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Key People

Edward Harry William Meyerstein 

1889 - 1952

Edward Harry William Meyerstein portrait Author A Life of Thomas Chatterton
Slipcase Box Meyerstein manuscript A Life of Thomas Chatterton
Manuscript title page of Meyerstein's A Life of Thomas Chatterton

Meyerstein's Handwritten Manuscript


'A Life of Thomas Chatterton'

Tips for Viewing

  • The Ms. (manuscript) is presented as individual chapters.

  • To read the book continuously click the link at the end of each chapter.

  • Zooming to 200% on laptop or Desktop improves readability no end. 

  • The Ms. should be sharp and clear - mine is ; email me if you need help.

  • Page numbers in the Ms., (593 + prelims and blanks = 800+images) are not the same as in the printed edition, (584  + prelims) - so, none of the page numbers match :

          This is what you must do to overcome the above problem :​

In the list below, head for the specific chapter, where I have added two sets of bracketed page number sequences against each chapter; the first set (in red) is for Meyerstein's Handwritten Manuscript.  The second set (in green) is for the Printed Edition.  A rough and speedy intuitive calculation should lead you pretty close to the page you are looking for.  Do bear in mind that Meyerstein's tiny writing is difficult to read and can, at times (most times), be a bit of a trial.

Preliminary pages :  (Red = Ms. : Green= printed edition)


  • Acknowledgements (3)  (vii-viii)View


  • Contents  (4-5)  (ix-x) :   View


  • Introductions   (6-14)  (xi-xix) View


             (Index was not included in the Ms. I've added a printed copy).

             (Started March 2023 and still working on it.)

Chapters :  (Red = Ms. : Green= printed edition)


  • Appendix  :  View

    • A.  Table of The Chattertons  :  (530)  (573)

    • B.  Chatterton's Horoscope  :  (531-533)  (574-576)

    • C.  A Poem and Three Fragments  :  (534-536)  (577-579)

    • D.  "May"   :  (537-539)  (581 five pages)

    • E.  Cary's "Elegy"  :  (540-542)  (582-584)

    • F.  Aella's  Speech to his Soldiers  :  (543-546)  (585-588)


Extra Feature

          Created March 2023 and still working on it when I have time.

 ‘An Article by E. H. W. Meyerstein

In The Times Literary Supplement, 1947

 John Baker's Letters to Thomas Chatterton

Times Literary supplement John Baker's Letters to Chatterton Meyerstein

Meyerstein's Letter, to The Times Literary Supplement.

Includes Baker's letters to Chatterton in full :  View

Sotheby's Auction Listing Bakers two letters to Chatterton

   Meyerstein's delight with buying the two Chatterton letters at the Sotheby's auction is palpable, although, to be clear, I have a recollection that he may have actually bought them from Quaritch, the famous London book dealers.  Quaritch acted on behalf of many clients and no doubt was instructed by Meyerstein to keep an eye open for anything related to Chatterton. None of the foregoing matters a jot, for our two letters were a mere speck in the auction of the enormous library of Thomas Phillipps; 'enormous' is too small a word to describe the size of Phillipps' library, for it was so big that after his death it took upwards of 60 years to sell it all. 

Thomas Phillipps Portrait Bookcollector Owned Chatterton Ms.

Sir Thomas Phillipps

 Thomas Phillipps collections were so vast it is not surprising that Baker's two letters to Chatterton had disappeared into his library, but how did they get there?  Well, it seems that Phillips was so besotted with his pastime that he would indiscriminately buy all the lots in an auction.  

Fortunately, books and manuscripts often only hide for a few generation and then they surface again. This is why the Thomas Chatterton Manuscript Project is important as it aims to bring all of Chattertons original works and correspondence to a common source and make it all available without cost to all parts of the wider community.

Thanks to Dr. Toby Burrows of the UWA, for his help with information and supplying an image of the page in the Sotheby's sale catalogue - a first-class gent.  We can now show that the two letters are genuine and that Meyerstein is innocent of the claim, made by a Chatterton commentator, that he himself created the letters.  I never doubted Meyerstein for a moment! 

