English poetry -- 20th century.



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English poetry -- 20th century.

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English poetry -- 20th century.

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English poetry -- 20th century.

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A Boy's Sorrow by W. H. Davies,

  • NLW MS 23875B.
  • File
  • [1910s]

A holograph copy, [1910s], of 'A Boy's Sorrow', an apparently unpublished poem of two eight-line stanzas by W. H. Davies.

Davies, W. H. (William Henry), 1871-1940

Augustus John letters to Mavis de Vere Cole

One hundred and thirteen letters, cards and telegrams, 1934-1959, from Augustus John to Mavis de Vere Cole (later Mavis Wheeler). They contain personal and family news, including news of their son Tristan, letters of a more intimate nature, instructions regarding paintings and a few letters to Mavis in prison in 1954.
The letters are sent from various locations including his home, Fryern Court, various studios in London and from Provence and Jamaica. Also included are letters from John to A. P. Herbert, 10 September 1954 (f. 132), and to Tony Vivian, September-October 1954 (ff. 133-135), all relating to Mavis' trial. There are sketches by John on ff. 91 verso, 92, and 116 verso, and poems by him on ff. 4, 95-98.

Autobiographical writings

Manuscript and typescript drafts by Berta Ruck, [1955]-[1974x1978], of chapters of projected and published autobiographical works, mainly concerned with her life in Wales.
They include a manuscript draft of the first chapter of An Asset to Wales (London, 1970), [?1969] (ff. 1-24); drafts, mainly typescript, of various chapters for projected works entitled 'Welsh Harlequinade' and 'Fanfare for Wales', [1974x1978] (ff. 25-137); a typescript poem entitled 'Stair-case Remorse', [1970x1978] (f. 138); a typescript of various fragments of fiction and autobiographical prose, [1970x1978] (ff. 139-144); a cutting of an article by Ruck, 'A Golden Prince Came to the Castle', [1955] (f. 145); and a cut-out watercolour sketch of a young man (f. 146). There are references to N. C. Hunter (ff. 47-50), Stephen Peet, producer of the 1970 television documentary featuring Ruck (ff. 106-120), and to E. Nesbit (ff. 141-142).

Barddoniaeth 'Peiran',

  • NLW MSS 12228-12229D, 12230-12233B, 12234-12235C, 12236D.
  • File
  • 1925-1936 /

Manuscripts, typescripts, and press cuttings of poetry, largely in free metres, by John Bryn Evans ('Peiran'), London. The compositions belong approximately to the period 1925-1936. Among the titles are 'Eisteddfod [Genedlaethol] Abertawe 1926', 'Pont ar Fynach (Devil's Bridge)', 'Y Rheidol', 'Yr Ystwyth', 'Nant Peiran', 'Eifion Wyn', 'Aberystwyth', 'Dr. T. Charles Williams', 'Hafod Uchtryd', 'Beriah Gwynfe Evans', 'Yr Athro David Jenkins, Mus. Bac.', 'R. S. Hughes', 'Teifi', 'Strata Florida (Ystrad Fflur)', 'Cadair Idris', 'Sir Ellis Griffith Bart.', 'Islwyn', 'Ceiriog', 'A Tribute to A. G. Prys-Jones', 'Y Prifathro y Dr. Thomas Rees, M.A.', 'In Memory of the late Rev. J. Cynddylan Jones, D.D.', etc.

Evans, John Bryn.

Brenda Chamberlain letters

Nine letters, 1934-[1942], from Brenda Chamberlain, writing from Bangor and Tŷ'r Mynydd, to her husband John Petts (ff. 1-18). The correspondence reflects the increasing distance between husband and wife, and includes references to Hugh MacDiarmid (f. 14), local War experiences (f. 15), and a commission for a National Eisteddfod certificate (f. 16).
Also included is a holograph song, 1942, presented by Sydney Burkinshaw to Chamberlain (ff. 19-20), and a printed poem by Chamberlain, entitled 'Christmas Eve' (ff. 21-22).

Chamberlain, Brenda


  • NLW MS 23243C
  • File
  • 1887-1914 /

Notebook of William Jones ('Gwilym Brynaman', 1867-1915), of Brynaman, co. Carmarthen, and Los Angeles, California, containing mathematical exercises, 1887 (pp. 1-36), and fair copies of poems, mostly in Welsh, composed by him, 1902-14, and including poems entered for competition at eisteddfodau in North America and Wales.

