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Richard Aldington papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description



Imaginative Writing

Biography, Autobiography, Studies

Lectures, Essays, Reviews

Editions, Translations, Introductions

Essays, Criticism, and Introductions about Aldington

News Cuttings



Richard Aldington papers, 1910-1962 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: Richard Aldington papers, 1910-1962Add to your cart.

ID: 1/1/MSS 068

Primary Creator: Aldington, Richard, (1892-1962.)

Extent: 29.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Arranged in ten series: (1) Correspondence, (2) Notebooks, (3) Imaginative Writing, (4) Biography, Autobiography, Studies, (5) Lectures, Essays, Reviews, (6) Editions, Translations, Introductions, (7) Essays, Criticism, Introductions About Aldington, (8) News Cuttings, (9) Miscellaneous, (10) Volumes.

Date Acquired: 00/00/1967

Subjects: Aldington, Richard, 1892-1962

Forms of Material: Aldington, Richard, 1892-1962 - Correspondence, Campbell, Roy, 1901-1957. - Correspondence, Correspondence., Eliot, T.S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965. - Correspondence, Manuscripts for publication., Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972. - Correspondence, Wells, H.G. (Herbert George), 1866-1946 - Correspondence

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains manuscripts and material from Aldington's first experiments with poetry, best documented from the Notebooks, to his last stage working with the biographies.  In addition the collection includes varied correspondence with friends. Of special interest: T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, H.G. Wells and Roy Campbell. This collection also contains letters, manuscript material and includes hundreds of press cuttings that related directly to one of Aldington's most controversial books, Lawrence of Arabia.

Biographical Note

Richard Aldington was born in Hampshire in 1882. Educated at Dover College and London University he founded the "Egotist journal "in 1913. He joined the British Army and served on the Western Front in 1916-1918 where he was badly gassed.

After the war Aldington published several volumes of poetry including "Images" 1910-1915 (1915), "Images of War" (1919), "A Fool in the Forest" (1925) and "A Dream in Luxembourg" (1930). His successful novel, "Death of a Hero", was a psychological study of a young officer in the First World War. It was during this time that Aldington began exchanging letters with Count Geoffrey Potocki de Montalk, a writer, scholar, private printer,  poet, and exiled Polish artistocrat.

Aldington also wrote controversial biographies of the "Duke of Wellington" (1946) and "D. H. Lawrence "(1950) and an autobiography, "Life for Life's Sake" (1940). Richard Aldington died in 1962.

Subject/Index Terms

Aldington, Richard, 1892-1962

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions:

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole, or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

As of 2002, the copyright holder for nearly all of Aldington's works is his daughter, Catherine Aldington.  If you would like to obtain permission to reprint his works, in whole or in part, please contact her agent.

Acquisition Source: Purchased.

Acquisition Method: The letters, manuscripts, and materials that constitute the Richard Aldington Papers were purchased from Aldington's only child, Mme. Catherine Guillaume, in the fall of 1967.  The transaction was arranged through Aldington's close friend and literary executor, Alsiter Kershaw.

Preferred Citation: [Item], Richard Aldington papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Notebooks],
[Series 3: Imaginative Writing],
[Series 4: Biography, Autobiography, Studies],
[Series 5: Lectures, Essays, Reviews],
[Series 6: Editions, Translations, Introductions],
[Series 7: Essays, Criticism, and Introductions about Aldington],
[Series 8: News Cuttings],
[Series 9: Miscellaneous],
[Series 10: Volumes],

Series 1: CorrespondenceAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 1: To Richard AldingtonAdd to your cart.
Incoming correspondence arranged alphabetically by correspondent and chronologically thereunder.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: The Albatross (Director), 1932Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Catha Aldington (Daughter of Richard Aldington), 1958-1959Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 2: From Richard AldingtonAdd to your cart.
Outgoing correspondence arranged alphabetically by correspondent and chronologically thereunder.
Series 2: NotebooksAdd to your cart.

In addition to the notes, comments and translations demonstrating the wealth of classical material Aldington had digested at a relatively early age and from which he had to draw as a constant literary source, the notebooks also give some logical insight into the development of modern poetic technique and sensibility.  Some of the earlier notebooks contain metrical exercises in the rhymed iambs and other poetic forms prevailing in the Victorian and Georgian periods.  The evolution of R.A.’s poetic idiom to the pre-WWI vers libre which came to be known as Imagism can be studied then in some detail.  The Imagist Movement is the most significant feature in Aldington’s early career as it established his literary reputation in America and England.

The range of the notebooks is broad in literary scope as well as in the time they span.  Translations in every genre are taken from Greek, Latin, Italian, and French texts.  Examples of Aldington’s early prose include short fiction, dream visions, portraits of contemporaries such as Pound, W. Lewis, Yeats, and literary criticism.  The earliest notebook are probably from his pre-university days, around 1910-1911.  The last notebook is a diary which covers a financially important period 1946-51, when Aldington was employed as a script writer in Hollywood.  The majority of the material falls into the period of about 1910-1920.

Box 8Add to your cart.
Folder 45: Collection...Add to your cart.
Folder 46: [pre-Spring 1912]Add to your cart.

Copa Syrica (verse drama)

Dorinda (verse drama)

Love Poem of Pontano


Italian Vocabulary Pulci's Thorgante

Marino's Adove

Box 9Add to your cart.
Folder 1: [pre-Spring 1912]Add to your cart.


"The Vigil of Venus" [pub. The Encyclopedia Britannia Anthology of Western Poetry 1959] from Balzac La Comedie Humain Copa Syrisca

Folder 2: [pre-Imagist and early Imagist verse 1911-1912]Add to your cart.

Genealogy of the Capetian Kings of France to Louis XII

Essays Tanhauser (Wagner)

John A. Symonds "Renaissance in Italy"

Greek translation Bacchylides

Dramatic Dialogue between God and Man

Reading list for "immediate" consumption



At Parting

In Absence

At Storrington

Suburban Love

Folder 3: [1911-1913]Add to your cart.

consists largely of Latin, Greek, and Italian translations with a few examples of unpublished poetry and prose from this early period. Contains also a list of journals and periodicals that first published many of the poems collected in Images (1910-1915) and Images, Old and New.

Early version of "Lesbia"

Notes on the Renaissance


Medallion Pastoral


Epitaph-Joviani Pontani

Potrus Myrtous

Ad Leuciam

Accoltus, Benedictus

Andrea Navgerius


Inscriptia Fontis

De Roma


Lazarus Bonamicus

J.B. Amatteus


Ad Verperum

On the Death of Raphael


Folder 4: [1912-1913; Paris--Italy]Add to your cart.

Early Imagist sketches including British Museum published as "At the British Museum." Images (1910-1915).

Holograph material (mostly poetry)

A Greek Dream

The End of the World

A Dream in Florence

A Dream of Catullus

In the Season of Pear-blossom


Antiquitez de Rome

The Ruines of Rome

Baldassare Castiglione-Sonnets (more Italian sonnets)

British museum

Les Chants de Maldoros

Ad Liellum, ut Florentinuum

Rain and Flowers



The Aeroplane

To Aphrodite Pandemos

The Poplar

An Old Love

Architecturo in Chronology

The book of Masques

Emile Ver Laeren

Stephane Mallarme

Lautreamont Villieis dell'Isle Adam


A Preliminary Sonnet

The months (January-December) Poems written in Italy

The conclusion

Folder 5: [ca. 1912-1913]Add to your cart.

The notebook consists almost entirely of poetry, much of which is untitled. Also, at least in part, written during Aldington's 1913 travels to Italy. There are some cumulative revisions between the preceding notebook (4) and this one. There are two holographic drafts of "Hermes, Leader of the Dead," Images 1910-1915. Contains a valuable schedule of poems published presumably in various London newspapers and journals in 1913, most of which are not included in any of Aldington's editions of poetry. The original drafts of many of these poems are contained in the notebooks. The notebook also contains two lists of poems which the author has evidently selected for publication; one appears to be for Britain and one for America.

The Seven Swan Ladies

The Little Dryad Girl

Sir Percival

The Snow

The Sea King's Horses

Mister Rain

The Wind

The Church Bells

The Four Seasons

The Reed Pipe

Rain & Flower

Prologue [to H.D.]

Palazzo Ducale, Venice

Vincenza, Noon

The Three Winds

L'Amour de Filles Perverses

L'Amour des Homme Freres

To Penelope (unattached)

Folder 6: [ca. 1912-1923]Add to your cart.

A notebook of extremely varied material. Contains examples of drafts of R.A.'s early prose and narrative style. Poems again indicate the transition from the Victorian forms to the new stark rhythms of Imagism.

"Choricos" Images, Egoist 1919

"To a Greek Marble," Images (1910-1915)

"Ephitaph in Ballad-form" translated from Villon.

Exile and Other Poems, George Allen & Unwin Ltd. [3 drafts]

Long prose account of phantasmagoria or dreamlike experience

The Oak That Will Never Die

The Summer Dream

The Writing of a Poem

Prometheus Dramatic Sketch

Biographical Sketches of Italian Artists

[ca.1912-1923] notebook

Theocritus translation

Early draft of Sestina for Astracea

8 unattached pieces

The Princess Bianca

Unique Thoughts of an Absent Lover

Box 10Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Consists largely of poetry draftsAdd to your cart.

"In the Old Palace Garden" (not in published form)

Pieces collected in The Complete Poems as Short Poems, e.g.

    Yes I have cried my grief aloud

    Bawdy Limericks



    Pompeii, February 1913

    Modern French







    The Elect

    There Tis

    The Town's Noises

    These Strikes



Folder 2: [ca. 1914-1915]Add to your cart.

Original holography "Cinema Exit"

Pub. Images Old and New, 1916

"A New House" Images Old and New, 1916

[2 holograph drafts]

"Night Piece" Images (1910-1915) London, 1915. [original holography}

Contemporary Portraits: Yeats, Hueffer, Kipling, Conrad, Pound, Lewis

Comments on Nietzche

Translation "From the Putana Erranti"

Translation (fragment) The Army in the Town by Jules Romains

Folder 3: [1914-1915]Add to your cart.


