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Wilfrid Hugh Chesson diaries

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS335
Eleven composition-style notebooks constitute the W. H. Chesson diaries, ten of which offer a record of the life of a man of letters living in a suburb of Edwardian London. Over the many entries dated between 1904 and 1934 a unique picture of this London emerges, as witnessed from the vantage of the familial, professional and mental life of Wilfrid Hugh Chesson. In these diaries Chesson kept record of his family life, correspondence, dreams, books and manuscripts he had read, and other observations of daily life; the notebooks also served a scrapbook in which Chesson put numerous press cuttings, train tickets, calling cards, and other ephemera. Together, these various records provide a vivid account of the life of an eccentric and minor figure in the Victorian and Edwardian literary scene, but a figure who was associated with many of the best known individuals of that scene.


  • 1896-1934

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.


1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Biographical notes

Wilfrid Hugh Chesson (1870-1953), a son of the famous secretary of the Aborigines Protection Society, Frederick William Chesson (1833-1888), was an author, publisher's reader, critic, book collector and freelance literary journalist best known for his biography of the graphic artist George Cruikshank, his acknowledged discovery of Joseph Conrad's first novel
Wilfrid Hugh Chesson diaries
Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository