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Papers of John Middleton Murry

Identifier: Coll-62

Scope and Contents

The collection includes critical reviews, including typescripts and proof sheets of some of these; poems, possibly by Katherine Mansfield; typescript notes of work; typescripts of articles; galley proofs; manuscript notebooks; bundles of notes on Keats; lectures and speeches; and , essays. There are also albums of press cuttings between 1939-47, and letters, letterbooks, diary, and contracts. Some material unidentified or undated.

Click HERE to see a detailed handlist.


  • Creation: 1912-1959

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

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Biographical / Historical

Writer and reviewer John Middleton Murry was born in Peckham, London, 6 August 1889. In 1901 he won a scholarship to Christ's Hospital, and reached Brasenose College, Oxford, also on a scholarship, and studied Classics. His literary career began in 1911 with the establishment ofRhythm, a quarterly. This ceased after only two years but in 1912 he had begun a journalistic career as a reviewer for theWestminster Gazette, and later theTimes Literary Supplement. Between 1919 and 1921, Murry edited theAthenaeum, and he founded the magazineAdelphi(1923), later theNew Adelphi. His first books wereFyodor Dostoevsky: a critical study(1916) and a work of fictionStill life(1916). Murry's second work of fiction wasThe things we are(1922). Lyric poetry, poetry, verse drama, and series of lectures on style followed, and then a third novelThe voyage(1924). In the 1920s, Murry's interests shifted from literature to religious philosophy, and in the 1930s he converted to Marxism and then moved politically towards pacifism. His writing of the period reflected these shifts in interest. Long an admirer of Keats, he wroteKeats and Shakespeare: a study of Keats' poetic life from 1816 to 1820(1925), andStudies in Keats(1930). Another literary portrait wasJonathan Swift: a critical biography(1954). Murry promoted the work of his wife, Katherine Mansfield, after her death in 1923, and his friendship with D. H. Lawrence inspired an autobiography of the great novelist after his death in 1930,Son of woman: the story of D. H. Lawrence(1931). His last book wasLove, freedom and society(1957). Murry died 12 March 1957.


13 boxes (2 linear metres).

Physical Location

MSS 2506-2518

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Most of the material was purchased. Accession numbers for this collection include E87.68, E88.42, E89.43-44, E90.64, E91.10 [and not E91.01 like indicated in the handlist], and E97.50.

Papers of John Middleton Murry
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379