Fall 2019 Exhibit
RESCUING HORACE WALPOLE: THE ACHIEVEMENT OF W.S. LEWIS (1895-1975)
Wilmarth S. “Lefty” Lewis (Yale Class of 1918) devoted the better part of his life to building the world’s greatest collection relating to Horace Walpole (1717–97), the British writer, collector and historian. He also championed Walpole’s importance as a figure in English eighteenth-century cultural and political life, doing so most effectively as general editor and guiding spirit of the Yale Edition of Horace Walpole’s Correspondence (Yale University Press, 1937-83), whose 48 volumes are widely acknowledged to this day as a model of scholarship in historical editing.
This fall’s exhibition, Rescuing Horace Walpole: the achievement of W.S. Lewis, pays tribute to Lewis’s life and legacy as a scholar-collector, on the 40th anniversary of his bequest of the Lewis Walpole Library to his alma mater, Yale University. Drawing heavily on the recently cataloged Lewis archives, the exhibition shows how the total dedication of the collector evolved into a monumental achievement of scholarship in the Yale-Walpole edition and, in the process, transformed perceptions of Walpole and his age.
Rescuing Horace Walpole: the achievement of W.S. Lewis will be on view at the Lewis Walpole Library September 2019 – March 2020.
A related symposium, on September 21st, in New Haven, will explore the past, present, and future of scholarly editions of the collected works and correspondences of early modern British writers, ranging from the Yale Horace Walpole (1717-1797) and Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) editions, to new editions now being planned for Alexander Pope (1688-1744) and Aphra Behn (1640?-1689). For further information please contact the Library.