Guide to the Arthur H. Nethercot (1895-1981) Papers

Collection Title: Arthur H. Nethercot (1895-1981) Papers
Dates: 1927-1981
Identification: 11/3/11/8
Creator: Nethercot, Arthur Hobart (Arthur Hobart), 1895-1981
Extent: 3 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: Scholar and professor of English Literature Arthur Hobart Nethercot joined NU's English faculty in 1919 and remained with the University until retirement. The Arthur Nethercot Papers consist of biographical materials and clippings documenting Nethercot's career at Northwestern, correspondence from literary figures, and copies and reprints of Nethercot's poetry, fiction, and scholarly publications.
Acquisition Information: The Arthur Nethercot Papers were donated to the Northwestern University Archives by Arthur Nethercot on October 17, 1979 and January 15, 1981 as Accessions #79-207 and #81-11.
Processing Information: Margaret Faverty, February, 1982.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

Scholar and professor of English Literature Arthur Hobart Nethercot was born on April 20, 1895 in Austin, Illinois, the first child of Charles and Anna Hobart Nethercot. A graduate of Northwestern University, Nethercot joined NU's English faculty in 1919 and remained with the University until retirement. Nethercot was a prolific writer in many fields. In addition to writing poetry, essays and short stories published in popular periodicals, his scholarly interests were focused on biography and the dramatic literature of the 16th through the 20th centuries. He was also active with the NU Faculty Senate and the annual WAA-MU show.

Nethercot attended public schools in Chicago and Wilmette. He received a B.A. degree in 1915 and an M.A. degree in 1916 from Northwestern University. He earned a Ph.D in English from the University of Chicago in 1922. He served as Master of St. Alban's School for Boys in 1916-17. After serving with the Ambulance Corps and the Field Artillery from 1917 to 1919, Nethercot studied at Oxford University briefly in 1919.

Nethercot returned to Northwestern as an instructor of English in 1919. He became a full professor in the English Department in 1939. From 1961 until his retirement in 1963 he was Franklyn Bliss Snyder Professor of English. Nethercot was the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships; one, a research fellowship in India (1956-57), and the other, a lectureship at the University of Cologne (1965-66). After his retirement from the Northwestern faculty he was Visiting Professor of English at the University of Kansas, 1964, the University of Montana, 1964-65, Transylvania University, 1967, Colorado College, 1968, and Pennsylvania State University, 1971.

Nethercot received the Alumni Merit Award in 1959 and delivered the second Alumni Fund Lecture in 1962. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and gave the annual lecture in 1963. The Friends of Literature presented him with its biography award for his two-volume work, Lives of Annie Besant, in 1964. For many years Nethercot served as secretary of the Northwestern Faculty Senate. He helped organize the first WAA-MU show in 1929 and served as chairman of the show's board of Governors from its inception until his retirement.

Nethercot wrote numerous short stories, essays, and poems. He founded a chapter of the National Poetry Society at Northwestern in 1920. He was associate editor and from 1933 to 1935 editor-in-chief of the Society's journal, College Verse. In 1942-43 Nethercot served as secretary of the Drama section of the Modern Language Association. At Northwestern he was a member of the American Association of University Professors and president of the local chapter in 1943-49. Nethercot was a prolific writer in many fields. In addition to writing poetry, essays and short stories that were published in popular periodicals, his scholarly interests were focused on biography and the dramatic literature of the 16th through the 20th centuries. His first book, published in 1931, was a biography of Abraham Cowley, followed by a biography of Sir William Davenant, published in 1938. Other monographs published by Nethercot were The Road to Tryerniaine, 1939, and Men and Supermen: the Shavian Portrait Gallery, 1954. His research on George Bernard Shaw led him to discover and become interested in Annie Besant, a Theosophist and close friend of Shaw's. In 1960 Nethercot published The First Five Lives of Annie Besant, followed by The Last Four Lives of Annie Besant in 1963. He was also a member of the Shaw Review editorial board from 1959 until his death.

Nethercot was married twice and had two children with his first wife. He died on January 8, 1981 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Scope and Content

Scholar and professor of English Literature Arthur Hobart Nethercot joined NU's English faculty in 1919 and remained with the University until retirement. The Arthur Nethercot Papers consist of one folder of biographical material and clippings documenting Nethercot's career at Northwestern. The Papers also include one folder of Correspondence from literary figures to Nethercot covering the period 1922-1977 and one folder of copies and reprints of Nethercot's poetry, fiction, and scholarly publications. The bulk of the Papers is comprised of a three volume, 714 page "Autobiographical Memoir" written between July 24, 1977 and June 9, 1979.

