Shoulder to Shoulder: Wilfrid and Elizabeth Gibson

Journal cover, Dymock Poets and Friends No.3 This article was published in a slightly different version in Dymock Poets and Friends: Journal of the Friends of the Dymock Poets, No.3, 2004, pp.23-33.

It came out of my research into the life of my great-aunt, poet and feminist Elizabeth Gibson, and focuses on her relationship with her brother (my grandfather) the poet Wilfrid Gibson.

Wilfrid was one of a small group of poets who in 1912-13 went to live near one another in Gloucestershire, at what later became called the Dymock Poets Colony. Those who stayed there included John Drinkwater, Lascelles Abercrombie, Robert Frost and Edward Thomas. Rupert Brooke was a close friend and frequent visitor. They were also connected with the Poetry Bookshop in London, founded by Harold Monro in 1911. The Poetry Bookshop published the first volumes of Georgian Poetry, including most of the Dymock poets. By 1916 the First World War brought an end to the colony.

See also Desire, delight, regret: discovering Elizabeth Gibson which discusses the process of researching Elizabeth Gibson. I am currently working on her biography. Other articles and more information about Wilfrid, Elizabeth, and the Gibson family here.

New information which has come to light since this article first appeared is indicated in square brackets in the footnotes, which are available in the downloadable version. See also the Notes section in this online version, updated in November 2023.

Download: Shoulder to Shoulder: Wilfrid and Elizabeth Gibson is available to download in Word format. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Images Copyright: Pauline Gibson and the author.
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Key Words:  poetry, biography, feminism, fin de siècle, family history, siblings, friendship networks

Key Names: Thomas Cheyne, Sydney Cockerell, Dymock Poets, John Pattison Gibson, Elizabeth Gibson, Wilfrid Gibson

Notes and References →

Shoulder to Shoulder: Wilfrid and Elizabeth Gibson


If Wilfrid Gibson is, as someone recently said to me, ‘a bit obscure’, then his sister, Elizabeth Gibson (later Elizabeth Gibson Cheyne) is in total eclipse. But in her lifetime she had some recognition as a minor poet, published around forty books, and was involved in the new social movements of her day, including socialism and women’s suffrage. Wilfrid acknowledged her as an important influence on him, and as such she very occasionally gets a mention (often inaccurate) when he is discussed. Apart from this, she has almost vanished from the records. The local history library in Hexham, the Gibsons’ home town, makes a feature of her brother, but has none of Elizabeth’s books and nothing about her in its files. In some archives her letters and manuscripts have been filed only under Wilfrid’s name. Although she was my great-aunt, I had never heard of her before I discovered her by chance a few years ago while researching the interconnections between culture and politics in the early twentieth century.

Since then, I have been trying to put together an account of her life. Doing this is like simultaneously looking through a kaleidoscope trying to make sense of what I see, and working on a jigsaw with many pieces missing, and only a vague idea of what is in the picture. Often, adding a new piece does not make the image clearer, but shakes it up into a completely new pattern. So – apart from the pleasure of the challenge – why bother? I am not claiming her as an unjustly forgotten poet, though she did write some interesting poems. But from a social history perspective, her life and writings illuminate some of the problems and contradictions involved in becoming a poet, particularly for a woman at a time when ideas about the places of men and women in the world were being transformed. An examination of her relationship with Wilfrid casts new light on his own early development as a poet. And tracing the networks of friendship and influence which supported them both in the years leading up to the First World War, adds to an understanding of the milieu which gave birth to the Poetry Bookshop, the Dymock colony, and the Georgian poets. This article is an interim report.


According to Wilfrid, he grew up in ‘an unhappy household … humanly speaking, the atmosphere was all wrong’. Elizabeth refers cryptically in her poems to ‘family wrong’ and ‘ancestral shadows’. Such comments hint at deeper problems than the Gibson parents’ evident incompatibility, but these can only be guessed at. It is striking that all eight Gibson children married very late or not at all, and only the sons, John and Wilfrid, had children. This pattern, unusual for the period, suggests that the model of family life on offer was perhaps not one the younger generation wanted to copy.

John Pattison Gibson

Their father, John Pattison Gibson (JPG, right), was a chemist who inherited his father’s shop. In 1861, aged twenty-three, he married Elizabeth Walton, and over the next sixteen years she gave birth to ten children; six daughters and two sons survived. Elizabeth, born in 1869, was the third surviving child; Wilfrid, born in 1878, the youngest.

