The Clark’s collection of material related to Robert Baldwin Ross is described in a new finding aid now available via the Online Archive of California. The large majority of the material cataloged in this finding aid is not new — it has been described in the Clark’s finding aids to the Oscar Wilde and his Literary Circle collection for some time — though it does also include some previously uncataloged Ross material. This new finding aid is not intended to replace the Wilde finding aids, but as a supplementary guide that may be much easier to navigate for researchers interested more specifically in Ross. Both the Ross finding aid and the Wilde collection finding aids will continue to be updated to reflect any new acquisitions.
Robbie Ross collection
Robert Baldwin Ross was born in Tours, France in 1869. He studied at Cambridge, then moved to Edinburgh as an apprentice journalist. He met Oscar Wilde in 1886 and remained his friend while Wilde was imprisoned from 1895-1897. He was also present when Wilde died in November 1900. He was made Wilde’s literary executor and later published a 14 volume set of his collected works. Ross was pursued by some scandal and by lawsuits throughout his life, in part because of his own open homosexuality, and because of his loyalty to Wilde. Such hardships are seen as contributing to his sudden death in 1918 at the age of 49. In 1950, his ashes were placed in Oscar Wilde’s tomb at Le Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris.