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MS 430

Reference code

MS 430


Anne Thackeray Ritchie collection



Administrative / Biographical history

Ritchie, Anne Thackeray (1837-1919) and Norman-Butler, Belinda (1908-2008)

Anne Thackeray Ritchie, more commonly known as Anny, was the daughter of the novelist William Makepeace Thackeray and his wife Isabella Gethin Shawe, and was herself a novelist.

Born in 1837 and living until 1919, she witnessed a period of enormous social and technological change and she was notable for moving widely in Victorian literary, artistic and social circles.

She had two younger sisters: Jane, born in 1839, who died at eight months, and Harriet Marian ('Minny', 1840–1875), who married Leslie Stephen in 1869. The two girls spent their childhood in France and then England and remained close throughout their lives.

Anne married her cousin Richmond Thackeray Willoughby Ritchie (1854–1912), seventeen years her junior, in 1877 and she assumed the name Anne Thackeray Ritchie. Richmond was awarded a KCB in 1907 for his work as a civil servant at the India Office and so Anne became Lady Ritchie. The couple had two children, Hester and Billy.

Her first novel, ‘The Story of Elizabeth’, was published in 1863, and she continued to produce novels for the next decade including ‘The Village on the Cliff’, ‘Old Kensington’ and ‘Mrs. Dymond’, all of which received high contemporary praise.



Extent & medium

2 series (46 boxes)

Content description

The archive is divided between a significant collection autograph letters and individual items. The letters relate directly to Anne Thackeray Ritchie and her correspondence with a variety of notable people in Victorian society.

The individual items relate to the family more widely. As well as including papers relating to Anne Thackeray Ritchie, it also includes items concerning her sister and her family, her husband and her grandchildren.

The collection predominately relates to Thackeray Ritchie’s adult life.


Collected by Anne Thackeray Richie during her lifetime, the collection was passed down to her granddaughter Mrs. Belinda Norman-Butler.

Associated material

Archive material:

A leaf from the manuscript of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species that is part of the Anne Thackeray Ritchie collection has been catalogued separately as an individual manuscript. Ref.: MS 430A

Eton College also holds the papers of Anne Thackeray Ritchie's granddaughter Belinda Norman-Butler. Ref.: MS 707.

Eton College also holds two separately acquired individual letters from Anne Thackeray Ritchie:
ALS to Frances Gray. Ref.: MS 973
ALS to C. F. Keary. Ref.: MS 974

Eton College Library also holds some two hundred volumes from William Makepeace Thackeray and Anne Thackeray Ritchie's library, purchased from Juliet Murray (another descendant) in 2013. These are catalogued on the library catalogue. A CD-ROM listing the volumes is kept with the books.

Drafts of Anne Thackeray Ritchie's work are held at Senate House Library, London, ref: MS 508.

Additional archive material and miscellaneous letters relating to Anne Thackeray Ritchie are held at East Sussex Record Office.

Reference material:

Eton College Library holds copies of various reference books relating to Anne Thackeray Ritchie and the Thackeray family, including a two volume biography by John Aplin. These are catalogued on the library catalogue.

Publication note

Anne Thackeray’s letters and journals were edited and published in 1994 by L. F. Shankman
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