Plomer MSS
Introduction
Related material (internal)

Catalogue

Reference code: GB-0033-PLO
Title: Plomer MSS
Dates of creation: 1920-1973
Extent: 15 metres
Held by: Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections
Origination: literary papers and correspondence of William Plomer (1903-1973).

Related material (internal)

Norman Hidden Collection The papers of Norman Hidden, who was chairman of the Poetry Society at the same time that Plomer was the president, include a group of letters from plomer to Hidden, and other material about the Poetry Society at that time.

Catalogue

Letters to William Plomer
Reference: PLO/Section I
from J.R. Ackerley
Reference: PLO/1
Dates of creation: 1934, 1946 - 1967, undated
Extent: 57 letters, 114 sheets & 49 envelopes Personal and friendly news, with comments on each other's published works and some comments on the works of other authors. Other frequent topics include animals (about specific animals and general comments, often and increasingly misanthropic), mutual friends (in particular EM Forster), and illnesses (his own, Plomer's and others'). The correspondence is frequent and apparently continuous from September 1962 to his death. For destruction of pre-1944 correspondence, see page 245 of Alexander's biography of Plomer.
He refers to Plomer as 'DLB', apparently an abbreviation for 'Dear Little Bird': see letter of 9 January 1964 (Plomer 1/29), and reference in “The Letters,” page 24.
Writer and editor, 1896-1967. Literary editor of the Listener magazine (BBC), 1935-1959. Wrote freely of his homosexual relationships, and of subsequent love for his dog, 'Queenie'.
Maintained a close friendship with Plomer and EM Forster, and holidayed with Plomer in Europe. Lived in Maida Vale (near Stephen Spender, Leo Charlton and Plomer) in the 1930s.
Ackerley, J.R., The letters of J.R. Ackerley, ed. by Neville Braybrooke (1975)
Parker, Peter, Ackerley: a life of J.R. Ackerley (1989)
Related material - here PLO/375.
This collection of unpublished poems by Ackerley appears to be that referred to as “this small sad collection” in his letter to Plomer of 20/12/1934 (Plomer 1/2).
PLO/376

from Alan Aldridge
Reference: PLO/2
Dates of creation: 14 September 1972, 9 January 1973
Extent: 2 letters, 3 sheets Two letters relating to The butterfly ball… (see bibliography), for which Plomer wrote the verses to Aldridge's pictures. The second letter includes suggestions by Aldridge to Plomer's draft verses, with the latter's markings.
An artist, who collaborated with Plomer in 1972 on a children's book.
Aldridge, Alan, The butterfly ball and the grasshopper's feast, with verses by William Plomer (1973)

from Noel Annan
Reference: PLO/3
Dates of creation: 1 January 1968
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Letter congratulating Plomer on award of CBE

from Robert Armstrong
Reference: PLO/4
Dates of creation: 22 January 1970 - 26 August 1973
Extent: 3 letters, 4 sheets Letters about the Poetry Society, about Armstrong's account of the Campbell/Spender encounter (published in The Critic Feb/March 1962, pp.18-21) and his Poetic Vision
Chairman and secretary of the Poetry Society in the 1960s; born 1901
The 1949 Campbell/Spender encounter (when Campbell attacked Spender during a reading for the Poetry Society) is described in Alexander, Peter, Roy Campbell: a critical biography (1982), pp.213-214
Armstrong, Robert, The poetic vision: signposts and landmarks in poetry, essays and lectures (1973)

from W.H. Auden
Reference: PLO/5
Dates of creation: undated [? 1932]
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Letter written from the 'Downs' school, Colwall, lamenting life at the school
Dated 1932? by E Mendelson in a letter to AD Burnett of 21/2/1986
Author and teacher, 1907-1973. Collaborated with Stephen Spender, Christopher Isherwood and Louis MacNiece.

from Constance Babington Smith
Reference: PLO/6
Dates of creation: 10 December 1961 - 29 October 1962
Extent: 3 letters, 3 sheets & 3 envelopes Letters relating to Plomer's reviews of Letters to a Friend, volumes 1 and 2, for The Listener. The letters also include a reference to Plomer (from Rose Macaulay's letters), which was cut from the published edition at his request.
Macaulay, Rose, Letters to a friend, from Rose Macaulay, 1950-1952, ed. by Constance Babington Smith (1961)
Macaulay, Rose, Last letters to a friend (Rose Macaulay), 1952-1958, ed. by Constance Babington Smith (1962)

from H.M. Basner
Reference: PLO/7
Dates of creation: 9 December 1956
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets & 1 envelope Letter about Plomer's Double Lives and South African politics (with reference to the forthcoming trial of Mandela and others for 'treason')
South African lawyer, who apparently acted for some of the black African leaders who stood trial for 'treason' in 1956-1961. Plomer visited South Africa in 1956 - this letter suggests that he met Basner on that visit.

from Patrica Beer
Reference: PLO/8
Dates of creation: 8 August 1971 - 15 May 1973
Extent: 3 letters, 3 sheets Letters about [Frances] Bellerby and about some of Beer's own poems

from Sinclair Beiles
Reference: PLO/9
Dates of creation: 17 December 1969 - 28 December 1970
Extent: 26 letters, 39 sheets, 1 card & 18 envelopes Letters on a wide range of subjects, often discursive and/or elusive. Main topics include the status of poets, his own poetry, philosophy and political ideas. The Poetry Society, “Point Virgule” (French periodical) and his “Poet Power” society are all mentioned.
Additional documents Poems included with the letters are as follows:

Poet

from Marie Belloc-Lowndes
Reference: PLO/10
Dates of creation: 27 February 1946, 9 March 1946
Extent: 2 letters, 4 sheets 2 letters inviting Plomer to dinner, and complaining about government food policy
Novelist, sister of Hilaire Belloc, died 1947.

from Mary Benson
Reference: PLO/11
Dates of creation: 14 September 1971
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets & 1 envelope Letter concerning a book by Benson apparently about a nursing sister in South Africa, 'Beatrice Qaba', with news of further repression by the South African security forces

from Lord Berners (Gerald Tyrwhitt-Wilson)
Reference: PLO/12
Dates of creation: 13 August 1946 - 21 April 1949, undated
Extent: 10 letters, 13 sheets & 9 envelopes Comments on various books, including works apparently sent to Berners by Plomer; also comments on literary figures, in particular [Marie] Belloc-Lowndes
Also an undated letter to “My dear Daisy” (Plomer 12/10) concerning loan of pictures to an exhibition, and written in an exaggerated tone (perhaps as a joke?)
Musician, artist and author, 1883-1950. Plomer met him while recovering from a haemorrhoids operation at a Richmond nursing home in June 1946.
Alexander's biography, p.253

from Sidney Bernstein
Reference: PLO/13
Dates of creation: 4 July 1969
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope Letter thanking Plomer for his “congratulations'' and recalling mutual friendship of Tony Butts
Film and television producer, founder of Granada Television, 1899-1993. Created life peer, 1969.

from John Betjeman
Reference: PLO/14
Dates of creation: 22 February 1938 - 7 August 1973, undated
Extent: 57 letters and cards, 44 sheets, 23 cards & 27 envelopes Personal news and comments on Plomer's poetry and on reviews of his own (Betjeman's) poems; many references to and comments on other literary figures, including “poor old Joe” [Ackerley]
Poet, writer and broadcaster, 1906-1984. Appointed Poet Laureate, 1972. Apparently met Plomer through the Society of Authors.
Alexander's biography, p.313 (for Society of Authors connection)

from Robert Birley
Reference: PLO/15
Dates of creation: April 1967 - 28 February 1972
Extent: 6 letters, 18 sheets and 3 envelopes Letters relating to South African politics, and in particular with news of Birley's experiences as a teacher within the “Bantu education” system under apartheid. Also comments on Jonker's poems and a request that Cape commission a study by Charles Bloomberg on the Broederbond (far right-wing Afrikaaner nationalist movement in South Africa), in a letter of 28 February 1972 (Plomer 15/6).
Bloomberg's research on the Broederbond (see above) appears to have been published by MacMillan as Bloomberg, Charles, Christian-nationalism and the rise of the Afrikaner Broederbond, in South Africa, 1918-48 (1990)

from Edmund Blunden
Reference: PLO/16
Dates of creation: 26 February 1927 - 5 February 1930, 4 November 1946 - 1 January 1968
Extent: 29 letters and cards, 31 sheets or cards and 8 envelopes Personal news, with comments on some of Plomer's poems and ballads
Includes MS of “An Infantryman” dated 20 March 1928 (Plomer 16/5/2), and a tribute to Plomer in verse for a Christmas card, 1952 (Plomer 16/18)
Writer, critic and lecturer, 1896-1974.
Met Plomer in Japan, where Blunden was visiting professor of English at the Imperial University in Tokyo, and where Blunden helped Plomer to find a teaching job in Japan.

