, correspondence, and poems for The Weekly Westminster, c.1922-24; and photographs of actors and dramatists:

9225/1 Letters to Robin Allen and Allen's poems, the correspondents including Stopford A. Brooke; William E. Gladstone; Thomas Hardy; Frederic Harrison; William J. Hennessy; Thomas H. Huxley; Lord Leighton; James R. Lowell; George Meredith; Sir John E. Millais; John Ruskin; Sir Henry Morton Stanley; Arnold Toynbee; John Tyndall; and Mary Augusta Ward (Mrs. Humphry Ward).

9225/2 19th and early 20th century autographs, including Sir Charles H. Doyle to Colonel Graham, John Singer Sargent, and Sir Desmond Maccarthy to Mary Hope Allen.

9225/3 19th and early 20th century letters given to Mary Hope Allen by Edward Foord, 1925, including Barbara L. Smith (Bodichon) to Mrs. Foord; Eliza Lynn Linton to Mrs. Foord; Isabella Wilks; John Wilks to Sally F. Adams; Sir Edwin Landseer to Henry Graves; Samuel Sebastian Wesley to B.J. Scott; Anthony Trollope to Robin Allen; Thomas Carlyle to Robson; and H.G. Wells.

9225/4 Mary Hope Allen's autograph book.

9225/5 Letters to Mary Hope Allen, the correspondents including Max Adrian; Jill Balcon (Cecil Day-Lewis's wife); Elizabeth Bowen (wife of G.C. Cameron); Fay Compton; Denis Constanduros; Cathleen Cordell; Barbara Couper; Walter de la Mare; Robert Donat; Dame Edith Evans; Joan Farjeon; Herbert Farjeon; Dame Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies; Sir John Gielgud; Joyce Grenfell; Hermione Hannen; Carleton Hobbs; Thea Holme; Aldous Huxley; Lydia, Lady Keynes (Lydia Lopokova); Ernest Milton; Lord Reith; Naomi Royde Smith; 5th Baron Sackville; Leslie Stokes; Irene Worth; and Gladys Young.

9225/6 Letters from J.B. Priestley to Mary Hope Allen.

9225/7 Articles and reviews for The Weekly Westminster, 1920s, including John D. Beresford; Walter de la Mare; Philip Guedalla; Cecil Harwood; Sir Alan P. Herbert; Richard Hughes; Robert Lynd, 'Katherine Mansfield'; Dame Rose Macaulay; Katherine Mansfield, 'The garden party'; Naomi Royde Smith; Edward Shanks; Dame Edith Sitwell; and Dame Rebecca West.

9225/8 Scrapbook of proof articles, poems and letters for The Weekly Westminster, 1920s, including the following poems: Sir Sacheverell Sitwell, 'Fountains'; Dame Edith Sitwell, 'Rain'; Sir John C. Squire, 'The journey'; Walter de la Mare, 'Reflections'; W.B. Yeats, 'The song of wandering Aengus'; Edward Shanks, 'Woodland scene', Sir Osbert Sitwell, 'Country-dance'; Humbert Wolfe, 'The first harp-player'; W.B. Yeats, 'Broken dreams', Fay Compton, letter; Sir Peter Quennell, 'A man to a sunflower'; W.B. Yeats, 'The lover mourns for the loss of love'; 'To a friend whose work has come to nothing'; 'A song'; 'The witch'; 'He tells of the perfect beauty'; and Sir. J.C. Squire, 'Christmas hymn for Lambeth'.

9225/9 Photograph album, containing photographs of mainly actors and dramatists, including Tallulah Bankhead; Hermione Baddeley; Hermione Baddeley and Gilbert Childs; Walter de la Mare; Horace Horsnell; Humbert Wolfe; Lydia Lopokova; Anna Pavlova; Jeanne de Casalis and Tom Douglas; D. Hay Petrie; Wilfrid Walter; Basil Rathbone; Beatrice Lillie; Mary Hope Allen; J.B. Priestley; Mary Hope Allen's production of The Tempest (1945); and Mary Hope Allen's production of Ibsen's The Wild Duck (1955).

9225/10 Commonplace book and miscellanea.

9225/11 Edward Allen, Commonplace book.

Administrative / Biographical History

Mary Hope Allen (1898- ), daughter of Sir Ernest King Allen and granddaughter of Robin Allen, was assistant to Naomi Royde Smith, literary editor of The Weekly Westminster, 1912-22, and a radio drama producer for the B.B.C. Third Programme, 1927-58. She married John Merrington, and was often called socially Mrs. Merrington, but was known as Mary Hope Allen for professional purposes. Robin Allen (1820-98), poet and critic, was Secretary of Trinity House; Sir Ernest King Allen (1864-1937) was Assistant Public Trustee, 1915-23.

Conditions Governing Access

J.B. Priestley's letters to Mary Hope Allen (MS.Add.9225/6) are closed until 1 January 2025. The rest of the collection is open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Mrs. Julia Allen Mannheim, 1994.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Summary Catalogue. A catalogue is also available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.