John Crowe Ransom Robert Graves Correspondence Collection

Identifier: MSS.0604

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content Note

This small collection (.21 linear feet) includes correspondence from John Crowe Ransom to Robert Graves during the years 1922 to 1926. Also included are poems, newspaper clippings, reviews of books about Ransom, and materials concerning Ransom’s 80th birthday celebration at Kenyon College.


  • 1922-1971

Language of Materials


Biographical Notes

John Crowe Ransom noted poet, critic, educator and editor was born April 30, 1888 in Pulaski, Tennessee. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1909, was a Rhodes Scholar at Christ Church, Oxford, 1910-1913, and joined the Faculty at Vanderbilt in 1914, where he taught English until 1937. While at Vanderbilt, Ransom was a major figure in both the Fugitive and Agrarian groups. He published in the Fugitive magazine (1922-1925) and contributed the introduction “A Statement of Principles” and the initial essay “Reconstructed but Unregenerate” for I’ll Take My Stand. In 1937 Ransom accepted a position at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio as Carnegie Professor of Poetry. While at Kenyon he founded and edited an important literary quarterly, The Kenyon Review (1939-1959). His works of poetry include Poems About God (1919), Chills and Fever (1924), and Selected Poems (1945, 1963, 1969). Among the many honors and awards he received were the Bollingen Award in 1951 and the National Book Award for poetry in 1963. There are a number of books written about him and his poetry including Thomas Daniel Young’s biography Gentleman in a Dustcoat (1976) He died in 1974 at the age of eighty six. This collection is a record of his correspondence with the poet and novelist Robert Graves.

Robert Graves poet, novelist, and scholar was born July 24, 1895 in Wimbledon, Surrey, England. He was educated at Charterhouse School and was offered a scholarship at St. John’s College at Oxford, which he declined and soon after joined the the Royal Welch Fusiliers to fight in the first World War. During that time he befriended and defended fellow poet Siegfried Sassoon. Graves was seriously injured at the Battle of the Somme(1916) and presumed dead. He recovered and went on to have a long life and literary career, publishing poetry and novels and works of scholarship. He was married twice (to Nancy Nicholson and Beryl Hodge ) and had eight children, and some of his personal life was unorthodox, including his relationship with Fugitive poet Laura Riding. Together they published with their Seizin Press two important academic books: A Survey of Modernist Poetry (1927) and A Pamphlet against Anthologies (1928). Graves also published several books which remain highly regarded: I Claudius (1934); The White Goddess(1948); and The Greek Myths (1955) among others.. Graves always considered himself a poet first and foremost. He died on December 7, 1985 at the age of ninety, and is buried in Majorca beside his wife Beryl in a small churchyard overlooking the sea. The correspondence in this collection is from John Crowe Ransom to Robert Graves with accompanying poems and newspaper reviews.


2.50 Linear Feet

Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives

Finding Aid for the John Crowe Ransom Robert Graves Correspondence Collection
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Library
1101 19th Ave. S.
Nashville TN 37212 United States


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