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Abby Louise Tallmadge papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Tallmadge

Scope and Content of the Collection

The Abby Louise Tallmadge Papers consist of her incoming correspondence, primarily from Robert W. Chapman, secondarily from George Knight, a presumed descendant of Jane Austen, and a few other Austen scholars; some notes and work relating to Tallmadge's Ph.D. thesis and other literary memorabilia; and an early family scrapbook which contains genealogical information dating from ca. 1860. There is also material relating to Thomas Eddy Tallmadge which includes an 1891 diary of a trip to Europe and numerous newspaper clippings about his professional activities and reviews of his architectural books.


  • Creation: approximately 1860-1952



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Abby Louise Tallmadge papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 5 folders at a time maximum, and items in each folder will be counted before and after delivery to the patron (Priority I).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Abby Louise Tallmadge papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biography of Abby Louise Tallmadge

Evanston, Illinois sister of Chicago architect Thomas Eddy Tallmadge, who spent much of her life researching and writing about Jane Austen.

Abby Louise Tallmadge was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1878, two years after her brother, the well-known Chicago architect Thomas Eddy Tallmadge. After studying the Reconstruction period in American history and receiving an M.A. degree in 1917 from Northwestern University, Abby Tallmadge turned to an enduring interest in Jane Austen. This resulted in a Ph.D. from Northwestern in 1935 with a thesis which was titled Sense and Sensibility: Austenian Gleanings.

Abby Tallmadge never married, but spent her life in Evanston where she continued her education while maintaining an extended correspondence with Austen scholars. She was particularly close to Robert W. Chapman, an English editor and Oxford University publisher. Chapman, an avid and prolific scholar, produced a five-volume edition of Jane Austen's novels in 1923 plus numerous Austen studies that appeared in the next thirty years. Tallmadge saved over a hundred of his letters written between 1931 and 1950 which Chapman wrote responding to her literary theories and queries.


0.6 Linear Feet (2 boxes)


Correspondence to Abby L. Tallmadge from fellow scholars regarding her work on Jane Austen, a few manuscript copies of her scholarly work, a family scrapbook and printed material relating to the architectural work of her brother, Thomas Eddy Tallmadge.


Papers are organized in the following series:

Series 1: Abby Louise Tallmadge, 1930-1952
Box 1
Series 2: Tallmadge Family, approximately 1860-1941
Boxes 1-2

Collection Stack Location

1 33 5


Gift of Abby Louise Tallmadge, before 1967.

Processed by

Virginia H. Smith, 2001.

Inventory of the Abby Louise Tallmadge papers, approximately 1860-1952
Virginia H. Smith
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States