Fonds GB 0210 MSVERNWAT - Vernon Watkins Manuscripts,

Ardal dynodi

Cod cyfeirnod



Vernon Watkins Manuscripts,


  • [1920s]-1988 (Creation)

Lefel y disgrifiad


Maint a chyfrwng

70 volumes.

Ardal cyd-destun

Enw'r crëwr

Hanes bywgraffyddol

Vernon Watkins (1906-1967), poet, was the second of three children of William and Sarah Watkins. He was born in Maesteg, Glamorgan, on 27 June 1906 but grew up in Swansea, Glamorgan, and on the Gower. He attended Repton School, Derbyshire, 1920-1924, then (for one year) studied modern languages at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He was briefly a clerk at Lloyds Bank in Cardiff but after a breakdown he returned home to Swansea and moved to the Lloyds Bank branch in St Helens. He served with RAF Police and Intelligence, 1941-1946, but otherwise remained with Lloyds for the remainder of his working life. In 1941 he published his first collection of poems, Ballad of the Mari Lwyd (London, 1941), followed by The Lamp and the Veil (London, 1945), Selected Poems (Norfolk, Conn., 1948), The Lady with the Unicorn (London, 1948), The Death Bell (London, 1954), Cypress and Acacia (London, 1959), Affinities (London, 1962), and Fidelities (London, 1968) which appeared posthumously. As a poet he was scrupulous, working through numerous drafts to reach a final version and often undertaking further revision after publication. In addition to original poetry he translated European verse into English, including Heine's The North Sea (London, 1955), and wrote essays on other poets. He corresponded widely with literary figures and became friends with the likes of W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Philip Larkin and, in particular, Dylan Thomas. In 1944 he married Gwendoline (Gwen) Mary Davies (b. 1923), a colleague at RAF Intelligence, and they had five children. Following his retirement in 1966 he lectured at the University College of Swansea. He was then appointed Visiting Professor of Poetry at the University of Washington but died on 8 October 1967, shortly after arriving in Seattle to take up his post. Some of his previously unpublished and uncollected works appeared in Uncollected Poems (London, 1969), Selected Verse Translations, ed. by Ruth Pryor (London, 1977), The Breaking of the Wave (Ipswich, 1979), and Ballad of the Outer Dark, ed. by Ruth Pryor (London, 1979).

Hanes archifol

NLW MSS 23752-62: Papers gathered together [by Dylans Bookstore, Swansea] from the estate of Vernon Watkins's sister, Dorothy, and from 'sundry other sources'.


NLW MSS 21263-6E: Bertram Rota Ltd; London; Purchase; [1974]
NLW MSS 22440-89: Dylans Bookstore; Swansea; Purchase (along with proofs, printed material and ephemera, now part of NLW ex 1003); January and August 1983, April 1986; B1983/4, 24, B1986/20.
NLW MSS 22552-3E: Dylans Bookstore; Swansea; Purchase; July 1988; B1988/25.
NLW MSS 22728-9: Sotheby's; London; Purchased at auction, lot 170 (along with proofs of published works, now part of NLW ex 1003); 14 December 1989; B1989/50.
NLW MS 22841E: Dylans Bookstore; Swansea; Purchase; May 1991, February 1992; B1991/13, B1992/6.
NLW MSS 23752-62: Dylans Bookstore; Swansea; Purchase; September 1998; B1998/30.

Ardal cynnwys a strwythur

Natur a chynnwys

Papers, [1920s]-1988, of Vernon Watkins, comprising drafts of poems published in collections and elsewhere, 1934-1967, unpublished poems, [1920s]-1967, and verse translations from German, French, Greek, Italian, Spanish and Hungarian, [1920s]-1967; drafts and translations of verse dramas, [1920s]-[1940x1967]; prose articles and essays, [1935]-1967; radio scripts, 1948-1967; talks and lecture notes, 1947-1967; correspondence, 1937-1988, including letters to Gwen Watkins following her husband's death; diaries, 1931, 1966; bibliographical lists of his poetry, [?1941]-1967; and some literary material relating to posthumous publications, 1976-1978.

Gwerthuso, dinistrio ac amserlennu

Action: All records have been retained..


Accruals are not expected.

System o drefniant

Arranged according to NLW MSS reference numbers: NLW MSS 21263-21266E, 22440-22489, 22552-22553, 22728-22729, 22841E, 23752-23762.

Ardal amodau mynediad a defnydd

Amodau rheoli mynediad

Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions noted on the 'Modern papers - data protection' form issued with their readers' tickets.

Amodau rheoli atgynhyrchu

Usual copyright laws apply. Information regarding ownership of Vernon Watkins copyright can be found at (viewed June 2010)

Iaith y deunydd

  • Saesneg
  • Almaeneg

Sgript o ddeunydd

Nodiadau iaith a sgript

English unless otherwise specified.

Cyflwr ac anghenion technegol

Cymhorthion chwilio

The manuscripts are described more fully in the NLW typescript lists Vernon Watkins Manuscripts, Group I (1979) and Group II (1988, [2001]).

Ardal deunyddiau perthynol

Bodolaeth a lleoliad y gwreiddiol

Bodolaeth a lleoliad copïau

Unedau o ddisgrifiad cysylltiedig

Further papers include NLW MSS 20787E, 21694D, 23136D, 23185D, 23979D; NLW ex 1003, 2551; NLW Minor Deposits 722B; NLW, David Jones (Artist and Writer) Papers; British Library, Add. MSS 54157-54167; Hull, Brynmor Jones Library, DX/73/1; Swansea University Archives, LAC/120. Printed books owned by Vernon Watkins acquired as part of the archive are also in the National Library of Wales.

Disgrifiadau cysylltiedig

Ardal nodiadau


Title based on contents.


Some letters to Gwen Watkins and a few other items relating to Gwen Watkins and Ruth Pryor post-date Vernon Watkins' death.

Dynodwr(dynodwyr) eraill

Virtua system control number

Project identifier

Pwyntiau mynediad

Pwyntiau mynediad pwnc

Pwyntiau mynediad lleoedd

Ardal rheolaeth disgrifiad

Dynodwr disgrifiad

Dynodwr sefydliad

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rheolau a/neu confensiynau a ddefnyddiwyd

Description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH


Lefel manylder disgrifiad

Dyddiadau creadigaeth adolygiad dilead

July 2010.


  • Saesneg



The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Vernon Watkins Manuscripts, Group I (1979) and Group II (1988, [2001]); Vernon Watkins, New Selected Poems, ed. by Richard Ramsbotham (Manchester, 2006); Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales, ed. by Meic Stephens (Oxford, 1986); Y Bywgraffiadur Cymreig 1951-1970 (London, 1997); Meic Stephens, 'Watkins, Vernon Phillips (1906-1967)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [] [accessed 13 July 2010]; Ruth Pryor, 'The Palethorpe Papers, or, A bibliographer's nightmare', Poetry Wales, 12.4 (Spring 1977), 44-51; Jane L. McCormick, 'The Prose of Vernon Watkins' (unpublished master's thesis, Simon Fraser University, 1969)

Nodyn yr archifydd

Description revised by Rhys Jones.

Ardal derbyn

Pynciau cysylltiedig

Lleoedd cysylltiedig