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Henry Kirke White

In 1906 an image of the poet Henry Kirke White was reproduced on the menu for a centenary banquet to honour him in his native city of Nottingham.

An example survives among ephemera in the Kirke White literary papers. This is one of a number of library collections which support the study of an individual local literary figure.

Engravings of Clifton or neighbouring Wilford feature in many of the editions of Kirke White's most famous work, "Clifton Grove". After the poem's publication in 1803, its author became the protegé of the poet Robert Southey. Four years later Southey wrote an account of the life of Kirke White, and ensured that a posthumous edition of the young poet's work was published.

The fragmentary draft of a letter by Kirke White to the editors of the 'Nottingham Journal' describes his concern for the state of the town's female lace workers.

His compassionate notice of the physical debility of the lace girls is striking, given his own death of tuberculosis at the age of twenty-one. His letter links poverty and disease with moral weakness, commenting that for this reason "the appellations of [Lace] Runner & Prostitute are synonymous".

Further sources relating to this subject area are held by Manuscripts and Special Collections at King's Meadow Campus. See our website for information about our collections and catalogues.

Henry Kirke White Zoom in

Henry Kirke White

Clifton Grove, near Nottingham Zoom in

Clifton Grove, near Nottingham

Draft of letter to Nottingham Journal Zoom in

Draft of letter to 'Nottingham Journal'

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