Senate House Library has recently received a donation of over 150 books by British women writers of the early 20th century. The books have been donated by Elizabeth Maslen, who has a long career within English literature academia and has written widely on women’s writing.
The books donated by Maslen are mostly hardback first editions and primarily novels by a range of British women writers, particularly from the first half of the twentieth century. They include Daphne Du Maurier, Monica Dickens, Ethel Mannin, Margaret Kennedy, Susan Ertz and Ellen Wilkinson (who features in our current exhibition Rights for Women: London's Pioneers in their Own Words). Many of the books retain their dust jackets providing valuable insight into their design history, reflecting how these titles were marketed.
Approximately a third of the donation consists of works by Storm Jameson, the writer and co-founder of the Peace Pledge Union. Elizabeth Maslen authored Jameson’s biography Life in the Writings of Storm Jameson and the donated works include a range of Jameson’s novels and also examples of her non-fiction writing. A few journal parts are also included.
This donation complements one of the strengths of the Senate House Library English literature collection: 'non-canonical ‘middlebrow’ writers'.
Maslen is Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of English Studies here in the School of Advanced Study and was previously a senior lecturer at Queen Mary and Westfield College.
Read the blog by Research Librarian, Leila Kassir, to find out more about the Elisabeth Maslen collection.