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Naomi Royde-Smith papers

Call Number: MS 1


This collection contains incoming and outgoing correspondence from 1926 to 1934, mostly in connection to Naomi Royde-Smith's publishing and writing career, but personal and other business correspondence is also present. The collection also contains some of Royde-Smith's short story manuscripts, household bills/receipts, royalty statements, invitations, correspondence written by/to Royde-Smith's husband Ernest Milton, and other miscellaneous papers.


  • Creation: 1926 - 1934


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 Naomi Royde-Smith

Naomi Royde-Smith was born Naomi Gwladys Royde-Smith on 30 April 1875 at Craven Edge in Halifax, England. Her parents, Michael Holroyd Smith (1847-1932) and Anne (Williams) Smith (1848-1934), had 8 children - two boys and six girls - of which Naomi was the eldest. Her father was an electrical engineer working for the South London Railway. Royde-Smith attended Clapham High School in London and finishing school in Geneva, Switzerland.

Royde-Smith began her career as a literary reviewer at the Saturday Westminster Gazette. By 1912, she was the Gazette's literary editor, the first woman to hold this position. Her social circle at this time included elite literati and intellectuals, including Aldous Huxley, W.B. Yeats, and Edith Sitwell, among others.

In 1922, after Royde-Smith quit her position at the Gazette, she made her first foray into writing. Her earliest publication, The Tortoiseshell Cat (1925), is considered to be one of her best novels. Over her nearly 40-year writing career, she would produce 40 more novels and four plays. In 1926, she married the American actor Ernest Gianello Milton (1890–1974). They lived throughout England until Royde-Smith's death by renal failure at a London hospital on 28 July 1964.

By all accounts, Royde-Smith was known for her wit, vivaciousness, and commanding presence. Perhaps due in part to her own successes, she also championed previously unknown writers, publishing the early works of Rupert Brooke and D.H. Lawrence, among others.


2.5 Linear Feet (5 document cases)

Language of Materials




The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence, which has been separated by type: publishing correspondence; professional correspondence not directly related to publishing; correspondence related to managing the household; and personal correspondence. Additionally there are manuscripts by Royde-Smith and a small amount of miscellenous material, including correspondence to and from Royde Smith's husband Ernest Milton, ephemera, and other items.

Within each set of correspondence, folders are organized alphabetically by correspondent's family or organization name.

Physical Location

MS 1

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, G. F. Sims, March 1960.

Processing Information

The collection has gone through a number of reorganizations from multiple processors since its acceptance at Spencer Research Library; it is unclear whether the collection was received in any original order.

Guide to the Naomi Royde-Smith Collection
Naomi Royde-Smith papers
Finding aid prepared by sm, 1961; alh, 1977; nw, 2019. Finding aid encoded by nw, 2019.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Support for the processing of this collection was provided by the G. Baley Price Spencer Research Library Fellowship Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Naomi Royde-Smith Papers and Manuscripts, MS 1, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

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

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States