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Letitia Elizabeth Landon papers

Call Number: MS 223


Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L.E.L.) was an English poet and novelist in the early 19th century. This collection contains several poems, as well as letters sent and received by Landon. Additional letters written by Landon's mother Catherine Jane (Bishop) Landon and a family friend, Katherine Thomson (1797-1856), are included.


  • 1822-1844?


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Letitia E. Landon was born in 1802 at 25 Hans Place, Chelsea, London to John and Catherine Jane (Bishop) Landon. She had a younger brother, Whittington Henry, and a younger sister who died at age thirteen.

In 1815, the family moved to Old Brompton in London and next door to William Jerdan (1782-1869), the editor of the Literary Gazette. Jerdan took notice of Landon, and she was able to publish many poems in the Literary Gazette, when she began signing her work "L.E.L."

In the 1830s, Landon was the center of a series of rumors claiming she was involved in romantic affairs with various men. Resulting from these rumors, her engagement to John Forster was broken off in 1835. In 1838, she married George MacLean, the governor of Cape Castle Colony on the African Gold Coast. Later that year, she was found dead, apparently of prussic acid poisoning.


.25 Linear Feet (1 document case)

Scope and Contents

The collection includes five poems written and signed by L.E.L.; sixteen letters written by L.E.L. to William Jerdan, Anna Maria and S.C. Hall, and others; one letter to L.E.L. from a "Mr. Emerson," and letters written by Catherine Jane Landon and Katherine Thomson. The collection also includes two engraved portraits of L.E.L, probably cut from books or periodicals.

Physical Location

MS 223

Other Finding Aids

More detailed information on individual items, including summaries of many letters, is available in the attached Pdf:

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Unknown (most of collection).

MS 223 Bc:2 Arthur Rogers (Rose Morgan Fund), June 20, 1956.

Guide to the Letitia Landon Collection
Letitia Elizabeth Landon papers
Finding aid prepared by sda, 2013.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in<language encodinganalog="language">English</language>
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Letitia Landon Collection, Department of Special Collections, MS 223, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States