Most Items in ‘Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life Recollected’ Never Displayed Before
SPOKANE, Wash. – Although Jesuit poet and priest Gerard Manley Hopkins never published while alive, his posthumous 20th century fame established him among the leading Victorian poets. A free public exhibition of his work is on display in the Cowles Rare Book Reading Room at Gonzaga’s Foley Center Library through Sept. 30.
Most of the 88 items in the exhibition have never been on public display before. The exhibition features a remarkable range of materials that tell the story of Hopkins’ life (1844-1889): manuscripts; correspondence; legal documents; drawings; photographs; books that Hopkins used as poet and classicist; and materials related to family, friends, and contemporaries. All aspects of Hopkins’ life are represented in the exhibit, “Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life Recollected.”
The exhibition features items from the Bischoff Research Collection, one of the world’s foremost Hopkins research archives. Father Anthony Bischoff, S.J. (1910-1993), a long-time member of Gonzaga’s English department, began gathering Hopkins-related materials in the late 1940s as a doctoral candidate at Yale University (Ph.D., 1952). Fr. Bischoff continued collecting widely until the early 1990s.
Hopkins is considered among the most important 19th-century poets and one of the most challenging. When his poetry appeared after his death in 1918, fame grew steadily as writers such as T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, W. H. Auden and Edna St. Vincent Millay took notice.
The exhibition was prepared in honor of “Regis at Gonzaga: The Hopkins Conference,” which was co-sponsored by Regis University (Denver) and Gonzaga, July 8-11. Hopkins scholars worldwide came to Gonzaga to see the exhibition.