Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Sassoon mss., 1928-1959, consist of the letters of author Robert Gathorne-Hardy, 1902-1973, to Siegfried Lorraine Sassoon, 1886-1967, poet, and materials concerning Common Chords written by Sassoon which was issued by The Mill House Press in 1951. The first letter in 1928 by Kyrle Leng of The Mill House Press expresses hope "that one day soon you will give us a job.--Preferably a small limited edition of a poem." Writing largely from Stanford Dingley, Berkshire, but occasionally on Elkin Mathews Ltd. letterhead, Gathorne-Hardy comments on Sassoon's works, especially in the 1950's relating to the proofs and copies of Common Chords, and on his own writings aspirations and books. Among the individuals noted in the letters are: Robert Seymour Bridges, Peter DePolnay, Edward Fitzgerald, George Meredith, Michael Leverson Meyer, Ezra Loomis Pound, George Richmond, Logan Pearsall Smith, Jeremy Taylor, and Robert Calverley Trevelyan.

Other materials in the collection include: 1) A [1930?] proof of [Robert Seymour Bridges'] "On Receiving Trivia From the Author," one of "9 pulls...of this abandoned phonetic version," and inscribed by Gathorne-Hardy to Sassoon. The published version may be found on pages 131-132 in A Chime of Words, The Letters of Logan Pearsall Smith, edited by Edwin Tribble, New York, Ticknor & Fields, 1984 (Lilly PR6037 .M44 Z48 1984); 2) Prospectus for Common Chords: one of ten copies on white parchment, one copy on buff paper, and cover of copy on buff paper with sailing ship watermark; 3) Group A of proofs for Common Chords, numbered in ink 1-2-3 with holograph corrections and one unnumbered page: poems entitled A 1940 Memory, Man and Dog, An Asking, At Max Gate, Release, The Unproven, Euphrasy, An Example, and Resurrection; 4) Group B of proofs for Common Chords with poems titled in crimson, pages 9&10, 15&16, pages 9&16, page 14: poems entitled In Time of Decivilization (2 copies), A 1940 Memory, Praise Persistent, An Asking (2 copies), Contemporary Christmas, A Possibility (title crossed out and retitled in ink, A Post-Mortem). The proofs lack poems titled: The Message, The Absentee, The Hardened Heart, Elsewhere, and Redemption; 5) "With best wishes from Siegfried Sassoon...It is a volume of 'precious' verse," undated holograph note on WeirLeigh, Paddock Wood, Kent stationery, A.N.S., 1p, 18.4cm., removed from Sassoon, Sonnets, Privately printed, 1909 (Lilly).

Collection size: 23 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.