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Papers of Sir James Frazer
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Journal of a Stay in Rome

20 pp. diary kept from 10 Dec. 1900 to 28 Feb. 1901 listing J. G. and Lilly Frazer's movements in Rome: places visited, and people seen, including [Giacomo] Boni, Wickham Steed and Madame [Clémence] Rose, Professor and Mrs [William] James, R. A. Neil, and A. E. Shipley. J. G. Frazer makes notes from a meeting on 16 Jan. with Miss Roma Lister, who gathered Italian folklore from peasants, and mentions her colleague C. G. Leland. On 19 Jan. he makes notes from a meeting with Dr [F. H.?] Burton-Brown, who lived amongst the Naga tribes in Assam. On 31 Jan. he describes an expedition to Nemi. On 27 Feb. he leaves Rome for Perugia. At the back of the volume are 2 1/2 pages of a bibliography of anthropological works, and two page list of 'Books Lent' from 1894-1905, to F. M Cornford, W. Ridgeway, A. B. Cook, W. H. D. Rouse, Miss [Aelfrida?] Tillyard, S. A. Cook, A. A. Bevan, and Prof. C. Bendall. This is followed by a short list of 'Ovid. Books to be Kept, Sept. 1928'.

Numbers no longer assigned

Items originally assigned numbers 112-114 have been removed: they were catalogued with the Frazer papers initially in error, they are are part of the Papers of Sir Walter Greg, GREG 1/196-198, three postcards from [J. S.?] to W. W. Greg, dated 1939-[1942].

Letter from William L. Cuttle to Sir James Frazer

Downing College, Cambridge - Has seen in vol. 1 of 'The Golden Bough' a reference to the belief whereby an animal gnawing the cast tooth of a child will cause the child to have that animal's tooth, and tells Frazer he heard this himself as a child.

Papers of Sir James Frazer

  • FRAZ
  • Archief
  • 1745-1941

The papers consist of correspondence, writings, notebooks, diaries, music manuscripts, printed material, and photographs which document the life and work of social anthropologist and classical scholar Sir James George Frazer, and to a lesser extent that of his wife, the writer and translator Lilly Frazer (known after June 1914 as Lady Frazer), who acted as his manager and press agent. The collection spans the years 1872-1941, but the bulk of the material dates from the 1920s and 1930s.

Research strengths include Frazer’s writings in the 1920s and 1930s, social anthropology, folklore, classical scholarship, British and French publishing history, and Trinity College academic and social life. The bulk of the collection dates from the last two decades of his life, and therefore contains material from a time well after his reputation was established. While there are letters from people with anthropological data, the collection does not include the vast amount of data and answers to his anthropological questionnaires that he presumably possessed when compiling the first edition of 'The Golden Bough'. Very often letters with anthropological data are in the form of fan letters, whose writers wish to correct or add to information in one of his books.

The papers are arranged in small and repeated groupings, with alphabetical runs of letters followed by writings and printed material, returning to more alphabetical runs of letters featuring many of the same correspondents as the previous runs, more writings, and research materials, and on. The searching abilities of the database will be useful to find all materials by a person or on a subject.

The correspondence is almost entirely incoming, with just 29 original letters from James Frazer (in FRAZ/1) and 15 typed copies of his letters (in FRAZ/1-4, 16, 25 and 29) and twelve original letters, a draft and four typed copies by Lilly Frazer (in FRAZ/1, 3, 17, 31 and 33) in a collection of over 2300 letters evenly divided between the two. In addition to runs of alphabetically arranged letters, there are also groups of letters on specific topics featuring many of the same correspondents. Letters may also be found with writings and research notes elsewhere in the collection.

The correspondence spans the years 1872-1941, however, the earliest dated letter to or from James or Lilly is dated January 1888. There are a limited number of letters from this early period. Many letters addressed to Lilly concern business related to James’ works, and some letters written in the late 1930s are addressed to her to be read aloud to him due to his increasing blindness.

Anthropologists appearing in the collection include L. C. G. Clarke, Edward Clodd, A. C. Haddon, J. H. Hutton, Lucien Lévy-Bruhl, Bronisław Malinowski, R. R. Marett, John Roscoe, and Sir Grafton Elliot Smith. There are only three letters from Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer, but 16 from his daughter Dorothy Young. Classical scholars in the collection include A. B. Cook, F. M. Cornford, A. E. Housman, J. P. Postgate, Sir William Ridgeway, and H. J. Rose. Principal editors and publishers in the collection include James Loeb, George Macmillan, T. E. Page, and W. H. D. Rouse. Other principal correspondents are David Lindsay, the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres; and Sir Joseph Thomson and his wife Rose Thomson. Many of Lilly's correspondents write to her in her native French. Her principal correspondents include François Ceccaldi (many of them written from his native Corsica), Noémi Psichari, the daughter of Ernest Renan; translator Pierre Sayn, and James’ friend W. J. Lewis.

Writings by Sir James Frazer comprise 21 boxes, with additional writings to be found in the notebooks in FRAZ/35. The work represented by the most amount of material in the collection is Frazer’s edition of Ovid’s 'Fasti', published by Macmillan in 1929, and by Loeb in 1931. The papers do not include notes for the preparation of the original 'Golden Bough' nor do they include the manuscript. There are, however, three notebooks containing notes relating to the second and third editions (FRAZ/35/9-11). Frazer’s own copies of the different editions of 'The Golden Bough' are housed separately in the printed books Adversaria collection and carry numerous annotations.

Printed material consists of press cuttings, pamphlets, offprints, and small books. An album of cuttings of reviews of the first edition of 'The Golden Bough' may be found at FRAZ/22/4. Ten small books and pamphlets have also been catalogued into the Trinity Library printed materials catalogue but remain housed with the papers. The music manuscripts are housed in FRAZ/8 and consist of scores composed by Stuart Young setting Sir James’ poems to music. Margaret Rose’s operetta libretto based on Lady Frazer’s story 'The Singing Wood' was similarly set to music (the libretto at FRAZ/32/266 and the score FRAZ/8/1/5).

The travel diaries and many of the notebooks were previously housed on Trinity College Library shelves with printed books and have been reunited with the collection, along with 13 volumes and a small number of loose notes returned from the Haddon Library of Archaeology and Anthropology. The photographs in the collection include 16 photographic prints of sites in Greece possibly taken by Sidney George Owen, two of them dated June 1906 (FRAZ/21/67-82).

Frazer, Sir James George (1854-1941), knight, social anthropologist and classical scholar

Drafts of two speeches by Frazer

Bound volume with an early manuscript draft, in Frazer’s hand, of a speech on receiving the doctorate from the Université de Paris; followed by a list of Paris Hotels; followed by an early draft of the speech on the Centenary of Ernest Renan. With notes on the specifications of Lanfine [the house the Frazers built in Cambridge in 1923] on the verso of the first two leaves.

Verses by Sir James George Frazer

Five original poems by Frazer and two translations of poems by Heine. There are three copies of "Dreams": a manuscript in Lady Frazer's hand, a fair copy, and a typescript copy. There is a fair copy, corrected of "And the reapers bind their sheaves", a fair copy, corrected, and typescript of "Whispers of the Nile"; a typescript, corrected with the date of 11 June 1921 of "To My Wife"; a typescript with date 1936 of "The Keys of Janus' Temple", accompanied by an envelope; and fair copies, corrected, and typescript of a translation of two poems from Heine, "Du bist wie eine Blume" and "Wo?"

Typed letter from L. K. Ananthakrishna Iyer to Sir James Frazer

1/5 Premchand Boral Street, Bowbazar, Post Office, Calcutta - The third volume of 'The Mysore Tribes and Castes' is published and a copy will be sent to him; asks him to give his opinion on the second and third volumes and the volume on Syrian Christians so that he may send a copy to His Highness the Maharaja of Mysore.

Accompanied by the envelope redirected from Trinity College to Goldsmith Buildings, Temple, London.

Two typed letters from W. H. Bragg to Lady Frazer

Davy Faraday Research Laboratory, The Royal Institution - In letter of 28 Oct. (Item 59), he corrects her statement that there are unanswered letters, every one he has received he has answered; is distressed to hear of J. G. Frazer's health and subscribes to a copy of the bibliography; on 2 Nov. (Item 60) he sends a cheque.

Letter from J. Rasch to Sir James Frazer

Uitgevers-Maatschappij 'Eigen Volk', Utrecht - Thanks him for 'Heures de Loisir'; is impressed that Lady Frazer is his French translator, encloses a copy of his folklore journal 'Eigen Volk'; notes in response to a comment in 'Heures de Loisir' that during the time the 'Spectator' was published, the Netherlands was busy publishing Bayle's 'Dictionnaire Historique et Critique' which would influence many, including Addison.

