G. K. CHESTERTON PAPERS. VOL. CXXIX A-CLXII F. A collection of early notebooks; circa 1880-[1906]. Autograph. These notebooks were compiled mostly during Chesterton's later years at St Paul's School, at Calderon's art school in St John's Wood, at the Slade School of Art and during his employment at Messrs Fisher Unwin. Some originated as school exercise books or sketch books from art school and have been used, like the others, for drafts and fair copies of poems, essays, plays and stories. Almost all contain sketches in pencil, ink or crayon, recurring themes being those of W. E. Gladstone, Joseph Chamberlain, A. J. Balfour, Napoleon I, Professor T. H. Huxley, Jesus Christ, duelling scenes, gentlemen in debate or sitting at leisure, persons bound or in attitudes of martyrdom, statuesque ladies and gentlemen. Apart from those poems published in The Wild Knight (1900), very few items in these notebooks were published in Chesterton's lifetime, and some are only in fragmentary form. Groups of similar four-line stanzas, sometimes with their own titles, but usually untitled, and sometimes arranged as a long poem entitled 'World lover', appear frequently among the notebooks of the late 1890s, and are referred to in this catalogue as the 'World lover' sequence: some parts were published under their own titles in Chesterton's lifetime, others in C.W., vol. 10, as indicated. There are very few firm dates in the notebooks, and the arrangement below is based as far as possible upon the few dates given or by deduction from the handwriting and from the different versions of some texts which appear. Some notebooks originated as sketchbooks to which text was later added, others the reverse, others began as school exercise books and were later used for sketches and text; the arrangement of the notebooks is based on the probable date of the greater part of the textual element. Some notebooks were filled in from both ends. Many of the notebooks have had leaves removed, either during their compilation or later: there are also many loose leaves bearing drafts and fair copies which are collected as Add. 73348-73351 when they cannot be confidently reunited with their original volume. Loose leaves which form drafts of published work are placed with other papers for the relevant work. Notebooks consisting entirely of drawings are to be found at Add. 73361-73367.Thirty-four volumes composed of one hundred and thirty-six notebooks.

Conditions Governing Access


Not Public Record(s)