By this time JPG had become an enthusiastic and distinguished amateur antiquarian, archaeologist and photographer, whose activities increasingly took him away (or provided an escape) from home. With such a large family to care for, it would have been difficult for his wife to share in his activities, and in the heyday of the Victorian doctrine of ‘separate spheres’ for men and women, it would have been unusual if she had. The only direct reference to their mother that I have found by either Wilfrid or Elizabeth is in a very late unpublished poem by Wilfrid, about her reading ‘Great Expectations’ to him when he was ill in bed as a child.

Elizabeth Gibson [Cheyne], holding her teacher's hand

Though prosperous, the family was not wealthy, and all the children were expected to work for their living. Elizabeth (right: aged 11, in the white hat) attended Gateshead High School, which offered progressive non-sectarian schooling for girls. She seems to have become largely responsible for the education of Wilfrid, whose formal schooling was decidedly patchy. She also worked as a day governess, typist and translator until 1909 when at the age of forty she had a physical and mental breakdown, and, fearing for her health, her father provided her with a small allowance.

John, the elder son, followed in his father’s footsteps, working in and eventually running the shop. Although he shared his father’s interests in photography and antiquarianism, the business kept him busy, and it was Wilfrid who became the chosen assistant on JPG’s photographic excursions. Starting out, like the other children, as anonymous human interest in his father’s landscape photographs, Wilfrid graduated to carrying the heavy photographic equipment and eventually to helping produce the photographs. (He lists his occupation in the 1901 census as ‘photographic printer’.)

JPG, best known as a photographer of ancient monuments and rural landscapes, also documented the changing industrial scene, especially the slums and factories, markets and fisheries of Newcastle, twenty-five miles away. Accompanying him, Wilfrid glimpsed lives very different from his own, perhaps the origin of his sympathy for working people.

Becoming Poets

Although Wilfrid admired his father, he felt overshadowed by his reputation and wanted to follow a different path; Elizabeth blazed a trail for him. Her support, encouragement and example were crucial to his early development. (Indeed, some of his teenage poems markedly resemble hers.) Both of them believed from a young age that they were destined to become poets. Wilfrid often told the story of how he first recognised the power of poetry when, aged twelve, he wrote a poem mocking the school bully – who duly mended his behaviour: the pen was mightier than the fist.

Wilfrid and Elizabeth saw themselves as intellectual allies in an unfriendly environment. The long hours working for his father, Wilfrid complained, left him little time to write. But while the family may not have fully understood or sympathised with his and Elizabeth’s literary ambitions, they nevertheless provided a measure of material and moral support. JPG commented on their poems and probably subsidised their early books. When, in his late twenties, Wilfrid went briefly to Glasgow, hoping to live off his writing, his father started him off with a small allowance. Wilfrid dedicated his first two books to his parents and to Elizabeth.

Probably few families would welcome a child of either sex declaring that poetry was their chosen career. For a young man, the chances of making a living at it, never mind supporting a family, were minimal – and in many circles it was not seen as a properly ‘manly’ occupation. However, there were poetic subcultures Wilfrid could aspire to, and as a teenager he had already begun corresponding with more established poets such as Laurence Binyon.

A woman wanting to be a poet faced different problems, and what took Elizabeth in that direction is unknown. Although there were women poets as potential role models, there was also considerable prejudice against them. There were rigid ideas about what constituted suitable subject-matter and style, and critics looked at their work through a lens of gender stereotyping. Many women writers tried to avoid such treatment by using gender-neutral names, and although she generally wrote under her own name, Elizabeth used a pseudonym in 1898 when sending her poems to ‘Literature’, whose editor H.D. Traill publicly mocked the ‘new women’ of the eighteen-nineties.

More damagingly, she was torn by what she saw as a contradiction between being a poet and becoming a wife and mother. Many of her early poems are suffused with a longing for motherhood, and later on she sometimes represented poetry as a compensation for ‘barrenness’. But other poems demonstrate her positive identification as a poet, which she associated with being a rebel and nonconformist. Elizabeth joined in contemporary attacks on the stuffy conventions of respectable late Victorianism, and was among the earliest of those ‘new women’ who – shockingly – flaunted their opinions by cropping their hair.

Wilfrid, too, was beginning to experiment tentatively with his appearance. A studio portrait from the late 1890s shows a young man reading: a wide soft tie and an artistically draped handkerchief contrast with his conventional three-piece suit, high collar and watch-chain.

