Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Fawcett mss., 1875-1897, consist of the letters of American author Edgar Fawcett, 1847-1904, to James Maurice Thompson, 1844-1901, Hoosier poet, novelist and essayist. The letters, which conclude with Fawcett's emigration to Europe, offer a highly personal view of literary life in the latter part of the 19th century. Throughout the correspondence Fawcett discusses his own writings and those of Thompson, their respective publishers, as well as touching on the works and styles of George Eliot, William Dean Howells, James Russell Lowell, Louise (Chandler) Moulton, Algenon Charles Swinburne, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Edith Matilda Thomas, and many others.

Included in the correspondence as an enclosure is an autograph sonnet by Fawcett composed in response to reading Thompson's Songs of Fair Weather. Two cabinet photos of Thompson and his wife Alice (Lee) Thompson, complete the collection.

Fawcett dated most of the letters and cards with month and day only. All but one of the items has been assigned a year, penciled in by the manuscripts cataloger, determined through internal evidence of content and relationships of events being discussed. A class paper by Lisa Browar, Aug. 1977, with an explanation of the assigned dates is available in the Vertical File, Fawcett mss.

Collection size: 40 items

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.