from Wilfrid Blunt
Reference: PLO/17
Dates of creation: 20 July 1954
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Letter requesting sample of Plomer's handwriting for an exhibition
Art master and pioneer of italic handwriting, 1901-1987

from Ivan Bounine [Bunin]
Reference: PLO/18
Dates of creation: 12 September [1930]
Extent: 1 card card (in French) thanking Plomer for his letter
The year is illegible, but see letter from Leonard Woolf to Plomer dated 8 July 1930 (PLO 240/12), which relates to Plomer's enquiry about Bounine's address.
Short story writer, winner of the Nobel prize for literature, 1933. Born in Voronezh, but later lived in Paris.
Plomer wrote an article on Bunin for the Spectator, 14 July 1933.

from Elizabeth Bowen
Reference: PLO/19
Dates of creation: 30 October 1939, 24 September 1945 - 13 May 1968, undated
Extent: 38 letters, 77 sheets/cards and 17 envelopes Personal news, detailed comments on some of Plomer's books, reflections on her own writing and a few reviews or letters about reviews; friendly comments on both Plomer and mutual friends, in particular several references to Tony [Butts].
Reference Plomer 19/8 is a printed programme for a production of “Castle Anna” (Elizabeth Bowen & John Perry), at Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, 1948. Undated letter reference Plomer 19/38 includes synopses (? for book blurbs) of “The last september” and “The death of the heart.”
Anglo-Irish novelist and short story writer, 1899-1973. Lived part time in Kent and part time in her family house, “Bowen's Court,” County Cork, Ireland.
Plomer met Bowen after she wrote him a fan letter in 1933 on his The invaders. He visited her in Ireland only once (September 1935), but remained close by correspondence.
From Alexander's biography, pp.197-198. Check date of Bowen's first fan letter, if it survives.

from Neville Braybrooke
Reference: PLO/20
Dates of creation: 26 April 1969 - 7 March 1973
Extent: 8 letters, 9 sheets Letters relating to Braybrooke's edition of Joe Ackerley's letters
Writer, and editor of Joe Ackerley's letters
Ackerley, J.R., The letters of J.R. Ackerley, ed. by Neville Braybrooke (1975)

from Jocelyn Brooke
Reference: PLO/21
Dates of creation: 20 May 1958
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets and 1 envelope Letter about Brooke's review of one of Plomer's books (probably “At Home”), with some comments on Dover
Author, 1908-1966.

from Daniel George Bunting (pseudonym Daniel George)
Reference: PLO/22
Dates of creation: 22 November 1951, 15 August 1957
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets and 2 envelopes Letters praising Plomer for two books to be published by Jonathan Cape (probably “Museum Pieces'' and “At Home”)
Author and critic, 1890-1967. Chief reader for Jonathan Cape (publishers) from 1945.

from John Bunting
Reference: PLO/23
Dates of creation: 19 May 1963
Extent: 1 letter, 3 sheets and 1 envelope Letter with some account of Daniel George Bunting's life, following the latter's stroke, and apparently written to assist Plomer in preparing material for an obituary.
Daniel George Bunting's son

from Guy Butler
Reference: PLO/24
Dates of creation: 20 December 1954 - 14 December 1959, 25 June 1965 - 19 February 1966, 16 August 1972
Extent: 10 letters, 15 sheets and 2 envelopes Letters relating to publications by Butler and to Plomer's trip to South Africa for a conference organised by the English department in Witwatersrand University (July 1956), with some general literary news and brief references to the political situation.
South African writer and lecturer
Butler, Guy, The dove returns (1956), referred to in the earlier letters as ``Post Mortem''
A book of South African verse, ed. by Guy Butler (1959)
South of the Zambesi: poems from South Africa, ed. by Guy Butler (1966), with an introduction by Plomer

from Anthony [Tony] Butts
Reference: PLO/25
Dates of creation: 22 May 1928, 1941
Extent: 3 letters & 1 journal offprint First letter (1928) praises Plomer for his “I speak of Africa” and discusses the position of the negro and folly of the “euro-american machine.” Last two letters (both 1941) acutely personal.
Item Plomer 25/4 is an offprint of GE Bentley, “Thomas Butts, white collar Maecenas,” in PMLA (Modern Language Association of America), volume 71, December 1956, pp.1052-1066 (relating to Thomas Butts, patron of William Blake, and great-grandfather of Anthony Butts).
Last two letters are undated, but apparently written during his final illness and immediately before his death, respectively.
Descended from Thomas Butts, a patron of William Blake.
Wrote to Plomer in 1928, and met in 1929. Travelled to Greece and Corfu with Plomer in 1930, and shared a house with Plomer in Palace Gate, 1931-1932. Took his own life in May 1941, after a long struggle with cancer, and left Plomer an autobiographical manuscript. The latter was edited by Plomer and published as Curious relations.
Related material - here PLO/114
PLO/173
Letters from these correspondents were originally filed with the Butts letters.

from Bill Byrom
Reference: PLO/26
Dates of creation: 1 June 1965
Extent: 1 letter, 3 sheets and 1 envelope Comments on “Turbott Wolfe” (which Byrom had reviewed)

from Arthur Calder-Marshall
Reference: PLO/27
Dates of creation: 9 January 1952
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Thanking Plomer for his review of “The magic of my youth” for the BBC, and commenting on the low quality of contributions in “Pleasures of new writing” (ed John Lehmann, 1952)
Author, 1908-1992

from John L. Campbell
Reference: PLO/28
Dates of creation: 26 April 1970 - 25 May 1970
Extent: 2 letters, 3 sheets & 1 envelope Letters concern the papers of General (Sir James, 1765-1818) Campbell as commissioner of the Ionian Islands (in John Campbell's possession), with reference to Plomer's biography of Ali Pasha (“Ali the lion,” reprinted 1970 as “The diamond of Jannina”).
Author (mainly on Gaelic history and culture) and Scottish landowner, 1906-1996

from John Carter
Reference: PLO/29
Dates of creation: 15 November 1967
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Thanking Plomer (and another) for helping him to rescue the papers of Laurence Houseman, including some papers of AE Houseman.
Associate of, and written from, Sotheby's auctioneers, London

from Charles Causley
Reference: PLO/30
Dates of creation: 9 October 1960 - 20 April 1973
Extent: 29 letters, 30 sheets or cards & 20 envelopes Plomer 30/5 is a printed card with Causley's poem, “The sheep on blackening fields''.
Cornish poet, making use of Cornish folklore and ballad traditions (after the manner of some of Plomer's own poems), born 1917. Met Plomer while serving together on the Arts Council Literature Panel [according to Alexander, p.313].

from C[onstantine] P. Cavafy
Reference: PLO/31
Dates of creation: 1 June 1931
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for his verses to Cavafy.
Greek poet, and friend of EM Forster, 1863-1933.

from Lord David Cecil
Reference: PLO/32
Dates of creation: 8 October 1954
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for his review (in the “Listener”) of Cecil's “Lord M,” with some comments on Lord Melbourne
Lecturer in English literature, 1902-1986. President of the Poetry Society, 1947-1948.

