Frank Percy Wilson Papers
Scope and Contents
The Frank Percy Wilson Papers document part of Wilson's scholarly career and include research correspondence and subject files, particularly for articles and papers on Shakespearean topics and on the book Tabacco. Also included are a large alphabetical file of notes for various publication projects; research material for the Facsimile of the Shakespeare First Folio and the British Academy biography of Sir E. K. Chambers; papers relating to the estate of fellow Shakespearean Walter Wilson Greg; and seventeen boxes of note cards and note slips on Elizabethan words and word usage.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The Frank Percy Wilson Papers are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased by James Marshall Osborn from Mrs. Frank Percy Wilson, 1963; bequest of James Marshall Osborn, 1976.
Organized into five series: I. Correspondence and Research Notes, 1912-1961. II. W. W. Greg's Publications and Estate, 1924-1961. III. Miscellanous Notes, undated. IV. Research Cards, undated. V. Research Slips, undated.
13.13 Linear Feet (28 boxes)
Language of Materials
The Frank Percy Wilson Papers contain correspondence, research files, and notes for articles and projected longer works, including an edition of Tabacco; the British Academy biography of E. K. Chambers; and works on Elizabethan vocabulary and proverbs.
Frank Percy Wilson (1889-1963)
Frank Percy Wilson was born in Birmingham, England, the youngest of nine children. He took a first class in English (1911) and an M.A.(1912) at the University of Birmingham, and a B.Litt from Lincoln College, Oxford in the following year. Wilson's thesis was on Thomas Dekker. He volunteered for the Army in September 1914, and was badly wounded at the battle of the Somme in July 1916, spending over a year in the hospital and enduring repeated surgeries. After brief service as the Minister of Food, he returned to his scholarly career. Wilson was appointed as a university lecturer at Oxford in 1923, and as reader in 1927. He was subsequently professor of English at the University of Leeds (1929-1936); Hildred Carlisle Professor of English Literature at Bedford College, London (1936-1947); and finally Merton Professor of English Literature at Oxford (1947-1957).
Wilson's academic specialty was Elizabethan language and literature, and he published many papers and articles on the subject during his lifetime, including Illustrations of Social Life, Shakespeare and the New English Bibliography, The Jestbooks of the Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries, Shakespeare and the Diction of Common Life, and Shakespeare and the New Bibliography. From 1935 on he served, with Bonamy Dobrée, as general editor of the Oxford History of English Literature. His own volume in the series, English Drama 1485-1585, appeared posthumously in 1969, edited by G. K. Hunter. He also served as general editor of the Malone Society from 1948 until 1960.
Wilson married Joanna Perry-Keene, one of his Oxford students, in 1924; the couple had four children. Joanna Wilson shared his interest in Elizabethan proverbs and sayings, and worked with him for many years to prepare the third edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (1970), which was published after Wilson's death with her introduction.
Boxes 1-10 of the Frank Percy Wilson Papers were housed, arranged and listed by a curatorial assistant in the 1980s, and this list has been preserved in this finding aid. Boxes 11-28 received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization, in 2010. The arrangement of the material reflects the order of the files as they were acquired by the library.
- Bibliographical Society (Great Britain)
- Chambers, E. K. (Edmund Kerchever), 1866-1954
- Chapman, R. W. (Robert William), 1881-1960
- Davin, Dan, 1913-1990
- Early printed books
- English drama -- Bibliography
- English drama -- Early modern and Elizabethan, 1500-1600
- English literature -- Bibliography
- Ferguson, F. S. (Frederic Sutherland), 1878-1967
- Greg, W. W. (Walter Wilson), 1875-1959
- Janson, Cobb, Pearson and Co
- Knapp-Fisher, James S.
- McManaway, James Gilmer, 1899-1980
- Publishers and publishing -- Great Britain
- Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 (Bibliography)
- Shipton, Clifford Kenyon, 1902-1973
- Smith, David Nichol, 1875-1962
- Wilson, F. P. (Frank Percy), 1889-1963
- Wilson, John Dover, 1881-1969
- Guide to the Frank Percy Wilson Papers
- by Hugh Kennedy and Beinecke Staff
- Description rules
- Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
P. O. Box 208330
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New Haven, CT 06511
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