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Mathilde Blind correspondence

Call Number: MS P607


A collection of six letters by poet and biographer Mathilde Blind. Correspondents include Charles Rowley, a social reformer and figure involved in the Manchester, England arts scene, pre-Raphaellite painter Frederic Shields, and a "Mr. Dolman."


  • 1891 - 1896


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 Mathilde Blind (1841-1896)

Mathilde Cohen was born in 1841 in Mannheim, Germany to a Jewish banker and his second wife, Friederike Ettlinger. After Cohen died, her mother remarried to Karl Blind (1826-1907), a political writer who was involved in the insurrections in Baden during the 1848 European revolutions. Mathilde took her stepfather's name, and the Blinds moved to London, England as political refugees in 1852.

Mathilde Blind received some education at a series of girls' schools but was apparently more inspired by the political conversations she overheard at her parents' house, where other political refugees from the European continent met. In 1859 Blind traveled to Switzerland and undertook an Alps walking tour by herself, as well as studying with a group of revolutionaries.

In 1866 Blind's brother Ferdinand attempted to assassinate Otto von Bismarck, at the time the Prime Minister of Prussia. Ferdinand committed suicide in prison after the failed attempt, which had a profound affect on Blind. Throughout the rest of her life, she published poetry and essays, gave public lectures, wrote biographies, and translated German and French works into English. Her subjects included Guiseppe Manzinni, Percy Bysse Shelley, Lord Byron, George Eliot, the Scottish Highland clearances,and Darwinian theories of evolution, amongst other topics.

A feminist, Blind moved out of her parents' home at the age of 30 to live independently, never marrying. She belonged to a large circle of women Victorian authors and was closely associated with the Rosetti family, Ford Madox Brown, and Arthur Symons, amongst other literary and artistic figures of the late 19th century.

[Information retrieved from Srebrnik, Patricia, "Blind [nee Cohen], Mathilde," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004.]


3 folders ; Folders measure 22x37 cm.

Physical Location

MS P607

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, W.D. Paden estate, 1979.

Related Materials

Other collections at Kenneth Spencer Research Library containing correspondence from Blind include Rossetti family correspondence, MS 23, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas; and the Papers of Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy, MS 24, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Guide to the Mathilde Blind Collection
Mathilde Blind correspondence
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1992. Finding aid encoded by mwh, 2021.
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
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Preferred citation
Mathilde Blind correspondence, MS P607, 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