Susanna Beever Letters: Finding Aid

Processed by Gayle M. Richardson and completed November 30, 2001; initial encoding in 2002 by Pacific Data Conversion Corp. with supplementary encoding and revision by Diann Benti in July 2017.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 2002
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Overview of the Collection

Title: Susanna Beever Letters
Dates (inclusive): 1876-1913
Bulk dates: 1889-1893
Collection Number: mssHM 62832-62915
Creator: Beever, Susanna, -1893.
Extent: 84 items in 2 boxes
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: This collection includes letters from Susanna Beever (-1893), a friend of English artist John Ruskin. The letters, which chiefly date from 1889 to 1893, are mainly about Susanna Beever's friends, good works, and garden but the letters also have several references to Ruskin.
Language: English.

Access

Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Administrative Information

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Susanna Beever Letters, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

Gift of Stephen Weissman on October 21, 1994 (acquisition number 1721).

Biographical Note

Susanna Beever (1805-1893) was born November 27, 1805 in the north of England. She lived almost her entire life in the Lake District town of Coniston, in a cottage called the Thwaite. The Beever family became known for being authorities on local botany and, as well, Susanna Beever was interested in poetry, drawing, and painting; in 1870 she published: A Book of Reference to Remarkable Passages in Shakespeare. She met John Ruskin in 1873 and they became close friends, writing each other almost every day about their shared interests in nature, art and a love for animals; and in 1887, Albert Fleming edited and published a selection of these letters. They remained close friends in spite of Ruskin's health problems until Susanna Beever's death, at the age of 88, in Oct. 1893. Close friends in death as they were in life, John Ruskin and Susanna Beever are buried near each other in Coniston, Cumbria, England.

Bibliography

The information for the Biographical Note was obtained from a newspaper clipping of the obituary for Susanna Beever from an unnamed newspaper, possibly from Kendal, Cumbria, ca. 1893. This clipping is cataloged with the Albert Fleming to William Tuckwell letter, (1893, Oct. 30). HM 62911.

Cataloging Decisions

1. The items in this collection were originally bound together in one volume but it was decided to disbind the volume and catalog each item separately. The original binding has been retained and is stored in Ephemera Box 2(47); at the time the items were disbound page numbers were penciled onto the upper right hand corner of each item.
2. Susanna Beever was well known for the beautiful garden of her cottage, the Thwaite, and filled her letters with descriptions of flowers, plants, birds and animals that inhabited her world. The descriptions are so pervasive it was decided not to give each letter separate subject headings but rather catalog the entire collection under several appropriate subject headings. These subject headings are listed individually in this report under "Indexing: Subjects."
3. At the time these letters were written, the Thwaite, Susanna Beever's cottage, stood in the county of Lancashire but in 1974, when the county boundaries were redrawn, the cottage became part of the county of Cumbria. It was decided to catalog the letters as being from Cumbria in order to conform with current, standard cataloging procedures.

Scope and Content

The papers consist of the following series:
1. Manuscripts & Correspondence (Boxes 1-2). There are only two manuscripts, which are interfiled with the correspondence. The correspondence series is mainly letters from Susanna Beever, written in the last few years of her life, to William and Rosa Tuckwell. There are also several letters to and from Albert Fleming, fellow resident of the Lake District, and friend of John Ruskin. The letters are mainly about Susanna Beever's friends, good works, and garden but the letters also have several references to John Ruskin.
2. Ephemera (Box 2) consisting of reproductions of two drawings, a poem, and the original binding from the disbound volume of Beever letters.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in the following order:
  • 1. Manuscripts and Correspondence (Boxes 1-2) arranged alphabetically by author
  • 2. Ephemera (Box 2) arranged alphabetically by author and title

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

Subjects

Beever, Susanna, -1893.
Cooke, Isaac, 1846-1922.
De Quincey, Thomas, 1785-1859.
Fleming, Albert.
Ruskin, John, 1819-1900.
Tuckwell, William, 1829-1919.
Wordsworth, William, 1770-1850.
Bird watching -- Great Britain.
Botany -- Great Britain.
Nature study -- Great Britain.
Women botanizers -- England -- Coniston -- Correspondence.
Lake District (England) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.

Forms/Genres

Drawings Great Britain 19th century.
Ephemera Great Britain 19th century.
Letters (correspondence) Great Britain 19th century.
Manuscripts Great Britain 19th century.
Poems Great Britain 19th century.

Alternate Authors

Tuckwell, Maurice.
Tuckwell, Rosa.

