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Archive of Enid Starkie


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The collection consists of:

  1. Personal and professional papers and correspondence
  2. Papers relating to Starkie’s literary works
  3. Examination reports from Somerville College, Oxford
  4. Periodicals, articles and papers presented to Starkie
  5. Lecture notes for lectures given by Starkie
  6. Card indexes compiled by Richardson


  • Creation: 1879-1985, n.d.


6.55 Linear metres (95 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish; Castilian

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 12035/1].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 12035/1-95

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12035


Archive of Enid Starkie, literary critic, author and fellow of Somerville College, Oxford.

Biographical / Historical

Enid Starkie (1897-1970) was born to the Rt. Hon. William Joseph Miles Starkie and May Starkie in Killiney, Co. Dublin, Ireland. She studied Modern Languages at Somerville College, Oxford, graduating with a first-class degree in 1920. She gained her doctorate at the Sorbonne, Paris, and was awarded the prix Narcisse Michaut.

She taught at University College of the South-West, Exeter, before being appointed the first Sarah Smithson lecturer in French literature at Somerville College in 1928. She became a fellow of Somerville College in 1934 and a university reader in French literature in 1946. She was an elected member of the Irish Academy of Letters and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Starkie wrote many books on French poets including Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Gide and Flaubert. She was instrumental in gaining honorary degrees for both Gide and Jean Cocteau. She published her memoir, A Lady’s Child, in 1941. Her last book, Flaubert: The Master, was published in 1971, after her death in 1970.

See the Dictionary of National Biography for further details.


The contents were sorted and arranged by Starkie prior to acquisition. The correspondence and papers have been arranged by year. Some correspondents' letters have been placed together within the corresponding year. The literary work and lectures have been arranged by subject.

The material has been arranged into six series:

  1. Papers and correspondence
  2. Literary work and theses
  3. Examination reports
  4. Periodicals, articles and papers
  5. Lecture notes and papers
  6. Card indexes

Custodial History

MSS. 12035/1-87, 94-95 were owned by Enid Starkie. Upon her death in 1970 they were placed on informal deposit by Robert Shackleton, her literary executor, for use by Joanna Richardson to write Starkie’s biography. MSS. 12035/88-93 were part of Richardson’s working notes for the biography.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

MSS. 12035/1-42, 45-87, 94-95 presented as a gift by Robert Shackleton in 1973. Additional papers, MS. 12035/43, bequeathed by Shackleton in 1987. MS. 12035/44 has uncertain provenance but is probably part of the 1973 deposit. MSS. 12035/88-93 gifted by Richardson in 1976, after being placed on indefinite loan in 1973.

Catalogue of the archive of Enid Starkie
Francesca Miller
Language of description
Script of description
Catalogued with the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation.
Edition statement
First Edition.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom