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Typescript copies of letters (A-G) to Sir James George Frazer

The six boxes which comprise Add.Ms.b.35-37 contain over 1100 typescript copies of letters written to Sir James George Frazer, arranged by surname of correspondent. Their existence is explained in the archival history above, with related information in the catalogue record for Add.Ms.c.56. The typescripts were made between 1947 and 1955, and are transcripts of letters written between 1888 and 1930, with the bulk dating from 1900-1920, earlier than the closely related Sir James George Frazer Papers also at Trinity College Library. Many of the correspondents here are also represented by letters in the Sir James George Frazer Papers.

The letters document the life and work of social anthropologist and classical scholar Sir James George Frazer. Research strengths include Frazer's writings in the 1900s and 1910s, social anthropology, folklore, classical scholarship, Trinity College academic and social life, and the impact of World War I. There is evidence here of Frazer's support of anthropologists who wished to embark on expeditions, discussions of anthropological theory and classical scholarship, and discussions of books Frazer published during this period: the second and third editions of 'The Golden Bough', as well as 'Lectures on the Early History of the Kingship', 'Adonis, Attis, Osiris', 'Psyche's Task', 'Totemism and Exogamy', 'The Letters of William Cowper', 'The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead', 'The Essays of Joseph Addison', and 'Folk-Lore in the Old Testament'.

Add.Ms.b.35 are the first two boxes in the alphabetic sequence of letters, covering the surnames A-G. There are 383 typescript copies of letters in these first two boxes, as well as three other items catalogued as stand-alone items: typescript copies of an offprint, an extract, and a cutting of an article (Items 351a, 372, and 380a). Of the eleven copies of letters written by J. G. Frazer, five are published in Robert Ackerman's 'Selected Letters of Sir J. G. Frazer', and none are represented by originals in the Add.Ms.c.56-61 series (see the Allied Materials note below). There is one letter written to Lilly Frazer, from Wickham Steed (Item 366).

Most of the letters are from correspondents represented by one or two letters only, but there are four groups of more than 15 letters from one correspondent: from John Sutherland Black (Items 83-95), Edward Clodd (Items 173-197, which include 6 letters written by JGF to Clodd), William Crooke (Items 241-267), and W. Warde Fowler (Items 314-330). There are also two third-party letters: from J. B. Postgate to A. B. Cook (Item 227), and from J. H. Driberg to John Roscoe (Item 284), each probably originally enclosures in letters sent to Frazer. None of these letters are represented by originals in the Add.Ms.c.56-61 series.

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

Copy letter from J. [Israel?] Abrahams to Dr Frazer

11 St. Barnabas Road, Cambridge. Dated Nov. 11 1913 - Has had many letters praising Frazer's letter, and expresses his own admiration. With a MS note at bottom: 'Referring to Kiev trials, and J.G.F.'s letter disclaiming a belief in Jewish ritual murders.'

Copy letter from J. [Israel?] Abrahams to Dr Frazer

11 St. Barnabas Road, Cambridge. Dated Dec. 17 1913 - Thanks him for the essay ['The Serpent and the Tree of Life' in 'Essays and Studies presented to William Ridgeway'], enjoyed his explanation of the Two Trees night which is otherwise unintelligible in Genesis, and thanks him for the new edition of 'The Golden Bough'.

Copy letter from J. [Israel?] Abrahams to Sir James Frazer

11 St. Barnabas Road, Cambridge. Dated Dec. 1, 1916 - Thanks him for the Huxley Lecture; has written Ginsberg [Louis Ginzberg] for his sources; addresses a question concerning Josephus's Baaras story; recommends some notes in Franz Delitzsch's 'German Commentary on the Song of Songs'.

Copy letter from Leonhard Adam to [J. G. Frazer?]

Berlin W 50, Ansbacherstr. 6. Dated Nov. 3d 1920 - Thanks him for his condolence letter after the death of Josef Kohler, and for his interest in the expansion of his periodical. With MS note at bottom: 're Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Rechtswissenschaft'.

