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Silvia Dobson papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 409
Scope and Contents

The papers contain letters from American poet H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) to Silvia Dobson, letters from the British author Bryher to Silvia Dobson and her siblings Mervyn and Norah Dobson, as well as copies of several letters from Silvia to Bryher and letters from Kenneth Macpherson. Letters from H.D. document her life in Switzerland and London for nearly thirty years and include information about H.D.'s analysis with Sigmund Freud. Letters from Bryher document Bryher's life in Switzerland in the 1960's and 1970's, the Dobsons' lives in America, and Dobson's efforts to publish her work. Included among the correspondence are letters to H.D. from Norah, Mollie, and Mervyn Dobson, and Frances Gregg; and notes by Silvia H. Dobson. Included in the collection are typescripts of seven novels by Dobson: Feathers of Lead, Guests of Existence, Honor Bound or Shattering Mirror Images, The Hut of Laurel, The Kindhart Trap, Somebody and Nobody, and Spring Begins in Autumn. Also included is an untitled autobiography which describes her life as part of H. D.'s literary circle, her relief work during World War II, her relationship with H.D., her identity as a lesbian, and her later life living in America; and her unpublished manuscript "Mirror for a Star, Star for a Mirror. H.D.'s letters to Silvia Dobson."

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Silvia Dobson Papers is thephysical 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 from Elizabeth Shoemaker throughRalph Sipper on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 1995 and 1997. Purchased from Silvia Dobson on the American Literature Fund, 1989.


Organized into four series: I. Correspondence, 1945-1977. II. Writings, 1959-1992. III. Other Papers, undated. IV. "Mirror for a Star, Star for a Mirror: H. D.'s Letters to Silvia Dobson" material, 1935-1961.

2.12 Linear Feet (6 boxes)
Related Names
Dobson, Silvia, 1908-
Language of Materials