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Papers of Professor William Lindsay Renwick

Identifier: Coll-80

Scope and Contents

The papers of Professor Renwick consist largely of material on Edmund Spenser. More specifically there are notes on sources forA view of the present state of Ireland, and forThe Shepheards calendar, as well as collations of textual and bibliographical variants ofThe Faerie Queen. There is a draft essay onThe Faerie Queen; a typescript of a lecture; short notes mostly relating to Spenser; and, miscellaneous correspondence and papers mostly on Scholartis Press editions.


  • 1930s-1959

Conditions Governing Access

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Biographical / Historical

William Lindsay Renwick was born in Glasgow on 6 January 1889. He studied at Glasgow University, graduating with First Class Honours in English in 1911. He then went on to study French and Italian Literature at Toulouse, the Sorbonne, and the British School in Rome. After the war he studied at Merton College, Oxford, where he received a B.Litt. for a thesis on Edmund Spenser. During the First World War Renwick served with the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), 1914-1919, experiencing trench warfare. In 1921 he was appointed Professor of English Language and Literature at King's College (University of Durham) at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Prior to that appointment he was a Lecturer at Glasgow University. During the Second World War he spent a year in China as a visiting Professor, lecturing with the British Council. Renwick came to Edinburgh University in 1945 and was Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English until 1959. During his time at Edinburgh the sub-department of English for Foreign Students was established and he was also involved in the setting up of the School of Scottish Studies. His publications includeEdmund Spenser - An essay on renaissance poetry(1925),Spenser's works(1928),John of Bordeaux(1936),The beginnings of English literature(1939), a contribution to theOxford history of English literaturedealing with the period 1715-1815. He also edited Spenser'sA view of the present state of Ireland(1934). William Lindsay Renwick died in Edinburgh on 25 November 1970.


2 file volumes, 2 boxes.

Physical Location

Gen. 1926-1927

Other Finding Aids

An important finding aid is the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives. Additions to the typed slips in sheaf binders were made until 1987.
Papers of Professor William Lindsay Renwick (1889-1970)

Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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