Strangers on a Train

In the spring of 1898 Wilfrid, then nineteen, and Elizabeth, twenty-nine, were touring Italy with their father and one of their older sisters. In a train travelling between Pisa and Genoa they struck up a conversation with another English tourist, Sydney Cockerell. Then in his early thirties, Cockerell had been the secretary of the Kelmscott Press until William Morris’s recent death. Now he was on holiday before taking up a new post with the radical poet and travel writer Wilfrid Scawen Blunt.

For the two younger Gibsons, this chance encounter began a close friendship that would provide an entrée to literary, artistic and political circles in London. Cockerell knew an extraordinarily wide range of people: abbesses and anarchists, publishers and critics, scientists, artists and poets. His friendship network in the 1890s and early 1900s included Hardy, Ruskin, Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Alfred Russel Wallace and Kropotkin. He was delighted to add Wilfrid and Elizabeth to the list.

Soon after returning to Northumberland, Wilfrid posted Cockerell some of his father’s photographs of mediaeval manuscripts, and a magazine containing one of his own poems. In exchange, Cockerell sent a copy of one of William Morris’s lectures on art. Wilfrid, inspired, sent more published and unpublished poems for Cockerell’s comments and suggestions. They began to correspond regularly, often writing to each other several times a week.

The following January, Wilfrid went for a twelve-day holiday, staying with Cockerell at his lodgings in Richmond. They walked in a raging wind in Richmond Park, visited a Burne-Jones exhibition, and laughed their way through a comedy matinée at the Haymarket Theatre. Cockerell also introduced his new protégé to some of his friends, including poet Alice Meynell, artists and publishers Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon, printer, typographer and leading socialist Emery Walker, and W.R. Lethaby, then director of the Central School of Arts and Crafts. Wilfrid also met Lawrence Binyon in person for the first time. Later, he bumped into Binyon, Yeats and Sturge Moore in a Holborn teashop; all his life he would remember his thrill when they invited him, ‘a country lad on holiday’, to join them at their table discussing Tolstoy’s ‘What is Art?’.

Elizabeth was also visiting London, staying with her own friends. Her new book, a slim volume called ‘The Evangel of Joy’, had just appeared, and she and her brother met up at the office of her publisher Grant Richards, who agreed to look at some of Wilfrid’s poems. The night before she and Wilfrid returned to Hexham, Elizabeth stayed at Cockerell’s, where they spent a happy evening reading and reciting poetry.

Subsequently, Elizabeth began to send her own unpublished poems for Cockerell to read. He investigated publishers on the Gibsons’ behalf, and promoted their work to his friends. He also sent parcels of books to Hexham, including Morris’s ‘The Defence of Guenevere’ and Malory’s ‘Morte D’Arthur’. Over the next few years Elizabeth and Wilfrid regularly visited, and his encouragement and friendship both expanded their social networks and contributed to their artistic development.

At first they were perhaps a little intimidated by their new cosmopolitan friend – in their letters they referred self-deprecatingly to themselves as north country ‘savages’. Wilfrid was anxious that he could not afford new clothes as well as the cost of a holiday in London. Inviting Cockerell to stay in Hexham, he wrote: ‘We are very humble people and live in so plebeian a style it cannot be called style at all.’ (In fact they lived in a substantial house near Hexham Abbey: when Cockerell did visit he commented in his diary on the comfort and hospitality). However, Wilfrid and Elizabeth seem to have felt a sense of inferiority because of what they perceived as their lack of social and cultural sophistication. Wilfrid’s letters show a mixture of ambition and self-denigration, while Elizabeth expresses greater insecurity, at one point saying she fears she will despise herself even more in London than in Hexham.

Cockerell inspired a strong emotional attachment in Wilfrid, who wrote, soon after their first meeting, ‘Immediately I saw you on the train … I wanted to speak to you.’ In a later letter, signing himself ‘ever yours’, he admitted: ‘I am so selfish that I grudge you to anyone else.’ After a stay in London, they exchanged photographs, and he confided: ’I am so pleased to have you always by me … when I cannot have you in the flesh!’

Elizabeth also felt able early on to be open with Cockerell. Once, he told her she should not, in her poems, disguise the passion of a woman for a man as that of a man for a woman, but should write in her own voice. She replied simply that her love poems, and her strongest feelings, were addressed to women. Cockerell, who had a high proportion of homosexual and bisexual men and women among his friends, received this news with equanimity (as he did the announcement of her marriage in 1911), and they remained close confidantes for many years.

