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Guide to the Roberts, Ursula, Incoming correspondence, ca. 1910-1960
M0908  
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Description
British poet, writer and political activist. During the Edwardian period, while in her 20s, wife of a pacifist Socialist clergyman, Roberts first took an active part in the campaign for women's suffrage. Using her pseudonym Susan Miles for most of her writer's career, she published her first inflammatory pamphlet THE CAUSE OF PURITY AND WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE in 1912. By the end of the first World War, the date of the earliest letters in this archive, her interest had expanded to such feminist issues as the admission of women to the clergy. But it was in the 1920s and 1930s while part of the literary circle which revolved around ADELPHI MAGAZINE, launched by Katherine Mansfield's widower and D.H. Lawrence's closest friend J. Middleton Murry, that she became an active participant in the anti-war movement which swept British left-wing intellectual circles, until it became clear to many of her friends that "peace at any price" meant surrender to Nazi and Fascist dictatorship. (quoted from dealer's description)
Background
The British writer Ursula (Wyllie) Roberts was born in 1887, the daughter of the "ardent conservative" Lt.-Col. R.J.H. Wyllie. By early adulthood she had rejected many of the beliefs of her upbringing and become an "idealistic agnostic" and pacifist. She married the socialist, pacifist Reverend William Corbett Roberts in 1909 and began her career as a poet, novelist and activist, publishing "The Cause of Purity and Women's Suffrage"-"a tough-minded pamphlet on prostitution which confronts low wages and child abuse"-in 1912. For later publications Ursula Roberts used the pseudonym "Susan Miles." The poems and stories of "Miss Miles" were published in various journals and volumes. Her major books are Dunch (1918), a book of free verse sketches about Crick, "an old-style rural parish" in Northants, Blind Men Crossing a Bridge (1934), Rabboni (1942), a memoir of her late husband in 1955, and the verse novel Lettice Delmer (1958). Roberts was active in peace and women's movements throughout her career, maintaining her pacifist ideals even into the Cold War when many British intellectuals had abandoned theirs. In the 1960s, she became a strong supporter of nuclear disarmament.
Extent
.5 linear ft.
Restrictions
Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.
Availability
None.