Columbia Library columns (v.34(1984Nov-1985May))

(New York :  Friends of the Columbia Libraries.  )



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  v.34,no.1(1984:Nov): Page 3  

Frederick Rolfe, Baron Corvo,
Writes to Wilfred Meynell


IN 1893, Frederick Rolfe, Baron Corvo, best known today as
author of Hadrian the Seventlo, wrote six letters to Wilfred
Meyncll, author, editor, and husband of the poet Alice Mey-
nell. All except the second letter, the one dated February 21, 1893,
are liitherto unpublished. Although it seems unlikely, there may
once have been seven letters. Meynell attached the letters to a
copy of the second impression of Rolfe's hi His Own Image, given
him in 1924 by Shane Leslie, author of the introduction to this
second impression. The book eventually came back to Leslie, who
recorded tlie fact that he had given it to Meynell and that Meynell
had affixed to it "seven unpublished letter [si" decidedly in "Cor-
vo's character." But on an envelope in which he placed the book,
LETTERS." Obviously Leslie was mistaken in that statement,
and the logical conclusion is that he w-is wrong in both instances,
that Corvo addressed only six letters to Meynell. These six letters
and Leslie's copy of In His Own. Image are now in the Rare Book
and Manuscript Library, the gift of Stuart B. Schimmcl.

Rolfe wrote these letters between February 17 and June 9, 1893,
from 162 Skene Street, Aberdeen. That was the address of a lodg¬
ing house into which he had settled himself shortly before October
13, 1892. He had done so with reluctance. Indeed there was little
he had not done with reluctance and from necessity since the first

Opposite: Frederick Rolfe, Baron Corvo, ca. 1889 or 1890,
at Scots College, Rome.
  v.34,no.1(1984:Nov): Page 3