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COLLECTION — Box: 1 Identifier: MS Eng 1888

Fred Edgcumbe collection on the publication of Letters of Fanny Brawne to Fanny Keats


Contains materials relating to the publication of Letters of Fanny Brawn to Fanny Keats, including typescript copies of the letters, a draft of the published version, biographies of each woman, as well as additional materials relating to the publication of the letters and the families' histories.


  • 1936-1937

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.
This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


.25 linear feet (1 box)
Contains materials relating to the publication of Letters of Fanny Brawne to Fanny Keats, including a bound typescript transcript of the letters, accompanied by documentation relating to the original publication restriction as well as handwritten notes that appear to be by Fred Edgcumbe. Additional items include typescript drafts of Edgcumbe's preface and biographies of both women, with editorial notes; a marked-up printer's copy for the book; as well as letters and other materials relating to the publication of the book and other Keats-related typescript letters.

Biographical / Historical

Fred Holland Day was an American photographer and collector with an interest in John Keats and his work. In 1890, Day visited Keats' niece, Rosa, in Spain, and obtained the letters which Fanny Brawne, Keats' fiancee, wrote to Fanny Keats. Day died in 1933, donating his collection to Keats House in Hampstead, London, anonymously, though eventually he was credited with its donation. Fred Edgcumbe (1885-1941), the curator of Keats House, began work to organize the letters for publication. There was a stipulation that Fanny Brawne's letters could not be published until 1961, but a separate negotiation in 1936 allowed for their publication. Fred Edgcumbe appears to have annotated the letters, prepared the preface, and written short biographies of Fanny Brawne and Fanny Keats. The published work, entitled Letters of Fanny Brawne to FAnny Keats, was published in 1937, with no mention of the original stipulation to delay publication.


Materials have been minimally processed and have not been arranged.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2020M-85. Purchased with funds from the Evelyn Ryan Pope Book Fun and the Norton Perkins Memorial Fund, 2020 February.

Separated Materials

A published copy of Letters of Fanny Brawne to Fanny Keats which belonged to Fred Edgcumbe and his wife (with an inscription from Fred Edgcumbe to his wife) was separated at the time of processing from the archival materials and remains in the collection of Houghton Library.

Processing Information

Processed by Betts Coup, 2020. Biographical and historical notes, as well as the collection description, is based on dealer's notes.
Link to catalog
Edgcumbe, Fred. Fred Edgcumbe collection on the publication of Letters of Fanny Brawne to Fanny Keats, 1936-1937 (MS Eng 1888): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
2020 February 18
Description rules
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

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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