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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Bryn Mawr College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Charlotte Mary Mew was born in London on 15 November 1869, to Frederick Mew, a London architect, and Anne, the daughter of Henry Edwards Kendall, a well-known English architect. She lived her whole life in the Bloomsbury district at 9 Gordon Street. Mew was privately educated and later on attended lectures at University College, London. She was an English poet. She contributed a number of short stories to the Temple Bar as well as the Yellow Book. She is best known for her book of poems The Farmer's Bride, published by Harold Monro's Poetry Bookshop in 1916. Her poetry was highly esteemed by Thomas Hardy, Edith Sitwell, Siegfried Sassoon, and others. Her work is known for its power of condensation, its psychological and dramatic insight, her individualized mode of expression, and finely drawn rhythms. Mew was severely depressed and ended her life on 24 March 1928.
The Mary C. Davidow collection houses the research materials of Mary Davidow on the life and career of Charlotte Mew, an English poet. The collection, which ranges from 1869 to 1928, largely consists of correspondence from a variety of persons connected to Mew to Davidow. Davidow was writing her Ph.D. dissertation at Brown University on Mew at the time (1960).
The collection is housed in two boxes. Box 1 houses correspondence. Box 2 houses letters, diaries, and notebooks.
Davidow did her research while relatives and old friends of Mew were still alive. She interviewed many relatives and old friends, notably Alida Monro, Sydney Cockerell, and T.S. Eliot. Most of the material in Box 1 consists of Davidow's correspondence with these people. This box also contains birth and death certificates of Mew family members and Davidow's miscellaneous notes on Mew.
Box 2 houses over 100 photocopies of letters written by Mew to Sydney Cockerell, Florence Hardy, Alida Monroe, May Sinclair, and others. It also contains four notebooks kept by Davidow; two of her pocket diaries for 1958 and 1961 containing names and addresses of persons she visited in connection with her work on Miss Mew; and photographs of Mew and other family members.
Mew's reserved yet intense poetry—not quite Victorian, but not modern, either-- won her praise from her better-known contemporaries, like Virginia Woolf and Thomas Hardy. The value in this collection lies in the multiple perspectives of Mew that it offers: those given by Mew's family, by her friends, and by Davidow herself. It would be a valuable resource to anyone interested in Charlotte Mew, poetry during the first two decades of the twentieth century, and the research of Mary Davidow.
The collection was purchased from David J. Homes, Philadelphia, 11 August, 1989.
- Bryn Mawr College
- Finding Aid Author
- Marianne Hansen
- Use Restrictions
The Mary C. Davidow collection of research materials on the life and career of Charlotte Mew (1869-1928) are the physical property of Bryn Mawr College Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors' heirs and assigns.