Skip to main content

Papers of Elizabeth Daryush


  • How to

The collection contains correspondence with publishers; draft verse and prose; and a reel-to-reel recording of Daryush reading her own poems.


  • Creation: 1930s-1977


0.9 Linear metres (6 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 6941/1].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MS. 6941/1-6

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 6941


Literary papers and correspondence of Elizabeth Daryrush née Bridges (1887-1977), poet.

Biographical / Historical

Elizabeth Daryush (née Bridges) was born in December 1887, the daughter of the poet Robert Seymour Bridges (Poet Laureate 1913 to 1930) and Mary Monica Waterhouse. She grew up in the family home, Chilswell House, Boars Hill near Oxford.

Elizabeth published a translation of Persian poetry, Sonnets from Hafiz and Other Poems in 1921. She married Ali Akbar Daryush in 1923, a Persian government official (the couple met when he was a student in Oxford in 1915). The Daryushes lived in Persia until 1927, before returning to Oxfordshire and settling at Stockwell, Boars Hill.

Experimental in syllabic meter, over the years her poems reflected her increasing awareness of social injustice. Her first collection of poems was published in 1911 and titled in Greek script (translated as Charitessi). This was followed by Verses in 1916, a series which was resumed in 1932 with Verses II and continued on to Verses VII in 1971. A self Selected Poems of all the poems she wished 'to preserve' was published in 1972 (suppressing her three books published before 1922); her Collected Poems was published in 1976. Her work was championed by Yvor Winters, Roy Fuller, Donald Davie, Donald E. Stanford and, in later years, Michael Schmidt of the Carcanet Press.

Elizabeth Daryush died in April 1977 and is buried in St Peter's Church, Wootten near Oxford. Her estate was bequeathed to the Oxford Preservation Trust.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Given to the Bodleian Library in June 1989 by the Oxford Preservation Trust, on behalf of Elizabeth Daryush's niece, Mrs Corke.

Related Materials

A small number of printed books owned by Elizabeth Daryush were donated alongside the collection and have been incorporated into the main Bodleian library catalogue [c.1989]:

  1. M90.G02432 - Elizabeth Bridges, Verses (Oxford, 1916). Annotated.
  2. M90.G01916 - Elizabeth Daryush, Verses (London, 1930). Heavily annotated and amended.
  3. M90.G02431 - Elizabeth Daryush, Verses Second Book (Oxford, 1932). Annotated. Some pages removed, others uncut.
  4. M90.D00788 - Elizabeth Daryush, Selected Poems by Elizabeth Daryush from Verses I-VI (Oxford, 1972). Annotated with 'Printer's errors'.
  5. M90.H00809 - John Keats The Poetical Works (London, 1901). With presentation inscription to 'Elizabeth Bridges' from 'MB and EEB'. Annotated.
  6. M90.G02535 - Thomas Hardy, Collected Poems (London, 1923). Annotated.
  7. M90.G02458 - A.J. Ayer, et al, The Revolution in Philosophy (London, 1956). Annotated.

Bodleian Libraries, Special Collections

  1. MS. 6980 - Papers relating to Elizabeth Daryush, 1920s-1986

University of Manchester Library

  1. CPA/1/1/1/23-25 - Papers relating to Elizabeth Daryush in the Archive of Carcanet Press.
Catalogue of papers of Elizabeth Daryush, 1930s-1977
Finding aid prepared by Rachael Marsay
Language of description
Script of description
Catalogued with the generous support of the Roy Davids bequest.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom