Correspondence and literary papers of Professor Bonamy Dobre, with some related material, including a large number of letters from T.S. Eliot

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 206 Brotherton Collection MS 20c Dobre
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      26 boxes, 1 envelope, and 64 volumes; manuscript, typescript, photographs, press cuttings, and printed material. Includes a few medals and badges.

Scope and Content

Comprises: (a) 19 boxes of Bonamy Dobre's autograph manuscript correspondence arranged A-Z by the names of the correspondents and dated between 1912 and 1973, including a large number of letters from T.S. Eliot and a box devoted to correspondence concerning Rudyard Kipling; (b) 1 box of his manuscript and typescript articles, reviews, and notebooks; (c) 1 large box of his lectures and drafts of his book on Kipling; (d) 1 large box of his lectures on and drafts of his contribution to the Oxford History of English Literature, relating to the years 1700-1740; (e) 1 envelope containing drafts of his lecture to the British Academy on 'Patriotism' and of his chapter on Defoe's prose in the volume entitled Pope and his contemporaries: essays presented to George Sherburn; edited by James L. Clifford and Louis A. Landa (Oxford, 1949); (f) 1 box of Dobre family photographs taken during most of the early and mid-twentieth century; (g) 3 boxes of material concerning Valentine Dobre, including: (i) Manuscript, typescript, and a printed copy of her book of poems This green tide (1965), (ii) Miscellaneous poems and notebooks, and (iii) Reviews, letters, press cuttings, exhibition brochures, medals, and badges.

Administrative / Biographical History

The son of Bonamy Dobre and Violet Chase, Bonamy (the younger) was born in 1891 and educated at Haileybury and the R.M.A., Woolwich. Commissioned in the Royal Artillery in 1910, he served in France and Palestine, and in the Second World War attained to the rank of Lt.Col. He graduated in 1921 from Christ's College, Cambridge, then lived mainly in France until 1925, when he was appointed a lecturer in English at Queen Mary College, London. There he was active in journalism and as theatre critic for the Nation and Athenaeum. Between 1926 and 1936 he was Professor of English at Cairo before coming to his professorship at Leeds. After retirement in 1955 he became Gresham Professor of Rhetoric in London. He died in 1974. Dobre is particularly remembered for his work on Restoration dramatists, eighteenth-century English literature, and Kipling. He was also a member of the Central Advisory Council for Education (England) and of the editorial board of Universities Quarterly. Valentine Dobre (ne Valentine Gladys May Pechell in 1894) married Bonamy Dobre in 1913. She became an artist, poet, and novelist in her own right, with such works as Your cuckoo sings by kind, The emperor's tigers, To blush unseen, and This green tide to her name, and died in the same year as her husband. Their daughter Georgina was born in 1930.

Access Information

Access is unrestricted.

Acquisition Information

The gift of Georgina Dobre, his daughter, 1988.


In English.

Other Finding Aids

The letters are included in the Library's Letters database

Related Material

See also: MS 223, MS 408, MS 659, MS 898, MS 1550, and MS 1606.

Additional Information

Some 64 printed volumes either by or associated with Bonamy Dobre or Valentine Dobre, or formerly owned by Georgina Dobre, form a related part of the collection and are shelved with the above.

Family Names