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Francis Thompson Collection

Memorial to Francis Thompson, John Owens Building, The University of Manchester.

400 items.

Francis Thompson (1859–1907), poet and prose writer, was born in Preston, Lancashire, and studied medicine unsuccessfully at Owens College from 1876 to 1882, three times failing his examinations.

He moved to London, where he fell prey to opium addiction and suffered destitution.

He published his first volume of poetry in 1893; this included his most famous work, 'The Hound of Heaven'.

The collection, which was accumulated by John Francis Power and purchased by the Library in 1969, comprises first editions of Thompson’s poems and prose, with critical and biographical publications.

Very few of the items described by Stonehill are wanting. There is an especially fine edition of The Hound of Heaven (Chatto and Windus, 1914), and an edition of the Works printed at Bernard Newdigate’s Arden Press for Francis and Wilfrid Meynell (1913). The latter volume is handsomely bound in full vellum, with an autograph letter from Wilfrid and two typescript notes from Francis tipped in. Wilfrid Meynell was Thompson’s editor, friend and literary executor.

Finding aids

Recorded in general printed-book catalogue.


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

Further information

For members of The University of Manchester only:

English Poetry in our electronic resources collection contains the full text of many works by and about Thompson.

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