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MS letter (autograph signed) by Violet Jacob

Identifier: Coll-1462

Scope and Contents

This MS letter, addressed to 'Dear Sir', was written by Violet Jacob at Domaine de la Congue, Vence, in the Alpes Maritimes, France, on 6 April [no year] and presumably in 1936, given the reference in the letter to 'the honour done'. 1936 was the year in which she received the LL.D. from Edinburgh University. Domaine de la Congue is the location of a French 'Maison de retraite', a sanatorium for veterans today. The letter tells of how the letter reached her 'after various adventures' and that there has been a 'delay in answering it'.

She continues: 'I cannot say how kind I think it of you to write. You tell me that there are countrymen of mine who will regard the honour done by Edinburgh University as a personal honour to themselves. All the degrees in Europe could not counterbalance that in my eyes'.


  • Creation: 1915-1917


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance of visit.

Biographical / Historical

The Scottish writer and poet Violet Jacob was born Violet Augusta Mary Frederica Kennedy-Erskine on 1 September 1863 in Angus. The Kennedy-Erskine family owned the Dun estate near Montrose. She was a great-granddaughter of the Scottish peer Archibald Kennedy (1770-1846), 1st Marquess of Ailsa (also known as Lord Kennedy, and as The Earl of Cassilis).

Violet Kennedy-Erskine married Arthur Otway Jacob (d. 1936), an Irish Major in the British Army, on 27 October 1894. She accompanied him to India where he was serving (with the cavalry regiment, the 20th Royal Hussars). The Jacobs had a son, their only child, in 1895, Arthur Henry (Harry) Jacob. He died however as a soldier at the battle of the Somme in 1916, during the First World War, while serving with the 4th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers.

The area of Montrose where her family seat of Dun was situated was the setting for much of Violet Jacob's fiction. In her poetry, she was associated with Scots revivalists. Her Wild Geese from 'Songs of Angus' (1915), takes the form of a conversation between the poet and the North Wind, and is a sad poem of longing for home. Her work spans five decades and includes: a novel, The Sheepstealers (1902); the historical novel Flemington (1911); short stories, Tales of my own country (1922); a history, the Lairds of Dun (1931); and, The Scottish poems of Violet Jacob (1944).

On 3 July 1936, Violet Jacob, authoress, was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D) by the University of Edinburgh. She was noted as a 'writer and poet' in the University of Edinburgh Journal, Vol. 8. 1936-1937., p34.

Latterly Violet Jacob had lived in Kirriemuir, Angus, and she died on 9 September 1946.


1 letter

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased May 2013. Accession no: E2013.33.

Related Materials

Also within Special Collections, Edinburgh University Library, are three additional letters of Violet Jacob - 1) to Dr. Tristin? no date; 2) to Maie, no date; and 3) a letter dated 27 February 1930. Shelmark Gen. 1731.

Processing Information

Catalogued by Graeme D. Eddie 25 November 2013

Manuscript letter (autograph signed) by Violet Jacob (1863-1946), written at Domaine de la Congue, Vence, France [1936]
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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