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Ref No IE TCD MS 7111, 7113-19
Title The correspondence of Eleanor Knott, including the papers of the Knott family
Creation Dates 1871-1952
Level Of Description Collection
Author Knott, Eleanor (1886-1975)
Admin Biographical History Eleanor Phillippa Marie Knott, MRIA, 1886-1975, was an Early Irish scholar and academic. Encouraged by her mentor R.I. Best, she studied Old Irish at the School of Irish Learning in Dublin and she was later involved in the administration of that school. She contributed articles to Sinn Féin and The Irish Peasant under the pseudonyms EK, PMEK or Finnéigeas, expressing nationalist sentiments. In 1911 she joined the staff of the Royal Irish Academy's (RIA) Dictionary of the Irish Language as an assistant to Carl Marstrander. Knott pursued an academic career at Trinity College Dublin and in 1928 she was appointed lecturer in Celtic Languages in TCD. She graduated MA (Dublin University) in 1932, and a special chair of Early Irish was created for her in TCD in 1939. In 1949, following the repeal of a statute prohibiting women members, she shared the distinction with four others of being the first women elected to the RIA. Progressive blindness hastened her retirement in 1955, although she was almost seventy years of age by then.

Her publications include The bardic poems of Tadhg Dall Ó hUiginn (2 vols, 1922, 1926), An introduction to the Irish syllabic poetry of the period 1200-1600 (1928), Togail bruidne Da Derga (1936), and Irish classical poetry (1957). In addition to publishing many articles in scholarly journals she served as joint editor of Ériu (xii–xx). A few poems she composed herself in the style of the classical poets were published posthumously in Ériu and other journals (see Baumgarten, cited below). In the realm of the modern language she published in 1910 a companion vocabulary to a redaction of an old tale by Peadar Ó Laoghaire and edited three more by him. She was also active in promoting a simplified system of spelling for the modern language.

Eleanor Knott died in January 1975. The majority of her papers are held in the RIA while a small collection of correspondence and some family papers are held here in Trinity College Library .
Scope And Content 7111: Correspondence (1903-1952) of Eleanor Knott, Prof. of Early Irish, TCD, 1939-1955.
7113: Correspondence (1871-1921) of John F. Knott, M.D., M.R.C.P.I., M.R.I.A., father of Eleanor Knott, Prof. of Early Irish, 1939-1955. Including receipts, bills, and pages from book auction catalogues.
7114: Correspondence (1877-1884) of John F. Knott, M.D., M.R.C.P.I., M.R.I.A., father of Eleanor Knott, Prof. of Early Irish, 1939-1955. 220 items.
7115: Correspondence (1893-1933) of Mrs. Phillippa A. Knott, wife of John F. Knott, M.D., M.R.C.P.I., M.R.I.A.
7116: Correspondence (undated) of William J.H. Knott, brother of Eleanor Knott, Prof. of Early Irish, 1939-1955. Including his letters to his mother and her letters to him.
7117: A few letters of and to Noel Bram Stoker, and correspondence of Phillippa Knott with Mrs. Florence Bram Stoker.
7118: Older documents from the collection of papers of John F. Knott, M.D.
7119: Drawings by Grace Plunkett, nee Gifford who married Joseph Plunkett before his execution in 1916. 1905, 1906, undated [?c.1904].
Custodial History Presented by Mr. R.W. Barden through Dr. Kenneth Milne, October 1975.
Document 07111,7113-7 Knott.pdf
Access Conditions Please contact mscripts@tcd.ie.
Copyright Please contact mscripts@tcd.ie
Language Irish, English
Public Note Rolf Baumgarten (ed.), ‘Eilinóir Ní Shnaidhme cct’, Newsletter of the School of Celtic Studies, v (1992), 38
D. A. Binchy, ‘Eleanor Knott (1886–1975)’, Ériu, xxvi (1975), 182–5;
Eoin Mac Cárthaigh, ‘Eleanor Knott’, Léachtaí Cholm Cille, xxxv (2005), 40–68
Pádraig Ó Riain (ed.), Irish Texts Society: the first hundred years (1998), 93
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