Title: A.J.A. Symons, literary papers and correspondence with some related material.
Classmark: BC MS 20c Symons
Creator(s): Symons, A J A (1900-1941)
Main language: English
Size and medium: 1 box; manuscript, typescript, postcards, press cuttings, and printed material.
Collection group(s): English Literature
Comprises: (1) Fragmentary autograph manuscript drafts of a critical work by Symons on Edgar Allan Poe, followed by two versions of it in typescript, with autograph manuscript corrections, all probably written not before 1923; (2) Autograph manuscript and typescript correspondence of Symons, notably with Philip Gosse and members of the Wine and Food Society, partially dated 1932 - 1938, including many stamped-addressed envelopes and postcards, and two letters from Percy [Muir?] of Elkin Mathews Ltd to Philip Gosse dated 22 November 1941 and 25 February 1942 concerning the possibility of someone writing a biography of Symons (then recently deceased). Amongst the correspondence relating to the Wine and Food Society there are several printed brochures concerning the activities of the Society and some of their banquets, and also a press cutting concerning the rejection of Wyndham Lewis's portrait of T.S. Eliot by the Royal Academy extracted from the London 'Evening Standard' for 25 April 1938.
The manuscript portion of Symons's notes on Edgar Allan Poe is written on backs of loose-leaf sheets bearing Symons's autograph list of books with price data. They are held loose in a black cloth-covered folder which is gilt-lettered on the spine, 'Edgar Allan Poe by A.J.A. Symons - Original MS'. There are a total of 45 ff. held in the folder.
Alphonse James Albert Symons, the author, bibliophile, and gastronome, was born on 16 August 1900 in Battersea, London, of Jewish parentage, and died in Colchester, Essex, on 26 August 1941. For fuller details of his life and achievements see the Dictionary of National Biography.
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