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MS 586

Reference code

MS 586


Rupert Brooke collection



Administrative / Biographical history

Moseley, Howard (1941-2005)

Walter Howard Moseley was Master of Latin and Greek at Eton College from 1965 to 2001. He died in 2005.

Brooke, Rupert Chawner (1887-1915)

Brooke, Rupert Chawner (1887–1915), poet, was born on 3 August 1887 in Warwickshire. His father, William Parker Brooke (1850–1910), was housemaster of School Field at Rugby School. Brooke attended Hillbrow preparatory school and then Rugby, where he began to write poems, and to fall in love with other boys. In 1906 he went up to King’s College, Cambridge to read classics.

After graduation Brooke lived in Grantchester and published poetry, though briefly he served as housemaster at the Rugby School after his father’s death in 1910. His first volume of poetry was published in 1911.

After a series of complex relationships with both men and women Brooke suffered a nervous breakdown in 1912. He travelled in 1913 and 1914, and on his return to England enlisted in the Royal Naval division. Brooke was present at the siege of Antwerp, but saw little of active duty. During this time his five war sonnets were written. In February 1915 Brooke died at sea, en route to Gallipolli. It is thought that he suffered septicaemia from a mosquito bite. His poems were published posthumously in 1915 and 1918.

References: Caesar, A. Brooke, Rupert Chawner (1887–1915), poet. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 28 Jul. 2021, from https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-32093.


Early 20th century

Extent & medium

7 boxes, 3 albums and 2 items

Content description

This collection of Rupert Brooke material is a valuable resource for those interested in Rupert Brooke and his relationships with notable associates, including Noel Olivier, Brynhild Olivier, Edward Marsh, Ka Cox, Siegfried Sassoon and other members of the Neo-Pagan and Bloomsbury circles.

The Rupert Brooke autograph manuscripts in this collection include fragments of ?unpublished poems and prose by Brooke, leaves of manuscript notes used when Brooke was trying to learn Tahitian and the corrected typescript of 'Lithuania'. It is also worth mentioning that there are two notebooks containing Noel Olivier's notes on Edward Marsh's memoir of Rupert Brooke.

There are several hundred autograph letters in the collection, many from Brooke to members of his circle. The collection has particularly interesting series of letters between Brooke and Noel Olivier and Brynhild Olivier. These letters are complemented by letters from Brooke's mother and other members of his circle, including Edward Marsh and the others mentioned above.

In addition to this, the collection has photographs that belonged to Brooke, Noel Olivier's photograph album and Dudley Ward's photographs of the Brooke circle. There is also a small collection of ephemera, including a programme for the 1908 production of John Milton's 'Comus', signed by the cast (including Brooke).

The papers of Howard Moseley have been kept with the collection. His papers that relate to the Brooke collection retain all of the booksellers' correspondence and receipts that transpired during his collecting years. There is also a box of his papers that relate more directly to Eton.

It should be mentioned that Moseley also bequeathed his print collection of Brooke material to the College too. This includes first editions of Brooke's works, later editions, dedication copies and books from Brooke's library. These are catalogued individually.


Most of the material in this archive originates from Howard Moseley's personal collection. Moseley (1941-2005) taught Latin and Greek language and literature at Eton for thirty six years, for ten of which he was also a housemaster. As a lover of literature, Moseley started gathering an important collection of Rupert Brooke material in 1974, a collection that continued to grow up to his death.

This original bequest has been supplemented with a small number of new, recent additons. This distinction is specified at file level where appropriate. If there is no provenance information given at file level, it should be assumed that the material originates from Moseley's collection.
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