Guide to the Laura Riding (Jackson) Collection

Collection Title: Laura Riding (Jackson) Collection
Dates: 1926-1966
Identification: MS31
Creator: Riding, Laura, 1901-1991
Extent: 1 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: Laura (Riding) Jackson (January 16, 1901-September 2, 1991) was a poet, critic, novelist, essayist and short story writer. She was associated with the Southern group of writers known as the Fugitives, lived with poet and critic Robert Graves from 1926-1939, and was married first to historian Louis Gottschalk, then to critic Schuyler B. Jackson from 1941 until his death in 1968. This collection of corrected galleys, typescripts, and some correspondence includes Trojan Ending, Selected Poems in Five Sets, The Telling, contributions to the magazine Chelsea, and The World and Ourselves.
Acquisition Information: Laura Riding Jackson offered the manuscript materials in the McCormick Library to Northwestern University Library in 1970 because she was impressed with the library's holdings of her published works; outside of her alma mater Cornell University, few libraries had such extensive holdings.
Conditions Governing Use: Copyright for materials resides with Laura Riding's literary executors. All users must comply with federal copyright regulations.
Conditions Governing Access: Available for research.
Preferred Citation: Laura Riding (Jackson) Collection, Manuscript Series XXXI, Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, Northwestern University Library
Repository: Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections
Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL,
Phone: 847-491-3635

Biographical/Historical Information

Laura (Riding) Jackson (January 16, 1901-September 2, 1991) was a poet, critic, novelist, essayist and short story writer. Born to Austrian Jewish immigrant parents in New York as Laura Reichenthal and educated at Cornell University, she first published poetry in 1923 as Laura Riding Gottschalk. Her poetry gained attention and she became associated with a Southern group of writers, the Fugitives. Her marriage to historian Louis Gottschalk ended in divorce in 1925.

The Close Chaplet, her first collection of poetry, was published in 1926; the following year she assumed the surname Riding. She traveled to England at the invitation of Robert Graves and his wife Nancy Nicholson to remain in Europe for fourteen years (1926-1939). While still in London, Riding and Graves founded the Seizin Press, and collaborated on A Survey of Modernist Poetry (1927), which revealed ideas for a close textual analysis influencing the development of New Criticism; A Pamphlet Against Anthologies (1928); and other works. During this period, she also wrote under the pseudonym “Barbara Rich”. In Majorca they expanded the work and scope of the Seizin Press and produced the magazine, Epilogue (1935-1938). Soon after arriving in the United States in 1939, they parted. Riding married Schuyler B. Jackson in 1941. They each produced volumes of collected poems in 1938 and worked together on lexicographical studies until his death in 1968. Riding was influenced by neo-Romantic views of the metaphysical nature of poetry, but after World War II she abandoned poetry for prose writing. She published short stories and essays after this period, including Progress of Stories, although her main focus was on philosophy and linguistics.

Scope and Content

The Laura Riding (Jackson) Collection consists of corrected galleys, typescripts, and some correspondence relating to her publications: Trojan Ending, Selected Poems in Five Sets, The Telling, The World and Ourselves, and contributions to the magazine Chelsea. The most extensive correspondence is with David W. McKain from 1965-1966 (56pp.)Other correspondents include Samuel Hynes, and Martin Seymour-Smith.

For additional correspondence with the McCormick Library, inquire about departmental correspondence files. For other correspondence related to Riding, see the McCormick Library collection of literary agent James B. Pinker.


Personal Name

McKain, David W.

Riding, Laura, 1901-1991

Container List / Contents

  • Trojan Ending; unsewn copy of volume with case.Folder 1
  • Trojan Ending; index of principal characters.Folder 2
  • Trojan Ending; map.Folder 3
  • Selected Poems in Five Sets; galleys with author's corrections.Folder 4
  • Selected Poems in Five Sets; author's typescript for preface.Folder 5
  • The Telling; galleys and photocopy of addenda.Folder 6
  • Chelsea volumes 12, 14, 16; with author's corrections on separate sheet.Folder 7
  • The World and Ourselves; carbon of manuscript of 1969 preface.Folder 8
  • Civilta della Macchine (Luglio-Augosto, ); contains short piece on Laura (Riding) Jackson, p. 22., 1963Folder 9
  • Correspondence: TLS to “Mr. Rappaport, “ Wabasso, Florida, March 2, 1952Folder 10
  • Correspondence: TLS to Samuel Hynes (N.U.), September 22, 1974Folder 11
  • Correspondence with David McKain. 19 TLS, 1 postcard (56pp.), 1965-1966Folder 12
  • Correspondence with Martin Seymour-Smith. 3 TLS (8pp.), 1965Folder 13
  • MiscellaneousFolder 14
    • Photocopy TLS from literary agent N? V. Josephson to James B. Pinker, re: Laura Riding Gottschalk, August 16, 1926Folder 14
    • Seizin Press prospectus, 1928Folder 14
    • 2 ALS from Laura Riding, Mallorca, Spain, to unknown recipients. Seizin Press stationery. 4pp. From Seizin Press book with seven names and addresses handwritten on leaf., 1930Folder 14
    • TLS (photocopy) from Laura Riding to Mrs. Wexler, (4pp.), June 30, 1971Folder 14
    • “Pleasures, Dissatisfactions” handwritten sheets about periodical (2pp.). “Focus a Monthly Register” - 1p. description.Folder 14
    • “A Letter to the Editor” detached from , n.d., 2pp. (2 cop.)Folder 14
    • List of Robert Graves correspondence at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois (29pp.)Folder 14