Copy letter from Edwin Tappan Adney to Sir J. G. Frazer

Army and Navy Veterans in Canada, Kingston, Ontario, 153 Sydenham Street. Dated September 3, 1920 - Has been enjoying reading 'The Golden Bough' and 'Folk-Lore in the Old Testament' and discusses evidence that the Hebrews understood the correction for the lunar and solar years.

Copy letter from L. H. Allen to Dr J. G. Frazer

Leipzig, Dufourstr. 31 I. Dated July 18th 1905 - Shares some of his experience with 'Australian aborigines' in his visits to a reservation on the shores of Lake Wallaga, agreeing with Frazer's remarks 'on the untrustworthiness of evidence from the aborigines', and sharing tales of a man known as King Murimun [or King Merriman, or Umbarra], including two told by Mr Hockey, the resident missionary, concerning chosing the day to bury the dead, becoming ill after a strange woman's shadow fell on him; says Hockey regretted that European customs had not been introduced gradually; suggests that the Wollunqua might have been based on some sort of mammoth animal actually in existence.

Copy letter from Isabella M. Anderson to Mr J. G. Frazer

Barskimming, Mauchline, Ayrshire. Dated 10 March 1911 - Thanks him for ['The Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings']; writes of her visit to 'Tiney' [Christina McCall Frazer] and found her better than she expected, hopes the doctors have it wrong, is glad she doesn't know of their suspicions.

Copy letter from J. Adam to Frazer

St. Giles's House, Chesterton Lane, Cambridge. Dated March 3 1898 - Thanks him for the photographs which recalled happy days being guided by Apostolis through Greece; congratulates him on finishing ['Pausanias'?] and for finding quiet in Cambridge when most 'live in a ceaseless tempest of teaching and tutoring'.

Copy letter from J. D. Anderson to Dr Frazer

Mostyn House, Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge. Dated 14th March 1910 - Writes about the winds in the Khasi hills in answer to his enquiry, and lists the names of the intermediate points of the compass, the four 'Kons'; is just back from reading E. A. Gait's paper on the Indian Census to the Society of Arts.

Copy letter from J. D. Anderson to Dr Frazer

Mostyn House, Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge. Dated 19th May 1914 - Encloses a letter from his son [James?], who is assistant political officer in Simla; Haddon thought he would like to see it; has been reading proofs of E. A. Gait's paper on the Census; asks if he heard that Sylvain Lévi was called by a reporter to comment on Rabindranath Tagore received the Nobel prize, 'on the ground that a learned Israelite would sure know something about "le rabbin Tégoro"'; [Sir William] Ridgeway is perturbed about Ulster, and took a leading part in the demonstration on Parker's Piece, but it was not well attended.

Copy letter from N. Annandale to Frazer

34 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh. Dated May 22nd /03 - Thanks him for his kind letter about his paper on Malay religion, will be continuing with ghosts, familiar spirits, wandering spirits, ritual and magic; answers his question about the reverence paid to certain fishes by certain Pitani [Patani?] families; thinks there should be a proper investigation of the beliefs of the aboriginal tribes of the Malay Peninsula; unfortunately Vaughan Stevens's work is not reliable, wonders what information [Walter William] Skeat will add in his forthcoming book; his own title of 'research student in anthropology' is an empty one, as any graduate may use it.

Copy letter from J. D. Anderson to Dr Frazer

Mostyn House, Brooklands Avenue. Dated 5th June 1911 - Asks if he knows of tribes who are 'only admitted to civilised society or religious rights on condition of bearing some opprobrious name' as it might reassure the Chang people, admitted to Hinduism as Chandals, a name originally applied to a 'monstrous union' between forbidden Hindu degrees.

