THE SITWELL-SEARLE COLLECTION

Dame Edith Sitwell, poet and writer, was born on 7 September 1887 at Renishaw, near Sheffield, in Scarborough, England. She was privately educated. Dame Edith's literary career spanned a half century beginning with the publication of The Mother and Other Poems in 1915 and ending in 1962 with The Queens and the Hive.

Edith Sitwell's poetic achievements were awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Literature from the Universities of Leeds and Durham in 1948, Oxford in 1951, Sheffield in 1955, and Hull in 1963; an Honorary Associate, American Institute of Arts and Letters in 1949; a D.B.E. in 1954; Vice-President, Royal Society

of Literature in 1958; and a Companion in Literature, Royal Society of Literature in 1963. For further detail see the Dictionary of National Biography and the New York Times (December 10, 1964 issue).

She died on 9 December 1964.

* * * * * * *

Humphrey Searle, composer, was born 26 August 1915 in Oxford, England. He was educated at Winchester College, and

New College, Oxford; Composition study at R.C.M., Vienna Conservatorium; and privately with Dr. Anton Webern in 1937.

Searle's musical accomplishments include operas, ballets, symphonies, as well as television and film scores. Some of his principal compositions are: "Gold Coast Customs" (with Edith Sitwell), 1949; "The River-run" (with James Joyce), 1951; Piano sonata, 1951; "The Shadow of Cain" (with Edith Sitwell), 1952; "Noctambules" ballet, 1956; "The Great Peacock" ballet, 1958; "The Diary of a Madman" opera, 1958; "Song of the Birds, Song of Sun", 1964; and "The Canticle of the Rose" (with Edith Sitwell), 1965.

Among his many other activities were: Member, B.B.C. Music Department, 1938 - 1940; served in the Gloucestershire Regiment, Intelligence Corps and General List, 1940 - 1946; Program producer, B.B.C. Music Department, 1946 - 1948; Honorary Secretary of the Liszt Society, 1950 - 1962; and Professor of Composition, Royal College of Music, 1965.

He died on 12 May 1982.

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The Sitwell-Searle Collection comprises thirty (30) letters, one (1) telegram, one (1) card, and two (2) manuscripts from Edith Sitwell to Humphrey Searle. The major portion of their correspondence concerns Searle's musical compositions, some of which Dame Edith Sitwell narrated.

The Collection also contains seven (7) letters from Dame Edith's brothers, Sir Osbert (1) and Sacheverell (6), as well as Cecil Gray.

See also: THE SITWELL-COHEN COLLECTION

Number of Boxes: 1
Size: .25 linear feet
Provenance: Acquired from bookseller, H. Wohlmuth of London, England and Athens, Georgia, 1985
Date Span: 1936 - 1980; and Undated
Processed by: Anna T. Zakarija
Date: November 19, 1985

FOLDER LISTING

Box: 1 Folder: 1
Sitwell, Edith; AMsS, 7 sheets
"The Road to Thebes"
Date span: Undated
Contents: Contains an autograph manuscript signed of Sitwell's poem, "The Road to Thebes", dedicated to Humphrey and Gillen Searle.


Box: 1 Folder: 2
Sitwell, Edith; AMs, 12 sheets
"Extra Addresses"
Date span: Undated
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph manuscript address lists.


Box: 1 Folder: 3
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 3 sheets
"I am really shocked . . . "
Date span: 1949, February 24
Contents: Contains autograph letter signed with envelope from Sitwell to Searle regarding the latter's composition, "Gold Coast Customs"; and luncheon at the Sesame Club.


Box: 1 Folder: 4
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"Thank you so much for . . . "
Date span: [1949]?, March 26
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed regarding Searle's composition, "Gold Coast Customs" ; and Sitwell's "violent chill".


Box: 1 Folder: 5
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"Forgive violent haste . . . "
Date span: 1949, April 7
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding her writing the preface to Searle's "Gold Coast Custom".


Box: 1 Folder: 6
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 3 sheets
"Are you beginning . . . "
Date span: 1949, May 26
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding Searle's "work of genius", the recording "Gold Coast Customs". Sitwell had done the narration.


Box: 1 Folder: 7
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"It is splendid . . . "
Date span: 1949, June 3
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding Searle's "Gold Coast Customs"; and her furor over the exclusion of its mention in The Sunday Times and The Observer.


Box: 1 Folder: 8
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"I am returning the . . . "
Date span: [1949, June 17]
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding Searle's proposed opera.


Box: 1 Folder: 9
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"Do forgive a short . . . "
Date span: [1949, October 31]
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding "the old lady who nestled against Peter Watson"; and Searle's "Gold Coast Customs" performance.


Box: 1 Folder: 10
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"I am so happy . . . "
Date span: [1950, March 27]
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding her manuscript; Searle's composition; and a luncheon engagement.


Box: 1 Folder: 11
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, Telegram, 1 sheet
"Can you bring . . . "
Date span: 1950, April 4
Contents: Contains a telegram from Sitwell regarding the "Gold Coast Customs" records and an American perspective.


Box: 1 Folder: 12
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 2 sheets
"Do tell Gillan, . . . "
Date span: [1951, August 15]
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding her Penguin Books profile; as well as some "appalling photographs".


Box: 1 Folder: 13
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 3 sheets
"I had, suddenly, to . . . "
Date span: 1951, October 11
Contents: Contains autograph letter signed with envelope re the following: Dylan Thomas' recitation of "Facade"; Peter Pears; Osbert Sitwell; a snoopy housemaid; and "Carson's & David G's violent friendship".


