Guide to the Roberts, Ursula, Incoming correspondence, ca. 1910-1960

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Department of Special Collections
Green Library
Stanford University Libraries
Stanford, CA 94305-6004
Phone: (650) 725-1022
Email: speccollref@stanford.edu
URL: http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/spc/
© 2002
The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Roberts, Ursula, Incoming correspondence, ca. 1910-1960

Collection number: M0908

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University Libraries

Stanford, California

Contact Information

  • Department of Special Collections
  • Green Library
  • Stanford University Libraries
  • Stanford, CA 94305-6004
  • Phone: (650) 725-1022
  • Email: speccoll@sulmail.stanford.edu
  • URL: http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/spc/
Processed by:
Special Collections staff
Date Completed:
1999
Encoded by:
Michael G. Olson
© 2002 The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Ursula Roberts, Incoming correspondence ,
Date (inclusive): ca. 1910-1960
Collection number: M0908
Creator: Roberts Ursula
Extent: .5 linear ft.
Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
Abstract: British poet, writer and political activist. During the Edwardian period, while in her 20s, wife of a pacifist Socialist clergyman, Roberts first took an active part in the campaign for women's suffrage. Using her pseudonym Susan Miles for most of her writer's career, she published her first inflammatory pamphlet THE CAUSE OF PURITY AND WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE in 1912. By the end of the first World War, the date of the earliest letters in this archive, her interest had expanded to such feminist issues as the admission of women to the clergy. But it was in the 1920s and 1930s while part of the literary circle which revolved around ADELPHI MAGAZINE, launched by Katherine Mansfield's widower and D.H. Lawrence's closest friend J. Middleton Murry, that she became an active participant in the anti-war movement which swept British left-wing intellectual circles, until it became clear to many of her friends that "peace at any price" meant surrender to Nazi and Fascist dictatorship. (quoted from dealer's description)
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access

None.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

Preferred Citation

Roberts, Ursula, Incoming correspondence. M0908. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

Acquisition Information

Purchased, 1997.

Provenance

Purchased, 1997.

Biography

The British writer Ursula (Wyllie) Roberts was born in 1887, the daughter of the "ardent conservative" Lt.-Col. R.J.H. Wyllie. By early adulthood she had rejected many of the beliefs of her upbringing and become an "idealistic agnostic" and pacifist. She married the socialist, pacifist Reverend William Corbett Roberts in 1909 and began her career as a poet, novelist and activist, publishing "The Cause of Purity and Women's Suffrage"-"a tough-minded pamphlet on prostitution which confronts low wages and child abuse"-in 1912. For later publications Ursula Roberts used the pseudonym "Susan Miles." The poems and stories of "Miss Miles" were published in various journals and volumes. Her major books are Dunch (1918), a book of free verse sketches about Crick, "an old-style rural parish" in Northants, Blind Men Crossing a Bridge (1934), Rabboni (1942), a memoir of her late husband in 1955, and the verse novel Lettice Delmer (1958). Roberts was active in peace and women's movements throughout her career, maintaining her pacifist ideals even into the Cold War when many British intellectuals had abandoned theirs. In the 1960s, she became a strong supporter of nuclear disarmament.

Collection Scope and Content Summary

This collection, consisting almost entirely of incoming letters to Ursula Roberts, spans half a century, from the 1910s to the 1960s. It includes correspondence discussing the work of "Susan Miles" and that of friends and literary associates. Also included are numerous letters from members of the Peace Pledge Union (a major pacifist organization), from other peace activists (some of them prominent religious figures), and from various women's activists. Suffrage and the ordination of women are key issues. Letters are filed alphabetically by last name (except when unavailable) of correspondent. Major correspondents include: Phoebe Hesketh, Yvonne Lubbock, Sylvia O'Malley, Dorothy Plowman, Max Plowman, Canon Guy Rogers, Maude Royden, Gordon Scott, Reverend A. P. Shephard, Dick Shepperd, Susan Stebbing, and Paula Wikins. The number of letters from each correspondent is noted in parentheses in the listing. Many of the letters have been annotated by Roberts, often many years later, explaining the context or significance of the contents.