Notebooks

FRAZ/35 consists of eight boxes of notebooks previously housed apart from the rest of the Frazer Papers. Eleven volumes were housed on Trinity College Library shelves with printed books. Thirteen volumes and a small number of loose notes were removed from the Papers at the time they were bequeathed by Lady Frazer, and were presented by the College to the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and then transferred to the Haddon Library of Archaeology and Anthropology. In 2010 these volumes were transferred back to Trinity College. A note has been made recording the previous location of each volume.

The notebooks contain notes on books read; drafts of articles, speeches, and introductions; and bibliographical references to be added to later editions of works. They have been arranged in a rough chronological order, according to the date of the publication of the works where applicable, and roughly span the dates 1880-1939. The early notebooks include one evidently from Frazer's study of the law, 'Maine's Ancient Law, Jurisprudence' (Item 2). Three notebooks relate to the second and third editions of 'The Golden Bough' (Items 9-11). The loose notes included with the notebooks arriving back from the Haddon Library are on Vitruvius and on items at the Pitt Rivers Collection at Oxford (Item 5).

Typed letter from Allen Mawer to Lady Frazer

University College, London - Is sorry to hear of Frazer's eyesight troubles; is sure the University Library will subscribe to the bibliography; is pleased to read in the paper that the Drapers' Company is helping support Frazer's work.

Letter from F. R. D. Needham on behalf of the Friends of the Bodleian to Lady Frazer

Friends of the Bodleian, Bodleian Library, Oxford - Thanks her for her letter, they have received the manuscript [of 'The Growth of Plato's Ideal Theory']; Macmillan could borrow it if they need it before it officially becomes Bodleian property; any part of it could be photographed by the Clarendon Press; is sending her letter on to the President of Magdalen as she requests.

Letter from Charles Johnston to Lady Frazer

c/o la Baronne de Watteville, 22 Avenue Victor Hugo, Boulogne S. Seine - His visit is nearly at an end, and he thanks her for making introductions to Madame de Pange, la Duchesse de La Rochefoucauld - through whom he met Paul Valéry, Madame Renan, Mr and Mrs Jules Toutain, la Directrice du British Institute, Mr Lévy-Bruhl, and Mr Varagnac.

Letters of Thanks for the Downie Biography, Letter Miscellany, and Letters to Sir James George Frazer and Lilly Frazer (A-C)

FRAZ/16 consists of one box containing 131 letters and two writings which fall into three discernable groups with an unformed miscellany in the middle. Items 1-51 consist of letters written primarily to Lilly Frazer from friends and selected institutions to thank her for the copy of R. Angus Downie's biography 'James George Frazer: the Portrait of a Scholar' published in 1940. The letters date from June to October 1940, and many of the correspondents refer to life in wartime, including R. R. Marett, who writes on 12 June about his son Jack, missing after the attack on the HMS Glorious (Item 34).

Letters 52-70 are letters of congratulation on the award of the Légion d'honneur and date from March and April 1926. Items 71-98 are the miscellany, and include two writings, a group of Frazer's poems, and a speech made at Queen's College, London (Items 97 and 98). This group also includes Asquith's letter offering the knighthood in June 1914 (Item 82), and a typed copy of a letter from J. G. Frazer to Alfred Radcliffe-Brown (Item 74).

Letters 99-131 are the start of the alphabetic run that continues into box 17. The 168 letters in box 17 span the dates 1888-1940 with the bulk dating from the 1920s and 1930s, are addressed to J. G. Frazer and sometimes also Lilly Frazer and primarily concern J. G. Frazer's works and related personal business. The alphabetic run continues with 22 letters by Warren Dawson on the topic of the Frazer Lectures volume followed by 11 more letters related to the volume which interrupt the alphabetic order, a number of them relating to the question of omitting R. R. Marett's lecture from the volume. Two letters from Lilly Frazer to James Frazer, the only two letters between them in the papers appear here, Items 48 and 49, dated December 1904.

There are three speeches in FRAZ/17 as well: a copy of the speech by Canon Farrar at Durham University conferring the Honorary Doctor of Letters on Frazer (Item 42), a summary of a speech by René Maunier, President of the French Folklore Society (Item 47); Frazer's speech on being admitted an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple (Item 101).

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