Department of Special Collections
Washington University Libraries
Washington University in St. Louis
Finding-Aid for the Erica Marx Papers (WTU00075)Finding aid prepared by:
Special Collections Staff
Erica Marx Papers
Marx, Erica, 1909-1969
Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO 63130
Access and Use:
Users of the collections must read and abide by the Rules for the use of manuscript collection materials.
Users of the collections who wish to use items from this collection, in
whole or in part, in any form of publication (as defined in the form) must
sign and submit to the Washington University Department of Special Collections
a hard copy of the Notification of intent publish manuscript collection materials form.
All publication restricted to those who have permission of the copyright
Copyright to large portions of the collection held by the estate of Erica
Processed by Washington University Department Special Collections Staff August, 1970.
EAD encoded finding-aid complete December, 2001
Preferred CitationErica Marx Papers, Washington University in St. Louis
Collection Scope and Content Note
Scope and Contents Note
Collection consists of a selection of Erica Marx's professional papers,
40 folders. Series 1 contains professional and personal correspondence, 1926-1963,
concerning the Hand and Flower Press, in particular discussion with Eric White
about publishing his compilation of English Farce jigs. Other correspondents,
many letters unconnected to press business, include Sir Kenneth Clark, Muriel
Spark, J.R. Ackerly, Jocelyn Brooke, and John Masefield. There are also two
letters to S. Janstein(?) from the French diseuse Yvette Guilbert, c.47 items,
Series also includes ts. draft of English Farce Jigs by Eric White, 12 pp.
a report of the 1951-52 Conference on Copyright Poetry, 7 pp. and an announcement
of a poetry competition; 4 folders. Series 2 contains records of organization
and operation of the London-based Poetry Book Society, 1952-65. Ser. 2-1 includes
original memos, and notes, agendas, minutes of director's meetings, financial
statements, the circulated newsletter to members, and various lists of books
and authors selected or recommended; Ser. 2-2 contains correspondence between
directors concerning the society, c.172 items; and Ser. 2-3 contains miscellaneous
related items; 18 folders. Series 3 contains records of a similar nature of
the Company of Nine. Ser. 3-1 includes agendas, minutes, memos, a newsletter
Series, some financial statements and a collection of programs, leoflets,
announcements, clippings, etc. about Company of Nine activities and also related
material belonging to other groups; Ser. 3-2 holds particular strength in
the correspondence between the original guarantors and directors - Erica Marx,
Rumer Godden and James L. Haynes-Dixon, c.337 items. Correspondence also includes
other persons connected with projects: Joseph Compton, John Carroll, Roland
Clarke, Christopher Hassall, Jean Primrose and numerous poets, readers, and
others. Ser. 3-3 contains a ts. poem, Feeding birds, by Rumer Godden, and
a ts. [carbon] of poems read at a commemorative Armistice Day reading organized
by the company; 18 folders.
- Abse, Dannie, 1923-
- Brooke, Jocelyn, 1908-
- Causley, Charles, 1917-
- Clark, Sir Kenneth McKenzie, 1903-1983.
- Craig, Alec, 1897-
- Fry, Christopher, 1907-
- Godden, Rumer, 197-
- Hamburger, Michael, 1938-
- Marx, Erica Elizabeth, 1909-1969.
- Masefield, John, 1878-1967.
- Raine, Kathleen Jesse, 1908-
- Spark, Muriel, 1918-
- Tomlinson, Charles, 1927-
- Whistler, Laurence, 1912-
- White, Eric Walter, 1905-
I. Correspondence, professional,personal, and miscellany. [series]:
Scope: Discusses publications by the Hand and Flower Press and personal matters.
Discusses in particular possible publication of White's English Farce Jigs.
Note: All letters authored by Erica Marx are carbon only, unsigned.
I.1 Correspondence 1926-1952.
Scope: Correspondence, including letters from Yvette Guilbert to S. Janstein (?)
in which she discusses La chanson de ma vie (mes mèmoirs), and John Masefield,
J.R. Ackerley, and Eric White. ALS, TLS, ts. [carbon] and postcards. (9 Marx
I.2 Correspondence 1953-1963.
Scope: Correspondence, including letters from Eric White, Jocelyn Brooke, Bryan
Guinness, Sir Kenneth Clark, and Muriel Spark. Clark discusses a recent book
of poems by Thomas Fassam, and Muriel Spark discusses her recent book Fanfarlo.
ALS, TLS, ts. [carbon], postcards (5 Marx carbons)
I.3 English farce jigs [unpublished text] by Eric
W. White. 1952: Jan. 26.
Scope: Introduction and prose outline of the history of English farce jigs; intended
for publication by the Hand and Flower Press. Heavily revised. Ts., ts. [carbon]
I.4 Correspondence 1951: Dec. 5 - Mar. 10, 1952.
(13 pp. c.52 items.)
Scope: Report on the Conference on copyright poetry, sponsored by the Arts Council
of Great Britain, which Miss Marx attended on behalf of the Hand and Flower
Press. Report concerned with recommendations on the public performance of
copyright poetry. Includes lists of those attending, a sample Applicationlicense, etc. Ts. [duplicated] Also includes announcement of an Arts Council
II. Poetry Book Society, London. [series]:
II.1 Business Records. Poetry Book Society, London. [subseries]:
1953: Mar. 27. Articles of association [draft]
of the Poetry Book Society.