Access Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Alexander, Samuel.
Barlow, Anna.
Blackburn, Thomas.
Bodkin, Maud.
Boulton, Walter.
Brailsford, H.H.
Brasch, Charles.
Browne, Nancy.
Cestr, Gerald.
Chase, Lewis.
Cockin, Arthur Smith.
Collins, L. John, (Lewis John)
Collins, Vera H.
Courtney, Kathleen, Dame, 1878-1974.
Cram, J.M.C.
Dalton,Hugh.
Day, Mabel.
De la Mare, Walter, 1873-1956.
Dearmer, Percy.
Dickinson, Patric.
Driberg, Tom, 1905-1976.
Ebor, William.
Edyell, Beatrice.
Fawcett, Philippa.
Fay, Judith.
Fraser, Vera.
Fry, Ruth.
Hamilton King, H.E.
Heppenstall, Rayner.
Hesketh, Phoebe.
Holbrook, David.
Housman, Lawrence.
Hughes, Molly.
Hyett, V.A.
Isaacs, Susan.
Joad, C.E.M.
Kershaw, John.
Kingsley, Martin.
Levett, Elizabeth.
Lewis, Naomi.
Lubock, Yvonne.
Markreiter, C.G.
McBride, Mary F.
Micklem, Nathaniel.
Moore, Sturge.
O'Malley, I.B. (Ida Beatrice), 1873-
Oakley, Hilda D.
Oberholzen, Enid.
Palmer, Bernard.
Pankhurst, E. Sylvia, (Estelle Sylvia), 1882-1960.
Plowman, Dorothy.
Plowman, Max, 1883-1941.
Raven, Charles E.
Reuss, Rose.
Ridley, Simon.
Rogers, T. Guy, Canon.
Royden, A. Maude.
Sangster, Paul.
Sangster, William E.
Savage, Derek.
Scott, Gordon.
Seaman, Owen, Sir.
Haile-Selassie, Teferra.
Shepherd, Arthur P., Archdeacon of Dudley.
Sheppard, Dick.
Stebbing, Susan.
Wells, Carlton F.
Wickham, Anna.
Wikins, Paula.
British literature--20th century.
Peace movements.
Women--Suffrage.


Collection Contents

Folder 1

Alexander, Prof. Samuel 1935, n.d.

Physical Description: (2 letters)
Folder 1

Allen, Mrs. Roland n.d.

Physical Description: (1 letter)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 1

Anson, Peter F. 1967

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 1

Ashley, Corbette (1)

Physical Description: 1935
Folder 1

Asquith, Anthony 1958

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 1

Attlee, M.A.S. 1935

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 1

Barlow, Lady Anna 1938, n.d.

Physical Description: (2)
Folder 1

Baxter, K. 1961.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 1

Beaumont, Geoffrey 1947

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 1

Blackburn, Thomas poem "In the Fire." 1954, n.d.,

Physical Description: (2)
Folder 1

Blomfield, Frances Cuttwell 1956

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 2

Bodkin, Maud 1941, n.d.

Physical Description: (3)
Folder 3

Booth, Alan R. 1962

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 3

Boulton, Rev. Walter n.d.

Physical Description: (2)
Folder 3

Brailsford, H.N., ed. The New Leader1924, 1936

Physical Description: (2)
Folder 3

Brasch, Charles, Landfall New Zealand Quarterly 1958-1959

Physical Description: (2)
Folder 3

Browne, Nancy 1938, n.d.

Physical Description: (4)

Scope and Content Note

Re: Dick Sheppard
Folder 3

Burnet, I. Compton (?)

Scope and Content Note

(1 copy of letter from Roberts to I.C.B.)
Folder 3

Byrde, N.B.

Physical Description: (1 letter)

Scope and Content Note

addressed to Mr. Roberts, n.d.
Folder 3

Castemar, William 1943

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 3

Cecil (?) 1935

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 3

Cestr, Gerald, Bishop of Chester 1967

Physical Description: (2)
Folder 4

Chamberlain, Rev. Elsie 1960

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 4

Chapman, R.W., The Clarendon Prefs 1922

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 4

Chase, Lewis, Peking University 1922.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Re: His article on her work, teaching English, R. Ellis Roberts, the Chinese Renaissance.
Folder 4

Christopher (Wansey?) 1962

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 4

Cockin, Arthur Smith (?) Bishop of Bristol, Dublin University (1) n.d.

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 4

Collins, Canon L. John 1962, 1966.

Physical Description: (2)

Scope and Content Note

Re: Disarmament, Dick Sheppard
Folder 5

Collins, Vere H. 1950.

Physical Description: (2)

Scope and Content Note

Poem by V.H.C.?
Folder 6

Courtney, Miss K.D. 1935.

Physical Description: (2)

Scope and Content Note

Re: Peace, Suffrage Movement, politics, the L.N.V.
Folder 6

Cowley, P. (Reverend Patrick Cowley?) 1935

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 6

Cram, J.M.C. 1953.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 6

Dalton, Hugh 1937.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 6

Day, Mabel 1918, 1937.

Physical Description: (2)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 6

de Burgh, W.F. 1935

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 6

de? (de la Mare?), W.F. 1929

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 6

de la Mare, Walter 1922

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 6

Dearmer, Percy 1913-1914.