Jones, William, Gwilym Brynaman, 1867-1915

Clifford Dyment papers

Manuscript and typescript papers, [?1932]-[c. 1965], of the poet and author Clifford Dyment, comprising poetry, [?1932]-[?1965] (ff. 1-76), and miscellaneous prose, [1948]-[c. 1965] (ff. 77-95).
The poems appear to be mainly unpublished; those which appear in his published collections are 'Mouse' (f. 12) (Straight or Curly (London, 1937), p. 36), 'The Suicide' (f. 35) (Experiences and Places (London, 1955), p. 42), and ff. 46-76 which are drafts, [1955]-[1965], of sixteen out of the twenty-eight new dream poems in section VI of his Collected Poems (London, 1970), pp. 89-102 passim; 'Gedicht voor mijn Verjaardag', [late 1950s] (f. 37), is a Dutch translation by G. K. van het Reve of Dyment's 'Poem for my Birthday' (f. 36). The prose includes a corrected typescript, [1948], of the introduction to Thomas Hood, Selected Poems, ed. by Clifford Dyment ([London], 1948) (ff. 77-88, see also f. 26 verso); a draft letter to Bernard Miles, [early 1950s] (f. 89); and part of an essay on his dream poetry, [c. 1965] (ff. 91-92). Many of the later items are written on the backs of old letters, circulars and other ephemera as well as fragments of a typescript for his autobiography The Railway Game (London, 1962) (ff. 44 verso, 45 verso, 48 verso, 76 verso). A photocopy of the front cover of the original binder is f. i.

Dannie Abse: Down the M4

Autograph draft, [1972], of Dannie Abse's poem 'Down the M4', containing autograph revisions, deletions and variant readings (f. 74).
Also included is a typescript fair copy of his poem 'Talking to Blake', with a manuscript note to Roy [Davids], dated 28 May 1993 (f. 75). 'Down the M4' was collected (as the first in a sequence of four poems entitled 'Car journeys') in Dannie Abse, Funland and Other Poems (London, 1973), p. 27; 'Talking to Blake' was first collected in Dannie Abse, On the Evening Road (London, 1994), p. 3.

Abse, Dannie.

Dedwydd Jones correspondence,

  • GB 0210 MSDEDW
  • Fonds
  • 1966-1994.

Papers, 1966-1994, comprising letters and cards to the playwright Dedwydd Jones, mostly from actors, playwrights and other prominent theatrical and literary figures.


Draft poems

Notebook, 1914-1915, containing autograph drafts and revisions of some twenty-five untitled poems by Edward Thomas (ff. 1v-27), all published in The Collected Poems of Edward Thomas, ed. by R. George Thomas (Oxford, 1978), where the manuscript is designated M1 (p. xxii).

Draft poems

Notebook, 1916, containing autograph drafts and revisions of twenty-seven untitled poems (ff. 7v-41), all published in The Collected Poems of Edward Thomas, ed. by R. George Thomas (Oxford, 1978), where the manuscript is designated M2 (p. xxiii) and assumed to have been 'used as a working notebook in camp - and in the train. Like M1 [NLW MS 22920A], it gives an admirable example of Thomas's working method as a poet and, according to his letters to Frost, it contains many of the poems he adjudged to be his best'. Also included are the final words of the essay, 'The Pilgrim' (f. 1) (see note below), an apparently unpublished prose dialogue between P., T. and Jehovah (ff. 1 verso-7) and trigonometrical sketches (ff. 29 verso-30 verso).

Dylan Thomas poems

  • NLW MS 23917D.
  • File
  • [1929]-[early 1940s]

A sample copy, [1929], of part of a projected printed book by Ezra Pound, to be called 'The Complete Works of Guido Cavalcanti', containing also four autograph poems and a prose fragment by Dylan Thomas, [1936]-[early 1940s], and two typescript poems by Vernon Watkins, [c. 1939]. Pound's book was intended for publication in 1929 but was abandoned, with only the first 56 pages printed, when the Aquila Press went bankrupt. The present volume appears to be a sample copy, of which two similar ones are recorded (see Donald Gallup, Ezra Pound: A Bibliography (Charlottesville, 1983), p. 153), consisting of the first two gatherings only (ff. 2-9) and filled out with blank leaves (ff. 10-74). The original Aquila Press fragments were later incorporated into the composite work Guido Cavalcanti Rime, ed. by Ezra Pound (Genoa, [1932]).
The Dylan Thomas poems are 'Then was my neophyte', [1936] (f. 11) (published in Twenty-five Poems (London, 1936), pp. 40-41), 'We lying by seasand', [1937x1939] (f. 74 verso) (first published in Poetry (Chicago), 49.4 (January 1937), 183, and collected in The Map of Love (London, 1939), p. 8), 'Paper and sticks', [early 1940s] (tipped in on f. 12) (first published in Seven, 6 (Autumn 1939), 6, and collected in Deaths and Entrances (London, 1946), p. 23), and 'Once below a time', [early 1940s] (tipped in on ff. 13-14) (first published in Life and Letters Today, 24.31 (March 1940), 274-275; see Collected Poems 1934-1952 (London, [1952]), pp. 132-133); the prose fragment (tipped in on f. 15) is the end of 'One Warm Saturday', [1938], the last story in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog (London, 1940), pp. 253-254. The two Vernon Watkins poems, 'The windows', 1939, and 'A bronze head', [c. 1939], are apparently unpublished (tipped in on ff. 16-17). A dried leaf found loose within the volume has been put in an archival sleeve.