Elizabeth’s ‘very particular friend’ (as Wilfrid put it) at this time was artist May Bowly, to whom she dedicated ‘The Evangel of Joy’. On her visits to London Elizabeth stayed either in Hampstead with May, or else in Kew with one of her dearest friends, Winifred Oliver, the ‘W.O.’ to whom many of her later books were dedicated. Winifred’s sister Edith was a close friend of lesbian poet Charlotte Mew, who would later become one of the Georgians and another Cockerell protégée.

New Horizons

Although neither Wilfrid nor Elizabeth finally left home before Elizabeth married in 1911, their horizons were rapidly expanding. At Cockerell’s, Wilfrid had been introduced to Thomas Rooke, the Pre-Raphaelite painter, and his children Noel and Margaret, also artists. They became good friends, and Wilfrid visited their home in Bedford Park in Chiswick, around the corner from the Pissarros and the Yeats family. Though a commercial enterprise, Bedford Park had been built as a community for the artistically inclined; its inhabitants included aesthetes and activists: painters, writers, architects, and musicians, as well as lawyers and teachers. It was one of many utopian attempts at this period to bring together art, politics, and everyday life, and it may have been Wilfrid’s visits there which inspired his later searches for an integrated living and working environment: at the Poetry Bookshop in 1912, and then in 1913 in the hoped-for arcadia at Dymock.

By the late 1890s both Gibsons had had poems published in local and regional papers, and by the turn of the century they were aiming at a wider audience, with some preliminary success in a diverse range of magazines that included ‘Chambers’s Journal’, ‘The Lady’s Realm’, and ‘The Dome’. Elizabeth was the first to get a book into print, and though ‘The Evangel of Joy’ appeared only in a cautious edition of six hundred copies, Grant Richards was enthusiastic about her writing. However, he turned down her brother’s poems, leaving Elkin Mathews to give Wilfrid his first big chance.

Mathews, who had already published Binyon as well as several other poets of Wilfrid’s recent acquaintance, lived not far from the Rookes. In 1902 he published Wilfrid’s ‘Urlyn the Harper’ and ‘The Queen’s Vigil’, as well as Elizabeth’s ‘The Burden of Love’ and ‘A Christmas Garland’, in the Vigo Cabinet Series: cheap paperback books which provided a forum for new poets.

Of the four new books, ‘Urlyn’ was the most successful, attracting some favourable notice and going into a second edition. However, Wilfrid was dissatisfied. ‘I much regret that Elizabeth and I did not make a joint book of it’, he wrote to Cockerell in 1911: ‘we might have called it “Shoulder to Shoulder: or Verses by a Brother and a Sister,” with “They grew in beauty side by side” as a motto for the title page. Then Mathews could have thrown out hints that we were forty-second cousins of Mr. Alfred Austin … and it would have sold like … hotcakes.’

In his 1955 autobiography ‘Too Late to Lament’, Maurice Browne lists Elizabeth and Wilfrid Gibson among the ‘suitably utopian’ young poets attracted to his Samurai Press, co-founded with Harold Monro in 1906. The Press published several books by both Gibsons in the next couple of years, before Wilfrid returned to Mathews for his first big success, ‘Daily Bread’.

In his younger days, Wilfrid believed that beauty was all that mattered in poetry. Later, under Morris’s influence, he argued for ‘art for life’s sake’, not just ‘art for art’s sake’. He began to simplify his language. ‘I have a horror of ultra-poetic words,’ he wrote in 1898. Commenting in 1907 on his book ‘Stonefolds’, he said, ‘It is the poet’s business to make poetry out of the life of his day, and it is already more than a year and a half since I wrote any piece of verse which did not spring from modern circumstances’. A change in language and themes is also evident in Elizabeth’s writing from this period. Despite a contemporary reference to her ‘graceful verse’, this was never a very apt description, and as her politics evolved, so her style, became plainer, with increasing use of free verse and dramatic monologue.

These new developments were not welcomed by all their readers; for example Lascelles Abercrombie, noting the similarities between their writing, was uncomfortable with its ‘naked diction’ and lack of poetic artifice. Whether Elizabeth influenced Wilfrid in this or vice versa, for both of them the change was as much to do with politics as aesthetics.


Cockerell was not the Gibsons’ only contact with a more expansive cultural world than Hexham, nor with radical politics. It is likely that a key influence on Elizabeth’s early life was feminist and Quaker Elizabeth Spence-Watson, the secretary and co-founder of Gateshead High School, and a leading figure among Newcastle and Gateshead social reformers. Spence-Watson was closely associated with the Friends of Russian Freedom, which supported political refugees from Czarist repression, and she was also president of the Newcastle branch of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS). Elizabeth, who would have known Spence-Watson from her schooldays, became involved with both causes. By the turn of the century, she was moving towards socialism.

