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Smith, Sarah (Hesba Stretton): letter ([1886])

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0096 AL225
Held at: Senate House Library, University of London
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Full title: Smith, Sarah (Hesba Stretton): letter ([1886])
Date(s): [1886]
Level of description: fonds
Extent: 2 leaves
Name of creator(s): Smith | Sarah | 1832-1911 | novelist and short story writer, and co-founder of the NSPCC x Stretton | Hesba


Administrative/Biographical history:

Sarah Smith was born in Wellington, Shropshire in 1832. She was educated locally. Aged 26 she began work as a freelance journalist and short story writer. One of her stories was sent to Charles Dickens without her knowledge by her sister Elizabeth, and was published in Household Words. Her work was published under the name Hesba Stretton (taken from the initials of her siblings' names and the nearby village of All Stretton). During the 1860s-1880s, whilst living with Elizabeth in Manchester and later in London, Stretton wrote several books for children and adults. She was concerned with political and social issues and in 1884 co-founded the London Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (later known as the NSPCC).


Scope and content/abstract:

Letter from Sarah Smith of 17 The Grove, Clapham Common to Mr Pattison, 16 Apr [1886]. Thanking him for his offer of help. 'We like our new house very much, especially the quiet of its surroundings, as we have gardens and fields before us, and the Common within three minutes' walk ... These are very stirring times. I cannot see how Home Rule can be refused to Ireland by any real Liberal; the people have spoken so plainly. I never was a Gladstonite, but you know I am thoroughly a Radical, even a Republican; and I am often sorry that Cromwell's scheme of United States of Europe had not been founded by him ... We have drafted a bill for the Protection of Children ... The last time I was at the Shelter we had ten children in it ... I have no doubt the Society [for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children] is doing good; and I hope it will do more. We now have a night officer, who patrols the streets; but what is one man in London!' Autograph, with signature.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

See hard copy catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Please contact the University Archivist for details. 24 hours notice is required for research visits.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Finding aids:

Typescript catalogue available in the Library's Palaeography Room.

Archival Information

Archival history:

See archivist

Immediate source of acquisition:

Gift from Miss Harriet Cohen CBE

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Anya Turner.

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:
Aug 2008

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