Vernon Lee Collection

Violet Paget (1856-1935) was born to English parents in France in 1856 and published under the pseudonym Vernon Lee. She spent her life in England and Italy, was fluent in four languages, and became a central figure in the literary and social circles of her day. She wrote essays on aesthetics, archeology, history, and politics and authored over fifty books. She died in Florence in 1935.

The June 1960 issue of the Colby Library Quarterly is features articles on Vernon Lee including a biographical sketch written by her associate and executrix, Irene Cooper Willis.

VL 1914 facing left

1914 photograph of Vernon Lee at her Florence villa, Il Palmerino.


The Vernon Lee Collection contains over 1,000 letters, hundreds of manuscripts, articles and photographs, and a small number of personal documents and artifacts in addition to published works.

Descriptive information about the Vernon Lee Collection is available online.


Irene Cooper Willis – primary donor

Colby Library Associates

Carl Jefferson Weber