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Dorothy M. Richardson Collection

 Collection — Box: VMF 11, Folder: 21
Identifier: MS-VMF-vmf139

1940 January 21. Richardson to Miss Plater (probably Phyllis Plater, lifelong companion of author John Cowper Powys), commenting on the likeness of their thoughts, which gives her an indication of her success; general and specific comments on Richardson's series of novels, The Pilgrimage, in which Miriam is the central figure, 2 pages

1940 March 11. Richardson to Miss Plater commenting on the author of a volume of essays concerned with female novelists, including George Eliot and Charlotte Bronte, [attributed to Muriel Agnes Masefield]. Richardson disagrees with the author's critical analysis of the Brontës as neurotics who consider themselves geniuses; claims surprise that the author is uncritical in her acceptance of an [unnamed] theory, though she feels that mere acceptance shows "good background pattern both for classification and commentary," 2 pages

1935 July 5. Jacksons Bulletin, Number 160. Fragment concerning Richardson


  • 1935-1940


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3.00 items

1 folders

Biographical Information

Dorothy Miller Richardson (May 17, 1873 – June 17, 1957) was a British author and journalist.  Born in Abingdon, Richardson’s family moved to Worthing, West Sussex in 1880 and then Putney, London in 1883. At seventeen, because of her father's financial difficulties she went to work as a governess and teacher, first in 1891 for six months at a finishing school in Germany. In 1895, Richardson gave up work as a governess to take care of her severely depressed mother, but her mother committed suicide the same year. Richardson's father had become bankrupt at the end of 1893.

Richardson subsequently moved in 1896 to Bloomsbury, London, where she worked as a receptionist/secretary/assistant in a Harley Street dental surgery. While in Bloomsbury in the late 1890s and early 1900s, Richardson associated with writers and radicals, including the Bloomsbury Group. H. G. Wells (1866–1946) was a friend and they had a brief affair which led to a pregnancy and then miscarriage, in 1907. While she had first published an article in 1902, Richardson's writing career, as a freelance journalist really began around 1906, with periodical articles on various topics, book reviews, short stories, and poems, as well as translation from German and French. During this period she became interested in the Quakers and published two books relating to them in 1914.

In 1915, Richardson published her first novel Pointed Roofs, the first complete stream of consciousness novel published in English. Pointed Roofs was the first volume in a sequence of 13 novels titled Pilgrimage. Miriam Henderson, the central character in Pilgrimage, is based on author's own life between 1891 and 1915.

Richardson's correspondent, Phyllis Plater (also spelled Playter) (November 29, 1894-March 1982) was originally from Missouri; however, after falling in love with author John Cowper Powys in her early 20s, she spent most of her adult life with him in Wales. Powys and Richardson also corresponded extensively.

Method of Acquisition

Accession number 1022.  Purchase from Hamill and Barker, January 17, 1969. (Correspondence to Miss Plater)

Accession number 23003. Gift of Tim Murray, Special Collections, University of Delaware, May 30, 1995. (Jacksons Bulletin)

Processing Information

Processed September 1969

Dorothy M. Richardson Collection
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 March 18: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Manuscripts Collecting Area

Joel Minor
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495