Physical Description: (2)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 6

Dickinson, Patric n.d.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Forwarded, with unsigned note by Roberts?
Folder 6

Dougall (?), L. 1916.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 6

Driberg, Tom, M.P. 1962

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 7

Earl, Ethel n.d.

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 7

Earnsworth, Mary C. SMV 1956

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 7

Ebor, William 1939-1940,

Physical Description: (3)

Scope and Content Note

one addressed to "Mr. Bird." Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 7

Edyell, Prof. Beatrice 1923.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 8

Ethel (?) 1922-1929, n.d.

Physical Description: (4)
Folder 9

Fanks (?), Alfred (?) n.d.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 9

Fawcett, Philippa 1936, n.d.

Physical Description: (2)

Scope and Content Note

Re: Refugees, L.N.V., G. Lansbury's funeral.
Folder 10

Fay, Judith 1934, n.d.

Physical Description: (6)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 11

Fer (?), Elisavita (?) 1961

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 11

Fraser, (?) 1926.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 11

Fraser, Vera n.d.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 11

Fry, Ruth 1935-1936

Physical Description: (2)
Folder 11

Gardner, Brian 1965

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 11

Godber, Joseph, M.P. 1961

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 11

Goodyear, R.E. 1935.

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 11

Gould, Barbara Ayrton 1935

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 11

Gray, Reverend A. Herbert n.d.

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 11

Grensted, L.W. 1935

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 11

Hamilton King, H.E. 1918.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Author of "The Disciples." Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 11

Harton, Sybil n.d.

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 11

Hebert, A. Gabriel n.d.

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 12

Heppenstall, Rayner 1937-1957.

Physical Description: (4)

Scope and Content Note

Re: "Blind Men Crossing a Bridge" in Adelphi, Heppenstall's poems, Eric Gill, Max Plowman, P.P.U., Basque children, Murry, organized pacifism, B.B.C., nuclear bombs, smoking, English hypocrisy.
Folder 13

Hesketh, Phoebe 1961-1972.

Physical Description: (8)

Scope and Content Note

Re: Susan Miles' poetry and "near-blindness," Day Lewis, Herbert Palmer's death, H.P. Villon.
Folder 14

Heywood (?), Rosalin 1969

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 14

Holbrook, David 1965-1966

Physical Description: (3)
Folder 15

Housman, Lawrence 1922-1923

Physical Description: (2)
Folder 15

Hugel, F. V. 1919,

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

addressed to "Dear Reverend Sir"
Folder 15

Hughes, Molly 1942

Physical Description: (2)
Folder 15

Hyett, V.A. 1934, n.d.

Physical Description: (2)
Folder 16

Isaacs, Susan 1935

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 16

Joad, C.E.M. 1935

Physical Description: (2)

Scope and Content Note

(in secretary's hand and signature) and 1938. Re: "Pax," Susan Stebbing. Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 16

Kershaw, John 1955.

Physical Description: (2)

Scope and Content Note

Including Re: Anna Wickham.
Folder 16

Laski, Margharita 1971

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 16

Lea, F.A. 1957

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 16

Levett, Elizabeth, King's College n.d.

Physical Description: (2)
Folder 16

Levett, ? (possibly Elizabeth) 1929.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 17

Lewis, Naomi 1956, 1972

Physical Description: (4)
Folder 17

Liverpool, Clifford 1964

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 18

Lubock, Yvonne 1961-1966

Physical Description: (7)
Folder 19

Margaret (?) 1958

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 19

Markreiter, C.G., letter to 1959,

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

poem by (1) (translation of "Dies Irae").
Folder 19

Kingsley, Martin, letter to 1968

Physical Description: 1)
Folder 19

Matthews, Rev. Charles H.S. 1934

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 19

Maurice Brown Ltd. 1931.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Re: "Miss Tabernacle"
Folder 19

Maychurch (?) 1918

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 19

McBride, Mary F. n.d.

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 19

Meigher (?), Moira (?) 1924

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 19

Micklem, Nathaniel 1957-1958

Physical Description: (2)
Folder 19

Moore, Sturge, daughter of 1954.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Letter requesting reminiscences of her father for a book. Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 19

Morris, Stuart 1937.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

P.P.U.
Folder 19

Morrison, Sybil 1962.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

P.P.U.
Folder 19

Muir, Willa 1968

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 20

O'Malley, Ida 1918-1937.

Physical Description: (6)

Scope and Content Note

Re: "The Common Cause" Suffrage Movement, Dr. Royden, Church League, sanctions, "The late War and Mussolini," Malta military, non-resistance, Ethiopia, O'Malley's "Florence Nightengale," the P.P.U.
Folder 21

Oakley, Hilda D. 1936. Annotated by Roberts.

