Scope and Contents
The collection primarily consists of 189 letters addressed to Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine, a prominent British novelist and secretary to Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the poet and painter. The bulk of the correspondence is hand-written signed letters. There are many typed signed letters, along with other forms of correspondence, such as a telegram. Caine lived from May 14, 1853 until August 31, 1931. Caine greatly admired Rosetti and the Pre-Raphaelite writings and much of the correspondence centers around the movement. Literary themes, especially related to events of the day, predominate the subjects of the letters. Many prominent intellectuals wrote to Caine, including Sir James M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan; Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, a leading playwright of the late Victorian and Edwardian periods; Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery and British prime minister from 1894 to 1895; Israel Zangwill, a writer and Zionist; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a Scottish writer best known for his series of stories about Sherlock Holmes; and Sir Walter Besant, an English novelist and philantropist.
Correspondence in this collection is contained within one letter-sized document case measuring .5 linear feet. The collection is arranged alphabetically by the writer's name and chronologically if there is more than one letter by the writer. The only exceptions to this arrangement are the personal files of Caine containing personal papers and family correspondence. The collection is in good condition.
This material is open for research.
Conditions Governing Access
Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 713-348-2586.
Permission to publish from the Papers of Sir Hall Caine must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.
Sir (Thomas Henry) Hall Caine was born on May 14, 1853 in Cheshire, England. He grew up in Liverpool, and after leaving school at 14, began working for an architecture firm. He began reading the writings of John Ruskin and became an active member of the Ruskin Society. He wrote regularly for the Liverpool papers.
Caine was entralled by the poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and befriended the poet in 1879. He eventually went to live at Rossetti's London home and remined there until Rossetti's death in 1882. Through Rossetti, Caine was introduced to the Pre-Raphaelite circle, making many good friends, including Ford Madox Brown, William Sharp, Frederic Shields, and Theodore Watts.
Caine produced fifteen romantic novels, and became extremely popular and famous. His novel, The Christian was the first novel in Britain to sell 1 million copies.
Caine championed campaigns for votes for women, marriage law reform, and workers' rights. During the First World War he contributed Allied propaganda for the Daily Telegraph newspaper. He was knighted in 1917. He died on August 31, 1931.
Vivien Allen, ‘Caine, Sir (Thomas Henry) Hall (1853–1931)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2011 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/32237, accessed 29 March 2016]
0.5 Linear Feet
Language of Materials