Department of Special Collections
Washington University Libraries
Washington University in St. Louis

Finding-Aid for the Erica Elizabeth Marx Papers (WTU00077)

Finding aid prepared by:
Special Collections Staff

Summary Information
Title: Erica Elizabeth Marx Papers
Creator: Marx, Erica Elizabeth,1909-1969, American author
Call number: WTU00077
Language: English

Access and Use:


Access Restrictions:

Collection is open to research.

Processing Information:

Processed by Washington University Department Special Collections Staff.


Standard biographical and bibliographical information on Erica Marx may be found in Contemporary Authors . Primarily a publisher and promoter of the arts rather than a practicing artist, she operated Les Press de l’hotel Sagonne in Paris from 1938-1940 and 1945-1947. In addition, she was the sole proprietor of the Hand and Flower Press from various locations in Kent from 1940-1963, affording many young poets their first appearances. Largely an experimenter, with a particular interest in poetry, her primary concerns seem to have been in attempting to reach those in the public who either could not afford to buy books of poetry or who scorned poetry in large measure. Of particular renown is the Poems in Pamphlet Series, which ran for 3 Series of 10-11 each, 1951-1953. Each pamphlet included up to 40 poems by one author but sold for a very small price.

Erica Marx published under the Hand and Flower imprint two books of her own verse. The first of these, Escape from Anger , was issued as #11 in the 1951 pamphlet Series, under the pseudonym Robert Manfred. The second, Some Poems , was published as a separate slim volume, in 1955. In the same year, she edited with Patric Dickinson and J. C. Hall, the P.E.N. Anthology .

She was one of the original guarantors and directors from 1955-1959 of the Company of Nine, a group dedicated to the promotion of poetry as an oral entertainment, and a director of the Poetry Book Society from its inception in 1954 to her resignation in 1957. From 1954-1957 she also helped operate M Plates Ltd. which was concerned with a printing process. Throughout her publishing career, she was an active member in numerous London literary and musical societies.

As of 1959, she was reported to be living in England’s only converted Thames barge. In 1963 she sold the press and launched herself into “Private research into Radiesthesia, paraphysics and sonic therapy in an attempt to acquire a greater understanding of the relationship between mind and matter.” (C/A)

The Rare Book Department holds copies of Escape from Anger , and Some Poems and several Hand and Flower Press publications; of special note, Poems in Pamphlet .

Collection Scope and Content Note

Scope and Contents Note

Contents List
box-folder   -/-  
Papers ()