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Louise Imogen Guiney Papers

Identifier: MSN/MN 3011

Scope and Contents

With the exception of the last one written to a certain "Mrs. Hooker," the letters, approximately 100 in number, are all from Louise Imogen Guiney to J. R. (John Ramsden) Tutin (1855-1913). They were written between 1895 and 1913. Tutin published such books as Thomas Stanley and the Selected Poems of Katherine Philips, to which Guiney contributed.


  • Creation: 1895-1926
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1901-1913


Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

Louise Imogen Guiney (1861-1920) was born at Roxbury in Boston's South End. Her father, an Irish-Catholic immigrant, rose to become a brigadier general in the Union army and died in 1877 when his daughter was a student at the Jesuit-run Elmhurst Academy in Providence, Rhode Island. After graduating and while living with her mother and aunt, she began writing essays and poetry which appeared in newspapers and magazines in the early 1880s. Her Elmhurst education, which included Latin, French, Italian, music, history, and literature, provided the foundation for her literary pursuits. Her first book of poetry, Songs at the Start was published in 1884. Although she had to work in the post office and later the public library, her poetry met with enough success to encourage her pursuit. A Roadside Harp, published in 1893, is usually considered her best volume of verse. Besides her poetry, Guiney wrote prose and edited the work of other poets. For example, A Little English Gallery contains essays on such writers as Lady Danvers, George Farquhar, and William Hazlitt, and in 1897 she published an edition of the 19th century Irish poet, James Clarence Mangan.

Having already made two trips abroad, Guiney traveled again to England in 1901 to take up permanent residence. During this time abroad, primarily at Oxford, she busied herself with editing the poetry of others and with literary criticism. Her especial interest was the Catholic tradition in literature and the seventeenth century English poets. She produced works on Henry Vaughan (1621-1695), Thomas Stanley (1625-1678), and Katherine Philips (1632-1664). She continued writing her own poetry, which appeared in magazines, and in 1909 she published Happy Ending: the Collected Lyrics of Louise Imogen Guiney, which included selections from earlier works as well as previously unpublished poems. During the succeeding years Guiney suffered frequent health problems that often interfered with her literary work. She died of arteriosclerosis in 1920.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Louise Imogen Guiney was considered an important figure in American literature; however, her reputation has largely declined. If they are aware of her at all, critics today generally view her poetry as dated. On the other hand, her recognition of seventeenth-century poetry interestingly preceded the restoration of the metaphysical poets by such figures as T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound.


.5 Cubic Feet (1 container; Approx. 100 items)

Language of Materials



The papers of Louise Imogen Guiney (1861-1920) are comprised of letters, postcards, and a limited number of papers. The majority of the letters and postcards were written by Guiney to J. R. Tutin, a publisher located in Hull, Yorkshire, who hoped to revive interest in 17th c. literature.


Both series, the letters as well as the miscellaneous papers, are arranged chronologically.

Related Materials

Among the most important holders of Louise Imogen Guiney papers are: the Library of Congress and the Dinand Library at Holy Cross College.

Louise Imogen Guiney Papers
Kenneth Kinslow
January 2015
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556