Scope and Contents
Series I, Correspondence , is organized into three subseries: Evelyn Simpson Correspondence; George R. Potter Correspondence; and Percy Simpson Correspondence. The subseries Evelyn Simpson Correspondence is further organized into Incoming Corrrespondence and Outgoing Correspondence.
Boxes 1-3 contain alphabetically arranged correspondence to Evelyn Simpson, almost entirely professional and scholarly in nature. Major correspondents include Helen Gardner, Mary Holtby, Sir Geoffrey Keynes, J. B. Leishman, James Marshall Osborn, George and Mabel Potter, and John Sparrow. Folders 76-80 hold letters from the University of California Press concerning their publication of Donne's Sermons. Outgoing Correspondence includes several folders of letters to Mary Holtby and Mabel Potter which mingle personal and professional news as well as comments on Simpson's editorial work on John Donne. The remaining two subseries contain small amounts of letters addressed to George Potter and Percy Simpson which were acquired with the Evelyn Simpson Papers.
Series II, Writings , is organized into six subseries. Sermons of John Donne, housed in boxes 5-21, contains notes, drafts, typescripts, proofs and galley proofs of the multi-volume edition of the Sermons produced by Simpson between 1953 and 1962. Box 21 also contains the subseries George R. Potter Research Materials, which includes notes by Potter, who coedited volume 1 of the Sermons with Simpson prior to his death in 1954. The subseries Other Writings Related to John Donne is housed in boxes 23-25 and includes article drafts and notes, printed copies and offprints of reviews by Simpson. Other Papers contains documentation of Simpson's research on Ben Jonson; Percy Simpson Materials includes three folders of notes and research material collected by Simpson's husband; and Other Printed Material includes offprints of reviews autographed to Simpson and a variety of newspaper and periodical clippings.
Oversize material is housed in boxes 27 and 28.
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
13.97 Linear Feet (28 boxes)
Language of Materials
EVELYN MARY SPEARING SIMPSON, 1885-1963
Evelyn Simpson's Study of the Prose Works of John Donne was published in 1924. The first two volumes of Percy Simpson's and C. H. Herford's projected edition of the Works of Ben Jonson appeared in the following year. After Herford's death in 1931, it became clear that Simpson would be unable to finish the edition alone. In 1937, when he was 72, Evelyn put aside her work on the sermons of John Donne and joined him as junior editor for volumes 6-11, the last of which appeared in 1952.
As the Jonson edition neared completion, Evelyn undertook a comprehensive edition of John Donne's Sermons in collaboration with George R. Potter of the University of California at Berkeley; the first volume appeared in 1953. Following Potter's death in 1954, Evelyn completed the ten-volume edition alone, despite failing eyesight and her husband's increasing frailty. The final volume appeared in 1962, shortly before Percy Simpson's death at the age of 97. Evelyn then began work on an anthology of Donne's prose, but it was unfinished at her death in September 1963. Edited by her close friend Helen Gardner, with T. S. Healy, Selected Prose was published in 1967 "as chosen by Evelyn Simpson."
- Bald, R. C. (Robert Cecil), 1901-1965
- Donne, John, 1572-1631 -- Sermons
- English prose literature -- Early modern, 1500-1700 -- Criticism, Textual
- Gardner, Helen, 1908-1986
- Great Britain -- Intellectual life -- 20th Century
- Holtby, Mary
- Keynes, Geoffrey, 1887-1982
- Learning and scholarship -- Great Britain
- Lewis, Mabel Potter
- Potter, George Reuben, 1895-1954
- Scholars -- Great Britain
- Simpson, Evelyn Mary Spearing, 1885-1963
- Simpson, Percy, 1865-1962
- University of California Press
- University of Oxford -- Intellectual life
- Women scholars
- Guide to the Evelyn Simpson Papers
- Under Revision
- by Diane J. Ducharme
- October 2003
- 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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