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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Eng 1434

Joseph Severn papers

Correspondence, primarily concerning the poet John Keats, as well as compositions of English poet and painter Joseph Severn.


  • 1821-1899

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Conditions Governing Use

Images linked to this finding aid are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.


2 linear feet (4 boxes)

Includes letters from Charles Lock Eastlake, James Thomas Fields, Harry Buxton Forman, William Ewart Gladstone, Seymour Stocker Kirkup, John Ruskin, among other correspondents, many of which concern the poet, John Keats. There are autograph letters to Elizabeth (Montgomerie) Severn and Walter Severn from various correspondents as well as a manuscript letter in the hand of Charles Armitage Brown from John Keats to Frances Mary (Keats) Llanos GutiƩrrez. There are many illustrated letters including a letter with drawings in watercolor by Arthur Severn, and a drawing in ink copied by Walter Severn of proposed design for the graves of John Keats and Joseph Severn. Compositions include unsigned autograph manuscripts of Severn's works as well as an unsigned autograph manuscript of proposed inscription for tomb of Joseph Severn by Sir Vincent Eyre, and a manuscript fragment of On Fingal's cave by John Keats, among other items.

Biographical / Historical

Severn was an English painter and friend of the poet John Keats. Elizabeth (Montgomerie) Severn was his wife and Walter Severn was his son.


Organized into the following series:
  1. I. Letters to Joseph Severn
  2. II. Letters by Joseph Severn
  3. III. Letters to Elizabeth (Montgomerie) Severn
  4. IV. Letters to Walter Severn
  5. V. Other letters
  6. VI. Compositions by Joseph Severn
  7. VII. Other compositions
  8. VIII. Miscellaneous

Physical Location

b [shelved in Keats Room]

Immediate Source of Acquisition

*71M-85. Gift of Arthur A. Houghton, Jr.; received: 1972 March 27.
Severn, Joseph, 1793-1879. Joseph Severn papers: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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