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Archive Reference / Library Class No.D8760/F/FEP/5
TitleThe Attic Chest, comprising writings gathered together and edited by Eleanor Anne Porden and her father William Porden, with drafts and related papers
DescriptionThere are 41 booklets of the Attic Chest. There are 4 bundles of other material relating to the Attic Chest, which include what would seem to be drafts or rejected literary works, and uncut pages of a book on botany. The papers were given by Eleanor's niece, Henrietta Emilia Alice Kaye, to Eleanor's grandson, Philip Lyttelton Gell, during the 1870s (see D8760/F/FEP/5/44/10 for extracted latter).
Extent41 volumes, 4 bundles
RepositoryDerbyshire Record Office
Archive CreatorEleanor Anne Porden, later Eleanor Franklin (1795-1825)
Gell family of Hopton Hall, Wirksworth
Administrative HistoryEleanor Anne Porden and her father William gathered around themselves a group of like-minded people with a keen interest in poetry, who became known as the Attic Society. They held meetings at the Porden's home in Berners Street, London, to recite poems and verses members had written. These poems and verses were submitted to the Pordens and placed in a chest supposedly made of Attic pine, which gave rise to the name of the Attic Chest. The poems were collated into booklets, one booklet for each meeting they held, generally fortnightly during the London Season. Apart from Eleanor and William Porden, the other contributors included the poet Anna Vardill, the painters John and Mary Ann Flaxman, and architect John Linnell Bond. Meetings were held for almost 10 years, starting on 27 December 1808 and ending on 2 June 1818.
CopiesTranscriptions of the complete Attic Chest can be viewed at
TermLiterary societies

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Related Names
Name (click for further details)
Porden; Eleanor Anne (1795-1825); poet and first wife of explorer Sir John Franklin
Porden; William (1754-1822); architect
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