File NLW MS 14934E. - Letters to John Davenport

Identity area

Reference code

NLW MS 14934E.


Letters to John Davenport


  • 1939-1966 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

iii, 121 ff.

Guarded and filed at NLW.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Archival history

Sold at Sotheby's by the heirs of John Davenport.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Sotheby's; London; Purchased at auction, lots 549, 556, 573, 574 and 576; 29 July 1977.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Eighty letters, 1939-1966, to John Davenport, literary critic and friend of Dylan Thomas, much of the correspondence relating to literary matters (ff. 1-91). There are references to Thomas throughout, including detailed (and contrasting) accounts, by John Malcolm Brinnin (ff. 12-13) and George Reavey (ff. 71-72 verso), of events surrounding his death.
The correspondents include Kingsley Amis, 1955-1965 (ff. 1-6), John Malcolm Brinnin, 1952-1953 (ff. 11-13), Walford Davies, 1963-1965 (ff. 16-23), Constantine FitzGibbon, 1950-1966 (ff. 27-52), Glyn Jones, March-April 1965 (ff. 57-59), T. H. Jones, 9 November 1961 (f. 60), George Reavey, [November 1953] (ff. 71-72), Roger Roughton, 1939-1940 (ff. 73-80), Caitlin Thomas, 1947-[?1952] (ff. 81-85, including a postcard also signed by Dylan Thomas), and Vernon Watkins, 1956-1965 (ff. 86-90). Also included are further papers relating to Dylan Thomas, comprising manuscript notes by Davenport, [1956x1966] (ff. 92-100); a postcard, [?1950], to Thomas from Jack Lindsay in Prague (f. 101); a typescript, 10 November 1953, of a radio obituary to Thomas by Davenport (ff. 102-104); a typescript article, [mid-1950s], on Thomas by Davenport (ff. 105-114); and press cuttings, 1954-1965 (ff. 115-121). A typescript table of contents is ff. i-iii. Three of the Kingsley Amis letters (ff. 1, 2, 4) are published in The Letters of Kingsley Amis, ed. by Zachary Leader (London, 2000) (pp. 448-50, 464-5, 527-8).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Item: 1.1 Loose Manuscript Documents (NLW MS 14934E). Action: Condition reviewed. Action identifier: 4437308. Date: 20031021. Authorization: Selected for conservation. Authorizing institution: NLW. Action agent: J. Thomas. Status: Loose Manuscript Documents (NLW MS14934E) : Small tears in a few items. Institution: WlAbNL.

Item: 1.2 Loose Manuscript Documents (NLW MS 14934E). Action: Conserved. Action identifier: 4437308. Date: 20041203. Authorizing institution: NLW. Action agent: A. Pugh. Status: Loose Manuscript Documents (NLW MS 14934E) : Repaired documents, guarded and filed and lettered in black. Institution: WlAbNL.


System of arrangement

Correspondence arranged alphabetically by surname at NLW.

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 ownership of copyright of John Davenport and various correspondents can be found at (viewed July 2014).

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes


Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

For letters, 1938-1961, from Augustus John to John Davenport see NLW MS 21585E; letters of Dylan Thomas to Davenport are Austin, University of Texas, Harry Ransom Center, Dylan Thomas Collection, Box 8, Folders 6-8.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents.


Preferred citation: NLW MS 14934E.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

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

October 2007 and July 2014.


  • English



Archivist's note

Description compiled by Bethan Ifan, and revised by Rhys Morgan Jones

Accession area