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Irish writer and editor Susan Langstaff Mitchell was born in Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim, on December 6, 1866. In 1900, Mitchell became assistant editor ofIrish Homestead, a weekly magazine produced by the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (IAOS) to promote agricultural co-operatives, as well as other aspects of the co-operative movement throughout Ireland. Mitchell wrote a column for the Irish Homestead called “Household Hints” under a pseudonym, normally “Brigid” or “Bean an Tighe,” where she engaged in debates about the Irish revival and the changing nature of gender relations. When the Irish Homestead merged with The Irish Statesman, Mitchell stayed on as an assistant editor.
In addition to her work as an editor, Mitchell produced several collections of poetry and a critical study of her friend, the novelist George Moore. She wrote a poem titled “Anti-Recruiting Song” in 1908 and developed strong republican sympathies after the Easter Rising of 1916. Mitchell later joined Sinn Féin and wrote for that party’s newspaper. She was also a founder member of the United Irishwomen, the forerunner of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association. Mitchell died on March 4, 1926.
In this letter, Mitchell noted thatMcClure’s Magazine was planning to publish one of her poems. She likely refers to “The Burden of the Doorkeeper,” published by the magazine in April 1911. Mitchell also described her poem “Light of Light” in this letter, and stated that she would not change it based on the recommendations of her correspondent, Mr. King. The Irish Review published Mitchell’s poem as “Light of Lights” in July 1912.
O’Hanlon, Oliver. “An Irishman’s Diary on Susan Langstaff Mitchell, a pioneering Irish writer and journalist.” The Irish Times, April 4, 2016. Accessed August 15, 2017. https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/an-irishman-s-diary-on-susan-langstaff-mitchell-a-pioneering-irish-writer-and-journalist-1.2596712Mitchell, Susan L. “The Burden of the Doorkeeper.” McClure’s Magazine Vol. 36 (April 1911): 662.Mitchell, Susan L. “Light of Lights.” The Irish Review Vol. 2, No. 17 (July 1912): 246-247. Information derived from the collection.
This item is an autograph signed letter written in 1911 by Irish writer and poet Susan L. Mitchell. In it, Mitchell discussed her poetry and poet William Butler Yeats.
Mitchell addressed this letter to Mr. King, possibly an American editor or literary agent. After expressing her delight aboutMcClure’s Magazine publishing one of her poems, Mitchell told King she was unwilling to change her poem “Light of Light,” which she described as one of her best works. She then asked King about arrangements to publish her “two little books of verse.” Mitchell observed that, because she held the copyright, American publishers “would have to make agreement with me directly, if they didn’t wish to pirate them.” Mitchell closed the letter by asking King to give her love to “Mr. Yeats” if he saw him.
The letter is handwritten in black ink and includes a return address for Mitchell’s home in Rathgar, Dublin.
Box 71, F1021: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.
Gift of Mark Samuels Lasner, February 2017
Processed and encoded by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger, August 2017.
- University of Delaware Library Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
- Finding Aid Date
- 2017 August 17
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