Copy letter from Isabella M. Anderson to Mr J. G. Frazer

Barskimming, Mauchline, Ayrshire. Dated 12th August 1913 - Thanks him for his notes on Penuel and Peniel, but reminds him it was Pethuel they were looking for; her Norwegian friend Mr Heiberg described bonfires in Norway on Midsummer's Eve; is enclosing two accounts of native customs from Behar; Mr Fallowfield, the engineer in charge who starts the engine, describes having wreaths hung about his neck.

Copy letter from J. D. Anderson to Frazer

Mostyn House, Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge. Dated 25th July 1912 - Has been ill and has much enjoyed reading his 'Letters of William Cowper'; was ill because he was sitting in a draught listening to Rabindranath Tagore, whose work he admires; his neighbour Dr [Owen Charles?] Whitehouse admires Cowper and is pleased to hear Frazer has published his letters.

Copy letter from J. D. Anderson to Frazer

Mostyn House, Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge. Dated 10th December 1915 - Accepts an invitation to tea; [Sir William] Ridgeway, [Edmund Crosby] Quiggin and others were praising Frazer in the Combination Room; as for his three boys serving in the war [William, Martin, and James] his sapper boy who was wounded in January is off again to the Mediterranean, and the other two boys are in Flanders; has been writing a note to a French girl whose brother is missing and whose brother-in-law died at Verdun.

Copy letter from Katharine Atholl to Sir James Frazer

98 Elm Park Gardens, S.W. 10. Dated 6th November 1930. Confidential - Is writing a book on women in politics and asks his opinion on an extract from George Bernard Shaw's 'The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism' about landlords forcing Dissenters to send their children to Church schools, and to use their power over women to anticipate a husband's privilege - asks if Frazer come across any further information on the subject since writing 'Folk-Lore in the Old Testament'. With enclosed transcript of the extract.

Copy letter from J. D. Anderson to Dr Frazer

Mostyn House, Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge. Dated 8th Febr. 1910 - Sends the MS of Mr Endle's work on the Bodos, which he has been given to edit and which has notes on totemistic clans; Endle knew the Kacharis well.

Copy letter from J. D. Anderson to Dr Frazer

Mostyn House, Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge. Dated 27th March 1910 - Passes on the permission from [Philip] Gurdon for Frazer to quote from [Sidney] Endle's book; is 'ploughing slowly through' Satis Chandra Ghos's book on the Chakmas.

Copy letter from J. D. Anderson to Frazer

Mostyn House, Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge. Dated 13th Dec. 1916 - Thanks him for the pamphlet, ['Ancient Stories of the Great Flood']; is distracted as his son David is reading 'Histoire de M. Blanc' by Lilly Frazer aloud; is in a state of constant anxiety regarding his older boys [James, Martin, and William]: one wounded two years ago is at the Front, another is flying seaplanes [William Louis Anderson?], the third doing light duty while he recovers from an injury shortly after receiving the military cross.

Copy letter from N. Annandale to Frazer

34 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh. Dated June 1st, 1904 - Is sorry he can't give him information regarding the fire-drill among the tribes of the Malay Peninsula; there is evidence that the specimens obtained by Vaughan Stevens were forgeries, and that he was often under the influence of morphia, making his observations unreliable; agrees that associating sex to different parts of the fire-drill suggests a primitive race, has noticed the sexuality of nature as conceived of by the Malays, and gives examples; sails for India to take a place at Calcutta, which he is afraid will hamper him from his real work, anthropology.

Copy letter from Robert Arnaud to J. G. Frazer

Dated 30 août 1923 - Understands that Frazer's correspondent Barbara Aitken [Barbara Freire-Marreco] is interested in his articles on the Habés, and lists other publications; in one he appends a lexicon of four of the thirty or so dialects, and thinks it would be very desirable to have an ethnographer with philological skills visit, they would be made welcome; understands she wants photographs, he does not have these, but made sketches in a journal now in Algeria, recommends 'Agence economique de l'Afrique occidentale in Paris as a source.

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