The Lewis Walpole Library is delighted to announce that "Rescuing Horace Walpole: The Achievement of W.S. Lewis," curated by Stephen Clarke, is now available as an online exhibition at https://exhibits-new.library.yale.edu/s/rescuinghw/page/intro.
The exhibition, which was originally on view at the Lewis Walpole Library last autumn, celebrates the life and work of Library founder Wilmarth Sheldon Lewis.
Wilmarth S. “Lefty” Lewis (Yale Class of 1918) devoted the better part of his life to building the world’s greatest collection relating to Horace Walpole (1717–97), the British writer, collector and historian. He also championed Walpole’s importance as a figure in English eighteenth-century life, doing so most effectively as general editor and guiding spirit of the Yale Edition of Horace Walpole’s Correspondence (Yale University Press, 1937-83), whose 48 volumes are widely acknowledged to this day as a model of scholarship in historical editing.
This exhibition, Rescuing Horace Walpole: The Achievement of W.S. Lewis, pays tribute to Lewis’s life and legacy as a scholar-collector, on the fortieth anniversary of his bequest of the Lewis Walpole Library to his alma mater, Yale University. Drawing heavily on the recently cataloged Lewis archives, the exhibition shows how the total dedication of the collector resulted in a collection of extraordinary range and depth, and expressed itself in some surprising ways. It also evolved into a monumental achievement of scholarship in the Yale-Walpole edition and, in the process, transformed perceptions of Walpole and his age.
Susan Odell Walker
Head of Public Services
The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University
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