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The Life and Letters of William Sharp and “Fiona Macleod”. Volume 3

William Sharp
Fiona Macleod


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1William Sharp’s wife and first cousin, Elizabeth Amelia Sharp, became his literary executor when he died in 1905. Upon her death in 1932, the executorship passed to her brother, Robert Farquharson Sharp. When he passed away in 1945, that role fell to his son, Noel Farquharson Sharp, who, like his father, was a keeper of printed books in the British Museum. When he died in 1978, the executorship fell to his wife, Rosemarie Sharp, who lived until 2011 when it passed to her son, Robin Sharp.

2I am heavily indebted to Noel and Rosemarie Sharp for their assistance and friendship. They granted me permission to publish William Sharp’s writings and shared their memories of his relatives and friends. I am especially grateful to Noel Sharp for introducing me in 1963 to Edith Wingate Rinder’s daughter, Esther Mona Harvey, a remarkably talented woman whose friendship lasted until her death in 1993. Her recollections of her mother, who played a crucial role in the lives of William and Elizabeth Sharp, were invaluable.

3Through many years of my involvement with an obscure and complex man named William Sharp, my wife — Mary Helen Griffin Halloran — has been endlessly patient, encouraging and supportive. This work has benefited greatly from her editorial skills.

4I am also grateful to a succession of English graduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee who assisted me in transcribing and annotating William Sharp’s letters: Edward Bednar, Ann Anderson Allen, Richard Nanian, and Trevor Russell. Without the support I received from the College of Letters and Science and the Graduate School of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee this project would not have seen the light of day.

5The Appendix lists the institutions that have made copies of their Sharp/Macleod letters available and granted permission to transcribe, edit, and include them in this volume. It also lists the letters held by each institution. Without these libraries, their benefactors, and their competent staffs, a project of this sort — which has stretched over half a century — would have been impossible.

6Finally, this project would not have come to fruition had it not been for Warwick Gould, Emeritus Professor and Founding Director of the Institute for English Studies at the University of London. It was he who supported the first iteration of the Sharp letters as a website supported by the Institute, and it was he who suggested Open Book Publishers as a possible location for an expanded edition of The Life and Letters of William Sharp and Fiona Macleod. His support and friendship have been a beacon of light.

7This is the third and final volume of The Life and Letters of William Sharp and Fiona Macleod. The first volume presents Sharp’s life from 1855, the year of his birth, through 1894; the second from 1895 through 1899; and the third from 1900 through 1905, the year of his death.


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