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Joseph M. Hone letters to Hylda Wrench

Identifier: MSS 0099-F0109

Scope and Content Note

Irish literary critic and biographer Joseph M. (Joseph Maunsell) Hone (1882-1959) wrote ten letters to Hylda Henrietta Wrench (1879-1955), discussing current literature and Irish theatre. A poem, entitled "Mars," mentioned in the letters and written in Hone's hand is included.

Hone and Wrench's shared enthusiasm for the literary scene, especially the authors associated with the burgeoning Irish Literary Revival, played a central role in their correspondence. In the letters, Hone wrote at length about poets ranging from Walt Whitman to William Blake to Alice Meynell (her sonnet "Renouncement" received special attention). Hone made reference to an array of works that accompanied the letters, which they lent one another from their book collections. In addition to books, Hone sent Wrench his copies of contemporary literary journals, specifically naming Standish O'Grady's All Ireland Review . On several occasions in the letters, Hone brought up William Butler Yeats and the Abbey theatre, mentioning a particular performance of J. M. Synge's Deirdre of the Sorrows (1910) that drew a "fine audience," including authors associated with his quarterly, The Shanachie . Aside from literature, the letters touched upon the larger art scene with a brief discussion of Max Beerbohm's book of caricatures, The Poet's Corner (1896).

The letters bear additional notes written in the hand of Hylda Wrench. The notes vary from occasional clarifications to extended explanations of the context of certain letters. On one letter, she wrote at length about a conversation between her and Hone concerning the definition of art, in which he quoted Nietzsche. Her commentary serves as a gloss on an oblique reference in Hone's letter to Coventry Patmore's poem, "The Toys."


  • Creation: 1906, undated


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Joseph M. Hone (1882-1959)

Irish intellectual and author Joseph M. (Joseph Maunsell) Hone (1882-1959) was a significant figure in the Irish Literary Revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He wrote works on a variety of topics, whose contributions to Irish philosophical, artistic, and political life include an authorized biography on William Butler Yeats, titled William Butler Yeats: the poet in contemporary Ireland (1942), a history co-written with Page Dickinson titled Persia in Revolution (1910) as well as several books on Irish nationalism.

The son of a wealthy merchant family in Dublin, Joseph M. Hone was educated at Wellington and Cambridge. Subsequently, he established himself in the literary world, co-founding the publishing house Maunsel & Company, which became one of Ireland's largest publishing houses, and editing the journal The Shanachie: An Illustrated Irish Miscellany , which included a host of his contemporaries such as William Butler Yeats and George Bernard Shaw. Early in his career, Joseph M. Hone was known for his translation of Daniel Halevy's Life of Nietzsche (1911). Hone's later writing is mainly biographical. In 1951, he became president of the Irish Academy of Letters. He died in Dublin in 1959.

Boylan, Henry. 1988. "Hone, Joseph Maunsel (1882-1959)."A Dictionary of Irish Biography. New York: St. Martin's Press, 162-3."Joseph Hone."Ricorso. (accessed September 30, 2014).

Lady Hylda Henrietta Wrench (1879-1955)

Born Hylda Henrietta Brooke (1879-1955), she was the daughter of the Anglo-Irish baronet, Victor Alexander Brooke (1843-1891). She was briefly married to the baronet Sir Frederick des Voeux (1857-1937) before marrying Sir (John) Evelyn Leslie Wrench (1882-1966). A devotee of Irish theater and literature, Hylda Wrench also wrote several articles in her lifetime collected in Reflections (1956) a memorial volume.

"Hylda Henrietta Brooke."The Peerage. (accessed September 30, 2014).


10 item


Irish literary critic and biographer Joseph M. Hone (1882-1959) wrote ten letters to Lady Hylda Henrietta Wrench (1879-1955) in 1906, discussing current literature and Irish theatre. A poem titled "Mars," mentioned in the letters and written in Hone's hand, is also included.


Purchase, August 1987.

Related Materials in this Repository

This item forms part of MSS 0099 Miscellaneous Literary and Historical Manuscripts.

MSS 0475 Abbey Theatre playbill collection

MSS 0126 William Butler Yeats collection.

MSS 0313 Proscenium Press archives

Shelving Summary

  • Boxes 5, F0109: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099


Processed and encoded by Sean Lovitt, October 2014.

Finding aid for Joseph M. Hone letters to Hylda Wrench
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2014 October 1
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Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

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