from Paul Channon
Reference: PLO/33
Dates of creation: 13 May 1969
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Thanking Plomer for his address at the Byron ceremony in Westminster Abbey
MP for Southend West (Conservative), from 1959 [same person - check]

from Guy Chapman
Reference: PLO/34
Dates of creation: 5 April 1962
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Congratulating Plomer on his comments on autobiography in the “Encounter” (?), with further comments on autobiography generally
Major, later book publisher and professor of modern history, 1889-1972
Check right person - Prof Guy Patterson Chapman, FRSL

from George Horatio Charles Rocksavage, 5th Marquess of Cholmondeley
Reference: PLO/35
Dates of creation: 26 December 1950, 2 August 1963
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets & 2 envelopes Thanking Plomer for gifts of a book and brandy
1883-1968

from Sybil, Marchioness of Cholmondeley
Reference: PLO/36
Dates of creation: 26 August 1949 - 16 June 1973
Extent: 38 letters, 75 sheets or cards & 23 envelopes Personal news. Many comments on books and authors read by Lady Cholmondeley, also on a few mutual literary friends, and on Plomer's own works.
Plomer 36/25 is a letter from Sir Arthur Penn to Sybil Cholmondeley with his opinion of Plomer's verse. Plomer 36/27 (dated 15 May 1963) includes reported comments of Salisbury on Rhodesia and the attitude of Rhodesians to the British government. Plomer 36/32 includes a letter to her from Osbert Sitwell, dated 28 July 1967.
Sister of Sir Philip Sassoon
Related material - here PLO/247

from Richard Church
Reference: PLO/37
Dates of creation: 29 March 1965 - 17 December 1970
Extent: 8 letters, 8 sheets & 7 envelopes Mainly relating to his opinions and reviews of Plomer's works
Plomer 37/8 is a letter from Richard Church to Zelda Friedlander dated 20 October 1966, about her book, [Until the heart changes:] a garland for Olive Schreiner, and mentioning Plomer's poetry.
Writer and critic, 1893-1972

from Sydney Clouts
Reference: PLO/38
Dates of creation: 15 September 1968 - 26 September 1968
Extent: 2 letters & a press notice, 4 sheets & 1 envelope Arrangements for receipt of Ingrid Jonker prize from Plomer, with a press notice concerning the award of the prize to Clouts for his One life.
The Ingrid Jonker prize is given for a first book of poetry in Afrikaans or English by a South African, and was set up in memory of Ingrid Jonker.

from Nevill Coghill
Reference: PLO/39
Dates of creation: 6 December 1968 - 2 January 1969
Extent: 3 letters, 3 sheets & 1 envelope Letters relating to Plomer's presidency of the Poetry Society, including comments on the difficulties of the job
Theatre and film director, and Middle English scholar, 1899-1980. Professor of English literature at Oxford.

from Canon L. John Collins
Reference: PLO/40
Dates of creation: 28 April 1959 - 17 May 1959
Extent: 2 letters, 3 sheets & 2 envelopes Letters relating to Plomer's offer to help meet Canon Collins' legal costs following an action against him for slander, with reference to the Defence and Aid fund and other anti-apartheid campaigning
Canon of St Paul's Cathedral and campaigner against apartheid in South Africa (President of the International Defence and Aid Fund), 1905-1982

from Cyril Connolly
Reference: PLO/41
Dates of creation: 4 December 1955, 13 April 1962 - 21 August 1964
Extent: 4 letters, 4 sheets, 1 card & 3 envelopes 1955 letter (Plomer 41/1) concerns his anthology of Horizon articles. 1962 letters (Plomer 41/2-3) concern books sought by Connolly. 1964 letter (Plomer 41/4) concerns [Connolly's own?] letters submitted to Plomer for comments, apparently with a view to their editing and publication by Connolly.
Author and journalist, 1903-1974. Founder and editor of Horizon magazine.

from Jack Cope
Reference: PLO/42
Dates of creation: 28 March 1964 - 1 September 1968
Extent: 3 letters, 4 sheets Letters relating to Ingrid Jonker: arranging for Plomer to meet her (with comments on the new censorship laws in South Africa), a note of the memorial on her grave, and a request relating to the Ingrid Jonker prize for South African poetry.
South African poet; translated and introduced (with Plomer) an edition of Ingrid Jonker's poems (see bibliography)
Jonker, Ingrid, Selected poems; translated from the Afrikaans by J. Cope and W. Plomer (1968)
Related material - here PLO/38
The 1968 Ingrid Jonker prize was awarded to Sidney Clouts and presented to him (in London) by Plomer, at the request of Cope.

from Hilary Corke
Reference: PLO/43
Dates of creation: 16 October 1963
Extent: 1 letter, 3 sheets & 1 envelope Letter enclosing typescript of poem “An order in council” (a parody of an ecclesiastical order in council, mocking the bad taste of ornaments and domestic architecture in various Sussex villages, including Rustington)
Poet; jointly edited a volume of contemporary poetry with Plomer (see bibliography)
New poems, 1961: a PEN anthology of contemporary poetry, ed. by W. Plomer, A. Thwaite and H. Corke (1961)

from Pierre Coustillas
Reference: PLO/44
Dates of creation: 18 September 1971 - 5 May 1972
Extent: 5 letters, 10 sheets & 5 envelopes Editor and expert on George Gissing

from Eric Crozier
Reference: PLO/45
Dates of creation: 9 June 1948 - 11 June 1948
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets Letters relating to the 1948 Aldeburgh Festival, and to Plomer's talk on FitzGerald
Writer, lecturer and producer, 1914-1994. Librettist for Benjamin Britten (in particular of Billy Budd, with EM Forster).

from Nancy Cunard
Reference: PLO/46
Dates of creation: 23 July 1960
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets & 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for sending book of poems (probably his Collected poems, 1960), with comments on some of the poems. Letter written from Holloway Sanatorium, with news of some of the other patients certified 'insane'.
Writer and editor, 1896-1965. Met Plomer through Anthony Butts.

from Ralph N. Currey
Reference: PLO/47
Dates of creation: 2 April 1973 - 12 April 1973
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets & 1 envelope Letters relating to Currey's The Africa we knew and the use of lines from Plomer's poem “The scorpion” on the title page. Also some notes about the verses of Thomas Vinnicombe from Eshowe in Natal, South Africa, which Currey was hoping to edit.
Poet and editor
Currey, R.N., The Africa we knew, ed. by Jack Cope (1973)

from Ernst Robert Curtius
Reference: PLO/48
Dates of creation: 28 June 1930, 1931
Extent: 2 letters, 3 sheets & 1 envelope Letters in German.
Critic and writer on European literature, 1886-1956

from A.A. David
Reference: PLO/49
Dates of creation: 2 August 1918 - 21 November 1918, 29 October 1944
Extent: 5 letters, 5 sheets Letters of 1918 written to Plomer and his mother, concerning Plomer's departure from Rugby school. Letter of 1944 written from retirement in Cornwall, and refers to Double lives.
Headmaster of Rugby school (where Plomer studied 1917-1918), and subsequently an Anglican bishop, 1867-1950

from Angus Davidson
Reference: PLO/50
Dates of creation: 14 March 1973
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Letter asking Plomer whether he was the author of It was not Jones
Fitzurse, R., It was not Jones, Hogarth living poets, 2 (1928), author identified as a pseudonym for Geoffrey Basil Taylor in the British Library OPAC

from Gloria Evans Davies
Reference: PLO/51
Dates of creation: 23 July 1963 - 16 January 1967
Extent: 5 letters, 7 sheets or cards & 3 envelopes Thanking Plomer for his encouragements and commenting on various Japanese poems sent by Plomer.
Plomer 51/1 includes a typescript of Celebration (“The gull pilots a green spray now lime-yellow now white…”). Plomer 51/2 includes a manuscript of Her name like the hours (“Blodwen,…”).
Poet

from Peter Davies
Reference: PLO/52
Dates of creation: 11 November 1932, 4 April 1933
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets Letters about Plomer's biography of Cecil Rhodes (published by Peter Davies): comments on the manuscript and on its subsequent poor sales, with a suggestion that Plomer write another book for Davies, possibly on suicide
Publisher

from Richard M. Dawkins
Reference: PLO/53
Dates of creation: 11 March 1933 - 29 March 1933, 27 June 1945 - 1 May 1951
Extent: 7 letters, 9 sheets 1933 letters (Plomer 53/1-2) on Kavafi's poems with comments on Greek culture. Otherwise mainly personal news and comments on contemporary literature generally.
Greek scholar, professor of Byzantine and modern Greek language and literature, 1871-1955

from Cecil Day-Lewis
Reference: PLO/54
Dates of creation: 1944 - 1945, 7 May 1960 - 1972
Extent: 15 letters, 15 sheets or cards & 8 envelopes Personal news, with comments on some of Plomer's books and thanking him for his comments on Day-Lewis' work.
First two letters undated, although presumed 1944-1945. Last letter undated.
Poet and editor, 1904-1972. Wrote left-wing poetry with WH Auden and Stephen Spender in 1930s. Appointed Poet Laureate, 1967.