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 21

Oberholzen, Enid 1969-1970

Physical Description: (2)
Folder 21

Orld (?), Herman 1943-1948

Physical Description: (3)
Folder 22

Palmer, Bernard, ed. Church Times, copy of letter (1) to the editor by Roberts, (1) letter 1970-1971.

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 22

Pankhurst, Sylvia New Times and Ethiopia News,1938.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

re: sanctions and war, Italy, dictators, appeasement, imperialists, pacifism. Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 23

Philpotts, Adelaide 1926-1937.

Physical Description: (4)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 24

Plowman, Dorothy n.d.

Physical Description: (10)

Scope and Content Note

Re: Max Plowman, poetry, J.M.M., refugees, religion, Peace News, P.P.U., death of Max Plowman, Basque children.
Folder 25

Plowman, Max 1937-1938.

Physical Description: (6)

Scope and Content Note

Re: P.P.U., Dick Sheppard.
Folder 26

Ponsonby, ? 1935.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Re: "PAX"
Folder 26

Porter, Alan 1922

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 26

Pritchard, V. 1968

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 27

Raven, Charles E. n.d.

Physical Description: (3)
Folder 28

Reeves, James 1959

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 28

Reid, H.M.

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 28

Reuss, Rose 1940.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Wife of Austrian sculptor, refugee. Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 29

Reynolds, Reginald n.d.

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 29

Ridley, Simon 1966.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 29

Rien, E.V., Penguin Classics 1954.

Physical Description: (2)

Scope and Content Note

Re: Susan Stebbing, the Gospel story.
Folder 30

Rogers, Canon T. Guy 1949-1967, n.d.

Physical Description: (11)
Folder 31

Rose, Walter 1938

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 32

Royden, A. Maude 1918-1953.

Physical Description: (9)

Scope and Content Note

Re: Religion, women's ordination, Roberts' work.
Folder 33

Sangster, Paul 1963-1965.

Physical Description: (3)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 33

Sangster, William E. 1959-1960

Physical Description: (2)
Folder 34

Savage, Derek 1968

Physical Description: (3)
Folder 35

Scott, Dr. Gordon, "A Country Doctor" 1961-1965.

Physical Description: (5)

Scope and Content Note

Re: Facing Retirement.
Folder 36

Scripture, E.W. 1927.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 36

Seaman, Sir Owen 1923

Physical Description: (2)
Folder 36

Selassie, Haile (secretary of, Dr. Bayen) 1936.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Re: "his every effort for justice."
Folder 37

Shepherd, Arthur P., Archdeacon of Dudley 1941-1965

Physical Description: (7)
Folder 38

Sheppard, Dick 1937.

Physical Description: (7)

Scope and Content Note

Includes newspaper clipping.
Folder 38

Sheppard, Edgar 1937.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Re: Dick Sheppard, biographical details.
Folder 39

Smith (?) 1918?-1923

Physical Description: (2)
Folder 39

Soskice, Julia n.d.

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 40

Stebbing, Susan 1922-1938

Physical Description: (4)

Scope and Content Note

Re: poetry, fascist Chamberlain, Benes, Hitler, France, Mein Kampf, Marx, Trotsky, Lenin. Annotated by Roberts, including the note: "I had masses of letters from [Susan Stebbing], but I have destroyed them. She would have hated them to have been read or her biography to have been written."
Folder 41

St. Albans, Philip (?) 1947

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 41

Swann, Donald "A fellow A.P.F. member," 1963.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

re: setting Roberts' verse to music, Michael Flanders.
Folder 41

Tasker, Robert I. 1936.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Re: editorial on Germany.
Folder 41

Thomas, Alice Lloyd 1934.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 41

Tibble, Anne 1935

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 41

Waddell, Helen

Folder 41

Weatherhead, Rev. Dr. Leslie D. 1968

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 42

Wells, Carlton F. 1965-1966

Physical Description: (3)
Folder 42

Whitehead, A.N. 1924.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Re: Susan Stebbing. Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 43

Wickham, Anna One to "Young Andrew." n.d.

Physical Description: (2)

Scope and Content Note

Includes poems by Wickham. Annotated by Roberts.
Folder 44

Wikins, Paula Writer 1934-1940

Physical Description: (9)

Scope and Content Note

Wife of Indian communist writer
Folder 45

Williams, Edith M. 1964

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 45

Wisdom, John 1970

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 45

Woodhouse, Charles 1961.

Physical Description: (1)

Scope and Content Note

Addressed to "Mr. Palmer."
Folder 45

Wragg, Arthur n.d.

Physical Description: (2)

Scope and Content Note

Re: Dick Sheppard's book, illustration, P.P.U.
Folder 45

Young, Wayland 1962

Physical Description: (1)
Folder 46

unidentified/signature illegible