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Joseph M. Hone letters to Hylda Wrench


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

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Overview and metadata sections

Irish intellectual and author Joseph M. (Joseph Maunsell) Hone (1882-1959) was a significant figure in the Irish Literary Revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He wrote works on a variety of topics, whose contributions to Irish philosophical, artistic, and political life include an authorized biography on William Butler Yeats, titled

William Butler Yeats: the poet in contemporary Ireland (1942), a history co-written with Page Dickinson titled Persia in Revolution (1910) as well as several books on Irish nationalism.

The son of a wealthy merchant family in Dublin, Joseph M. Hone was educated at Wellington and Cambridge. Subsequently, he established himself in the literary world, co-founding the publishing house Maunsel & Company, which became one of Ireland's largest publishing houses, and editing the journal

The Shanachie: An Illustrated Irish Miscellany , which included a host of his contemporaries such as William Butler Yeats and George Bernard Shaw. Early in his career, Joseph M. Hone was known for his translation of Daniel Halevy's Life of Nietzsche (1911). Hone's later writing is mainly biographical. In 1951, he became president of the Irish Academy of Letters. He died in Dublin in 1959.

Boylan, Henry. 1988. "Hone, Joseph Maunsel (1882-1959)."A Dictionary of Irish Biography. New York: St. Martin's Press, 162-3."Joseph Hone."Ricorso. (accessed September 30, 2014).

Born Hylda Henrietta Brooke (1879-1955), she was the daughter of the Anglo-Irish baronet, Victor Alexander Brooke (1843-1891). She was briefly married to the baronet Sir Frederick des Voeux (1857-1937) before marrying Sir (John) Evelyn Leslie Wrench (1882-1966). A devotee of Irish theater and literature, Hylda Wrench also wrote several articles in her lifetime collected in

Reflections (1956) a memorial volume.

"Hylda Henrietta Brooke."The Peerage. (accessed September 30, 2014).

Irish literary critic and biographer Joseph M. (Joseph Maunsell) Hone (1882-1959) wrote ten letters to Hylda Henrietta Wrench (1879-1955), discussing current literature and Irish theatre. A poem, entitled "Mars," mentioned in the letters and written in Hone's hand is included.

Hone and Wrench's shared enthusiasm for the literary scene, especially the authors associated with the burgeoning Irish Literary Revival, played a central role in their correspondence. In the letters, Hone wrote at length about poets ranging from Walt Whitman to William Blake to Alice Meynell (her sonnet "Renouncement" received special attention). Hone made reference to an array of works that accompanied the letters, which they lent one another from their book collections. In addition to books, Hone sent Wrench his copies of contemporary literary journals, specifically naming Standish O'Grady's

All Ireland Review . On several occasions in the letters, Hone brought up William Butler Yeats and the Abbey theatre, mentioning a particular performance of J. M. Synge's Deirdre of the Sorrows (1910) that drew a "fine audience," including authors associated with his quarterly, The Shanachie . Aside from literature, the letters touched upon the larger art scene with a brief discussion of Max Beerbohm's book of caricatures, The Poet's Corner (1896).

The letters bear additional notes written in the hand of Hylda Wrench. The notes vary from occasional clarifications to extended explanations of the context of certain letters. On one letter, she wrote at length about a conversation between her and Hone concerning the definition of art, in which he quoted Nietzsche. Her commentary serves as a gloss on an oblique reference in Hone's letter to Coventry Patmore's poem, "The Toys."

Boxes 5, F0109: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099

Purchase, August 1987.

Processed and encoded by Sean Lovitt, October 2014.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2014 October 1
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Joseph M. Hone letter to Hylda Wrench, 1906 February 24.
Box 5 Folder F109
Joseph M. Hone letter to Hylda Wrench, 1906 March 10.
Box 5 Folder F109
Joseph M. Hone letter to Hylda Wrench, 1906 March 27.
Box 5 Folder F109
Joseph M. Hone letter to Hylda Wrench, 1906 April 18.
Box 5 Folder F109
Joseph M. Hone letter to Hylda Wrench, 1906 April 22.
Box 5 Folder F109
Joseph M. Hone letter to Hylda Wrench, 1906 May 6.
Box 5 Folder F109
Joseph M. Hone letter to Hylda Wrench, 1906 September 6.
Box 5 Folder F109
Joseph M. Hone letter to Hylda Wrench, 1906 October 2.
Box 5 Folder F109
Joseph M. Hone letter to Hylda Wrench, 1906 November 14.
Box 5 Folder F109
Scope and Contents

Includes Hone's handwritten poem "Mars."

Joseph M. Hone letter to Hylda Wrench, [1910] November 23.
Box 5 Folder F109
Scope and Contents

The year of the letter is not specified, but Hone's reference to J. M. Synge's play

Deirdre of the Sorrows dates the letter to circa 1910, when the first production was held at the Abbey Theatre.

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