University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Letters to
Ethel Rolt Wheeler

1901 - 1938

Manuscript Collection Number: 318
Accessioned: Purchase, April 1995.
Extent: 46 itmes (.1 linear ft.)
Content: Letters and one report.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: April 1995 by Anita A. Wellner

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Table of Contents

Biographical Note

Irish poet and author Ethel Rolt Wheeler was a member of the Irish Literary Society of London and chair of the Irish Circle of the Lyceum Club (London).

Wheeler's published works include volumes of poetry such as Verses (1903), The Year's Horoscope: Sonnets (1905), Ireland's Veils and Other Poems (1913), and Ethel Rolt-Wheeler: poems (1937); a book of tales titled Behind the Veil (1906); and a volume of biographical essays titled Famous Blue-stockings (1910).

She also contributed articles to several journals, including East and West, The Theosophical Review, and Great Thoughts.


O'Donoghue, D.J. The Poets of Ireland. Detroit: Gale Research, 1968.

Note: Some biographical information is derived from correspondence in the collection.

Scope and Content Note

Spanning the dates 1901-1938, the Letters to Ethel Rolt Wheeler consist of forty-five letters and one brief report of a meeting of the Irish Circle of the Lyceum Club (London).

Most of the letters in the collection are written to Wheeler in her capacity as chair of the Irish Circle of the Lyceum Club. Notable literary persons, such as Paul Vincent Carroll, Lord Dunsany, St. John G. Ervine, and Kate O'Brien wrote regretfully to decline invitations to Irish Circle functions. Conversely, others such as Lady Cynthia Asquith, Francis Aitken, Ishbel Aberdeen-Temair, May Sinclair, and L.A.G. Strong wrote to accept invitations or to thank Wheeler for dinners and events of the Irish Circle.

The collection also includes a number of letters related to Wheeler's stories, plays, and poetry. Johnston Forbes-Robertson, Malcolm Morley, Norman McKinnel, and Herbert Trench graciously declined to produce plays written by Wheeler. John Murray and Lord Gorell, both representing the publishing firm of John Murray, rejected collections of poetry and stories submitted by Wheeler. However, there are also letters from Grace Little Rhys, requesting permission to reprint a poem by Wheeler, and George Bushnell, complimenting Wheeler on her poetry and the recent publication of her Ireland's Veil and Other Poems.

Finally there are several letters reflecting some of Wheeler's personal friendships, such as the letters from Priscilla Bright McLaren and Una O'Connor. In her letter, Actress Una O'Connor described her role as "Minnie the Moocher" in The Bride of Frankenstein and commented on working with Boris Karloff.

The one-page report describes presentations at a Irish Circle dinner devoted to "Uncanny Stories." Several of the letters make reference to this dinner, which probably occurred in 1932.

Related collections:

Ms 99 Alice Meynell letters to Ethel Rolt Wheeler

Ms 99 Lady Gregory letter to Ethel Rolt Wheeler

Contents List

Folder -- Contents

Letters to Ethel Rolt Wheeler, arranged alphabetically
               by correspondent.

F1   Aberdeen-Dunsany

     Aberdeen and Temair, Ishbel Gordon, Marchioness of, 1857-1939.
     1934 May 4          TLS       2p

     Aitken, W. Francis.
     1932 Dec 15         ALS       2p

     Asquith, Cynthia, Lady, 1887-1960.
     1926 Nov 26         ALS       1p
     1932 Nov 18         ALS       2p
          Dec 12         ALS       2p
          Dec 24         ALS       1p

     Barrett, Wilson, 1848-1904.
     1904 Apr 5          ALS       2p

     Boyle, William, 1853-1923.
     1905 Dec 19         ALS       4p

     Bushnell, George Herbert, 1896-
     1937 Jan 28         ALS       3p
               Note: Includes a prospectus for Bushnell's book
               Sir Richard Grenville.

     Carroll, Paul Vincent, 1900-1968.
     1933 May 23         TLS       1p

     Dulanty, J. W.
     1933 Feb 22         TLS       1p
          May 18         TLS       1p
               Note: Also includes a letter from the Office of
               the High Commissioner of the Irish Free State.

     Dunsany, Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, Baron, 1878-1957.
     1933 May 26         ALS       1p

          Letters to Ethel Rolt Wheeler (cont'd)

F2   Ervine-Murray
     Ervine, St. John G. (St. John Greer), b. 1883.
     1933 May 24         TLS       1p

     Forbes-Robertson, Johnston, Sir, 1853-1937.
     1901 Oct 12         ALS       1p

     Gibson, Wilfrid Wilson, 1878-1962.
     1934 Sep 20         ALS       1p

     Hannay, James Owen, 1865-1950.
     1926 Dec 13         TLS       1p
     1933 May 27         TLS       1p

     McKinnel, Norman.
     1913 Nov 12         TLS       1p

     McLaren, Priscilla Bright.
     1905 Dec 22         ALS       4p
     1906 Jan 4          ALS       2p

     Mead, G. R. S. (George Robert Stow), 1863-1933.
     1906 Apr 3          ALS       1p
     1915 Jul 22         ALS       1p

     Meyerstein, Edward Harry William, 1889-1952.
     1936 Oct 31         ALS       1p
     1937 Apr 6          ALS       1p

     Morley, Malcolm, 1890-
     1927 Jul 18         TLS       1p

     John Murray (Firm).
     1917 Jan 2          TLS       1p
               Note: Written by John Murray.
     1931 Feb 10         TLS       1p
               Note: Written by John Murray.
          Aug 24         TLS       1p
               Note: Written by Lord Gorell.
           Letters to Ethel Rolt Wheeler (cont'd)
F3   O'Brien-O'Neill
     O'Brien, Kate, 1897-1974.
     1933 May 18         ALS       3p

     O'Connor, Una.
     1935 Jan 15         ALS       6p

     O'Donovan, Fred.
     1933 May 16         ALS       1p
          Jun 9          ALS       2p

     O'Neill, Maire, 1887-1952.
     1932 May 13         ALS       2p

F4   Rhys-Whitten
     Rhys, Grace Little, 1865-1929.
     1926 Jan 4          ALS       2p

     Sinclair, May.
     1926 Nov 29         ALS       1p

     Stopes, Marie Charlotte Carmichael, 1880-1958.
     1938 Jan 18         TLS       1p
          Jan 20         ALS       1p
          [Dec 25]       Card      1p

     Strong, L. A. G. (Leonard Alfred George), 1896-1958.
          To Miss Bullen.
     1932 May 11         TLS       1p

     Trench, Herbert, 1865-1923.
     1909 Jul 15         TLS       1p

     Whitten, Wilfred, 1864-1942.
     1919 Apr 11         ALS       2p

F5   Unidentified
     1933 Dec 30         ALS       4p
               Note: Signed "Louis."  Also includes an unrelated
               typescript summary of the events occurring at the
               "Uncanny Stories" Dinner hosted by the Irish
               Circle of the Lyceum Club.

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