Finding aid created by: ASE
Date: May 1994
|21 Dec 2010||ink portrait, P-10-389 (MRC)|
|18 Apr 2007||converted to EAD (AMCon)|
|21 Dec 2010||added portrait (MRC)|
|15 Aug 2018||2 missing items noted (MS)|
|9 Dec 2021||6 bound items added, biography updated (DTF)|
Overview of the Collection
|Creator:||Swinburne, Algernon Charles, 1837-1909.|
|Title:||Algernon Charles Swinburne Collection|
|Quantity:||1.25 linear ft.|
|Abstract:||Papers of the English poet and author|
|Repository:||Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909) was a Victorian era English poet.
Swinburne was born in London to Admiral Charles Henry Swinburne and Lady Jane Henrietta, a daughter of George, 3rd Earl of Ashburnham, but grew up on the Isle of Wight. Swinburne attended Eton college and then Balliol College, Oxford where he took several prizes for French and Italian but was "rusticated" (temporarily expelled) from the university in 1859. He is considered one of the Pre-Raphaelites, a collective term for a group of English artists, poets, critics and writers which included Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, and William Holman Hunt. Two early works, Atalanta in Calydon (1865) and Poems and Ballads, First Series (1866), established him as England's premier poet, though critics have noted with disfavor his florid style and his tendency to choose words for their fitness to rhyme scheme rather than their contribution to the meaning of a piece.
Besides his poetry, Swinburne was active as a critic, and authored several volumes of literary criticism including Note on Charlotte Brontë (1880), Study of Shakespeare (1877), and The Age of Shakespeare (1909). His criticism was less reasoned than passionate, being strongly influenced by his personal likes and dislikes.
Swinburne's personal life was often marred by controversy. He drank excessively, had nervous fits of energy, engaged in self-flagellation, and possibly had intimate relationships with men, a controversy at the time. When Swinburne received criticism for being homosexual, he countered with circulating a story that he engaged in bestiality with a monkey, a story that was almost surely fabricated (Oscar Wilde alleged that Swinburne was "a braggart in matters of vice, who had done everything he could to convince his fellow citizens of his homosexuality and bestiality without being in the slightest degree a homosexual or a bestializer."). By the end of the 1870s, Swinburne's overconsumption of alcohol started to negatively affect his health. In 1879 his legal advisor Theodore Watts-Dunton persuaded him to adopt a healthier lifestyle and focus on his writing. Watts-Dunton isolated Swinburne from his friends and family, and Swinburne lived the rest of his days at "The Pines," Watts-Dunton's house outside London.
Swinburne died of influenza in 1909.
[Portions of this biographical sketch adapted from "A. C. Swinburne: Biography" by Glenn Everett, Associate Professor of English, University of Tennessee at Martin.]
Spanning 1858 to 1962, the Algernon Charles Swinburne Collection consists of correspondence, drawings, financial material, photographs, and writings.
Correspondence comprises 76 outgoing letters, 10 incoming letters, and 32 letters, some referring to Swinburne, written by his contemporaries.
Writings comprises manuscripts, poems, miscellaneous writings, and writings by others.
Miscellany contains assorted material relating to Swinburne, including a drawing and photograph of Swinburne.
Cecil Y. Lang's The Swinburne Letters (1959-1962), as well as the curatorial files of John S. Mayfield housed in the Department of Special Collections, were used to establish many of the names and dates found in this inventory.
Correspondence is arranged chronologically.
The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.
Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.
Allingham, William, 1824-1889.
Alma-Tadema, Laurence, -1940.
Burne-Jones, Edward Coley, 1833-1898.
Gosse, Edmund, 1849-1928.
Hugo, Victor, 1802-1885.
Jowett, Benjamin, 1817-1893.
Linton, E. Lynn (Elizabeth Lynn), 1822-1898.
Locker-Lampson, Frederick, 1821-1895.
Rossetti, William Michael, 1829-1919.
Shepherd, Richard Herne, 1842-1895.
Swinburne, Algernon Charles, 1837-1909.
Terry, Ellen, Dame, 1847-1928.
Trevelyan, Pauline, 1905-
English literature -- 19th century.
English poetry -- 19th century.
