Special Collections Department
Shirley Brooks Letters
Manuscript Collection Number: 246
Accessioned: Purchased June 1991
Extent: 37 items. 1 box.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: Fall 1991 by Neva J. Specht.
Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
Table of Contents
Brooks was married to Emily Margot Walkinshaw, the daughter of a doctor from Trinidad. Throughout his career, Brooks associated with influential people in the literary field.
The plays he wrote and produced were well received in the literary community and included the following: The Creole (1847); Daughter of the Star (1850); The Exposition (1851); Olympics (1861); Guardian Angel; Lowther Arcade; Honors and Tricks; and Our New Governess. In addition to his success as a playwright, Brooks published extensively in popular periodicals and also wrote two novels: Aspen Court, A Story of Our Times (1853), and Gordian Knot (1858).
Brooks joined the staff of Punch in 1851. He wrote a column under the pen-name Epicurus Rotundus. In 1870, Brooks succeeded Mark Lemon as the editor of Punch, though he continued his prolific writing career until his death on February 23, 1874.
Source:The Dictionary of National Biography. Vol II. ed. Sir Leslie Stephen and Sir Sidney Lee. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973.
Scope and Content Note
The correspondence includes Brooks to the following: Sir William Howard Russell (1820-1907), famous war correspondent for the London Times whose story of "The Battle of Bull Run" published in 1861 in New York caused a serious controversy, and John Timbs (1801-1875), author and editor of over 150 works including Curiosities of London (1855).
Brooks also wrote to Charles Lamb Kinney (1821-1881), author, journalist, and songwriter with whom Brooks was associated on the staff of "The Man in the Moon," before joining Punch, and with whom he collaborated in dramatic work. Letters also went to James Griffen, esq., J. Mitchell, esq., J.W. Hampstede, and Charles Hicks, printer for Bradbury & Evans, the firm that printed Punch. Other letters included ones to R.J. Spiers of Oxford, Samuel Smiles (1812-1904), well-known author and social reformer, President of the National Provident life insurance company, and Henry Blackburn (1830-1897), author, journalist, and editor of London Security.
Brooks also corresponded with J.L. Caley, esq. from Pall Mall, Charles Kent, editor of the Sun newspaper, John Swain (1820-1909), wood engraver for Punch; Percival Leigh (1813-1889),comic writer, joined the staff of Punch in 1841, and was known by everyone on staff as "Professor", Lady Grant, and Sir Henry Thompson (1820-1904), a famous surgeon, who was also a landscape artist and novelist. Thompson was socially prominent for his "Octaves" (dinners of eight courses, for eight persons, at eight o'clock), at his house in Wimpole Street--and was a close friend of Brooks.
C.W. Shirley Brooks Letters, 1854-1874. 37 items, 37 leaves. All letters are from C.W. Shirley Brooks. Most letters are from his home located at 6 Kent Terrace, Regents Park, London, other addresses used are noted accordingly. Dates when available are included, as well as return address and person to whom the letter was written. F1 1854 [no address] William Howard Russell, ALS 2p (leaf) [1855?]: 1 Nov 12 New Inn John Timbs, ALS 2p (1 leaf) [1858?]: 3 Aug Literary Gazette Charles Lamb Kenney, Office ALS 1p (1 leaf) [n.d] [no address] Charles Lamb Kenney, ALS 1p (1 1859: 7 Sep 11 Bouverie St. E Charles Hicks, ALS 2p (1 leaf) [1862?]: [n.d] 6 Kent Terrace William Howard Russell, ALS 2p (1 leaf) F2 1864: 24 Mar [no address] R.J. Spiers, ALS 2p (1 leaf) 24 Jun [no address] R.J. Spiers, ALS 2p (1 leaf) [Aug?] [no address] R.J. Spiers, ALS 2p (1 leaf) 15 Dec 6 Kent Terrace R.J. Spiers, ALS 2p (1 leaf) F3 1867: 14 Jan 6 Kent Terrace Samuel Smiles, ALS 1p (1 leaf) 27 Jan 6 Kent Terrace William Howard Russell, ALS 1p (1 leaf) 2 May 6 Kent Terrace J. Mitchell, ALS 2p (1 leaf) 1 Jun 6 Kent Terrace Henry Blackburn, ALS 2p (1 leaf) [1868?]: [n.d.] 6 Kent Terrace J.L. Caley, ALS 2p (1 leaf) [n.d.] Scarborough J.L. Caley, ALS 1p (1 leaf) [n.d.] 6 Kent Terrace J.L. Caley, ALS 1p (1 leaf) 1868: 9 Jan 6 Kent Terrace Joseph Swain, ALS 2p (1 leaf) 13 May 6 Kent Terrace Charles Kent, ALS w/envelope 1p (1 leaf) 26 Oct Literary Gazette James Griffin, Office ALS 1p (1 leaf) F4 1870: 10 Jan 6 Kent Terrace Percival Leigh, ALS 1p (1 leaf) [n.d.] Oct [no address] Lady Grant, ALS 2p (1 leaf) [1871?]: [n.d.] [no address] Joseph Swain, ALS 1p (1 leaf) [n.d.] [no address] Joseph Swain, ALS 1p (1 leaf) [n.d.] Granby [hotel] Joseph Swain, ALS 2p (1 leaf) 1871: 9 Jul Punch office, Henry Blackburn, 85 Fleet Street ALS 2p (1 leaf) 15 Nov 6 Kent Terrace Henry Blackburn, [Punch office ALS 1p (1 leaf) address crossed out] F5 1872: 17 Jan [no address] Henry Blackburn, ALS 1p (1 leaf) 13 Mar 6 Kent Terrace Charles Lamb Kinney, ALS 2p (1 leaf) 15 Mar 6 Kent Terrace Henry Blackburn, ALS 2p (1 leaf) 28 Mar [no address] Charles Lamb Kinney, ALS 2p (1 leaf) 25 Apr 6 Kent Terrace Charles Lamb Kinney, ALS 2p (1 leaf) 25 May Whitefriers, Henry Blackburn, London ALS 1p (1 leaf) 22 Sept Granby Hotel William Howard Russell, Housegate ALS 2p (1 leaf) F6 1874: 8 Feb 6 Kent Terrace Sir Henry Thompson, ALS 1p (1 leaf) [no year]: 21 Apr [no address] J. Mitchell, ALS 1p (1 leaf) 18 Aug [Punch office J. W. Hampstede, address crossed ALS 1p (1 leaf) out]
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