Mary Webb Collection, 1920-1990Add to your cart.

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Collection Overview

Title: Mary Webb Collection, 1920-1990Add to your cart.
ID: 01/ AR0841
Primary Creator: Webb, Mary (1881-1927)
Extent: 2.0 Boxes
Arrangement: Collection is arranged in two series: correspondence; photographs, sketch, and manuscript.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Mary Webb Collection is held in the Rare Books department of the Willis Library at UNT. Most of the items in the Mary Webb Collection were gathered by Gustine Courson Weaver, who was a collector throughout her life. (Her collection of children's books forms the core of the Weaver Collection in the Rare Books Department.) After becoming acquainted with Mary Webb's work, Mrs. Weaver proceeded to purchase a number of Webb's publications as well as books about related subjects such as the town of Shrewsbury and the Rossetti family. Hilda Addison, one of Mary Webb's biographers, sent Mrs. Weaver a number of mementos, including an unpublished snap shot of Webb's gravesite. Mrs. Weaver herself traveled to Shropshire and collected additional items that are now part of the Mary Webb Collection.

Collection Historical Note

Mary Webb (1881-1927) was a British author whose novels and poems are imbued with a sensitive connection to nature and a spirit of mysticism. She was born Mary Gladys Meredith and spent much of her childhood in Shropshire, near Shrewsbury. She married Henry B. L. Webb, a school teacher, in 1912. Though the couple spent some time in London in an effort to promote Mary's career, she was always happiest and most productive when living in Shropshire. Readers will recognize many Shropshire locales in Webb's novels. Despite positive reviews, Mary Webb's work was relatively unknown during her short life. Her greatest fame occurred after her death, when the British Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, publicly praised her novel Precious Bane, for which she received the Prix Femina Vie Heureuse in 1926. Jonathan Cape immediately published Mary Webb's collected works; her husband edited an anthology of her work and published it in 1939. Her novels were reprinted and became best sellers. Mary Webb's popularity waned with the start of the second World War, but interest in her work was renewed during the 1970s with the publication of two biographies and a volume of previously unpublished works. Her mystical descriptions of nature and her deeply emotional character portrayals are made more poignant by the tragedy of her early death. Mary Webb's final novel, Armour Wherein he Trusted, was left unfinished at her death from complications from Graves' Disease.

Biographical Note

Mary Webb (1881-1927) was a British author whose novels and poems are imbued with a sensitive connection to nature and a spirit of mysticism. She was born Mary Gladys Meredith and spent much of her childhood in Shropshire, near Shrewsbury. She married Henry B. L. Webb, a school teacher, in 1912.

Despite positive reviews, Mary Webb's work was relatively unknown during her short life. Her greatest fame occurred after her death, when the British Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, publicly praised her novel Precious Bane, for which she received the Prix Femina Vie Heureuse in 1926. Jonathan Cape immediately published Mary Webb's collected works; her husband edited an anthology of her work and published it in 1939. Her novels were reprinted and became best sellers.

Access Information

Access Restrictions:

These materials are open for research use during normal business hours of the UNT Archives and Rare Books Department.

Reading Room or Duplication Requests

Depending on any access restrictions noted above, you may be able to request items be delivered to our reading room, or that we make reproductions for you. Just click on either the or icons in the listings below to be routed to our request form.

Administrative Information

Repository: University of North Texas Special Collections
Accruals: This collection was transferred to Special Collections from the former Rare Book department. The former collection number was RB02.
Acquisition Source: Gift of Gustine Courson Weaver
Related Materials:

The Rare Books library contains editions of Mary Webb's work, literary criticism, reviews and biographies of Mary Webb. The collection also contains works related to the town of Shropshire, Mary Webb's place of birth and her favorite place to live and write.

The influence of Christina Rossetti's work is evident in Mary Webb's poems. In fact, Mary Webb wrote a poem entitled "Christina Rossetti". The Rare Books library holds several volumes of work by and about Christina Rossetti.

An inventory of these related materials is available on the Rare Books website.

For more information please see http://www.library.unt.edu/rarebooks.
Preferred Citation: Mary Webb Collection, University of North Texas Special Collections

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