The sale of 22 Sotheby's auction catalogues of Phillipps' collection fetched $3,120 :   View

Sir Thomas Phillipps a Manuscript Collector and his Legacy

A piece about Thomas Phillipps by Dr. Laura Cleaver - : View

Biography of Sir Thomas Phillipps on Wiki :  View

Manuscript Mania:

How Sir Thomas Phillipps built the world’s greatest collection of medieval manuscripts :  View

John Baker's Letters to Chatterton

 ‘A Bristol Friendship'

'Thomas Chatterton and John Baker’
The Wedmore Memorial Lecture

E. H.W. Meyerstein 1947.

Meyerstein lecture essay A Bristol Friendship  Baker and Chatterton

 A Bristol Friendship   :  View

Other Works by Meyerstein

Working on this page

Redcliff Hill

A Colloquy in one Act

Meyerstein's Redcliff Hill A Colloquy in one Act

Redcliff Hill

(No Link yet - it's on my to-do list.)

The Pageant and other Stories

Meyrstein's The Pageant and other stories

The Pageant and other Stories

(No Link yet - It's on my to-do list.)

Tom Tallion

meyerstein novel  tom tallion

Tom Tallion - Connoisseurs

(No Link yet - It's on my to-do list.)

The Door (1911),  Joshua Slade (1938), Robin Wastraw (1951), and Phoebe Thirsk (1953), and many more. 

Working on this. 


U DX56 Manuscripts of Edward Harry William Meyerstein c.1922-1952

Biographical Background: Meyerstein was a poet, scholar and man of letters.


Born in London in 1889, he was educated at Harrow and Magdalen College, Oxford.

He joined the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum in 1913 before serving in the First World War.


Thereafter he became a full-time writer. His first publication was a slim volume of poetry, The door (1911). He subsequently produced many lyrical and narrative poems, translations, short stories, novels, plays and biographies.


He died at his London home in September 1952.

Custodial history: Donated by Catharine Freeman, Mar 1964

Description: The Meyerstein collection contains about 300 items, including manuscripts of plays and poems. There are also about 200 letters and postcards to Donald Mitchell between 1944 and 1949.


The Brynmor Jones Library also holds first editions of a number of his works, including The Door.

Extent: c.234 items Access conditions: Access will be granted to any accredited reader U DX56/1 Ms.


U DX56/1 :

'The Wadhursts. A Domestic Play' With ms. 1922.  

'Redcliff Hill. A Colloquy' (published 1948).


U DXM/2 : Ms. 'Sketches and Tales of Shrimptonhill' 1924


U DX56/3 : Ms. 'Cockadoodledont' (poems) 1 item 1927


U DX56/4 :  Ms. 'Retribution. A Discursive Biography' (Chapters 1-80) 1930s


U DX56/5 :

Ms. 'Retribution' (Chapters 81-100).

ms. 'A Girl's Heart', [1934] 2 items 1930s


U DX56/6  :

Ms. and ts. poems 24 items c.1931- c.1948


U DX56/7 :  Letters and postcards from E.H.W. Meyerstein to Donald Mitchell c.200 items 1944-1949


U DX56/8 :

Copies of letters from E.H.W. Meyerstein to R.N. Green–Armytage. Anecdotes of Stanley Baldwin and Winston Churchill 2 items 8-10 Mar 1940


U DX56/9 :   Epitaph of E.H.W. Meyerstein from 'The Times,'  13 Sep 1952.

Sundry Notes & Links

Papers of E.H.W. Meyerstein : View

50 Boxes held by : English Faculty Library, University of Oxford

Meyerstein Bequest  :  Add. MS. 47861a   :  View

The Meyerstein Bequest  :  Add. MS. 47843-82  :   View 

Meyerstein (one box papers) UCLA  :   View 

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