from Jill Day-Lewis
Reference: PLO/55
Dates of creation: 13 September 1966, 22 March 1972 - 2 June 1972
Extent: 4 letters, 4 sheets or cards & 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for copies of his books, with comments on some of his poems and personal news
Wife of Cecil Day-Lewis, poet

from Paul Dehn
Reference: PLO/56
Dates of creation: 24 March 1949
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for his encouragement following publication of Dehn's poems ( The day's alarm)
Poet, author and film script-writer, 1912-1976

from Anthony Delius
Reference: PLO/57
Dates of creation: 15 September 1968
Extent: 1 letter, 3 sheets Concerning arrangements for presentation of [Ingrid Jonker] prize to Sidney Clouts
South African writer
Related material - here PLO/38
The letter from Delius was originally filed with letters from Clouts.

from Patric Dickinson
Reference: PLO/58
Dates of creation: 22 March 1973, undated
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets or cards & 1 envelope Personal news, and referring to a local poetry festival at Cley-next-the-sea, Norfolk
Poet and playwright, 1914-1994

from John Dingle
Reference: PLO/59
Dates of creation: 25 March 1935 - 20 May 1935
Extent: 2 letters, 4 sheets Comments on Plomer's novels, in particular The case is altered, and on his treatment of homosexuality. Mainly comments on Australia, its people and literary circles, and the banning of books.
An inhabitant (and apparently native) of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; occasional writer, reviewer and publisher's reader
According to his letters

from Bonamy Dobrée
Reference: PLO/60
Dates of creation: 19 October 1963
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Thanking Plomer for his Double lives, and referring to Olive Schreiner
Literary critic, professor of English literature and historian, 1891-1974

from Violet Du Plat-Taylor
Reference: PLO/61
Dates of creation: 15 April 1958
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets & 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for his At home, and reminiscing about the Stephens family (Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell)

from Enslin Du Plessis
Reference: PLO/62
Dates of creation: 26 May 1967 - 15 April 1972
Extent: 3 letters, 1 postcard, 2 sheets & 1 envelope Personal letters and appreciation
First postcard (Plomer 62/1) written jointly by Nadine Gordimer and Enslin Du Plessis from South Africa
Afrikaans landscape painter; met Plomer while latter was at St John's College in Johannesburg, South Africa, c.1919, and subsequently after Plomer came to England in 1929 (where Du Plessis was then living).
See Alexander's biography, p.42
Related material - here PLO/80

from Gladys Ellen Easdale
Reference: PLO/63
Dates of creation: 29 August 1967, 30 January 1969
Extent: 2 letters, 5 sheets & 2 envelopes Recalling meeting Ezra Pound, and referring to 'The Stone Cottage' and 'The Prelude' (the former used as lodgings for Pound and for WB Yeats). Also referring to Clarice Edgar Blake, daughter of Edward Elgar, and her comments on her father's reputation.

from Charles Eglington
Reference: PLO/64
Dates of creation: 17 February 1969
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Concerning translations of the poems of Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese poet, and Pessoa's influence on his own poetry. Brief mention of Ingrid Jonker prize and a political ban on his daughter (in South Africa).
South African poet and translator

from Hugh Denis Charles Fitzroy, earl of Euston
Reference: PLO/65
Dates of creation: 22 August 1958
Extent: 1 letter, 4 sheets & 1 envelope Letter about his grandmother's letters from South Africa, submitted to Jonathan Cape for possible publication

from Edward Morgan Forster
Reference: PLO/66
Dates of creation: 6 July 1929 - 1969
Extent: 332 letters A large series of personal correspondence, with many literary allusions and references to mutual friends
Novelist and man of letters, 1879-1970. Met Plomer after writing to him in 1929, and remained a close friend until his death.

PLO/66/1   6 July 1929
From S.S. Llandovery Castle. EMF has read WP's short stories [ Paper Houses] on his voyage to South Africa, and is writing to say he enjoyed them, in particular “Ula Masondo”. EMF has not yet read WP's novel but is hoping to obtain it. EMF is travelling with the British [Association], and expects to be “shown everything and see nothing”.

PLO/66/2   24 September 1931
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Thanks WP for Sado, and praises and assesses the ending of this novel. He has read Le Grand Meaulnes and gives a brief response to it. EMF is going away for a fortnight but wishes to meet with WP on his return to talk about Sado.

PLO/66/3   4 December 1931
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking.Thanks WP for and accepts his invitation to his party on 15 December. Reports that he respects the opinions of T. E. Shaw and that Shaw has highly praised Sado for its unconventional lack of “fortissimo”. EMF and T. E. Shaw disagreed about Iris but agreed in liking the book. Archdeacon Parker has EMF's copy.

PLO/66/4   11 July 1932
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Thanks WP for his book, having re-read it. Declares that it gives him “the feeling of revolution”. EMF is glad it is going to have success, for the resulting money and the widened audience. He praises its “slight shifting of the angles”. Suggests that WP brings Bernard with him to tea. Suggests that as Bernard is thinking of the police then he might like to meet Bob, who “likes it… especially for its athletic opportunities”.

PLO/66/5   25 May 1932
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Comments on WP's drawings of “the policewoman”. Mentions having written to Faber again. He believes Eliot [editor of Faber] is away. Thanks WP for his efforts with the illustrations and asserts that he will endeavour arrange publication. EMF will be in town by Monday afternoon, and may have to spend the weekend at King's [College].

PLO/66/6   18 November 1932
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Thanks WP for his letter which he found consolatory. EMF had nearly asked for WP's help but is glad he did not have to since WP had his own difficulties. EMF is unhappy about Bernard being well enough to return to Windsor. EMF expects to arrive at the flat with Bob from Sunday to Tuesday and invites WP to tea on Tuesday, before he goes to a “cocktale” party with Somerset Maugham.

PLO/66/7   4 December 1932
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF is arranging a social visit with WP at the flat. Mrs Barger is also staying at the flat. EMF is “very excited” about Maurice and is thinking about opinions on it and its ending. Mentions the diffence in attitudes between the time of writing and the present. Says he will bring WP two recently-written short stories. Gabriel Atlain has sent EMF Death of Felicity Taverner. EMF is to dine with the Woolfs the next day.

PLO/66/8   Friday [1932?]
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF and his mother look forward to lunch with WP on Monday and invites him to “stop as long as [he] will”. He fears he may still have to rest and has been told by the doctor “not to get into mischief”. EMF has Foreign English, which Simpson would like WP to read.

PLO/66/9   19 January 1933
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF suggests WP meets with him to “ talk matters over”, and comments on how the world seems not to be “constructed on any one plane”. EMF mentions that Frank Vicary enjoyed meeting WP at a previous lunch. Mentions reading Cecil Rhodes, which Raymond Mortimer has taken, with Sado. EMF has been preoccupied by WP's poems, and gives critical comment on one of them. He wishes to write to Bernard but as he has lost his address book says he will send the letter care of WP.

PLO/66/10   23 January 1933
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Thanks WP for his letter and copy of Cecil Rhodes. Arranges a time for meeting the following Thursday. Asks WP to accompany him visiting Bob's wife, but it will involve a “tedious” journey by train. Concludes with “I must stop and cut down a tree”.

PLO/66/11   9 February 1933
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF is arranging a meeting with WP, Bernard and Bob at the flat for the next Wednesday. Acknowledges WP's “anxiety” about Bernard, but offers reassurance, and his opinion on the matter. Philosophises on the nature of experience and its relationship with knowledge of death, but asserts that “meanwhile Bernard has to earn a living”. EMF describes the previous day's Kenya debate, which he attended, comments on the trustworthiness of Cunliffe Lister, and writes of his uneasiness at Lister's “assurances”. Mentions Bob's portrait and how it is an excuse to Bob's wife for his visiting the flat. EMF also gives his thoughts on Quashie.

