Senate House Library

The Collection 

Subject: English literature 

Books from the personal library of the Hampstead poet, dramatist, art critic, engraver and illustrator Thomas Sturge Moore (1870-1944; see ODNB). Sturge Moore collaborated with the leading Irish poet (and Bloomsbury resident) W.B. Yeats from the 1890s, and his books and above all the related archive reflect this.  

Mainly published between 1868 and 1942, the books are chiefly poetry, plays and essays on literature, with some issues of literary periodicals. Many of the books are by Sturge Moore himself. Those by other writers are an eclectic mix. Matthew Arnold stands out, and John Ruskin, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Charles Ricketts represent the Pre-Raphaelites. Further works range from Thomas Dekker and Elizabethan lyricists through Samuel Johnson, Shelley, and Keats to Algernon Swinburne, George Bernard Shaw, D.H. Lawrence and other contemporaries of Sturge Moore.  

Most texts are in English, with a few in French. Many contain Sturge Moore’s inscriptions to members of his family or his corrections or other annotations. Herein lies their major research value. For example, Sturge Moore’s copy of Yeat’s The Tower (1928) retains its dustwrapper and has Yeats’s bookplate, inscribed; Sturge Moore’s pencilled annotations; and cuttings laid in.  

The University of London acquired items 140-236 acquired from the Sturge Moore family as part of the Sturge Moore Archive, 1964-6. These complemented books from Sturge Moore’s library acquired from his daughter Henriette (“Riette”) in 1959 and held in the Sterling Library. In 2009 the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, generously purchased items 1-139.

    Access 

    For an overview of the library, do a mixed classmark search on [S.M.C.]. The collection is held off-site and material requires 48 hours (excluding weekends) to be fetched.

    Related materials 

    Further reading 

    • Aplin, John (ed.), The Complete Correspondence of Gordon Bottomley and Thomas Sturge Moore, 3 vols (Charlottesville, Va.: InteLex Corporation, 2020)  
    • Baker, Pamela M. and Helen M. Young, ‘W.B. Yeats Material in the University of London Library’, Yeats Annual, 4 (1986), 175-80 
    • Van Mierlo, Wim, ‘Reading W. B. Yeats: The Marginalia of T. Sturge Moore’, Variants: The Journal of the European Society for Textual Scholarship, 2/3 (2004), 135-171.
    • Entry 52 in Senate House Library, University of London, ed. by Christopher Pressler and Karen Attar (London: Scala, 2012)