Hutton Collection

Edward Hutton, a prolific writer on Italy, was one of the founders of the British Institute of Florence. Hutton was known for his writing on Italian subjects and as the author of travel-books covering nearly the whole of the peninsula as well as Sicily. The collection, given by his son, contains manuscript copies of Hutton's published work and over 350 letters, including some from his friend and fellow Italophile, Norman Douglas.


Edward Hutton Collection

Reference code: HUT

Date(s) of creation: 1890s to 1960s

Name of creator: Edward Hutton

Extent: 26 boxes


Administrative information

Acquisition number: A7


Source of acquisition

Edward Hutton's son, Peter Hutton, gave the collection to the Library of the British Institute. The bulk of the material was given in 1977 and was followed by a smaller proportion of material in the 1980s and in 1996. Edward Hutton had kept the collection until his death in 1969.



Edward Hutton is known for his writing on Italian subjects and as the author of travel books covering nearly the whole of the peninsula as well as Sicily. He also wrote about Greece and Spain, and produced three of the volumes in the Highways and Byways series (Somerset, Gloucesteshire and Wiltshire). In 1917 the Italian government made him a Cavaliere dell'Ordine della Corona d'Italia in recognition of his wartime services to Anglo-Italian co-operation and in 1959 a Commendatore dell'Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana. In 1924 the British Academy gave him its gold medal for his work in the field of Italian studies.

Born in 1875, Edward Hutton first went to Italy when he was twenty-one. In the spring of 1901 Hutton and his wife rented the Casa di Boccaccio at Ponte a Mensola, east of Florence, not far from I Tatti into which the Berensons had moved at around the same time, and from Janet Ross at Poggio Gherardo. Here Hutton began to write the travel books that were to become famous, e.g. The Cities of Umbria (London, 1905), Florence and Northern Tuscany (London, 1907), Siena and Southern Tuscany (London, 1910), Venice and Venetia (London, 1911) Rome (London, 1912), Naples and Southern Italy (London, 1915). At least one of his research journeys to Greece was done in the company of Norman Douglas (1868-1952, writer).

At the same time Hutton edited new editions of James Dennistoun's Dukes of Urbino (London and New York, 1909), and Crowe and Cavalcaselle's History of Painting in Italy (London, 1909). He wrote a book on Sigismondo Malatesta (London, 1906), and an outstanding critical biography of Boccaccio (London, 1910) that continues to be recommended today. Janet Ross inspired his writing of Country Walks about Florence (1908), and with her he edited Poesie Volgari di Lorenzo de' Medici (1912).

During the First World War, Hutton was sent to Italy on a special mission by the then permanent under-secretary for Foreign Affairs, Sir Eyre Crowe (1864-1925). He was kept there for nearly two years, at the end of which time he was lent to the Italian authorities to work for the Italian Foreign Action Bureau under Filippo de Filippi in England. In 1918 Hutton founded the Anglo-Italian Review. Two articles written by Hutton in the Review prompted Arthur Serena (d. 1922, a shipbroker and son of the Venetain patriot Leone Serena) to come to him for advice on how he might further the cause of Italian studies in Britain. Hutton suggested that Serena should found Italian professorships at Oxford and Cambridge and made the necessary proposals to their vice-chancellors. Serena provided half the cost of the new chairs and the Universities found the rest.

In 1917 Edward Hutton was one of the founders of the British Institute in Florence. In 1928 he converted to Catholicism and dedicated much of his time to Catholic issues. In 1943 Hutton was called on by the Political Department of the Foreign Office to write detailed descriptions of the various Italian provinces, nineteen volumes in all, and to each of these he appended, on his own initiative, a list of works of art which should be protected. These lists were later officially recognised by Eisenhower.
Hutton owned no fewer than eleven examples of the work of Simone Martini at one time or another. As an admirer of Cosmati work, Hutton designed and had laid Cosmatesque pavements in Westminster Cathedral and in Buckfast Abbey. He demonstrated his authority on the subject in The Cosmati (London, 1951).