PLO/66/12   26 February 1933
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF writes about keeping up light contact with Bernard. Suggests meeting for lunch on Wednesday as he is visiting Bob. Frank Vicary has found a job as gardener to Mark Palmer which is a relief. He has seen [James Hanley?], and comments on his social status and writing. Reports that Leonard [Woolf?] admired the short story that WP contributed to his anthology. EMF reproduces Ismail's “Fair as Unshaded Light”, and comments on the poem.

PLO/66/13   17 March 1933
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Apparently EMF is responding to a difficulty over money encountered by WP. Comments that money is “one of the large things we are surrounded by, like death” and how it is forgotten about most of the time because of being in the company of people “who don't need it”. He expects to be up on Tuesday and proposes to arrange to meet.

PLO/66/14   17 March 1933
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF has received a postcard from WP. He quotes a sentence from Rev. Dr Well's account of how the animals fitted into the Ark. EMF looks forward to seeing WP around Tuesday.

PLO/66/15   3 April 1933
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF has news to explain to WP and writes that WP is welcome to turn up uninvited. Comments on the state of his relationship with Bernard, mentions financial hardship, and sympathises with WP's difficulties in relation to Bernard. His own affairs, he states, are favourable and he is happy about this. He describes how he and Bob have bought clothes at Selfridges, and ends by noting how he enjoyed being with WP's people and wishes the “Swedish” conversation had lasted longer.

PLO/66/16   5 May 1933
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF touches on a discussion about women and relationships with women, writing about having a basis, “masculine feminine or neuter”, which allows one to settle down. Charles Lovett is to stay with EMF. Informs WP that he and the gardener have been nailing signs around the wood “to keep young ladies from picking the bluebells”.

PLO/66/17   4 June 1933
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. WP is leaving on Tuesday and EMF, arriving on Wednesday, supposes that even his letter may miss him. EMF sends his love to Joe and hopes he and WP will have a good time. Asks WP to post “the enclosed”, if he goes to Toulon, to Achille, and explains his possible wherabouts. Asks for news of Achille and for WP to give him trifle and money. EMF and Bob begin their holiday on the 16th.

PLO/66/18   1 October 1933
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. This letter responds to an episode involving WP's mother and brother and an attempt to end an affair. EMF relates the awkwardness of another episode involving Reg. EMF is glad that WP went with him to Cobham. He feels gloomy, having held a ladder in the cold while windows were cleaned. He is also affected by the “Dickinson life” – [presumably his biography of Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson] – the writing of which had gone “merrily”. Adds some opinions on Goethe. Postscript says “Letter of apologies from Gerald Heard”.

PLO/66/19   26 October 1933
Hyde Park Hotel, Knightsbridge, London SW1. Brief note from EMF stating that Somerset Maugham may be lunching with him on Tuesday, and asks WP to come, meeting at the Reform Club.

PLO/66/20   7 November 1933
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Proposes social arrangements. Brings up the subject of money.

PLO/66/21   29 December 1933
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF says that plans for the immediate future are impossible as his publisher is urging him to finish his manuscript. Send his remembrance to Mrs Alexander. States that he feels “under the weather”. As “January is always [his] bad month” he asks for friends to endeavour to entertain him through it.

PLO/66/22   13 January 1934
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF asks to come to supper with Bob on Wednesday. Implies that he is in poor health but that there is “no probability of cancer”, and writes that he liked his specialist. He has eaten at Bob's that day and watched a “silly” French film, and comments on Bob's wife's cooking. EMF gives Bob's address in Shepherd's Bush. He explains that his mother has been approached by letter from Mr Balls to help with a biography of Sir Robert Harry Inglis; EMF illustrates the familys connection with Inglis with a sketch.

PLO/66/23   15 February 1934
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Mentions a successful visit to the Wilsons. EMF is interested in Jack's news and says his mother and nephew are “talking about incomes and wills”. He mentions class and gives an opinion of women and their behaviour.

PLO/66/24   7 March 1934?
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Begins with crossed-out “Dear Mr Hall”, replaced with “Dear William”. EMF wants to arrange where to meet before lunch at the Clarendon on Saturday with WP and Joe, either at his flat or in Piccadilly Circus. Postscript asks if WP knows that “Mrs Hardy was secreting a 'grandchild of Queen Victoria' in her folds?”.

PLO/66/25   18 March 1934
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF is arranging visits for Thursday; he wishes to see Christopher Isherwood that evening. He hopes to see WP at Mrs Hardy's on Friday: he has “written a rather naughty letter” in WP's style to Mr John Lewis in an apparent scheme.

PLO/66/26   8 July 1934
Glenmalure, Co. Wicklow [Ireland]. EMF writes humorously to WP about his stay at a remote hotel in Ireland, doing without alcohol, and in the company of the four female proprietors and the more roguish Michael the oddman. He is there with George Thomson, and reads Anna Karenina. EMF returns to the flat on Wednesday morning, and invites WP to communicate with him, but cannot be sure of his plans until he gets in touch with Masood who has arrived in Britain with an illness. Comments how he enjoyed Hampstead Heath with WP and Aircraftsman Fairblock.

PLO/66/27   15 July 1934
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Written on a postcard depicting Zulu tribesmen playing golf. EMF explains that this is discarded from his S.A. collections which he is sorting through. He finds his diary from that time “more interesting” than he thought, and wishes to share it with WP.

PLO/66/28   20 July 1934
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF warmly invites WP to tea at the flat with Sir Ross, Lady Masood and Bob on Monday.

PLO/66/29   2 August 1934
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF encloses a letter [not present] which appears to be about WP, since EMF does not understand its references. He also encloses “what remains of George Dowsing”. He is going to Oxford with Bob and seventeen other rowing police, expresses dismay that “some of their women-friends” will also be there. He considers visiting Dawkins, and thanks WP for his encouragement for an article.

PLO/66/30   28 September 1934
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF has written to WP's mother, and is pleased that he can be of help to her. Hopes WP is better and relaxing if not. EMF wishes to know about developments at Regents Park, if there are any. He is reports that he was relieved to have missed a visit to his mother from Mr R. Alford and his daughter Anne. EMF expects to be up and Thursday and wishes to discuss his articles. Lists the topics he has been asked to give papers on, the various locations, and the names of those who have asked. Includes a request to give details of a festival he mentions in A Passage to India. Comments on the aspect of “an unexplained muddle” in India and the novel, and on Miss Quested's experience in the cave. Points to WP's London books, which show the “untidiness of London”.

PLO/66/31   3 October 1934
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF is pleased with the correspondence he has lately received from WP and invites him to phone on Friday. He comments on a remark made by Jack and concludes with a mention of the King receiving the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan that morning.

PLO/66/32   7 October 1934
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. While looking for some articles EMF has turned up a reference to a particular case and suggests WP follows it up. EMF comments on WP's proposed anthology and “No Ghosts”. He suggests WP asks around for newspaper cuttings that friends have kept, and mentions Forrest Reid in this respect. EMF has offered Simpson his flat for a few days.

PLO/66/33   9 November 1934
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Thanks WP for his letter, and comments on “that remarkable evening”. His cold is better, and he has been planting trees and listening to the radio. He writes that he spent part of Sunday “with the Woolves and their marmoset.” His mother is staying with him at the flat till Tuesday, which EMF remarks may be trying. EMF is hunting for a packet of important articles, which are needed for proceeding with WP's suggested book, the idea of which EMF has been warming. EMF is trying to be less public spirited, which he calls a “bad habit…especially when the public future is so dark”. He has had a letter from Marie Mauron, resolves to write to Achille, and states that he would like to meet WP's Japanese friend. He also mentions Jack and his health.

PLO/66/34   21 November 1934
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF invites WP to lunch with him before he leaves for the Saar. EMF mentions an article which he liked, comments on its effect on him and its connection with younger writers.

