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The Life and Letters of William Sharp and “Fiona Macleod”. Volume 1

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, Noel 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 following institutions have made copies of their Sharp/Macleod letters available and granted permission to transcribe, edit, and include them in this volume:

The American Antiquarian Society; Baylor University’s Browning Library; The British Library; The Brown University Library; The Library of Colby College; Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library; The Edinburgh City Libraries; Harvard University’s Houghton Library; The Huntington Library of San Marino California; Indiana University’s Lilly Library; The Library of Congress; The Manx Museum on The Isle of Mann; The National Library of Scotland; The Newberry Library; The New York Public Library’s Berg Collection; New York University’s Fales Library; The Northwestern University Library; Oxford University’s Bodleian Library; Pennsylvania State University’s Pattee Library; The Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City; Princeton University’s Firestone Library; The Sheffield City Archives; The Smith College Library; The Stanford University Library; The State University of New York at Buffalo Library; The Library in Trinity College Dublin; The University of British Columbia Library; The University of California Berkeley’s University Research Library; The University of California Los Angeles’s William Andrews Clark Library; The University of Delaware Library; The University of Illinois Urbana Library; The University of Leeds’s Brotherton Library; The University of Texas Austin’s Library and its Henry Ransom Humanities Research Center; The University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library; The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Golda Meir Library; Yale University’s Beinecke Library.

6The Appendix lists the letters owned by each institution in order to recognize their generosity and ease the way for scholars who may wish to consult the original manuscripts. Without these great libraries, their benefactors, and their competent and caring staffs, a project of this sort – which has stretched over half a century – would have been impossible.

7Finally, this project would not have come to fruition had it not been for Warwick Gould, Emeritus Professor and former 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.


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