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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0100 KCLCA K/PP172
ENTWISTLE, William James (1895-1952)
Level of description
Collection (fonds)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
1 file


Name of creator(s)

Entwistle, William James, 1895-1952, Professor of Spanish

Administrative / Biographical history

William James Entwistle was born on 7 December 1895 at Cheng Yang Kuan; educated by his father and at the China Inland Mission's school at Chefoo (Yantai), until 1910; attended Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen for a year; entered the University of Aberdeen with a bursary, obtaining a first class in classics, with distinctions in Greek history and comparative philology, 1916; joined the Royal Field Artillery, transferring to the Scottish Rifles and was seriously wounded in 1917.

Entwistle was awarded the Fullerton classical scholarship at Aberdeen, 1918; spent 1920 in Madrid, after receiving a Carnegie grant; married Jeanie Drysdale, 1921; became lecturer in charge of Spanish at Manchester, 1921.

Entwistle wrote his first book, The Arthurian Legend in the Literatures of the Spanish Peninsula , 1925; became first Stevenson Professor of Spanish at Glasgow, 1925; became King Alfonso XIII Professor of Spanish studies at Oxford, 1932; awarded a fellowship at Exeter College, 1932. Whilst at Oxford Entwistle wrote over sixty articles, including work concerning Spanish, Portuguese, and South American literary, linguistic, and historical themes; his first major work at Oxford was The Spanish Language , 1936, a descriptive account of the languages of the Iberian peninsula.

Entwistle worked a draft of the Chronicle of John I of Portugal , by Fernão Lopes (1380-1459). Fernão Lopes was a Portuguese chronicler, appointed by King Edward I of Portugal to write the history of Portugal, including Crónica de el-rei D. João I (Chronicle of King John I), first and second part.

Enwistle was joint editor of the Modern Language Review , 1934-1948, general editor of the Year's Work in Modern Language Studies , 1931-1937 and of the Great Languages Series , 1940-1952 and general editor of the linguistic contributions to the new edition of Chambers's Encyclopaedia ; was educational director of the British Council, 1942-1943; made honorary LLD of Aberdeen, 1940, Glasgow, 1951 and LittD of Coimbra and Pennsylvania and was president of the Modern Humanities Research Association, 1952. Entwistle died in St Edmund Hall, Oxford, on 13 June 1952.

Publications notably include: The Arthurian legend in the literatures of the Spanish Peninsula (London, Toronto, Dent, New York, Dutton, 1925), The Spanish language: together with Portuguese, Catalan and Basque (Faber & Faber, London 1936), European balladry (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1939), Cervantes, the exemplary novelist (Hispanic Review, 1941),) Russian and the Slavonic languages by W. J. Entwistle & W. A. Morison (Faber & Faber, London, 1949) and Aspects of language (Faber and Faber,London, 1953).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Transferred from King's College London Library.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Papers of William James Entwistle collection, [1945-1947] comprising correspondence to and from Entwistle regarding the Chronicle of John I of Portugal and also includes a draft edition of the first 136 chapters,[1945-1947].

The correspondence section notably includes a letter, in Portuguese script, from Florentino dos Santos Cardoso, of Évora Public Library, to William James Entwistle, 1945, concerning the Chronica de El Rei D. João I by Fernão Lopes and a reproduction made and held by the Évora Public Library. Florentino dos Santos Cardoso asks Entwistle whether he would interetsed in purchasing a complete reproduction. Correspondence also includes a letter from Entwistle to Edgar Prestage (1881-1949), regarding the printing of the final chapters of Chronicle of John I of Portugal , 1945; letter from Entwistle to Prestage regarding the progress of the printing of a complete copy of Chronicle of John I of Portugal , suggesting the proofs are the 'pre first edition of book which will never appear', 1947.

The collection also includes a copy of the unpublished text of Chronicle of John I of Portugal [1945-1946], written by Fernão Lopes 1380-1459.

System of arrangement

The collection comprises two sections, section one: correspondence, section two: copy of the unpublished text of Chronicle of John I of Portugal [1945-1946].

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archives and Information Management.

Language/scripts of material

English and Portuguese.

Finding aids

No additional finding aids exist.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

The unpublished proofs of the second part of the Chronicle of John I of Portugal , edited by Entwistle, were deposited at the Taylor Institution,

Description control

Archivist's Note

Sources: The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and Oxford Libraries Information System Translation of the Portuguese letter from Florentino dos Santos Cardoso, of �vora Public Library, to William James Entwistle, kindly translated by a member of staff, Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, King's College London.Compiled by Samantha Velumyl.

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

January 2008

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  • Chronicles
  • Documents
  • Editing
  • Indo-european languages
  • Information sources
  • Linguistics
  • Manuscripts
  • Philology
  • Portuguese
  • Publishing
  • Publishing industry
  • Romance languages
  • Romance philology

Personal names

  • Cardoso, Florentino dos Santos, (fl 1945)
  • Entwistle, William James, 1895-1952, Professor of Spanish
  • Lopes, Fernão, 1380-1459, Chronicler
  • Prestage, Edgar, 1869-1951, Professor of Portuguese, Historian

Corporate names

  • Biblioteca Pública Évora, Public Library of Évora
  • King's College London College Archives


  • Portugal

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