PLO/66/35   29 November 1934
Forbach, Germany. Written in a mixture of English and German. In the Saar, Achille is coaching EMF to play the part of an unknown uncle, and to explain (in German) that he was born in Germany but moved to England as a child, so forgetting most of his German; this so that he may meet Achille's relatives. As “Koch”, EMF is to be discreet as Achille's companion. Describes Achille thus as “fun, very affectionate … and also romantic”. Explains a little about the Saar, its people and countryside, and also about Achille: he has learned he is “practically German”, and gives other information about him. Gives his address, and states he shall be back next week.

PLO/66/36   6 December 1934
St. Rémy de Provence. EMF returns to England on Friday via Dieppe, and hopes to see WP. He describes his appreciation for the scenery, and recounts a drive to a Roman Temple of Diana, also seeing the Rhone and Villeneuve-les-Avignon. Comments on ageing, and details the plans for the route back to England, including Marseilles.

PLO/66/37   25 December 1934
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF thanks WP for the goat. Lists his engagements for the coming few weeks. Discusses the novel Land Under England which he has read and is impressed by. He is also reading a book on the Saar, as well as poems by Colleer Abbott and others. Writes about Bob's party, and discusses various guests, Harry Fewkes?, Stephen and H. Daly. Asks WP to tell him about Torquay.

PLO/66/38   Friday [1934]
Norfolk. In a rough note EMF responds to WP on the subject of a recent incident (possibly on a train?) where EMF sits opposite a boy with a remarkable tattoo on his fingers and passes the time by making up variations. EMF was met by Jack and Colonel de [Cr…?] at Peterborough. Describes his stay, including a visit to Felbrigge Hall. Concludes with writing that he feels “a little like Norman Douglas” and that he will tell why.

PLO/66/39   1 January 1935
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Wishes WP a happy New Year. It is also EMF's birthday and he writes that he would not ask WP to help him through a “bad mood”, but acknowledges that WP is there if needed. EMF likes the [M…?], comments on and praises various aspects, and is encouraging of WP. EMF wishes to meet [G… B…?], and writes that he has been walking with Arthur Walford, Erchie Waterston and Hughie Waterston.

PLO/66/40   2 January 1935
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF invites WP to lunch with him and says he will also invite Jack Sprott. He says he has been busy with his newspaper articles. EMF asks WP to ask Joe to show him an article on Keats.

PLO/66/41   21 January 1935
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Begins by noting that the inventor of nougat has died, as reported by The Times that morning. Informs WP that Akbar would like to be invited to tea, or to accompany EMF in visiting WP.

PLO/66/42   30 January 1935
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF expects to be lunching with H. N. Brailsford and Claire Leighton, before going to Nottingham. He is working hard with editing his book, and has sent some to WP to return with any comments. Mentions asking Akbar to tea, either alone or with Bob, who is in Willesden (gives address). For that evening EMF is expecting Hugh Waterston. He has given Eddy [Sackville-West?] WP's address as he “professed so much admiration for him”.

PLO/66/43   10 March 1935
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF has heard news of WP, who is at Torquay, through Joe. EMF is going to London for a library meeting on Monday. Reports that Lord Riddell has left “improper books” to his son and says he has been asked by Sir Charles […] Wright which should be kept.

PLO/66/44   20 August 1935
Max Gate, Dorchester. EMF goes to Amsterdam on Saturday. He mentions a paper on Thomas Hardy, and lists various photographs and etchings etc he has of Hardy. Reports that Eileen is not well, and that the cook is supplying too much food. By chance he has met Dr Marie Stopes, who asked for a copy of The Well Beloved. EMF spent the previous day at the excavations at Maiden Castle with his cousin, who recounted trying a case of rape. Achille has written again asking for 100 francs, having been attacked and robbed. EMF has sent him £1.

PLO/66/45   24 November 1935
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF has proofs and has sent WP the list of contents. Asks WP to support him in changes he is making to the arrangement of part of the book, but is happy with the rest of it. He mentions Florence Barger, and writes of his uneasiness concerning proposed title of his book.

PLO/66/46   [1935?]
No address EMF is “a little drunk”. He has just been to a concert with Bob, and wishes WP – who is in difficulties and is unhappy – had been able to stay the rest of the day. Mentions WP's talk with Bill Williams, and reassures WP that there are many friends who would help him. Proposes to write a cheque for £25 to WP in the morning when he is sober, and to send more at the end of the year. Continues Saturday: EMF is shortly to meet Charles Lovett.

PLO/66/47   19 February 1936
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF has been instructed to go to the nursing home straight away by the doctor. However EMF intends to go to the flat first and the nursing home on Wednesday. Asks WP, whom he has not seen in a long while, to take care of him one night. Mentions “amazing news” about WP's parents, and also plays that he has seen and enjoyed and would like to see.

PLO/66/48   25 May 1936
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF hopes to come and see WP in Dover some time. EMF is in London all week with little John H. S. Florence Barger is present and EMF describes at length how she is being somewhat trying with her opinions and ideas, and that he lost his temper with her. EMF feels he should “get up and face the world”, and mentions Northern Ireland and the suspension of Habeas Corpus: Civil Liberties and the Society of Authors have sent him pamphlets, and Seán Murray is mentioned. EMF says [Cecil] Day Lewis wants to convert the Society of Authors into a Trades Union. Lord Sorrell is mentioned. EMF is busy, and is giving a cocktail party for journalists on behalf of Intellectual Liberty.

PLO/66/49   Sunday [1936?]
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Hasty note inviting WP to dinner, and asks him to come to the flat at 6:30. It is the anniversary of Bob and EMF's first meeting and they have agreed that they most wish WP to be with them at that time.

PLO/66/50   18 June 1937
Much Wenlock. EMF wants to meet WP over a business proposition to do with he and R. A. Furness being asked to arrange an English translation of the poems of [Cavafy?], and deciding to ask WP and Dawkins to do it. EMF gives his correspondence addresses and says he is in London on the 30th and again on the 6th. Continues to say he is on holiday with Bob and they are enjoying it greatly. EMF and Bob have both signed the letter.

PLO/66/51   12 September 1937
33 Marine Parade [Dover]. EMF asks if he might bring Bob to visit on his next leave day. He thinks it is the first time he has written since Masood's death, over which there has been secrecy and the threat of scandal. Akbar's whereabouts are mentioned, and EMF writes about “the usual maze about money”. He explains a little of his relationship with Masood and of Masood's activities after divorcing and returning to India. EMF feels that it is easier to write to WP about these things than to [Maulvi Abdul Haq?].

PLO/66/52   18 October 1937
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Thanks WP for his letter and drawings of the castor oil flower and says he enjoyed WP's visit. WP has written an obituary which EMF says he must read. Mrs Hardy's funeral is that morning. Says he hopes that WP will come to the flat again. Quotes a verse in French [Racine?].

PLO/66/53   2 November 1937
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF writes with praise for Jack and comments on a situation and episode involving him and Moggam. EMF hopes that he, Jack and WP can meet soon.

PLO/66/54   [17 November 1937]
Written on the back of a banquet invitation from the Rudyard Kipling Memorial Fund. EMF comments on the event, being invited to Sir Frank Brown's table, and the committee representing the Unpopular Front including Walpole. Writes that if he were wealthier he would attend, except he would be hard put to find a lady to accompany him. EMF encloses a catalogue for WP to read, and writes that he has just come back from Paris where he was ill and did not get on well with Leo. Mentions seeing Giroudoux's Électre, dining with Sergei Datuit who was “appalled” by them, and the activities of various other companions.

PLO/66/55   Sunday [late November or early December 1937]
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Thanks WP for a visit, and writes about being glad to get a stone for his ring. He writes about Joe who has been ill. He is reading Tom Jones and states that this re-reading of “masterpieces” is his “particular devilry, in the face of world-collapse”.

PLO/66/56   [Christmas 1937]
Fears that WP has been sent a particular book, and asks if it could be returned. EMF has received WP's Redburn and likes the introduction, and comments on the text. Asks to be remembered to WP's mother and father. Mentions the Council for Civil Liberties in a postscript.