Genres and Forms
Manuscripts for publication.
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Algernon Charles Swinburne Collection
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
Assembled through gifts by John S. Mayfield and Library purchases.
|Correspondence of Swinburne|
|Box 1||Charlemont (Lady) no year Jun 20|
|Box 1||Appleton, C. E. no year Dec 18|
|Box 1||Gosse, Edmund undated|
|Box 1||Hatch, Edwin undated|
|Box 1||Meredith (Mrs.) undated|
|Box 1||Tupper, Martin F. undated|
|Box 1||Venturi, Emilie Ashurst no year Jan 9|
|Box 1||Watts-Dunton, Theodore undated|
|Box 1||"Dear Sir" (2) undated|
|Box 1||Hatch, Edwin 1858 Feb 17|
|Box 1||Brown 1864 Jul 5|
|Box 1||Ruskin, John 1866 Mar 21?|
|Box 1||Knight, Joseph 1866 Aug 4|
|Box 1||Hotten, John Camden 1866 Sep 20|
|Box 1||Rossetti, William Michael (fragment) 1866 Oct 15|
|Box 1||Hotten, John Camden 1866 Nov 4|
|Box 1||Hotten, John Camden 1866 Nov 6|
|Box 1||unidentified (fragment) 1866?|
|Box 1||Stoddard, Richard Henry 1867 Jan 1|
|Box 1||Taylor, Bayard 1867 Mar 18|
|Box 1||Routledge, Edmund 1867 Dec 11|
|Box 1||Collingwood, J. Frederick? 1868 Jan 31|
|Box 1||"My Dear Sir" 1868 May 14|
|Box 1||Haweis, Hugh Reginald 1870 Feb 13|
|Box 1||Haweis, Hugh Reginald 1870 May?|
|Box 1||Ellis, F. S. 1870 Aug 26|
|Box 1||Forman, H. Buxton 1872 Jan 22|
|Box 1||Watts-Dunton, Theodore 1875 Jan 20|
|Box 1||Jeremiah, John 1875 Nov 20|
|Box 1||Hueffer, Francis 1875 Dec 11|
|Box 1||"Sir" 1876 Jan 15|
|Box 1||Watts-Dunton, Theodore 1876 Apr 19|
|Box 1||Bentley, Richard 1876 Jul 27|
|Box 1||Hayne, Paul Hamilton 1877 Mar 20|
|Box 1||Pfeiffer, J. E. 1877 Mar 22|
|Box 1||"Dear Sir" 1877 Jun 12|
|Box 1||Chatto, Andrew 1878 Jan 31|
|Box 1||Watts-Dunton, Theodore 1878 Feb 7|
|Box 1||Forman, H. Buxton (subscription) 1878 Apr 23|
|Box 1||Forman, H. Buxton 1878 Dec 8|
|Box 1||Chatto, Andrew 1879 Jul 14|
|Box 1||Rossetti, William Michael 1879 Nov 15|
|Box 1||Rossetti, William Michael 1879 Nov 27|
|Box 1||Pearson, John 1880 Oct 12|
|Box 1||"Dear Sir" 1880 Oct 14|
|Box 1||Gosse, Edmund 1881 Mar 1|
|Box 1||Chatto, Andrew 1881 Apr 4|
|Box 1||"Sir" 1881?|
|Box 1||Chatto, Andrew 1882 Feb 26|
|Box 1||Forman, H. Buxton 1882 Apr 17|
|Box 1||Forman, H. Buxton 1882 Jul 29|
|Box 1||Purnell, Thomas 1884 Feb 14|
|Box 1||Locker-Lampson, Frederick 1886 Mar 24|
|Box 1||Pollington (Lord) 1887 Jan 11|
|Box 1||Patrick, David 1887 Jan 27|
|Box 1||Arnold, Edwin 1887 May 1|
|Box 1||Nutt, Alfred T. 1888 Apr 22|
|Box 1||unidentified 1888 Oct 4|
|Box 1||Black, William 1888 Nov 4|
|Box 1||Every, Frederic 1889 Mar 14|
|Box 1||Graves, Charles L. 1889 Jul 29|
|Box 1||"Dear Sir" 1892 Oct 10|
|Box 1||Knowles, James Thomas 1895 Mar 19|
|Box 1||Watts-Dunton, Theodore 1896 Jul 20|
|Box 1||Grosart, Alexander Balloch 1898 Jun 16|
|Box 1||"Dear Sir" 1898 Jun 25|