Indexing: Subjects

  • Beever, Susanna, d. 1893. In Albert Fleming, letters to William Tuckwell, 1829-1919, (1891 - 1893), Cumbria (England). HM 62908 - 62914.
  • Beever, Susanna, d. 1893. In William Tuckwell, 1829-1919, [Reminiscences of Susanna Beever:] [memoir], ([ca. 1913?]). HM 62833.
  • Beever, Susanna, d. 1893. In William Tuckwell, 1829-1919, letter to Maurice Tuckwell, (1913, [Dec. 25]). HM 62915.
  • Bird Watching - England. In Susanna Beever, d. 1893, letters (1890 - 1893), Coniston (Cumbria, England). HM 62832 - 62915.
  • Botany - England. In Susanna Beever, d. 1893, letters, (1890 - 1893),Coniston (Cumbria, England). HM 62832 - 62915.
  • Cooke, Isaac, 1846-1922. In Susanna Beever, d. 1893, letters to William Tuckwell, 1829-1919, (1890, Oct.-Nov.), Coniston (Cumbria, England). HM 62869 - 62870.
  • De Quincey, Thomas, 1785-1859. In William Tuckwell, 1829-1919, [Reminiscences of Susanna Beever:] [memoir], ([ca. 1913?]). HM 62833.
  • Lake District (England). In Susanna Beever, d. 1893, letters (1890 - 1893), Coniston (Cumbria, England). HM 62832 - 62915.
  • Nature Study - England. In Susanna Beever, d. 1893, letters (1890 - 1893), Coniston (Cumbria, England). HM 62832 - 62915.
  • Ruskin, John, 1819-1900. In Susanna Beever, d. 1893, letters to William Tuckwell, 1829-1919, ([1890, Jan.-Feb.]), Coniston (Cumbria, England). HM 62861 - 62862.
  • Ruskin, John, 1819-1900. In Susanna Beever, d. 1893, letter to William Tuckwell, 1829-1919, (1891, Oct. 23), Coniston (Cumbria, England). HM 62880.
  • Ruskin, John, 1819-1900. In Susanna Beever, d. 1893, letter to William Tuckwell, 1829-1919 and Rosa Tuckwell, (1890, Jan. 8), Coniston (Cumbria, England). HM 62894.
  • Ruskin, John, 1819-1900. In William Tuckwell, 1829-1919, [Reminiscences of Susanna Beever:] [memoir], ([ca. 1913?]). HM 62833.
  • Tuckwell, William, 1829-1919. Tongues in Trees. In Susanna Beever, d. 1893, letters toWilliam Tuckwell, 1829-1919, (1890, Oct.-Nov.), Coniston (Cumbria, England). HM 62869 - 62870.
  • Tuckwell, William, 1829-1919. Tongues in Trees. In Susanna Beever, d. 1893, letter to William Tuckwell, 1829-1919 and Rosa Tuckwell, (1891, Jan. 30), Coniston (Cumbria, England). HM 62896.
  • Women botanizers - England. In Susanna Beever, d. 1893, letters, (1890 - 1893), Coniston (Cumbria, England). HM 62832 - 62915.
  • Wordsworth, William, 1770-1850. In William Tuckwell, 1829-1919, [Reminiscences of Susanna Beever:] [memoir], ([ca. 1913?]). HM 62833.

Indexing: Added Entries

  • -----. Early Rising: [poem], [ca. 1891]. HM 62842. Note: A five page poem included with a letter from Susanna Beever to Rosa Tuckwell (1890, Sep. 29); not in Susanna's hand and could possibly be the beautiful lines copied out by Rosa for Susanna. The poem was not adjacent to this letter but rather bound with letters from 1891.
  • Tuckwell, Rosa. Joint addressee with William Tuckwell, 1829-1919, (1889 - 1893),Coniston (Cumbria, England). HM 62893 - 62907.

Collection Contents

Box 1

Manuscripts and Correspondence, A-Beever (HM 62832, 62834-62871)

 

D.----, A.-----. To Miss S. Beever: [poem]. 1876, Sep. 28 HM 62832.

 

Beever, Susanna. 4 letters to Albert Fleming. Coniston (Cumbria, England). 1889-1893 HM 62834-62837.

Note: HM 62834-62826 signed Owletta.
 

Beever, Susanna. 19 letters to Rosa Tuckwell. Coniston (Cumbria, England). 1889-1893 HM 62838-62856.

Note: HM 62842 contains the poem entitled, “Early Rising;” HM 62849 with envelope; HM 62854 in the hand of Mrs. Powell(?).
 

Beever, Susanna. 15 letters to William Tuckwell. Coniston (Cumbria, England). 1889-1890 HM 62857-62871.

Note: HM 62857 signed Sibyl Grey; HM 62864 & 62866 mistakenly addressed to Mr. Cutwell; HM 62869 & 62870 refer to two “views” done by Isaac Cooke of the Thwaite, reproductions of these views are in Ephemera.
Box 2

Manuscripts and Correspondence, Beever (continued)-Tuckwell (HM 62833, 62872-62915); Ephemera

 

Manuscripts and Correspondence

 

Beever, Susanna. 21 letters to William Tuckwell. Coniston (Cumbria, England). 1891-1893 HM 62872-62892.

 

Beever, Susanna. 15 letters to William Tuckwell and Rosa Tuckwell. Coniston (Cumbria, England). 1889-1893 HM 62893-62907.

Note: HM 62898 signed Owletta.
 

Fleming, Albert. 2 notes and 5 letters to William Tuckwell. Cumbria and London (England). 1891-1893 HM 62908-62914.

Note: HM 62911 contains newspaper clipping of the obituary for Susan Beever.
 

[Tuckwell, William, 1829-1919.] [Reminiscences of Susanna Beever: memoir]. [Approximately 1913?] HM 62833.

Note: Probably written for his son, Maurice Tuckwell, as an introduction to the letters of Susanna Beever.
 

Tuckwell, William, 1829-1919. 1 letter to Maurice Tuckwell, A.L.S. 1913, [Dec. 25] HM 62915.

Physical Description: (1 p.);18 cm.
 

Ephemera

 

Cooke, Isaac, 1846-1922. [Views of] The Thwaite, Coniston & The Garden of the Thwaite: [drawings]. [Approximately 1890-1891].

Note: Reproductions of two drawings used for the book, Tongues in Trees, by William Tuckwell, 1829-1919. The drawings are mentioned in two letters, HM 62869-62870.
 

"The current of this world is rough & strong...:" [poem?]. [Approximately 1891?].

Note: In the handwriting of Susanna Beever.
 

Original Binding from volume of Beever letters. [Approximately 1913?].

Note: Also, end paper with the number 203; Susanna Beever's name misspelled on the binding as Susan Beaver.