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E. Œ. (Edith Œnone) Somerville letter to Nevill [Coghill]

Identifier: MSS 0099-F1010

Scope and Contents

This collection comprises a single handwritten letter from E. Œ. (Edith Œnone) Somerville to her nephew, Nevill Coghill, in which she asks that he offer his opinions on a playscript by Geraldine Cummins (1890-1969). Cummins collaborated on productions for the Abbey Theatre with Suzanne R. Day, and Somerville reported, had a few plays of her own produced in the 1920s. The current project, Somerville wrote, was on Tchaikovsky.

Somerville also asked Coghill to return the copies she had sent of her "Irish R.M." play, possibly a dramatic rendition of her and Ross's successful series The Irish R.M.

The letter is written on Drishane House, Skibbereen, Co. Cork, blindstamped letterhead and is dated Friday, August 11. No year is included, but the letter can likely be dated between 1930 and 1949--the time period between which Coghill was developing and solidifying his reputation as a scholar and theatre producer and Somerville's death in 1949.


  • Creation: circa 1930-1949


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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,

E. Œ. (Edith Œnone) Somerville (1858-1949)

Irish author and artist E. Œ. (Edith Œnone) Somerville (1858-1949) is best known for her collaborative literary partnership with her cousin Violet Ross, which produced popular works such as An Irish Cousin (1889). After Martin’s death in 1915, Somerville continued to write and publish for the remainder of her life. She continued to include Martin’s name as co-author on her published works, which included Irish Memories (1917), Mount Music (1919), and The big House of Inver (1925).

Information derived from dealer description. Lewis, Gifford, “Somerville, Edith Anna OEnone (1858-1949),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2016.

Nevill Coghill (1899-1980)

Irish-born English literary scholar and theatre producer Nevill Coghill (1899-1980) was a nephew of E. Œ. (Edith Œnone) Somerville.

Coghill was a Fellow and Tutor of English Literature at Exeter College, Oxford, where he later became Merton Professor of English Literature. He was known for his engaging teaching style, translations of The Canterbury Tales from Middle English, and his association with the Inklings, a literary circle that included C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams.

Carey, John, “Coghill, Nevill Henry Kendal Aylmer (1899-1980),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.


1 item


This collection comprises a single autograph letter signed from Irish author and artist Edith Somerville (1858-1949) to her nephew, Nevill Coghill, requesting his opinion on a playscript by Geraldine Cummins.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, February 2016

Related Materials

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


Box 709 F1010: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscripts boxes.

OCLC Number

Finding aid for E. Œ. (Edith Œnone) Somerville letter to Nevill [Coghill]
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2016 May 6
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

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Newark DE 19717-5267 USA