The early years of the twentieth century saw a new wave of feminism. In 1903, the Pankhursts founded the militant Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) – the start of the modern suffragette movement. The WSPU, originating in Manchester, was particularly active in the north of England, and together with the more traditional NUWSS, campaigned in the 1909 Hexham by-election. Elizabeth was actively involved with the WSPU earlier than this, and in 1907 they asked if they could use some of her poems. Her association with them lasted at least until 1912; the Suffragette Collection in the Museum of London contains copies, inscribed by her, of her own book ‘From the Wilderness’ (1910), and ‘Womenkind’ (1912), a play by Wilfrid.

‘Womenkind’, with its message of female solidarity, was popular among suffragettes in Britain and the United States. In 1914, Wilfrid’s dramatic poems ‘Mates’ and ‘Summer Dawn’ were reprinted in Sylvia Pankhurst’s socialist feminist paper, ‘The Woman’s Dreadnought’, having first appeared in ‘Daily Bread’, which was dedicated ‘to J.H., St Abb’s Haven’. St. Abbs, on the Berwickshire coast, was the home of Jane Hay, a pioneering feminist and internationally known humanitarian campaigner, who together with leading suffragette organiser Isabel Cowe, had settled there in 1905. Wilfrid, sometimes accompanied by Elizabeth, visited often. There they met a range of people, from Marjory Kennedy Fraser, musician and collector of traditional songs, who would become a good friend, to the man who repaired the lighthouse on Flannan Isle – an encounter which inspired one of Wilfrid’s best-loved poems.

In 1910, a year after her breakdown, Elizabeth received an enthusiastic letter about her work from retired Oxford Professor Thomas Cheyne, Biblical scholar and former Canon of Rochester. Though now an invalid in his late sixties, he was still producing increasingly controversial work. A keen admirer of Elizabeth’s writing, he shared her commitment to feminism. Soon he was writing to her daily. A year later, they married in Cornwall. (Wilfrid hurt his leg and didn’t go to the wedding.) With Cheyne’s encouragement Elizabeth continued to write, self-publishing her work, while devotedly nursing her increasingly infirm husband.

Shoulder to Shoulder

At around the time of her marriage, Elizabeth wrote a poem for Wilfrid, ‘Mates’, about the two most important relationships of her life. ‘I gave him all the love I had’, she wrote of her brother. ‘All that I gave to other folk,/ Was friendship, passion, flame, or smoke.’ Now she is leaving him, ‘but my heart/ Holds him a chamber still, apart …’. Be that as it may, Elizabeth’s marriage left Wilfrid deprived of his closest companion at home.

The emotional sustenance they gave one another had always been as important as the intellectual, and despite the difference in their ages, by the time Wilfrid reached his late teens they were confidantes and allies. While they began to have some success in the outside world, life at home became increasingly difficult. In 1902, their mother died, and in 1907 their father, then aged sixty-nine, married Annie Jones, a spinster from London two years older than himself. Whatever the story behind this, Elizabeth claimed that Annie persecuted the rest of the family, who all hated her. This situation must have contributed to Wilfrid’s temporary move to Glasgow in the year of his father’s remarriage, and to Elizabeth’s breakdown two years later, which she was helped through only by the loving support of Wilfrid and Winifred Oliver.

After their stepmother died in 1910, they were horrified to find her older sister now had designs on JPG for herself. As Elizabeth told it, she and Wilfrid confronted the couple with ‘very … strong language; and she has not been to our house since. Father was very angry, but … we think we really have quashed it.’ This was the last time the two of them stood shoulder to shoulder in this way. Once Elizabeth left, a few months later, there was nothing to keep Wilfrid in Hexham, and he moved south. His father’s death in 1912 left him a small inheritance.