Thomas, Dylan, 1914-1953

Edward Thomas: Cock-Crow

Autograph revised manuscript, [23 July 1915], of Edward Thomas's poem 'Cock-Crow'.
The poem is preceded by an autograph note: 'The image used to appear to me every morning in the spring when the cocks crowed, just like a coat of arms'. The draft includes two autograph revisions in ink that are reproduced in the published text: 'They [?cleave]' is changed to 'Cleaving' (l. 4) and 'Of equal glory' is changed to 'Heralds of splendour' (l. 6). Other textual differences remain: 'that grow by night' rather than 'that grows by night' (l. 1); no comma after 'stand' (l. 5); and 'one on either hand' rather than 'one at either hand' (l. 6). 'Cock-Crow' was first published in Six Poems by Edward Eastaway (Flansham, Sussex, 1916), p. [19], and collected in Edward Thomas ("Edward Eastaway"), Poems (London, 1917), p. 61. It is No. 88 in The Collected Poems of Edward Thomas, ed. by R. George Thomas (Oxford, 1978) (see pp. 244-5), the editor however does not record the present manuscript.

Thomas, Edward, 1878-1917

Essays, poems, &c.,

Manuscript volume containing two essays, [c. 1953], by Margiad Evans, on Emily Brontë (ff. 1-16, chapter 1 of a projected book-length study), and John Clare (ff. 45-54), together with an apparently unpublished short story entitled 'The Lordly Ones' and four draft poems, one of which, 'In memory of a little god', appeared in The Fortnightly, n. s. 1053 (Sept. 1954), pp. 198-200, whilst the others are apparently unpublished.

Margiad Evans.

Finishing Touches,

Autograph and typescript drafts, [c. 1910s]-1961, of autobiographical writings by Augustus John included in the posthumous volume Finishing Touches (London, 1964) (see also NLW MS 21570E), together with rejected portions of the text (ff. 56-9). Some sections (ff. 60-75) had been submitted to The Sunday Times for publication, 1952-1958 (see MS 22775C, ff. 89-98). Also included are draft recollections by Augustus John of Ronald Fairbank (ff. 76-81), and various drafts of prose and light verse.

Great War Diary

  • NLW MS 23924A.
  • File
  • 1914-1916

Notebook, 1914-1916, kept by Nursing Sergeant Davies of 'C' section of the 130th (St John) Field Ambulance unit, attached to the 38th (Welsh) Division of the British Army. It includes a diary, November 1914-June 1916 (ff. 1-12), describing duties in Britain before embarkation for France on 3 December 1915, and subsequent activities on the Western Front prior to the Battle of Mametz Wood.
A draft application for an army commission (ff. 45, 46 verso) suggests that Sergeant Davies was a native of Carmarthenshire and a former miner. The notebook also contains medicinal recipes (ff. 13-14, 44 verso, 45-6), ration tables (ff. 8 verso-9, 14), and poetry in both English and Welsh (ff. 22 verso-23, 31-44, 49-53). An additional folio, tipped into the volume (f. 16a), contains further diary entries, October 1916, and suggests the existence of a second volume, subsequently lost.

Hanley manuscripts,

  • GB 0210 MSHANLEY
  • Fonds
  • [early 1930s]-1985 /

Manuscripts and correspondence, [early 1930s]-1985, of James Hanley and his wife, Dorothy Enid ('Timothy') Hanley, comprising literary papers of James Hanley, 1954-1985, consisting of published and unpublished works of fiction, including novels stories and plays, mainly in draft form, some fragmentary; manuscripts of Timothy Hanley, 1932-1980, comprising journals, 1932-1980, and notebooks, 1932-1950, containing draft book reviews, short stories, poems, letters and sketches; and letters, mostly to their son Liam Hanley, from James Hanley, 1951-1981, and Timothy Hanley, 1951-[1970s].

Hanley, James, 1897-1985.

John Cowper Powys letters

Letters from John Cowper Powys to James Hanley (3), 1929-1930; John Wilstach (1), 1932; and Charlotte Miller (3), 1934-1935; together with a poem by Charlotte Miller addressed to John Cowper Powys.

Hanley, James, 1897-1985

John Cowper Powys letters and papers

Letters from John Cowper Powys to his brother, Llewelyn Powys, [1923], his companion, Phyllis Playter, [?1924], 'George', 1958, and a 'Mr London', [?1940s], the latter dictated by Powys to Phyllis Playter; together with miscellaneous literary papers, which comprise drafts of poems, [c. 1900]-1953, including an early version of 'Samphire' (published in Horned Poppies ... (1986)) and of several unpublished anniversary poems addressed to Phyllis Playter; a draft, [?1900]-1902, of an unpublished preface to poems by Alfred de Kantzow; an ink and pencil sketch of the map which forms the end-papers of Powys's novel Ducdame (1925); and drafts of the opening of a philosophical work, 1938, and of a speech in Welsh, [1935x1954], the latter composed by Powys while he was living in Corwen.


Journal, September 1935-October 1939, of Margiad Evans, including an account of the death of her father in 1935 and of her visit to Iceland in 1936, comments on her relationships with family and friends, draft poems and the first draft of her 'Little Journal of being Alone' (ff. 138-148), later included in Autobiography (London, 1943).

Margiad Evans.

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