[Robert Bridges, Poet Laureate.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Robert Bridges') to the Ulster poet R. N. D. Wilson, discussing the origins of the name of his home 'Chilswell', in the 'Childsworth Farm' of Matthew Arnold's poem 'Thyrsis'.

Robert Bridges [Robert Seymour Bridges] (1844-1930), Poet Laureate [R. N. D. Wilson [Robert Noble Denison Wilson] (1899-1953), Ulster poet]
Publication details: 
Chilswell, Oxford; 29 March 1928.
SKU: 21884

3pp, 12mo. Bifolium. In fair condition, lightly aged and a little grubby. Folded once. Twenty-seven lines of text. Written in a far more ragged style than Bridges's usual calligraphic hand, perhaps suggesting undermined health. Wilson is 'at liberty to quote the verses of mine that you ask for – I take it as a complement [sic]' He thanks him for 'the kind gift of your book, wh I have not had time to read'. Noting that Wilson is 'interested in sacred wells', he states that 'our “Chilswell” is probably not a well. It is the name of the farm at the foot of the hill where the water runs freely, and is the place which figures in Matthew Arnold's famous poem [i.e. 'Thyrsis'], as “Childsworth Farm”. This corruption was introduced by the Ordnance Survey, apparently, whose engineers, I fancy, were imbued with the current contempt of tradition and thought that superior commonsense justified any haphazard conjecture.' He concludes by wishing that 'there was enough commonsense now to restore the true name in Arnold's poem'.