Edward Hutton died in 1969, in the same year that he was made a Patron of the British Institute of Florence. 


Scope and content

The collection consists of letters (over 500), hand-written and typed manuscripts (over 60), cuttings, working notebooks and published work. Edward Hutton's son, Peter, packed up the collection after his father's death. The majority of the letters were in alphabetical order by author. Peter Hutton had also selected and put together letters that concern Norman Douglas. The manuscripts were packed individually in newspaper, card and string. The cuttings are either in volumes kept by Hutton, or loose in files given by Peter Hutton.
Edward Hutton had a wide correspondence but the surviving letters often amount to only one or two by a particular writer. Their interest may lie more as groups of letters surrounding a particular issue, e.g. the founding of the Anglo-Italian Review, Catholic controversies in England, or the response to unfavourable comments in the press about Norman Douglas after his death. Correspondents include: Harold Acton (1904-1994, author), James Barrie (1860-1937, author), Max Beerbohm, (1872-1956, author), Arnold Bennett (1867-1931, author), Bernard Berenson (1865-1959, art historian), Robert Bridges (1844-1930, poet), Kenneth Clark (1903-1983, author, Director of the National Gallery, London), Sir Sidney Cockerell (1867-1962, publisher and typographer), Edward Gordon Craig (1872-1966, stage designer), M.C. D'Arcy (1888-1976, Jesuit priest and author), Norman Douglas (1868-1952, author), J.L. Garvin (1868-1947, editor of The Observer from 1908-1914), Eric Gill (1882-1940, artist), Graham Greene (author, 1904-1991), Maurice Henry Hewlett (1861-1923, author), W.H. Hudson (1841-1922, author), Christopher Isherwood, (1904-1986, author), John Lane (1854-1925, publisher), David Lloyd George (1863-1945, politician and Prime Minister 1916-1922), Harold Macmillan (1894-1986, publisher, politician and Prime Minister 1957-1963), F.T. Marinetti (1876-1944, Futurist), C.C. Martindale (1879-1963, Jesuit priest), Alice Meynell (1847-1922, poet and critic) and Wilfred Meynell (1852-1948, author and journalist), Raymond Mortimer (1895-1978, critic), Aldo Palazzeschi (1885-1974, poet), Pino Orioli (1884-1942, bookseller), Janet Ross (1842-1927, author), Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960, architect), Montague Summers (1880-1948, author on restoration drama and witchcraft, 33 letters between 1928 and 1948), Arthur Symons (1865-1945, poet), Edward Thomas (1878-1917, poet), G.M. Trevelyan (1876-1962, historian), Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966, author), Rebecca West (1892-1983, author), Sir Mortimer Wheeler (1890-1976, archaeologist).
The manuscripts are those of Hutton's published works and articles. They include the beginnings of an Autobiography. The scrapbooks surround particular issues. In combination with the published works held by the Harold Acton Library, this is the fundamental archive for any research into the person and writings of Edward Hutton.

Terms of use



The collection is open for consultation.



The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material. 



This depends upon the condition of the material.


Finding aids:

Peter Hutton provided a hand-written list of the authors of letters: the list is not complete and does not indicate the related number of letters or their contents. On an envelope containing a number of selected letters Peter Hutton listed the authors: the selection consists of letters relating to Norman Douglas.

A catalogue of the collection now exists. There is also a comprehensive list of correspondents. 


Related material in the same repository:

Peter Hutton also gave a collection of Edward Hutton's printed works to the Library. The following list includes these.


AR 235.2 HUT

Studies in the lives of the saints

AR 271.3 HUT

The Franciscans in England : 1224-1538

AR 274.505 ENG

Saint Francis of Assisi

AR 450.9 HUT

Why Italian? : a lecture delivered at the Italian conference summoned by the Italian Committee of the Modern Language Association at Bedford College, London, on July 22, 1934.

