William Watson collection
Scope and Contents
Series I, John Alexander Symington Purchase , consists of three subseries: William Watson Correspondence, Writings by William Watson, and John Alexander Symington Papers Concerning William Watson. Correspondence consists mostly of typed transcriptions of letters. Some transcripts are identified as prepared by John Alexander Symington. Writings are mostly poems; also present are a few prose and musical works. Symington's papers concern his purchase and sale of Watson letters and manuscripts.
Series II, Maureen Pring Watson Gift , consists of eight subseries: William Watson Correspondence, Writings by William Watson, Music by William Watson, William Watson Personal Papers, Maureen Pring Watson Papers, Printed Material, Drawings, and Photographs. The William Watson Correspondence includes letters from William to Maureen Pring Watson, typed transcripts of letters to John Lane, and other original and typed transcripts of letters to and from Watson or concerning him. Writings by William Watson include poetry collections, prose works, and a large number of single poems. Also present are inscribed title pages cut from many of his published works. Music by William Watson consists of song settings of Watson's poems for voice and piano and a few hymns and pieces for piano solo. Most song settings were composed by Watson; a few were composed by others on Watson's texts. The William Watson Personal Papers include correspondence and legal documents relating to his brother Robinson Watson and a libel case pursued against him by William Watson. Also present are other personal legal documents and several locks of hair of William and Maureen Pring Watson. The Maureen Pring Watson Papers consist of two drafts of her biography of her husband titled "England, Are You Proud?," and a small amount of correspondence and other papers, including letters from Walter E. Swayze concerning his research for a dissertation on Watson and documents relating to Maureen Pring Watson's residence in the United States after her husband's death. Printed Material consists mostly of clippings concerning Watson, with a few newspaper broadside advertisements and other materials. Most Drawings and Photographs are portraits of William or Maureen Pring Watson. Also present are photographs of other members of the Watson and Pring families. Many photographs are annotated on the verso by Maureen Pring Watson.
Series III, George S. MacManus Purchase , consists of four subseries: William Watson Correspondence, Other Correspondence Concerning William Watson, a small subseries of Writings by William Watson, mostly poems, and a small subseries of R. W. D. Holland Papers Concerning William Watson. Holland's papers relate to his research on Watson and include correspondence concerning the life of Maureen Pring Watson after her husband's death.
Series IV, Materials From Other Sources , consists of three subseries: Correspondence of William Watson, Poems by William Watson, and Other William Watson Papers. Poems include a holograph of Wordsworth's Grave and Other Poems.
In all series, most correspondence of William Watson concerns his writing and relations with his publishers; also discussed are his views on literature, his own literary reputation, and family, friendships, and social engagements. In addition to correspondents listed in folder titles, other correspondents represented in typed transcripts in Series I and II include Arthur James Balfour, Earl of Balfour, David Beatty, Earl Beatty, Arthur Christopher Benson, Augustine Birrell, Robert Seymour Bridges, Herbert Gardner, Baron Burghclere, Sir Hall Caine, Edward Henry Carson, Baron Carson, Austin Dobson, John Drinkwater, Alfred Hayes, William Holman Hunt, Richard Holt Hutton, Richard Le Gallienne, Justin Huntly McCarthy, George Meredith, John Morley, Coventry Kersey Dighton Patmore, Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch, Clement King Shorter, Thomas Humphry Ward, Sir Thomas Herbert Warren, and Robinson Watson.
Literary manuscripts appearing in all series are holographs, mostly drafts with corrections, unless otherwise described in folder titles. Multiple copies of single poems within a series are indicated in folder titles and may include variant versions. Additional versions of single poems may be appear as part of collections of poems, in clippings, enclosed with letters, or as single poems in other series.
Conditions Governing Access
Box 15: Restricted Fragile. Reference surrogates have been substituted in the main files. For further information consult the appropriate curator.
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
9.6 Linear Feet ((15 boxes) + 2 broadside)
Language of Materials
Also included are personal papers of William Watson; papers of Maureen Pring Watson, including drafts of a biography of her husband; photograph portraits of William Watson, Maureen Pring Watson, and other family members; and other photographs, drawings, and printed material. Also present are a small amount of papers relating to research on William Watson by John Alexander Symington, R. W. D. Holland, and Walter E. Swayze.
Correspondence includes a large number of letters from William Watson to Maureen Pring Watson and to publisher John Lane. Watson's personal papers include a group of letters and documents concerning his brother Robinson Watson. Most other correspondence concerns Watson's writing and relations with his publishers; also discussed are his views on literature, his interest in his literary reputation, and his family, friendships, and social engagements.
WILLIAM WATSON (1858-1935)
- Guide to the William Watson Collection
- Under Revision
- by Karen M. Spicher
- April 2000
- 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
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
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