MC:F31 Papers of C. R. L. Fletcher (Fellow 1889-1906)
Charles Robert Leslie Fletcher arrived in Magdalen as a Demy in 1876, having attended Eton from 1868-76. At Magdalen he achieved a second class in Classics Mods, followed by a first class in Modern History in 1880, as well as the Chancellor’s English Essay in 1881 in which year he was elected fellow of All Souls. He was also an enthusiastic rower, taking part in winning teams in the University Pairs and Fours. Fletcher remained at All Souls until 1888 when he returned to Magdalen as a tutor in Modern History (1885-1906) and Fellow (1889-1906), where he was responsible for leading the increase in the status of modern history in Oxford.
His views were far from progressive and are best described as imperialist, conservative and strongly opposed to co-educational teaching – he refused to admit any women to his lectures. ‘Recollections’ below (MS1) regarded West Indians as lazy, sentiments mirrored in his A School History of England (1911), written with Rudyard Kipling, which claimed that all Spaniards were vindictive and all Irish ungrateful. The Manchester Guardian deplored the volume and it was banned in some countries in the Empire. Despite this, he was popular as a tutor and supposedly ran the History Library at Magdalen in a strict but effective manner. His writings can be credited with popularising historical writing in this period, in particular through his Introductory History of England (1904-23). Charles Fletcher died in 1934.
- The development of English prose style (1881)
- Gustavus Adolphus and the struggle of Protestantism for Existence (1890)
- The journal of a spy in Paris during the reign of terror: January-July, 1794 (1895)
- An introductory history of England (1904-1923)
- Mr. Gladstone at Oxford, 1890 (1908)
- A School History of England (1911)
- The making of western Europe: being an attempt to trace the fortunes of the children of the Roman empire (1912-14)
- The Germans: I: their empire and how they have made it (1914)
- The Germans: II: What they covet (1914)
- The great war, 1914-1918: a brief sketch (1920)
- Edmond Warre, D.D., C.B., C.V.O., sometime headmaster and provost of Eton College (1922)
- A handy guide to Oxford (1926)
- Some troubles of Archbishop Sancroft (1926)
Editions of texts, including:
- Collectanea (OHS) (1885-1905).
- Wilhelm Hauff, The wine-ghosts of Bremen (1889)
- Thomas Carlyle, The French Revolution : a history in three parts New ed., with an introduction, notes and appendices (1902)
- A. D. Godley, Fifty poems (1927)
- A.D. Godley, Reliquiae (1926)
- Robert Charles Leslie, Old sea wings, ways and words (1930)
This collection draws together a number of items from throughout the archive, which are divided into the following series:
MC:F31/MS1 Fletcher’s undergraduate reminiscences.
MC:F31/MS2 Notebooks containing notes on academic subjects
MC:F31/MS3 Notebooks on Fletcher’s edition of Carlyle’s French Revolution.
MC:F31/X1 Review of The Journal of a Spy in Paris.
Recatalogued by Richard Hunt in May 2008.