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Collection Overview

Allingham, William, 1824-1889
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
William Allingham and Helen Paterson Allingham Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1


Consists of selected correspondence (1885-1887) of Irish writer William Allingham and twenty-seven letters (1892-1916) by his wife, watercolorist Helen Paterson Allingham, to artist William George Daffarn.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists of selected correspondence (1885-1887) of William Allingham and twenty-seven letters (1892-1916) by Helen Paterson Allingham to artist William George Daffarn. William Allingham's correspondents include Julia Margaret Cameron, Moncure Daniel Conway, Ellen Dickson, James Anthony Froude, Alexander Macmillan, Coventry Kersey Dighton Patmore, and William Michael Rossetti, the latter informing Allingham of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's marriage. Also included are three envelopes addressed to Allingham in the hands of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Dame Ellen Terry. Subjects mentioned in the letters are poetry and poets, and books and authors, such as Charles Dickens and Lord Tennyson.

Helen Allingham's letters to Daffarn discuss the progress of her drawings, mutual friends, the death and funeral of her friend and watercolor painter Edith Martineau, her health, and the horrors of the First World War.

Collection Creator Biography:

Allingham, William, 1824-1889

William Allingham was an Irish writer and poet of English descent. Between 1874 and 1879 he was sub-editor of Frazer's Magazine. In 1850 he published a volume of Poems, followed by Day and Night Songs in 1855. Allingham was a close friend of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who contributed to the illustration of Songs. Allingham also edited The Ballad Book for the Golden Treasury series in 1864. Other works include Fifty Modern Poems (1865), Evil May Day (1883), and Irish Songs and Poems. In 1874 Allingham married Helen Paterson.

Helen Paterson Allingham was a watercolor painter and illustrator of the Victorian era. In 1867 she went to study art at the Female School of Art in London and became an illustrator of children's books, including Six to Sixteen: A Story for Girls (1876), Happy England (1903) and The Homes of Tennyson (1905), written with her brother, Arthur Paterson. After her marriage to William Allingham, she became a watercolor painter, and was the first woman to become a full member of the Royal Watercolour Society. Allingham is best known for her rural scenes, particularly her views of cottages in Surrey and Sussex.

Collection History


William Allingham letters were purchased on March 19, 1952.

Helen Allingham letters were purchased on June 17, 1986.

Custodial History:

The collection was formed as a result of a Departmental practice of combining into one collection material of various accessions relating to a particular person, family, or subject.

Archival Appraisal Information:

No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information:

Folder inventory added by Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

William Allingham and Helen Paterson Allingham Collection; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184