Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Pound mss. III, 1910-1972, consist of letters between Dorothy Shakespear Pound, 1886-1973, and Ezra Loomis Pound, 1885-1972, from the time of their first meeting until his death. Ezra Pound was an expatriate American poet and critic and one of the leaders of the early modernist movement. Born in Idaho, he attended the University of Pennsylvania and went on to teach briefly at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana before traveling overseas and living in London, Paris, and Italy, then returning to the States in 1945. He was charged with treason for activities during the war, yet was found mentally ill and spent 13 years in St. Elizabeths Hospital before released in 1958. Pound went back to Italy that year and died in Venice in 1972.

Dorothy Shakespear Pound, born in Britain, became a vorticist painter of distinction. She met Ezra Pound in 1909, and they were married in 1914. She remained married to Pound despite his political views, his incarceration, and his 50-year affair with Olga Rudge, a musician from Youngstown, Ohio. Shakespear Pound lost much of her family's wealth by investing in the government of Benito Mussolini on the advice of her husband, an admirer of the dictator. (His Mussolini scrapbook is in the collection.) She lived the last years of her life in London apart from her husband, and died in London in 1973.

The collection is organized into the following series: I. Correspondence: 1910-1972; undated; II. Additional Correspondence: 1960-1972; III. Miscellaneous.

An inventory and a finding aid are available.

Purchase. Omar S. Pound, Princeton, New Jersey. 1988

Collection size: 2,225 items

Related manuscripts: Pound mss., Pound mss. II, Pound mss. IV, Pound mss. V, Pound mss. VII, Pound mss. VI

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.