Scope: Intended as preparatory, under the 1948 Companies Act, to incorporation
as a company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital. Moderately
revised. Drawn up by Bird and Bird, solicitors, Gray's Inn, in conjunction
with Eric White, secretary of the Poetry Book Society. Ts. [duplicated]
1953: Oct. 5-Dec. 31, 1965. Minutes of meetings
of the Poetry Book Society.
Scope: Chronologically arranged including agendas, memos, financial statements,
annual general reports, lists of books submitted, announcements of choices
made, selectors appointed and details of membership. Appendixes of relevant
information also retained, when applicable, in the minutes. Records are not
complete. 1958-65 contains only isolated annual reports.
1956: Sept. - May, 1966. Poetry book Society
Scope: Incomplete. Printed material. Includes announcements of book choices and
recommendations, and brief vitae on authors involved. Occasionally provides
statements on or about poetry or reprints individual poems, including statements
by W.S. Merwin, Kathleen Nott, John Smith, Charles Tomlinson, Ruth Pitter,
A.K. Ramanujan, and Anne Halley. Reprints or prints for first time poems by
Kathleen Nott, Patrick MacDonogh, Ruth Pitter, A.K. Ramanujan, and Anne Halley
and no. 49 contains an obituary by David Wright of Brian Higgins, and a sketch
by John Howard, in memoriam.
II.2 Correspondence between the directors of the Poetry Book Society. [subseries]:
Scope: Includes letters by Erica Marx, Eric White, Joseph Compton, W.E. Williams
and many others. Note: All letters authored by Miss Marx are carbon only,
1952: Oct. 23 - Oct, 1958.
Scope: Discusses publicity, financial arrangements, legal condition of the society,
distribution of materials, choice of selectors, general business procedures,
etc. ALS, TLS, ts. [duplicated], ts, [carbon] (55 Marx carbons)
II.3 Miscellaneous related materials. [subseries]:
[c.1956-1959] Miscellaneous advertisements,
news releases, drafts of announcements to members, leaflets, programs, etc.
Ts., ts. [carbon], printed material.
III. Company of Nine [series]:
III.1 Company of Nine. Business Records [subseries]:
Agendas of meetings. 1956-1958.
(7 items. Moderate notations appended. Ts., ts. [carbon])
Scope: Meetings irregularly scheduled.
Minutes of company meetings. 1956: Nov. 22-May 26, 1959.
Scope: Discussion includes projects, festivals, artists to be engaged, procedures
involved, etc. Some financial statements attached or incorporated. Drawn up
by James L. Haynes-Dixon, chairman of the company. Ts., ts. [carbon], ts.
Rules of procedure for conducting meetings, and plans for financing
projects [draft]. 1957-1958.
(10 pp. Ms., ts. ts [duplicated])
Business Files [1956-1960]
Scope: Memos, programs, notes on projects, applications for use of copyright poems
to the Hand and Flower Press, a few financial statements, lists of artists,
samples of stationary, etc. Ms., ts., ts. [carbon], printed material.
Newsletter 1957. Newsletter.
(11 pp. Ts., ts. [carbon])
Scope: Disbributed irregularly to directors by James L. Haynes-Dixon. No. 1 dated
Feb. 23. Apparently discontinued at the end of 1957.
III.2 Correspondence, [subseries]:
Scope: between the directors of the Company of Nine concerning the company's business.
Letters also exchanged between Erica Marx and numerous artists, agents, and
authors involved in the varied projects. Note: All letters authored by Erica
Marx are carbon only, unsigned.
Correspondence 1956: Oct. 22 - Jan 22, 1960.
(c.337 items. TLS, ALS, postcards, ts. [carbon] (172 Marx carbons))
Scope: Correspondence includes letters to Erica Marx from Rumer Godden and her
husband James L. Haynes-Dixon, Roland Clarke, Joseph Compton, John Carroll,
artistic manager for the company; Robert Graecen, a publicity agent; Christopher
Hassall, Charles Causley, Christina Foyle, Jean Primrose, Paul Dehn and many
III.3 Miscellaneous related materials. [subseries]:
Miscellaneous programs, leaflets, announcements, advertisements
for readings, clippings, articles and related materials. [1956-1960]
Scope: Some items related to societies or groups other than the Company of Nine.
[1957: Jan. 21] Feeding Birds [poem] by Rumer
Godden. Ts., no revision, 1 p.
Poetry of two wars 1958: Nov. 11.
(54 pp. 3 boxes. c.800 items. [anthology] Ts. [carbon])
Scope: Poems read during Foyle's lunchtime promenade to commemorate the war dead.
Program arranged by the Company of Nine, primarily Rumer Godden and Erica
Marx. Read by John Laurie and David Spenser, with Paul Dehn in the chair.
Poets include Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, Alun Lewis, Osbert
Sitwell, Charles Causley, Edward Thomas, and others. Each of these poems had
been previously published.