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J. Randolph Sasnett papers

Collection MS-1989-017: J. Randolph Sasnett papers


  • Creation: 1844 - 1953
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1934 - 1937

Scope and Contents

The J. Randolph Sasnett papers document Sasnett's friendship with English editor and publisher Wilfrid Meynell. In particular the papers demonstrate Sasnett's efforts to obtain permission to publish some letters of Charles Dickens held by the Meynell family which detail Dickens's and his friend Thomas James Thompson's infatuation with the same women, who was to become the mother of Alice Meynell.

The papers consist mainly of correspondence between Sasnett and Meynell, as well as some letters from Meynell's daughter Viola. An exchange of notes between Sasnett and Lady Marie Dickens is also included. The relationship between Sasnett and the Meynells is further documented through manuscripts of poems by Alice Meynell, Viola Meynell, and Francis Thompson, as well as photographs from Sasnett's visit to the Meynell estate. Background on the Dickens letters is provided via articles about Dickens's personal life and copies of some of his letters.


Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical note

J. Randolph Sasnett, born in 1890, was a Methodist minister who along with his wife served the University of Washington Seattle campus from 1929 to 1939. Due to his enthusiasm for Alice Meynell's poetry, Sasnett corresponded with Wilfrid Meynell for a number of years and visited the Meynell family at their Greatham, Sussex estate in 1936. While in England, Sasnett also met with Lady Marie Dickens, the wife of the late Sir Henry Dickens (1849-1933), son of novelist Charles Dickens. Sasnett was a Dickens enthusiast and writer who hoped to write a series of articles on Charles Dickens's role in the marriage of Alice Meynell's parents, T. J. Thompson and Christiana Weller. Sasnett was the author of the book Living memorials: Principles and plans for church memorials (1949).


"Wesley Club at the University of Washington: A Brief Historical Perspective," Wesley Club Campus Ministry, 2003.

Letter to Lady Marie Dickens, from J. Randolph Sasnett, February 26, 1937, J. Randolph Sasnett papers, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.


.25 Linear Feet (1 container )

Language of Materials



These papers document the literary friendships of twentieth-century Methodist minister and author J. Randolph Sasnett. The papers consist of letters from Wilfrid and Viola Meynell and Lady Marie Dickens; manuscripts by Viola Meynell, Alice Meynell, and Francis Thompson; photographs; and a drawing of Wilfrid Meynell.


Arranged in four series: I. Correspondence; II. Collected poetry manuscripts; and III. Visual materials, and IV. Charles Dickens background materials.


Gift of Martena and J. Randolph Sasnett in 1989.

Related Materials

Boston College collection of the Alice and Wilfrid Meynell family, MS.1986.061, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

J. Randolph Sasnett Papers
1844-1953, bulk 1934-1937
David Tennant, April 2006; Rachael Young
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States