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Wise, Thomas James and Wise, Frances Louise: correspondence (1931-1932)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0096 AL305
Held at: Senate House Library, University of London
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Full title: Wise, Thomas James and Wise, Frances Louise: correspondence (1931-1932)
Date(s): 1931-1932
Level of description: fonds
Extent: 2 items (3 leaves)
Name of creator(s): Wise | Thomas James | 1859-1937 | book collector and forger
Wise | Frances Louise | fl 1900 | nee Greenhalgh | wife of Thomas James Wise


Administrative/Biographical history:

Thomas James Wise was born in Gravesend, Kent in 1859, and was brought up in London. He joined the firm of Herman Rubeck and Co (dealers in scents and flavourings) aged 16, rising to become chief clerk and later a partner in the business. Alongside his business activities, Wise was a prolific book collector and an amateur writer and publisher. By the 1920s he had become prominent in the rare book trade and served as President of the Bibliographical Society for 1922-1924. Not until the 1930s was it discovered that Wise and his associate Harry Buxton Forman had produced and sold many forgeries and deliberately antedated reprints, and it was not until after his death that the extent of his deceptions (including thefts from the British Museum) and inaccuracy of his bibliographies were fully appreciated.

Frances Louise ('Loie') Greenhalgh married Thomas James Wise in 1900. There is no evidence that she ever assisted in his fradulent activities.


Scope and content/abstract:

(1) Postcard from Thomas James Wise of Heath Drive, Hampstead, London to [Stewart Marsh] Ellis of Kent Gardens, Kew, Surrey, 18 Sep 1931. 'I should like to be identified as a descendant of the Wises who published some of the Shakespeare Quartos!'. (2) Letter from Mrs Frances Louise Wise of Heath Drive, Hampstead, London to [Stewart Marsh] Ellis of Kent Gardens, Kew, Surrey, 31 Aug 1932. Arranging a meeting at the theatre. 'Tom is still improving, he hobbled into the library yesterday ...'. 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. Access to individual items in Senate House Library archives collections may be restricted under the Data Protection Act or the Freedom of Information Act. 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:

Found enclosed in a copy of T J Wise and S Wheeler A bibliography of the writings in prose and verse of Walter Savage Landor (1919) - classmark 016.821 [Landor-Wise].

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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