AR 709.45 VEN

A short history of Italian art

AR 736.2 HUT

The Cosmati : the Roman marble workers of the XIIth and XIIIth centuries

AR 750.945 HUT

The life of Christ in the old Italian masters

AR 757 CRI

The essentials of the figure art

AR 759.5 PER


AR 759.55 HUT

The Sienese school in the National Gallery

AR 820.01 HUT

A book of English love poems : chosen out of poets from Wyatt to Arnold

AR 820.01 PAL

Palgrave's golden treasury of the best songs and lyrics

AR 820.3 MAR

Hero and Leander : a poem

AR 820.4 CRA

The English poems of Richard Crashaw

AR 820.9 HUT

Dalliance : a book of essays

AR 820.9 HUT

Frederic Uvedale : a romance

AR 820.9 HUT

In the Triforium : a Christmas vision of Westminster Abbey

AR 820.9 HUT

My lady's sonnets

AR 820.9 HUT


AR 820.9382 HUT

Catholicism and English literature

AR 827 HUT

The children's Christmas treasury of things new and old.

AR 850 ARE

Pietro Aretino : the scourge of princes

AR 850 BOC

The Decameron

AR 850 BOC

Giovanni Boccaccio : a biographical study

AR 850 BOC

Some aspects of the genius of Giovanni Boccaccio

AR 850 MED

Poesie volgari

AR 880 THE

Theocritos : the complete poems

AR 913.8 HUT

A glimpse of Greece

AR 914.2 HUT

A book of the Wye

AR 914.22 HUT

Highways and byways in Wiltshire

AR 914.23 HUT

Highways and byways in Gloucestershire

AR 914.238 HUT

Highways and byways in Somerset

AR 914.53 HUT

Venice and Venetia

AR 914.55 HUT

In unknown Tuscany

AR 914.55 HUT

The valley of Arno : a study of its geography, history & works of art

AR 914.55 HUT

Country walks about Florence

AR 914.55 HUT

Siena and southern Tuscany

AR 914.55 HUT

Florence and northern Tuscany with Genoa

AR 914.551 HUT


AR 914.563 HUT


AR 914.565 HUT

The cities of Umbria

AR 914.5651 HUT

Assisi and Umbria revisited

AR 914.57 HUT

Naples and Campania revisited

AR 914.58 HUT

Cities of Sicily

AR 914.6 HUT

The cities of Spain

AR 937.09 ATT

Attila and the Huns

AR 945 HUT

Italy and the Italians

AR 945.31 HUT

The pageant of Venice

AR 945.06 DEN

Memoirs of the Dukes of Urbino, illustrating the arms, arts & literature of Italy, 1440-1630: Volume One

AR 945.06 DEN

Memoirs of the Dukes of Urbino, illustrating the arms, arts & literature of Italy, 1440-1630: Volume Two

AR 945.06 DEN

Memoirs of the Dukes of Urbino, illustrating the arms, arts & literature of Italy, 1440-1630: Volume Three

AR 945.31 HUT

The pageant of Venice

AR 945.48 MAL

Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini : a study of a XV century Italian despot

AR 945.48 MAL

The mastiff of Rimini : chronicles of the house of Malatesta

C 700 CAR

The novels and plays of Gabriele D'Annunzio(part of The Castello of Milan)

C 700 CAR

Walter Pater(part of The Castello of Milan)

C 759.2 HOG

William Hogarth

820.4 VAU

The poems of Henry Vaughan

850 BOC

Amorous Fiammetta

914.2 HUT

England of my heart : Spring

914.52 HUT

Milan and Lombardy

914.52 HUT

The cities of Lombardy

914.54 HUT

The cities of Romagna and the Marches

914.55 HUT

A wayfarer in unknown Tuscany

914.551 DON

Florence : Florenz

914.57 HUT

Naples and southern Italy

945 SFO

Italy and Italians

945.47 HUT

Ravenna : a study



The Library also holds the bibliographical work by Dennis Rhodes, The Writings of Edward Hutton, published in 1955.

Also in the holdings is an almost complete run of the Anglo-Italian Review, edited by EH. The review ran from May 1918 to May 1921, with the commercial supplement continuing to April 1922.