Box: 1 Folder: 14
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"How delightful it . . . "
Date span: 1952, February 15
Contents: Contains autograph letter signed with envelope re Searle's dedication of "The Shadow of Cain" to her; pianist Gordon Watson; Osbert's "old soldier servant"; Carson; and "The Road to Thebes".


Box: 1 Folder: 15
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"Soon after posting . . . "
Date span: 1952, February 16
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed regarding her poem, "Road to Thebes".


Box: 1 Folder: 16
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"I have just this . . . "
Date span: [1952], March 6
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding her Italian trip.


Box: 1 Folder: 17
Sitwell, Edith to Gillen, ALS, 1 sheet
"I get to London . . . "
Date span: 1952, April 4
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding her luncheon launching "Gold Coast Customs" and "Facade" at her guests.


Box: 1 Folder: 18
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"It was a wonderful . . . "
Date span: [1952, May 16]
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding Searle's "The Shadow of Cain", which was narrated by Sitwell.


Box: 1 Folder: 19
Sitwell, Edith to Gillen, ALS, 1 sheet
"Evelyn and I did so . . . "
Date span: [1952 August 28]
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding Gillen Searle's wedding anniversary party; as well as the MacNeices and their Greek students.


Box: 1 Folder: 20
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 2 sheets
"I am afraid we shall . . . "
Date span: 1952, September 27
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding Searle's proposed operas; as well as George Cukor's proposed film by Columbia Pictures adapted from a Sitwell book.


Box: 1 Folder: 21
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 3 sheets
"It is most exciting . . . "
Date span: 1952, October 6
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed regarding Searle's music; "Facade"; and an unidentified "appalling woman".


Box: 1 Folder: 22
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"Do please forgive the . . . "
Date span: 1952, October 8
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding Searle's concert and her preface.


Box: 1 Folder: 23
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 2 sheets
"Being completely dotty . . . "
Date span: 1952, October 12
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding Searle's opera and proposed film; as well as ideas for future operas.


Box: 1 Folder: 24
Sitwell, Edith to Gillen, ACS, 1 side
"There has been a muddle . . . "
Date span: [1952 October 16]
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph postcard signed regarding a luncheon engagement with the Searles.


Box: 1 Folder: 25
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 3 sheets
"I got a letter from . . . "
Date span: 1952, October 18
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed regarding David Higham; Leonard Clark; concert notices; and two gold bangles and the Customs office.


Box: 1 Folder: 26
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 2 sheets
"Thank you so much . . . "
Date span: 1952, October 19
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding Kenneth Clark and the Arts Council; the "Atomic Ladies"; and her two gold slave bracelets.


Box: 1 Folder: 27
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"Just a word (as I roll . . . "
Date span: 1952, November 21
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding Searle's composition, "The Shadow of Cain".


Box: 1 Folder: 28
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 2 sheets
"A thousand thanks . . . "
Date span: 1952, December 9
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding Searle's "Facade" and The Sunday Times.


Box: 1 Folder: 29
Sitwell, Edith and Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"It was such a very . . . "
Date span: 1960, March 16
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding "Gordon".


Box: 1 Folder: 30
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 2 sheets
"I do hope that . . . "
Date span: [1961, October 27]
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding Searle's music for "Finnegan's Wake", "Facade", and his Sonata; as well as David Webster.


Box: 1 Folder: 31
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"That will be a perfect . . . "
Date span: Undated
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding their Sunday engagement.


Box: 1 Folder: 32
Sitwell, Edith to Gillen, ALS, 1 sheet
"With best love and . . . "
Date span: Undated
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope extending best wishes to Gillen Searle.


Box: 1 Folder: 33
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"With love and all . . . "
Date span: Undated
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope extending wedding anniversary congratulations.


Box: 1 Folder: 34
Sitwell, Edith to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"And many thanks for . . . "
Date span: Undated
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed regarding her birthday present from Humphrey Searle.


Box: 1 Folder: 35
Sitwell, Osbert to Searle, TLS, 1 sheet
"It was so nice to . . . "
Date span: 1965, January 14
Contents: Contains Sitwell's typed letter signed with envelope regarding the death of his sister, Edith.


Box: 1 Folder: 36
Sitwell, Sacheverell to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"Thank you for your . . . "
Date span: 1936, October 3
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding Searle's Lizst concert.


Box: 1 Folder: 37
Sitwell, Sacheverell to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"I was very touched . . . "
Date span: 1964, December 20
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed regarding the death of his sister, Edith.


Box: 1 Folder: 38
Sitwell, Sacheverell to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"How good of you to . . . "
Date span: 1974, June 18
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding Searle's "Gold Coast Customs"; and forebodings for the future.


Box: 1 Folder: 39
Sitwell, Sacheverell to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"I have only just had . . . "
Date span: 1975, May 8
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding Searle's "Symposium"; as well as the latter's approach to music.


Box: 1 Folder: 40
Sitwell, Sacheverell to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"Yes! I was glad to . . . "
Date span: 1980. January 11
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed regarding the former's writing a setting for Searle's composition, "Listening to music under tropical flowering trees".


Box: 1 Folder: 41
Sitwell, Sacheverell to Searle, ALS, 1 sheet
"It was a pleasure to . . . "
Date span: 1980, October 2
Contents: Contains Sitwell's autograph letter signed with envelope regarding Searle's "On Listening to music under tropical flowering trees".


Box: 1 Folder: 42
Gray, Cecil to Searle, Letters & Programs, 6 items
Letters, programs, & related
Date span: 1937, May 10 - 1950, January 4; Undated
Contents: Contains 2 autograph letters signed from Gray; fragment; and programs of an Edith Sitwell reading.