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E. Œ. (Edith Œnone) Somerville letter to Nevill [Coghill]


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

Irish author and artist E. Œ. (Edith Œnone) Somerville (1858-1949) is best known for her collaborative literary partnership with her cousin Violet Ross, which produced popular works such as

An Irish Cousin (1889). After Martin’s death in 1915, Somerville continued to write and publish for the remainder of her life. She continued to include Martin’s name as co-author on her published works, which included Irish Memories (1917), Mount Music (1919), and The big House of Inver (1925).

Information derived from dealer description. Lewis, Gifford, “Somerville, Edith Anna OEnone (1858-1949),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2016.

Irish-born English literary scholar and theatre producer Nevill Coghill (1899-1980) was a nephew of E. Œ. (Edith Œnone) Somerville.

Coghill was a Fellow and Tutor of English Literature at Exeter College, Oxford, where he later became Merton Professor of English Literature. He was known for his engaging teaching style, translations of

The Canterbury Tales from Middle English, and his association with the Inklings, a literary circle that included C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams.

Carey, John, “Coghill, Nevill Henry Kendal Aylmer (1899-1980),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

This collection comprises a single handwritten letter from E. Œ. (Edith Œnone) Somerville to her nephew, Nevill Coghill, in which she asks that he offer his opinions on a playscript by Geraldine Cummins (1890-1969). Cummins collaborated on productions for the Abbey Theatre with Suzanne R. Day, and Somerville reported, had a few plays of her own produced in the 1920s. The current project, Somerville wrote, was on Tchaikovsky.

Somerville also asked Coghill to return the copies she had sent of her "Irish R.M." play, possibly a dramatic rendition of her and Ross's successful series

The Irish R.M.

The letter is written on Drishane House, Skibbereen, Co. Cork, blindstamped letterhead and is dated Friday, August 11. No year is included, but the letter can likely be dated between 1930 and 1949--the time period between which Coghill was developing and solidifying his reputation as a scholar and theatre producer and Somerville's death in 1949.

Purchase, February 2016

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2016 May 6
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

E. Œ. (Edith Œnone) Somerville letter to Nevill [Coghill], [circa 1930-1949] August 11.
Box 65 Folder F1010

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