Papers of William Francis Jackson Knight

Scope and Content

This small collection consists of Jackson Knight's personal copies of offprints (with handwritten annotations) and typescript lecture notes, 1929-1965. Also included are personal copies (many signed or with inscriptions) of works given to Jackson Knight by academic friends and colleagues, 1920-1945.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Francis Jackson Knight (1895-1964), classical scholar, the elder son of George Knight and Caroline Louisa Jackson, was born on 20 October 1895. He was educated at Dulwich College and Hertford College Oxford, to which he won an open scholarship in Classics. He served as a despatch rider during the First World War. After a number of teaching jobs, including ten years at All Saints' School, Bloxham, he became a temporary lecturer in Classics at the University of St Andrews. The following year he accepted an Assistant Lectureship at Exeter, which he turned to a Lectureship the next year and a Readership in 1942. He remained at Exeter, a committed educationalist who inspired hundreds of students, until and after he retired. His publications included several works on Virgil, including Vergil's Troy (1932), Cummaean Gates (1936), Accentual Symmetry in Vergil (1939), Roman Vergil (1943), Vergil and Homer (1950), and Virgil's Aeneid, a translation (Penguin Classics, 1956). In addition he played a key role in extra-mural activities, encouraging young poets and establishing and commanding the University's Officer Training Corps. He established the international review Erasmus. His biography, by his brother George Wilson Knight, was published in 1975.

Conditions Governing Access

Usual EUL arrangements apply.


Biographical text by Ian Mortimer, Archivist.

Listed by Charlotte Berry, Archivist, 20 April 2004 and encoded into EAD 1 June 2004.

Other Finding Aids

Currently unlisted.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Custodial History

Donated to the University Library by a member of the School of Classics, Ancient History and Theology in 2001/2. Transferred to the School on the death of George Wilson Knight (d1985).

Related Material

Exeter University Library also holds the following collections relating to William Jackson Knight and to his brother George Wilson Knight: EUL MS 54, 75, 80, 84, 87, 89, 93, 94, 191 and 193. Other papers relating to Jackson Knight are also held by the following repositories: Leeds University, Bodleian Library and University College London.



Corporate Names