|Box 1||Gosse, Edmund 1899 Mar 1|
|Box 1||Swinburne (Lady) 1899 Jun 9|
|Box 1||Ingersoll, Eva Farrell 1899 Dec 5|
|Box 1||Heinemann, W. 1901 Jan 10|
|Box 1||Saturday Review (receipt) 1901 Jan 12|
|Box 1||Swinburne sisters (postmarked Apr 9) 1901 Apr 16|
|Box 1||Payne, John 1902 Sep 28|
|Box 1||Grainger, H. A. 1903 Jul 27|
|Box 1||Earle, Algie 1906 Jun 7|
|Box 1||Aubertin, John James 1878 Jun 2|
|Box 1||Black, William 1888 Nov 7|
|Box 1||Dalston & Son 1867 Jan 1|
|Box 1||Gosse, Edmund 1879 Dec 31|
|Box 1||Harrison, Edwin 1876 May 22|
|Box 1||Lytton-Bulwer, Edward 1866 Aug 5|
|Box 1||Morley, John 1874 Aug 15|
|Box 1||Morley, John 1880 Jul 11|
|Box 1||Powell, George 1877 Aug 9|
|Box 1||Venturi, Emilie Ashurst 1886 Jun 5|
|Correspondence of others|
|Box 1||Allingham, William (to Knowles) no year Jun 9|
|Box 1||Alma-Tadema, Laurence (to Young, W. P.) 1893 Mar 28|
|Box 1||Buchanan, Robert (to Clarke, Campbell) 1872 Aug 22|
|Box 1||Burne-Jones, Edward (to Shaw, R. Norman) 1886 (2 letters)|
|Box 1||Currie, James (to Swinburne, John) 1803 Aug 8|
|Box 1||Gosse, Edmund (to Stuart (Mr.)) 1884 Sep 24|
|Box 1||Gosse, Edmund (to Ward, William C.) 1892 Apr 9|
|Box 1||Gosse, Edmund (to Ward, William C.) 1892 Apr 11|
|Box 1||Gosse, Edmund (to Ward, William C.) 1893 Feb 23|
|Box 1||Greene, Fannie H. (to Hotten, John Camden) undated|
|Box 1||Hugo, Victor (to Haweis, Hugh Reginald) 1870 Apr 24|
|Box 1||Jowett, Benjamin (to Holland, H. M.) 1877 Dec 21|
|Box 1||Lambe, John Lawrence (to Ellis (Mr.)) 1920 Mar 8|
|Box 1||Linton, E. Lynn (to unidentified) 1868 May 23|
|Box 1||Linton, E. Lynn (to unidentified) 1890 Nov 27|
|Box 1||Linton, E. Lynn (to unidentified) 1893 Jan 19|
|Box 1||Locker-Lampson, F. (to unidentified) no year Feb 24|
|Box 1||Masefield, John (to Mayfield, J. S.) 1952 Dec 2|
|Box 1||Moreton, R. L. (to Gosse, Philip) 1948 Aug 14|
|Box 1||Morley, John (to Austin (Mr.)) 1881 May? 5|
|Box 1||Mosher, Thomas Bird (to unidentified) 1902 May 30|
|Box 1||Rossetti, Christina (to Heimann (Mrs.)) 1864 Dec 14|
|Box 1||Rossetti, Dante Gabriel (to Shorter (Mr.)) no year Nov 11|
|Box 1||Rossetti, William M. (to unidentified) 1850 Feb 18|
|Box 1||Rossetti, William M. (to Sandys, Frederick) 1884 Apr 8|
|Box 1||Rossetti, William M. (to Anthony, Constance) 1895? Apr 12|
|Box 1||Shepherd, Richard Herne (to Kitton, F. G.) 1884 Jan 23|
|Box 1||Shepherd, Richard Herne (to Kitton, F. G.) 1885 Dec 5|
|Box 1||Shepherd, Richard Herne (to Kitton, F. G.) 1886 Jan 6|
|Box 1||Shepherd, Richard Herne (to Kitton, F. G.) 1886 Mar 8|
|Box 1||Terry, Ellen (to Watts-Dunton, T.) 1904 Sep 2|
|Writings of Swinburne|
|Box 2||"Adieux a Marie Stuart"|
|Box 2||Ah, what is it to give up all! . . .|
|Box 2||"Autumn in Cornwall"|
|Box 2||Ballad of Life (fragment)|
|Box 2||"Before Dawn"|
