The Garnett Family Papers are comprised of the correspondence, manuscripts, journals and diaries, documents, photographs, albums, and other archival materials related to members of the British Garnett family from the 18th through the 20th centuries. Rev. Richard Garnett (1789-1850), philologist and assistant keeper of printed books at the British Museum, wrote significant essays on the languages and dialects of the British Isles as well as sermons and poems. He was married to Margaret Heathcote (d. 1828) and Rayne Wreaks (1802-1866).
Dr. Richard Garnett (1835-1906), librarian and author, worked at the British Museum for fifty years, becoming Keeper of Printed Books; he was the author of many biographies, histories of Italian and English literature, verse translations of European poetry, and a poet in his own right. He married Olivia Narney Singleton (1842-1903).
Their son, Edward William Garnett (1868-1937), editor and book reviewer, prepared manuscripts for various publishing firms including T. Fisher Unwin, Heinemann, Duckworth, John Lane, and Jonathan Cape. He recognized the literary talents of such authors as Stephen Crane, Robert Frost, Sinclair Lewis and Ernest Hemingway, and was able to get their work published in England. Edward Garnett was also the friend and advisor of such writers as Joseph Conrad, W.H. Hudson, John Galsworthy, D.H. Lawrence, W.H. Davies, and T.E. Lawrence. Edward married Constance Clara Black (1861-1946) who translated works by Russian authors Goncharov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Chekhov, and Dostoyevsky into English. Constance and Edward’s sister, Olive Garnett, were closely associated with the Russian revolutionary exiles F. V. Volkhovsky and Fanny and Sergei Stepniak (S.M. Kravchinsky, 1851-1895). Edward Garnett also had a long liaison with Ellen Maurice (Nellie) Heath (1873-1962) who was on friendly terms with other members of the Garnett family; her father was artist Richard Heath.
David Garnett (1892-1981), novelist and autobiographer, also edited the letters of T.E. Lawrence and the novels of Thomas Love Peacock. He and Francis Birrell started a bookshop; he helped found the Nonesuch Press and the publishing firm of Rupert Hart-Davis. David married Rachel Alice Marshall (1891-1940), illustrator, and then Angelica Vanessa Bell (b. 1918), painter and writer, daughter of artists Duncan Grant (1885-1978) and Vanessa Stephen Bell (1879-1961) whose husband was Clive Bell (1881-1964). Correspondence and journal entries in the archive also document the activities and relationships of many members of the Bloomsbury Group which included Virginia and Leonard Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, E.M. Forster, Frances Partridge, and Lytton Strachey.
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Garnett Family Papers
The Garnett Family Papers are comprised of the correspondence, manuscripts, journals and diaries, documents, photographs, albums, and other archival materials concerning the Garnett family which were held by Richard Garnett at Hilton Hall near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, U.K. until 2008.