Fonds UBCA-ARC-1272 - Geoffrey Riddehough fonds

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Geoffrey Riddehough fonds

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  • Multiple media

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1.46 m of textual records and other material

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Geoffrey Blundell Riddehough was born on March 18, 1900, in Bramhall, Cheshire, England. Educated in Penticton, B.C., he became a UBC Fairview graduate, earning a first-class honours B.A. (1924) in Latin and English and being awarded the Governor General's gold medal as head of his graduating class. Riddehough joined the UBC faculty in 1933 and remained a member of the Department of Classics for the next thirty-eight years. While at UBC, he pursued his education, obtaining an M.A. (1939) in classics and a Ph.D. from Harvard (1951) with a thesis on the medieval poet Joseph of Exeter. While studying at Harvard, his dissertation essay De Medeae In Iasonem Odio won the Bowdoin Latin Prize (1950). At UBC, Riddehough specialized in Medieval Latin and was noted for his satirical verse.
Riddehough was a prolific writer, and a number of his essays, poems, and short stories were published in various journals and newspapers. Two of his better-known works were his collection of verse, Dance to the Anthill (1972) and the posthumously published Rueful Rhymes: The Satirical Verse of a Couple of Antibodies (1994), co-authored by Geoffrey A. Spencer. Riddehough was familiar with several languages, including French and Cornish, and was versed in ancient Greek and Latin. An interest in the paranormal led Riddehough to participate in a Wicca witch naming ceremony on the Isle of Man. In addition, he wrote numerous short stories about his female witch persona, Anaitis, and the majority of the correspondence from Riddehough within the Pegeen Brennan and Doreen Nalos sousfonds are signed with the Anaitis symbol. Riddehough died suddenly on April 6, 1978, in London, England, returning to Vancouver after visiting Malta.

Custodial history

Riddehough donated certain materials on Joseph of Exeter in 1976 (files 5‐1/7 and 6‐1/4), and the offprint of the poem ʺPig Ascendingʺ (file 6‐5) was donated by Marianne Brender à Brandis, from the papers of her mother, a former student and later a personal friend of Riddehough. The remaining materials were in the custody of Geoffrey Riddehough until they were transferred to his executor and long‐time friend, Pegeen Brennan. When Brennan transferred Riddehoughʹs records to the UBC Archives, she included the materials contained within the two sous‐fonds, Pegeen Brennan and Doreen Nalos. The material in the Murray and Marian Cowie sous‐fonds was donated to the University Archives in 2007 by Joseph J. Richter, a long‐time friend of the Cowies.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of a variety of materials, but the focus is on the literary works of Geoffrey Riddehough and includes drafts, manuscripts, and publications of his poetry and short stories. The fonds also contains a number of academic essays, research materials on Joseph of Exeter, and papers that Riddehough presented to various groups. There is also correspondence of both a professional and personal nature. Fonds consists of 3 sous‐fonds and 14 series: Pegeen Brennan sous‐fonds, Lemuel Robertson sous‐fonds, Doreen Nalos sous‐fonds, Murray and Marian Cowie sous‐fonds, Personal Information series, Published Materials series, Manuscripts and Unpublished Materials series, Assorted Poems: Miscellaneous series, Assorted Short Stories: Miscellaneous series, Lecture Notes and Papers Presented series, Joseph of Exeter Research Materials series, Coursework series, Notebooks and Scrapbooks series, Diaries series, Expense Ledgers / Accounts series, Correspondence series, Photographs series, and Miscellaneous series.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Riddehough’s annotated copy of “Greek Lyric Poets” (14-22) was donated by H. Flynn of Vancouver in October 2014.


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  • English
  • French

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Some photographs have been digitized and are available online series UBC 77.1

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Includes 3 microfilm reels, 2 matted prints, 15 photographs.

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