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Lady Bronwen Astor papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS323

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of materials regarding Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and the associations that formed to continue his legacy. The papers were collected by Lady Bronwen Astor, a long-standing council member of The Teilhard Association of Great Britain and Ireland. Consisting of original correspondence, meeting agendas, minutes, reports, announcements, conference information, and a few manuscripts, the papers have been left in their original chronological order so that the history of the Association can be most effectively traced. The correspondence chronicles changes in the association, support received, and conferences organized. The collection includes correspondence from Teilhard enthusiasts and members of The Teilhard Association of Great Britain and Ireland including Mark Braham, John G. Cowell, Anthony O. Dyson, John Newson, Renee-Marie Parry and Bernard Towers. Throughout the collection are scattered a few manuscripts including one or more by Lady Astor, F. Glynn Faithfull, and Bernard Towers.


  • 1966-1984
  • Majority of material found within 1966 - 1984

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical and Historical note

Lady Bronwen Alun Astor (Janet) was born on June 6, 1930 to Sir John Alun Pugh and Kathleen Mary, nee Goodyear. In 1960 she married Viscount William Astor and together they had two daughters, Janet Elizabeth, born in 1961, and Pauline Marian, born in 1964. Lady Astor's career paths were varied including those of a teacher, model, BBC television presenter and psychotherapist. In 1954 Lady Astor read Teilhard's "Phenomenon of Man" and was immediately drawn to his ideas. She was an active member of the Teilhard Society and traveled to many international seminars. "After her initial discovery of Teilhard de Chardin, Bronwen devoured each of his books as soon as it appeared in translation," wrote Peter Stanford in his 2000 biography, "Here was a man far removed from the Christian church of her upbringing, who could describe an experience of God in a way that mirrored her own mystical experience." Janet Bronwen Alun Astor, Lady Astor, died December 28, 2017.

[Biographical Sources: Stanford, Peter. Bronwen Astor: Her Life and Times (London, 2000); "The Guardian" obituary, January 1, 2018.]

The Teilhard Association of Great Britain and Ireland was founded in 1966. The main functions of the Association included organizing study groups and conferences, printing a journal and developing the Teilhard Study Library. Study groups supported by the Association were spread throughout Great Britain and Ireland. The Association organized a major two day conference each year as well as sponsoring many other lecture series. The Teilhard Review was published twice yearly and was distributed to the Association's members as well as a number of direct subscribers. The first issue of The Teilhard Review was published by the Association in 1966. In 1970, the Association changed its name to The Teilhard Centre for the Future of Man.


0.75 Linear Feet (Total: 2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Lady Bronwen Astor papers
In Progress
Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
Description rules
Local Practice
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Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057