Addition, Box 2 and Scrapbooks

The addition to the Arthur H. Nethercot Papers comprises one box and three scrapbooks, dating 1931-1975. Included in the addition are awards received by, and a newspaper article about, Arthur Nethercot, filling one folder each. The bulk of the materials filling the one archival box are correspondence and some printed reviews pertaining to Nethercot's books: Abraham Cowley: The Muse's Hannibal (1931), Sir William D'avenant: Poet Laureate and Playwright-Manager (1938), TheRoad to Tryermaine (1939), Men and Supermen: The Shavian Portrait Gallery (1954), The First Five Lives of Annie Besant (1960), The Last Four Lives of Annie Besant (1963), Elizabethan Plays (1970), and Stuart Plays (1971). The three scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings and journal reviews relating to the same list of Nethercot's books. Small amounts of other printed material, such as advertisements for his book releases, are included in the scrapbooks.

The addition is arranged into three sections: biographical materials, including Nethercot's awards, and the newspaper article about him, correspondence, reviews, and related items, and the scrapbooks.

The material in the correspondence, reviews, and related materials section is arranged chronologically according to the publishing date of the book title.

Arrangement of Materials

The arrangement of the Papers is chronological within folders.

Subjects

Personal Name

Besant, Annie, 1847-1933

Cowley, Abraham, 1618-1667

Cowley, Malcolm, 1898-1989

D'Avenant, William, Sir, 1606-1668

De Voto, Bernard Augustine, 1897-1955

Kerr, Walter Boardman, 1911-2003

Nethercot, Arthur Hobart (Arthur Hobart), 1895-1981

Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967

Shaw, Bernard, 1856-1950

Spender, Stephen, 1909-1995

Taft, Lorado, 1860-1936

Van Doren, Mark, 1894-1972

Subjects

English literature--Study and teaching (Higher)--United States

English teachers--Illinois--Evanston


Container List / Contents

  • Addition
      Scope and Contents: The addition to the Arthur H. Nethercot Papers comprises one box and three scrapbooks, dating 1931-1975. Included in the addition are awards received by, and a newspaper article about, Arthur Nethercot, filling one folder each. The bulk of the materials filling the one archival box are correspondence and some printed reviews pertaining to Nethercot's books: Abraham Cowley: The Muse's Hannibal (1931), Sir William D'avenant: Poet Laureate and Playwright-Manager (1938), TheRoad to Tryermaine (1939), Men and Supermen: The Shavian Portrait Gallery (1954), The First Five Lives of Annie Besant (1960), The Last Four Lives of Annie Besant (1963), Elizabethan Plays (1970), and Stuart Plays (1971). The three scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings and journal reviews relating to the same list of Nethercot's books. Small amounts of other printed material, such as advertisements for his book releases, are included in the scrapbooks. The addition is arranged into three sections: biographical materials, including Nethercot's awards, and the newspaper article about him, correspondence, reviews, and related items, and the scrapbooks. The material in the correspondence, reviews, and related materials section is arranged chronologically according to the publishing date of the book title.
    • Awards, 1960, 1964,n.d.Box 2, Folder 1
    • Newspaper Article about A. Nethercot, 1972Box 2, Folder 2
    • Correspondence, Reviews, and Related Materials
      • Abraham Cowley: The Muse's Hannibal (1931), 1931-1974Box 2, Folder 3
      • Sir William D'avenant (1938), 1938-1968Box 2, Folder 4
      • The Road to Tryermaine (1939), 1941-1967Box 2, Folder 5
      • Men and Supermen (1954), 1951-1967Box 2, Folder 6
      • The First Five Lives of Annie Besant (1960), 1960-1970Box 2, Folder 7
      • The First Five Lives of Annie Besant (1960), 1960-1970Box 2, Folder 8
      • The Last Four Lives of Annie Besant (1963), 1963-1970Box 2, Folder 9
      • Elizabethan Plays (1970) & Stuart Plays (1971), 1971-1975Box 2, Folder 10
      • Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1960Box 2, Folder 11
    • The Road to Tryermaine, 1939Item 1
    • The First Five Lives of Annie Besant, 1960Item 2
    • The Last Four Lives of Annie Besant, 1963Item 3
    • Elizabethan Plays, Stuart Plays, 1970-1971Item 4
    • Scrapbook 1
      • Abraham Cowley: The Muse's Hannibal, 1931Scrapbook 1, Item 1
      • Sir William D'avenant: Poet Laureate and Playwright-Manager, 1938Scrapbook 1, Item 2
      • Men and Supermen: The Shavian Portrait Gallery, 1954Scrapbook 1, Item 3
    • Scrapbook 2
    • Scrapbook 3
  • Biographical material and clippings, 1954-1981Box 1, Folder 1
  • Autobiographical Memoir, Part I, July 24, 1977-June 9, 1979Box 1, Folder 2
  • Autobiographical Memoir, Part II, July 24, 1977-June 9, 1979Box 1, Folder 3
  • Autobiographical Memoir, Part III, July 24, 1977-June 9, 1979Box 1, Folder 4
  • Correspondence-Literary Figures, Jan 4, 1927-Jun 20, 1977; n.d.Box 1, Folder 5
  • Publications, 1923-1964Box 1, Folder 6