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COWDEN CLARKE, Charles and Mary

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1249 MS 6860
Held at: Royal College of Music
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Full title: COWDEN CLARKE, Charles and Mary
Date(s): c1865-1945
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 3 files, 1 volume
Name of creator(s): Clarke | Charles Cowden | 1787-1877 | author
Clarke | Mary Victoria Cowden | 1809-1898 | nee Novello | Shakespearean scholar


Administrative/Biographical history:

Mary Cowden Clarke (1809-1898) was the daughter of Victor Novello (1781-1861), the choirmaster, composer, musician and publisher. She married the author Charles Cowden Clarke (1787-1877) in 1828. She became renowned as a Shakespearean scholar, particularly for her Complete Concordance to Shakespeare (1844-1845). Charles Cowden Clarke published editions of the works of Chaucer, Burns and other poets, and was renowned for the series of lectures on Shakespeare and other dramatists and poets that he gave between 1834 and 1856, many of which were he delivered to audiences at the London Institution.


Scope and content/abstract:

Material relating to the literary activity of Charles and Mary Cowden-Clarke and other members of the Novello family, comprising: a. Items related to Mrs Cowden Clarke and her relations in the possession of F H Haines, and memoranda. Typescript. b. Thomas James Serle, Bohun of Sheenly: a tale in verse. Galley proofs. c. Thomas James Serle, A Day Dream in 5 Books (privately printed, 1865). d. Photograph of Thomas James Serle (1979 copy), with accompanying letter from Geoffrey Larken. e. William Shakespeare, Touchstone's part from As you like it. Charles Cowden-Clarke's manuscript copy, with the addition made to his first lecture on Molière and an addition to his third lecture on Molière. f. Frederick Haselfoot Haines: List of material made available to Professor Richard Altick. g. Richard Altick: 5 typescript letters to F H Haines (with some replies) about the loan of Clarke family material, 1943-1945. h. Joseph Alfred Novello, O for the Songs of the Past: a greeting to the Musical Societies of Great Britain (privately printed, 1873). i. Novello, Ewer & Co., Catalogue of Shakespeare Music, 1893. j. Mary Cowden-Clarke, letter to the Illustrated London News on John Keats, 15 Feb 1896. k. Il Secolo XIX. Issues of 9-10 Feb 1893, 12-13 Feb 1893 (including reviews of the first two performances of Verdi's Falstaff).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English, some Italian.

System of arrangement:

In 3 files as follows: (a-b); (c-d, f-g); (h-k). Item e is a volume.

Conditions governing access:

Usual conditions of the Library of the Royal College of Music apply. See the RCM website or contact the RCM Library for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying is permitted at the discretion of the Archivist for research purposes only.

Finding aids:

The collection is catalogued in the 'Provisional catalogue of letters in the RCM library' by J Kersey, 1997, vol 1. A detailed entry is also given in the supplement to volume 3 of the Manuscripts catalogue in the library of the Royal College of Music.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Formerly in the possession of Frederick Haselfoot Haines.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Not known

Allied Materials

Related material:

Papers of the Cowden Clarkes are held by the British Library; Brotherton Library, Leeds University; Derbyshire Record Office; Huntington Library, California; Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. See National Register of Archives for further details.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

The Cowden Clarkes by Richard Daniel Altick (Oxford University Press, London, 1948).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Robert Baxter as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project. Sources: Dictionary of National Biography, Grove Dictionary of Music.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Nov 2001

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