PLO/66/57   9 February 1938
Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. Thanks WP for poems, which he likes, and goes on to encourage WP to write more, saying he is “much more a poet” than anyone else he knows. EMF describes his stay at Wallington: the house, his host the Lord Lieutenant, and his daughters, one of whom, Miss Bulmer, is at the Newcastle People's Theatre. He leaves tomorrow, and is to try to walk along the Roman Wall, and he describes the estate and countryside.

PLO/66/58   30 March 1938
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Refers to the bad news that WP has received. He has been thinking of René and his “account of Cattani”, muses about the French and English, and quotes Jules Guillery. EMF also writes of a Public Enquiry on the Rural District Planning Scheme.

PLO/66/59   Friday [early July 1938]
Heytesbury House, Wiltshire EMF is hoping to lunch on Monday with WP. He is bemused that WP proposes to come to the Pageant, and asks him not to. His mother hopes that WP will however stay for the weekend in July. EMF is enjoying his time at Heytesbury; he describes the house and gardens, and wishes he wasn't leaving, commenting on the negative aspect of living in small “boxes”.

PLO/66/60   


Missing. Not found
PLO/66/61   25 August 1939
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF responds to a request to be executor of WP's mother's estate. EMF suggests others but is prepared to take on the role. He advises on properly drawing up a will and employing lawyers. He has had a “difficult” letter from Frank Vicary, and refers to a journey in WP's company. He is “delighted over the Brighton news”. EMF has been restless and dissatisfied lately and this is affecting his work somewhat.

PLO/66/62   4 September 1939
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Although at sixty EMF no longer wishes to be executor to any more people, he is happy to be consulted about WP's remains. He hopes Ted reaches WP safely. Joe is displeased with Dover, and asks EMF whether he is cheerful, but EMF does not know. EMF is pleased with his career and the last ten years, but has no more to write at his time.

PLO/66/63   30 September 1939
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF's mother is weaker, and has been upset at him leaving Brunswick Square. He wishes to arrange to visit WP that week. Life at West Hackhurst has been tiresome, and EMF philosophises on sensible friends and wisdom. He has been studying Beethoven.

PLO/66/64   [March 1940]
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Begins by referring to selling saving certificates and investing in war loans. EMF, who has had a trying time as an invalid and is only just allowed out of bed by the doctor, looks forward to seeing WP. He and WP have had the same pills which have caused sickness. EMF comments that “the world grows increasingly meaningless” and thinks history will find the Norwegians and Danes at fault. EMF looks forward to WPs poems and ballads which, he writes, are the sort of thing to restore common sense and civilisation.

PLO/66/65   25 March 1940
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF is responding to a letter from WP, and writes that he has dreamed of WP and a house in which he had lodged; also that he had composed a poem for him. This is followed by the short poem, which begins with lines from “Jerusalem” and concludes with a list of European nations. EMF then goes on to the subject of wills and whether WP ought to write one. He also mentions he has had influenza. Pasted on to the second sheet of the letter is a line drawing of an angel and a sunrise/sunset, with words in German.

PLO/66/66   19 April 1940
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Begins with the first few line of a letter to a Mr Kilham Roberts, and re-addressed to WP. EMF suggests cancelling supper with Sir Murdo MacDonald as he is not in best way to offer hospitality to a “newly-met”. Offers tea in London instead. Asks WP to telephone Chiswick on Saturday to arrange meeting.

PLO/66/67   3 June 1940
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF writes about settling the account with Bolton. EMF is wishes to see WP, but has to see solicitors in Old Jewry. EMF writes about his recent social activities, and recommends that he and WP read Priscilla Maurice's Meditations of an Invalid, and explains that Maurice lay in bed with illness for years. Writes about and criticises his current reading.

PLO/66/68   17 July 1940
Place not indicated. EMF is concerned at the job that WP is taking and advises him to see it as a “temporary retreat”.

PLO/66/69   20 September 1940
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF has recently seen Tony Butts. Refers to events that friends write about in letters but feels distanced, since “nothing has yet happened close to me”. Mentions incendiaries appearing to fall on Gomshall Station. EMF visited the Max Beerbohms, along with Mrs Schiff, née Stephen Hudson. Mentions Johnny Simpson, Hughie Waterston, and Murdo MacDonald. EMF is not able to leave West Hackhurst as Bob and his mother will not let him, and he feels cut-off. Mentions the “alarming” military situation.

PLO/66/70   16 October 1940
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Written on paper from a book by Holbrooke Jackson. A “bomber is overhead”, and EMF writes “in a mood of military and aerial depression”, with concerns for British defences. EMF philosophises about self-pity, referring to WP's ideas on the subject, and also to Herodotus. He reports that he has had visits from Hughie Waterston and from John Simpson. EMF disagrees greatly with the treatment of refugees and the speech of Duff Cooper at the start of the war, describing them as “national vilenesses”. EMF describes his influences by Voltaire, and his current reading. Reports that Ted is safe in Somerset, and refers to events involving Murdo. He produces the contents of a letter of Mrs Hardy's sent to him by Joe.

PLO/66/71   24 November 1940
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. John L. has sent WP's poems to EMF, and these are discussed briefly. EMF also briefly comments on [Cecil?] Day Lewis and his writing.

PLO/66/72   12 June 1941
Dorking and District Refugee Committee. Written on headed notepaper, with EMF's annotations under printed names of Refugee Committee members. Joe has gone to Tenby and has not been heard of since; EMF comments that he needs violet ray treatment, and that Paddy, as well as the effects of the Blitz, seem to be the cause. Mentions WP's work getting in the way of letter-writing, and how his own lack of work should mean he wrote more. EMF still working for the BBC, and his attention is on music more than other things; however he has no one musical to discuss ideas with, mourning the loss of Charles Mawson for this reason. EMF spent his visit to Leonard [Woolf] talking about Virginia. He reports that Leonard liked WP's writing, and comments that [T.S.?] Eliot “disgraced the human race”.

PLO/66/73/1   30 October 1941
Place not indicated. EMF discusses a poem and comments on the “duty of disloyalty” as it concerns aristocrats. He advises that WP should publish, and goes on to criticise the poem in depth. Continues [Wednesday 5 November?] EMF is on the train. He begins with news that his mother's friend Mrs Mawes has died, and he is on his way to see how his mother has been affected. The funeral is the next day. EMF then resumes criticism of the poem.

PLO/66/73/2   Wednesday 5 November?
In train. Begins with news that EMF's mother's friend Mrs Mawes has died, and he is on his way to see how his mother has been affected. The funeral is the next day. Resumes criticism of poem.

PLO/66/74   3 December 1941
“as from 9 Arlington Park Mansion, Chiswick, [London] W. 4.” Invites WP to dinner with Hsiao Chi'en at the Reform Club. He writes of a visit to Mesdames B. Francis, and mentions Ronnie Hawkins and Joe, in relation to WP.

PLO/66/75   26 December 1941
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF thanks WP's father for the slippers. He is spending a lot of time reading and enjoying it, and refers to Moliere, Montaigne and Rabelais, whose writing he has not enjoyed hitherto, although difficulties with the French language cause him to again mourn the loss of Charles Mauron. He writes that he is going for a walk with Florence Barger, and predicts her comments on Hitler.

PLO/66/76   31 December 1941
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF is arranging a visit to WP at his flat. Goes on to discuss his reading, mentioning Balzac and Racine.

PLO/66/77   31 January 1942
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF writes about a broadcast he is making, and thanks WP for “Lilian” and “Rowse”. He writes that “These times fill unmoneyed worldlings with dismay”. EMF has heard that WP's work appears to have made him unwell. He has received a visit from Frank Vicary, who is ageing, and EMF blames himself for not seeing him often enough and so keeping Frank up to “the mark”.

PLO/66/78   8 February 1942
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Discusses arrangements related to WP's mother's jewellery. EMF wishes he could see more of WP. Describes briefly the current domestic and general situation. Refers to a letter from Christopher Isherwood which mentions WP. EMF is sorry that Marjorie is unwell and that this means yet more work for WP.

PLO/66/79   18 March 1942
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF returns to the topic of his slippers, and wonders about the term “trapeze” and whether he can discover about its meaning from his dictionary of slang. EMF writes about the mood of dejection which prevails, and how all letters at the current time say the same thing regardless of wording. His mother is unwell. Also writes that he is trying to broadcast to India on the topic of modern poetry. Discusses current poetry with a list of “good” and “bad” poets: Alan Hodge, John Waller, K. Rhys, L. Tomahawk, Vernon Watkins, Henry Green, George Barker, Adam Drinan; EMF signs himself off as “Good Critic”.