|Box 2||"Birthday Ode" [to Victor Hugo]|
|Box 2||"Chanson" (photostat only)|
|Box 2||Chastelard (fragment) / Italian poem (verso)|
|Box 2||Collection of articles in the ninth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica - a bound collection of Swinburne's articles that appeared in Encyclopedia Britannica|
|Box 2||Collection of writings - a bound collection of Swinburne's writings|
|Box 2||The Cup of God's Wrath (photostat only)|
|Box 2||"The Death of Richard Wagner"|
|Box 2||"Elegy 1869-1891"|
|Box 2||"Frank Fane" ; "Will Drew and Phil Crewe"|
|Box 2||"Government of Florence"|
|Box 2||"Hawthorne Tide"|
|Box 2||"In San Lorenzo" (photostats only)|
|Box 2||"An Interlude"|
|Box 2||Lines from a respectable rat-catcher|
|Box 2||"The Litany of Nations"|
|Box 2||Love's Cross Currents / A Year's Letters|
|Box 2||Lyrical poem - untitled|
|Box 2||"Mary Beaton"|
|Box 2||"Nell Gwyn"|
|Box 2||Nevertheless there was. . .|
|Box 2||"A New Year's Message to Joseph Mazzini"|
|Box 2||Notes on Aeschylus|
|Box 2||"Ode to Mazzini"|
|Box 2||"An Old Saying"|
|Box 2||"On the Death of Louis Blanc"|
|Box 2||"On the Death of Sir Henry Taylor"|
|Box 2||"On the Distinction between Annals and History"|
|Box 2||Pocket notebook|
|Box 2||"Satia te Sanguine"|
|Box 2||The sun & the wind & the spring. . .|
|Box 2||Swinburne's novels, Part I 1962 - edited by Edmund Wilson, uncorrected galley proofs, includes newspaper clippings regarding editor Edmund Wilson|
|Box 3||Swinburne's novels, Part II 1962 - edited by Edmund Wilson, uncorrected galley proofs|
|Box 3||"What He Was Not"|
|"Will Drew and Phil Crewe"|
|See "Frank Fane" ; "Will Drew and Phil Crewe"|
|Box 3||"William the Ranter on William the Canter"|
|Box 3||The Young Tamlane|
|Box 3||Quotations of others in Swinburne's hand|
|Box 3||John Heath book [MISSING Aug 2018]|
|Box 3||The Standard (London, England) [MISSING Aug 2018] 17 Mar. 1884|
|Box 3||Untitled play|
|Writings of others|
|Box 3||Gosse, Edmund Life of A. C. Swinburne (ms. notebook)|
|Box 3||Gosse, Philip Henry "Sanguinaria"|
|Box 3||Hugo, Victor "Les Enfants Pauvres"|
|Box 3||Morley, John, "Mr. Swinburne's New Poems"|
|Box 3||Rossetti, Dante Gabriel "The entail"; also "Venus Verticordia"|
|Box 3||Scott, Clement William "Quid Foemina Possit"|
|Box 3||Unidentified prose fragment (French)|
|Box 3||Bank check signed by Dante Gabriel Rossetti|
|Box 3||Caricature of A. C. Swinburne by Carlo Pellegrini|
|Box 3||Certificates (4) - Balliol College (copies only)|
|Box 3||List of Poems and Ballads recipients|
|Box 3||Material relating to Lesbia Brandon assembled by R. Hughes|
|Box 3||Photograph of A. C. Swinburne by Thomas Ashburnham|
|Box 3||Portrait of A. C. Swinburne, artist unknown, pen and ink|
|Box 3||Watercolor drawing of A. C. Swinburne by Pauline Trevelyan.|