In November 1912 Wilfrid became the first lodger at the Poetry Bookshop. It was probably there that he first met Geraldine Townshend, who, in a bid for financial independence from her family, was working as Harold Monro’s secretary. She too was involved with the suffragettes. Her father was a Dublin land agent and, like Wilfrid, she came from a large family. Though born into the Protestant ascendancy, most of her siblings were Irish nationalists and anti-imperialists, and Geraldine was used to revolutionary talk round the dining table. Her older half-sisters, friends of Yeats, were involved with the Abbey Theatre. Geraldine, an energetic and spirited young woman, was more of an outdoors type, entertaining the family with her trick cycling. In 1901 she went to Newnham College Cambridge to study history, undeterred by the publicity given to an earlier demonstration by male undergraduates who, protesting against a proposal to award degrees to women, had hanged an effigy of a woman riding a bicycle. Her later adventures included climbing the Matterhorn and shooting a tiger in India. In October 1913 she and Wilfrid got engaged. Elizabeth’s first reaction on hearing the news was to tell Cockerell, then rush off to Dymock, where the couple were staying, to check out Geraldine for herself. Two months later they married in Dublin, before returning to live in Dymock.

Wilfrid and Geraldine at the door of their cottage, 1914.

Perhaps Geraldine felt that marrying a poet presented a new challenge. He was never a practical man, and organising him would have challenged anyone; for the rest of her life, Geraldine dedicated herself to running the household, managing the finances, taking in lodgers when money ran short, and generally making it possible for him to be a professional poet.

Geraldine, Wilfrid and Elizabeth, all reacting against what they felt had been the repressive pieties of their childhoods, had, like Cheyne, unconventional ideas about religion as well as politics. Geraldine was an agnostic, while Wilfrid saw no place for God in a cruelly Darwinian universe. Elizabeth, however, believed in spiritual evolution. Many of her poems express increasingly unorthodox religious ideas, from Jesus as a social revolutionary (a belief shared by many Christian socialists) to God as Mother (a step only a few feminists were prepared to take). This was a period when many radicals and progressives were trying out new alternative religions, such as Theosophy and Bahá’í, Both of these claimed to synthesise science and spirituality and to draw on the best traditions of major world religions while, all-importantly, promoting gender and racial equality. Elizabeth and Cheyne believed ‘in the fusion of all religions, not the predominance of Xtianity [sic].’ In 1912 Cheyne went a step further than his wife by becoming a Bahá’í – though without renouncing Anglicanism. When Cheyne died early in 1915, Elizabeth was devastated. Wilfrid and Geraldine offered her a home with them in Dymock, and she accepted.

Dymock 1915

1915 was a grim year in Dymock, where the war was already bringing the idyll to a close. Friends were joining up and being killed. In January, Geraldine was ill following an incomplete miscarriage. In February, the Frosts left, and Elizabeth, in Oxford, was prostrated by her husband’s death. The death of Rupert Brooke in April was a shattering blow. In May, Catherine Abercrombie was operated on for cancer. No wonder that by the summer, when Eddie Marsh arrived at the Gibsons’ to work on his memoir of Brooke, Elizabeth had left for London, to do voluntary war-work and carry on writing.

Although an entry in Catherine Abercrombie’s commonplace book shows that Elizabeth visited at least once more that year, she and Wilfrid were drifting apart. The publication of his book ‘Battle’ brought him wider public recognition as a war poet, and with the birth of his first child in 1916, what attention he had left over from poetry was increasingly focused on his immediate family, and the war. By 1917, when he was accepted into the army, Elizabeth was on a downward spiral, out of sight and into madness, which would end with her death in a mental hospital in 1931. At her funeral, Wilfrid was the only mourner. *

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Notes and References
* Note Added November 2023
As I mention early in the article, it was an interim report, and much new material has come to light since 2004., some of which appears in my more recent articles.  Having found out more about Elizabeth’s years in London, I would no longer characterise her life from 1917  so simply as ‘on a downward spiral’, and I will be writing more about this period at a later date. I have also confirmed that according to the clergyman who conducted her funeral, Wilfrid was not quite the only mourner. Her step-niece Dorothy Daniel, was also present, and possibly one other person.

Thanks to: Jeff Cooper, Angela Harris, Dorothy Gibson, John Gibson, Pauline Gibson, Roland Huebsch, Helen Lowe, and all the librarians and archivists who assisted my research.

Unpublished sources

Sydney Carlyle Cockerell correspondence and diaries, British Library.

George Albert Cooke diaries, Bristol University.

Walter de la Mare correspondence, Bodleian Library, Oxford;

John Pattison Gibson collection, Northumberland County Archives.

W.W.Gibson collection Leeds University.

Eddie Marsh correspondence, Berg Collection, New York Public Library.

Von Volkenborg/ Browne collection, University of Michigan.

J.R. Wilson, MA thesis, The Life and Poetry of Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, University of Birmingham.

Percy Withers collection, Somerville College Oxford.

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