Collection ID: LMC 2366
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Collection context


Leng, Kyle P.
The Leng mss., 1909-1957, consist of the correspondence and papers of English photographer and printer Kyle P. Leng (d. 1958) and his family. By far the bulk of the correspondence is with Robert Gathorne-Hardy, 1902-1973, covering the years from the beginning of their relationship until Leng's death, or 1921-1958. There are several folders of Leng's correspondence with various members of his family and several more folders of correspondence with colleagues and friends. Correspondence with family includes that with Robert Leng, Ruth Leng, William Leng, and most abundantly, his brother Basil Leng, as well as childhood letters from both Kyrle as well as Basil. Correspondents in this latter group include Cecil Beaton, Lord David Cecil, Norman Douglas, Lady Ottoline Morrell, Siegfried Sassoon, and Stephen Tennant. Much of these correspondence involve communciation between British socialites, royalty, and other wealthy or upperclass members of early 20th century British Society. Also present are photographs, some poems and other writings by Leng, and a few clippings or other printed items.
2 Boxes (2 standard)
Materials are in English .
Preferred citation:

[Item], Leng mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.


Biographical / Historical:

Kyrle P. Leng (d. 1958), English photographer and printer, and partner of the Honourable Robert Gathorne-Hardy, FLS, otherwise referred to in these correspondence as "Bob" Gathorne-Hardy, a notable British writer, botanist, and horticulturalist. The two partners purchased the Mill House in 1928, which remained their home in West Berkshire until the year of Kyrle P. Leng's death in 1958.

Scope and Content:

This series includes letters from Bob Gathorne-Hardy written to his partner, Kyrle P. Leng. The bulk of these letters take place between 1921 and 1958, and make up the majority of this collection. Other parts of this collection include letters from British writers, politicians, and other socialites, including Siegfred Sassoon, Cecil Beaton, and Lord David Cecil.

Another major component of the scope of this collection are letters between Kyrle and his sister Ruth, father William, and brother Basil Leng. The majority of other correspondences are with friends and acquaintences, and largely focus on poetry, publications, painting, printing, as well as acquaintanceship and social events. Additionally, much of the correspondence involves conversation about both World War I and World War II, as many in Kyrle's life including his brother Basil participated in at least one of the World Wars, as well as correspondent and war poet Siegfried Sassoon.

The writings series in this collection includes drawings, photographs, Leng's feud with the local post office, beekeeping and some other hobbies. Personal includes medical, police, and other government-related or otherwise non-correspondent documents authored by or for Kyrle Leng. Photographs included in this collection are largely those of Kyrle Leng and friends.

Acquisition information:
Purchase: 1993

This collection is arranged first by the series Correspondence, beginning with the bulk component of the collection, Gathorne-Hardy, and then family and other correspondence in alphabetical order. Subsequently, this collection is then arranged by 4 series divided by content including Clippings, Writings, Personal, and Photos.

Physical location:
Lilly - Stacks



This collection is open for research.

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[Item], Leng mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Indiana University Bloomington
1200 East Seventh Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-5500, USA
Indiana University Bloomington
(812) 855-2452