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Desmond MacCarthy letters to Sir Ralph and Lady Iris Wedgwood


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

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. 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

The critic Desmond MacCarthy was born in Plymouth, England, in 1877 and died in 1952, in Cambridge, England. He was educated at Cambridge where he became a member of the elite intellectual society, the Apostles. His associates in the group included Roger Fry, G.E. Moore, and Bertrand Russell. MacCarthy was also associated with the Bloomsbury Group. After Cambridge, MacCarthy served as a critic and editor for a number of publications, including the

New Quarterly and the New Statesman. He married Mary Warre-Cornish (Molly) in 1906. In 1928, he became the senior literary critic for the London Sunday Times. MacCarthy's essays and criticism were frequently collected and published in book form. He was knighted in 1951. "Affable Hawk." Contemporary Authors Online. The Gale Group 2002. Retrieved January 7, 2003, from Literature Resource Center (

Sir Ralph Wedgwood was a descendant of Josiah Wedgwood, founder of the famous ceramics and pottery firm. He distinguished himself as a railway administrator, was knighted in 1924, and created a baronet in 1942. He married his wife, Iris, in 1906. Their daughter, Veronica, was a distinguished historian.

"Wedgwood, Sir Ralph Lewis." The Dictionary of National Biography, 1951-1960. Oxford University Press, 1971, pp. 1031-1032.

The letters from Desmond MacCarthy to Sir Ralph and Lady Iris Wedgwood Collection contains sixteen letters from MacCarthy to the Wedgwoods; two carbon copies of replies to letters from MacCarthy by Ralph Wedgwood (1947); a letter from Molly MacCarthy, Desmond's wife, to the Wedgwoods acknowledging their condolences on Desmond's death; and a letter from Desmond MacCarthy to Veronica Wedgwood. MacCarthy's letters discuss his own and others' literary work, mutual friends of the MacCarthys and the Wedgwoods, and plans for visits with the Wedgwoods. The 1947 correspondence concerns MacCarthy's attempt to set up a fund to help support the philosopher G.E. Moore.

The letters are arranged chronologically and, except where noted, are from Desmond MacCarthy to Ralph Wedgwood.

Box 40, F0690: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.

Purchase, 2002.

Processed by Kevin Burke, January 2003. Encoded by George Apodaca, March 2016.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2016 March 3
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

Desmond MacCarthy letters to Sir Ralph and Lady Iris Wedgwood, 1915-1952.
Box 40 Folder F0690

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