Muriel Simonson at Jackson College 1924-1929

John A Holmes

Unknown to Holmes scholars until 2006, Muriel Simonson and John A. Holmes became officially engaged in the spring of 1929. John A. Holmes subsequently gave her a black, three-ring binder containing 24 poems written for and to Muriel. Sometime in 1930, the engagement was dissolved for currently unknown reasons and Muriel went on to marry Walter John Rhodes (1903-1996) in 1931.

John A. Holmes (A1929), became a renowned local poet and professor of English at Tufts in 1934, while Muriel kept the poems tucked away and never mentioned them to anyone, including her family. In 2006, Muriel's son, Jerry Rhodes, contacted the Digital Collections and Archives to ask whether we could authenticate handwritten poems he had found among his mother's material. Once identified, Jerry Rhodes kindly donated the Holmes poems and memorabilia about Muriel's years at Jackson College to the archives.