Longley Collection

The collection

The Longley Collection comprises 51 volumes (29 titles), related to the actress Ellen Lawless Ternan (1839-1914; see ODNB), described as the most celebrated and most mysterious of Charles Dickens’s love affairs. Most of the books, published between 1799 and 1965, are works of fiction, notably early childrens’ books and several novels by Frances Trollope (1780-1863). At least two of them definitely belonged to Ellen Ternan, bearing her initials and the date on the title page; the others can be assumed to have done so. Frances Trollope’s Anne Furness is inscribed by the author on the title page, albeit not to Ellen Ternan. The collection also contains books about Dickens which refer to Ellen Ternan; and an autobiography of the actress Ellen Terry.


The collector

Dickens scholar Katharine Longley (see Michael Slater, ‘Obituaries: Katharine Mary Longley’, The Dickensian, 105 (Dec. 2009), p. 285).



Presented by Katharine Longley (after 1982).



Catalogued online. For an overview of the collection, do a mixed classmark search on Longley.
The collection is held off-site and material requires 48 hours (excluding weekends) to be fetched.


Related archives

Watch the video: The Ternan Family Papers and Katharine Longley Papers at Senate House Library: An introduction by Michael Slater, Emeritus Professor of Victorian Literature at Birkbeck College, University of London.