The Colby-Shewring Collection consists of 15 letters, 13 of which were written by Walter Shewring, sent to Gina Thompson (Colby) between 1986 and 1990. The collection is contained in 15 folders and 1 box which is 0.25 linear feet in size.

As an American student studying at Oxford University, Gina Thompson met and befriended the classics scholar Shewring in 1986. At the time, Shewring was doing private research in the Bodleian, and Thompson was taking a cultural course from Oxford with a group of students from North Carolina. Shewring and the students all stayed at Benet Hall while at Oxford. Upon meeting, Shewring and Thompson established a rapport and became friends. The two corresponded with one another consistently during the period from 1986 until Shewring's death in 1990.

In this collection of correspondence to Miss Thompson, Shewring discusses a wide variety of topics, including the state of affairs at Oxford University, travel, English literature classes and texts, Ampleforth College, friends, a book of poems he was publishing, and Miss Thompson's studies and career. Shewring wrote a letter of recommendation for Gina in 1988, and that letter is included in this collection. Also contained are two letters from Bernard Vazquez, Shewring's colleague at Ampleforth College, to Gina Thompson describing Shewring's failing health and death in 1990.

The Georgetown University Library Special Collections Division also holds the Walter Shewring Papers, a small collection of letters, manuscripts, and essays written by Shewring. That particular collection includes an autograph manuscript of Shewring's well-renowned translation of Homer's "Odyssey," published in 1980 by the Oxford University Press, along with correspondence by noted individuals, such as Eric Gill and David Jones.

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BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: Born on January 1, 1906, Walter Hayward Francis Shewring was a noted British poet, classicist, and educator. He was educated at Bristol Grammar School and Oxford University, where he won the Craven Scholarship and Chancellor's Prize for Latin Prose.

After graduating from Oxford, Shewring became a professor of classics at Ampleforth College, Yorkshire. He served a long tenure at Ampleforth and established a reputation as a fine teacher and writer. Shewring's areas of expertise included Greek and Latin translation, Italian studies, and musicology. He was closely associated with Eric Gill and hiscircle, which influenced his life and works.

Shewring's writings included collections of poems published as "The Water Meads" (1927) and "Hermia" (1930). His "Hermia" collection is available at the Georgetown University Library, Special Collections Division. Shewring also authored "Italian Prose Usage" (1948), assisted in the revision of "Hoare's Italian Dictionary," and translated Homer's "Odyssey" (1980). His masterful translation of Homer's epic won widespread acclaim.

Shewring remained in his teaching post at Ampleforth for decades, well into his eighties. He died at Scorton, Yorkshire, on August 2, 1990.

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ACS - Autograph Card Signed

ALS - Autograph Letter Singed

ACCESSION DATA: Open Access. Processed with Finding Aid. Provenance: Gift of Gina Colby, February 19, 1998. Processed by Scott S. Taylor, June 1998.

BULK DATES: 1986 - 1990
SPAN DATES: 1986 - 1990

EXTENT: 1 box, 0.25 l. f.