- [1950s]-2013 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Placed in melinex sleeves within ringed box at NLW.
Name of creator
Writer and artist Brenda Chamberlain (1912-1971) was born and raised in Bangor, Caernarfonshire, and educated privately before embarking on her art studies at the Royal Academy, London in 1931. In 1935 Chamberlain married the artist John Petts. The following year the couple moved to Llanllechid, where they set up the Caseg Press, producing postcards and bookplates, and also the Caseg Broadsheets - featuring poetry by Chamberlain and others - with the poet and writer Alun Lewis. Chamberlain's marriage to Petts ended in 1946. Thereafter she lived briefly in Germany before settling on Bardsey Island, where she wrote and painted until, in 1961, she moved to the Greek island of Idhra. In 1967 Chamberlain returned to Bangor, where she died in 1971. Amongst Chamberlain's major published works are the poetic anthology The Green Heart (London, 1958) (dedicated to Karl von Laer), Tide-Race (London, 1962), an account of her life on Bardsey, her only novel The Water Castle (London, 1964), A Rope of Vines (London, 1965), chronicling her time on Ydra, Poems With Drawings (London, 1969), and Alun Lewis and the Making of the Caseg Broadsheets (London, 1969).
Name of creator
Name of creator
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Mr Peter Lockyer; Coventry; Purchase; July 2014; 006765541.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
A collection of papers, [1950s]-2013, relating to Brenda Chamberlain, comprising three letters, 1955-[?1964], from Chamberlain on Bardsey Island and Ydra, Greece, to her friend Henry [Mitchell], concerning personal news and her work (ff. 1-6), together with one letter, 27 September 1971, from Joan Rees, Bangor, to Mitchell, belatedly informing him of Chamberlain's death (ff. 7-8); and manuscript fair copies, probably in Chamberlain's hand, [?1950s], of four poems, 'Endymion's Sleep', 'Midwinter', 'Islandman' and 'What the old man said' (ff. 9-13).
The letters discuss Chamberlain's painting 'The Acrobats at Practice', then recently purchased by Mitchell (ff. 1-2 verso), and a funeral on Ydra (ff. 3-4). A version of 'Islandman' was published in The Green Heart (London, 1958), p. 27; drafts of 'Midwinter' are NLW MS 21508B, ff. 1-6. Also included are newsletters, 2011-2013, of Cyfeillion Murluniau Brenda Chamberlain ar Enlli / The Friends of the Brenda Chamberlain Bardsey Murals (ff. 15-22) and a cutting from The Times, 21 September 1955, p. 3 (f. 14).
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Arranged at NLW as follows: letters; poems; printed matter.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.
Conditions governing reproduction
Usual copyright laws apply. Information regarding the ownership of Brenda Chamberlain copyright can be found at http://tyler.hrc.utexas.edu/ (viewed October 2014).
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Title based on contents.
Preferred citation: NLW MS 24065E.
Virtua system control number
Place access points
Name access points
- Mitchell, H. M. (Henry M.) -- Correspondence (Subject)
- Chamberlain, Brenda -- Correspondence (Subject)
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Description compiled by Rhys Morgan Jones.