"The Faun Sees Snow for the First Time"



In Communi Virginis

Mediaeval Sequences

A Defense

The Saints of Paradise

Under a Tree

The Rain


List of names of authors

Folder 4: [1919-1944]Add to your cart.

One stanza of a poem on Hyperion.

A ledger of Aldington's accounts with various publishing companies, newspapers, journals and periodicals from 1919-1944. Contains an informal catalogue of some articles, poems and translations giving the place and sometimes the date of publication.

An account war bonds dated May 1944.

Folder 5: [Late 1930's, early 1940's]Add to your cart.

Translation: Alfeo

Flower Drawings

Collecting Data for Butterflies

Folder 6: [1946-1951]Add to your cart.
Diary begun on April 15, 1946 in Hollywood, CA. The last entry is dated May 26, 1951. Large gaps exist, especially between 1947 and 1951.
Series 3: Imaginative WritingAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 1: PoetryAdd to your cart.
Box 10Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Ad Cattulum [TMs]Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Ballad of Southern Skies [TMs]Add to your cart.
Folder 9: "The Berkshire Kennet" off-printAdd to your cart.
The Peacocks Press, Hurst, Reading Berkshire
Folder 10: "Black Shore" and "Night" and "Little Waves"Add to your cart.
Folder 11: "Bones" [TMs]Add to your cart.
Pub. Exile and Other Poems London. George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1923
Folder 12: To D.H. Lawrence 3 pp. [TMs]Add to your cart.
Folder 13: "Death of Another Hero" news cutting pub.Add to your cart.
The complete Poems of R.A., London 1948.
Folder 14: "Eumenides" 2 pp. [TMsS]Add to your cart.
Published Exile and Other Poems London, 1923.
Folder 15: "Far, far out on the Sea" [TMs]Add to your cart.
Folder 16: The Flute Player [TMs]Add to your cart.
Folder 17: I.M. Coventry Patmore [TMs]Add to your cart.
Folder 18: "In Memory of Wilfred Owen"Add to your cart.
AMsS "Original draft" pub. Complete Poems
Folder 19: "In the Old Garden"Add to your cart.
AMs [other handwritten notations] pub. Images (1910-1915)
Folder 20: "In the Palace Garden" [TMsS]Add to your cart.
pub. Exile and Other Poems, 1923
Folder 21: Inscription [TMs]Add to your cart.
Folder 22: "It is bitter watching the bright leaves fall. . . [TMs]Add to your cart.
Folder 23: "I yearn for the gods I know. . . " [TMs]Add to your cart.
Folder 24: "Hark the Herald"Add to your cart.
(24 copies), Hours Press: printed by Nancy Cunard, 1928
Box 11Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Lament for Adonis and Upon Pico della Mirandola [TMs]Add to your cart.
Folder 2: The Mist [TMs]Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Movietones Invented and Set Down by Richard AldingtonAdd to your cart.
Privately printed by Nancy Cunard, 1932 [TMs]
Folder 4: "My Spirit. . . " [TMs]Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Oblio dolce de mali. . . [TMs]Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Palimpsest [TMsS]Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Petit Manifeste Necessaire [TMs] 2 pp.Add to your cart.
Folder 8: "Presque Chaque fois que" [TM]Add to your cart.
Folder 9: "Rhapsody in a Third Class Carriage"Add to your cart.
TMsS pub. Exile and Other Poems, 1923
Folder 10: Sestina: for Astraea [TMsS] 2 pp.Add to your cart.
Autography draft appears in notebook 6, Box 9
Folder 11: "Truth" [TMsS] pub. Exile and Other Poems, 1923Add to your cart.
Folder 12: The Vigil for Thuias [TMs] [corrected]Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Voyez nos Prix [with copy] TMsAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Le Voix de Londres [TMs]Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 2: NovelsAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 3: Short StoriesAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 4: PlaysAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 5: ScreenplaysAdd to your cart.
Series 4: Biography, Autobiography, StudiesAdd to your cart.
Series 5: Lectures, Essays, ReviewsAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 1: LecturesAdd to your cart.
Arranged alphabetically
Sub-Series 2: EssaysAdd to your cart.
Arranged alphabetically
Sub-Series 3: ReviewsAdd to your cart.
Arranged alphabetically
Series 6: Editions, Translations, IntroductionsAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 1: EditionsAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 2: TranslationsAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 3: IntroductionsAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 4: Introductions to Penguin D.H. Lawrence Series, 1950Add to your cart.
Series 7: Essays, Criticism, and Introductions about AldingtonAdd to your cart.
Series 8: News CuttingsAdd to your cart.
Series 9: MiscellaneousAdd to your cart.
Series 10: VolumesAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 1: Aldington's Proof CopiesAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 2: Ex Libris BooksAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Notebooks],
[Series 3: Imaginative Writing],
[Series 4: Biography, Autobiography, Studies],
[Series 5: Lectures, Essays, Reviews],
[Series 6: Editions, Translations, Introductions],
[Series 7: Essays, Criticism, and Introductions about Aldington],
[Series 8: News Cuttings],
[Series 9: Miscellaneous],
[Series 10: Volumes],

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