"Life Hath Mutable Wings"

The Sheila and Terry Meyers Collection of Swinburneiana
April 10, 2023 to January 22, 2024
Cabinet card portrait of Algernon Charles Swinburne standing in front of steps and ivy covered brickwork
Cabinet card of Algernon Charles Swinburne, undated

Sheila and Terry Meyers Collection of Swinburneiana (MS 00291)

English poet Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909) is a figure of fascinating contrast. Diminutive in stature yet larger-than-life in personality, in uncertain health but also highly energetic, in the first half of his career he flouted Victorian social standards with the provocative subject matter of his poetry and his scandalous personal life. Yet in his later years he eschewed much of his former passionate excess and became socially respectable. 

For many years Swinburne has been most known for his vivid and lyrical poetry and his influence on the Decadent and Aesthetic movements. Only lately scholars have begun to appreciate the full depth of his work and the insights to be gleaned from examining his life and his social relationships with fellow writers and artists. Gathered together by Dr. Terry Meyers, this collection of books, manuscripts, and other items by and relating to Swinburne is an invaluable resource for studying and appreciating the many facets of this singular writer.

Curator: Kathleen McCallister, Cataloging & Metadata Librarian
Curatorial Assistance: Jay Gaidmore, Marian and Alan McLeod Director of Special Collections
Designer: Jennie Davy, Exhibits and Artifacts Curator