PLO/66/80   19 April 1942
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF praises a poem that WP has sent him. Hopes that the “fresh air” of WP's new situation will be good for his health, and mean less over-work.

PLO/66/81   [24 May 1942?]
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF responds to a broadcast by Rebecca West which he has heard. He has learned from Joe that WP's eyes are getting better and hopes that WP can visit; he describes the conditions at West Hackhurst, welcoming anyone who will put up with them. He refers to communications from Charles Mauron and [Hashim?]. EMF is glad that WF liked the “Virginia brochure”, and thinks Virginia might have liked it too “excepting the remarks on her feminism.”

PLO/66/82   1 June 1942
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF, and his mother, look forward to seeing WP if plans allow, and assumes that these depend on Ted. EMF has just given a talk to the Rotarians of Red Hill and he relates an incident which happened there.

PLO/66/83   23 June 1942
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF responds to news of WP's visit Ted. Describes also how, after WP's last visit to West Hackhurst, he saw a stag beetle and a new dragonfly, and how he had not known WP “cared for such creatures”, creatures for which EMF is thankful “in these days”. Tomorrow EMF is to visit Siegfried Sassoon.

PLO/66/84   25 July 1942
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF asks about WP's eyes, and hopes to be seen by Rupert Scott about sharper glasses. He has just visited Clive and Vanessa [Bell?] and also Leonard.

PLO/66/85   21 November 1942
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF has signed and passed on documents. He is recovering from a cold, which is being watched in case it becomes pleuritic. He hopes that WP is getting on with his autobiography. Joe's letter has been accepted by the Spectator and EMF comments on this letter.

PLO/66/86   [1942?]
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Arrangements for EMF and WP meeting in London the next Tuesday.

PLO/66/87   5 March 1943
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF makes social arrangements with WP around his broadcast commitments. EMF's mother has been unwell. He looks forward to reading WP's manuscript and writes about Sargeson, making comparisons with George Orwell. He hopes to visit Hughie Waterston, and Jack Sprott. Mentions a “contest” with Sainsbury over “rights to a glassy-contoured egg”.

PLO/66/88   21 March 1943
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Writes about a pamphlet which has been well-received except by Koestler. EMF has been saddened by re-reading letters of his “loved and lost” Charles Mauron, and comments and philosophises on the state of contemporary England – “a fortress of boredom and edification”. EMF has visited Hugh Waterston and Jack Sprott, and Northamptonshire. Mentions Marie Stopes.

PLO/66/89   29 March 1943
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF gives his immediate impressions and critique of WP's manuscript. John Simpson is visiting the next day.

PLO/66/90   [5 April 1943]
Place not indicated. EMF has read WP's book [ Double Lives?] and offers some comments. Comments on the life experiences WP has had and reflects on his own, including those gained in India, and mentions “this race-phantom” and “class-phantom”.

PLO/66/91   18 April 1943
Place not indicated. Responds to sympathy from WP for, presumably, a friend leaving to fight in the war.

PLO/66/92   29 April 1943
“As from” West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF is “not enjoying life” and wishes not to meet strangers.

PLO/66/93   30 May 1943
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF sends an item about Isaac Bickerstaffe and comments on the satirist. He has written to Victor Cunard about the diary, and gives WP his opinions on it. Looks forward to WP's next visit, and offers him another document to read, to do with Roosevelt circa 1919 and agents provocateurs.

PLO/66/94   12 June 1943
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Looks forward to WP visiting the following week, and suggests arrangements. Describes the garden and wood which has become “grand and wild”. Mentions dinner with Major Sparrow and Victor Cunard, and lunch with Joe, on whom he comments at length. Describes current domestic life, and concludes with mention of a broadcast he has to do on plays.

PLO/66/95   10 August 1943
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Writes about his grievances, about “women v. women”, and arising “from the death of Joe”.

PLO/66/96   9 October 1943
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF has heard from John Morris that WP is looking well, while Joe has reported differently, and is concerned for WP. Invites him to meet at Chiswick on the 20th and “drink… in honour of Leo”. He is unhappy following the death of a friend with whom he used to stay in Ireland, and feels even more “condemned to dwell eternally in the Home Counties”. Discusses Cyril ?Knill and related social tensions. He is dining again at Stephen's with a Frenchman, a Chineseman and T. S. Eliot. He wishes WP to seek the Sitwells' opinion on him, and he describes his relationship with the Sitwells.

PLO/66/97   18 October 1943
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF is worried about WP's health. EMF has been treated by Dr Bluth, who he has found has also treated Hsiao Chi'en for fatigue, with “good results”, and offers WP Dr Bluth's address. Writes about Wednesday's social engagements and invitees.

PLO/66/98   22 December 1943
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF responds to an article about him written by WP, which pleases him and his mother. Christmas preparations have been blighted by the illness of one of the cats. EMF writes about his becoming “overdevoted to animals”, comparing them to humans in wartime. Discusses John Meade and a conversation he has had with him on the subject of world peace and justice. Bill Roderick has provided EMF with various items from the New World. EMF asks WP about his doctor.

PLO/66/99   [early 1943]
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Asks WP for a line on Peter Abrahams, who has asked EMF for support in an application to the Royd Literary Fund, although EMF has never heard of this author.

PLO/66/100   Sunday [April 1943?]
Loose arrangements for meeting that week. EMF is reading work by Ebenezer Jones. He has been to a meeting of the Memoir Club, and mentions Virginia, Lytton and Roger; he also comments on Bloomsbury and “civilisation” and Plomer's Double Lives. Asks for news of Frank Herman.

PLO/66/101   [June, 1943?]
“Flat” [Arlington Park Mansions, Chiswick, London W. 4]. Makes arrangements for meeting at the Reform Club. Gives news of Joe and R…? – who is absent without leave. Mentions the the Black Watch, also seeing Frank Vicary, Sir Kenneth and Lady Clark, Mrs Alfred Lyttleton; writes that he has seen The Magic Flute with Sir Malcolm and April Darling, and Mr and Mrs Arthur ?Gillet. EMF is pleased to hear of WP's brother's success. He also mentions the Executive Council for Civil Liberties and his threat of resignation. A postscript gives news of Bob's exams.

PLO/66/102   Sunday [Sept.? 1943]
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Offers WP a bottle of whisky. Agrees to fix to parties after WP's holiday and suggests a third party incorporating the visit of André Gide, although fears this won't succeed as he says cannot persuade the French of his importance. Mentions Lalla Vandervelde and PEN Club. He has enjoyed Morris' book on Japan. Mentions a writer friend, J. E. C. Flitch.

PLO/66/103   Monday [1943?]
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF gives Charlton's address. He has re-read WPs book and is delighted, and his mother also has also read it and commented. He gives news of Joe, referring to him as “Sacred Mutt” and describing his mischiefs, and also mentions Harry Daly.

PLO/66/104   Wednesday [1943?]
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Thanks WP for his recent assistance. Writes about a “feckless” Cooney and refers to an argument with Major Sparrow; EMF hopes to see Major Sparrow and receive the Victorian manuscript from him. Writes that the “human race has gone wrong”, and mentions Hardy. Goes on to mention Denton Welch and Stephen Tennant.

PLO/66/105   2 January 1944
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Mentions John Morris. EMF makes arrangements for meeting with WP in London and writes about his cats and a broadcast script he has sent to WP. The broadcast is edited by Joe, and EMF hopes he left in “the sillier parts of Sir Richard Livingstone”. He worries about being produced by Eddy Sackers [Edward Sackville-West?].

PLO/66/106   26 January 1944
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Writes about the general malaise in people caused by the war and effects of the Blitz, and fears the effects on WP's health. Invites WP to stay in March. Mentions Cousin Percy. EMF writes that he misses Bill Roerhrich, and responds to “lamentable” news of Capetanakis.

PLO/66/107   4 March 1944
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF comments on David Morgan, referring to working-class aspects. He mentions Capetanakis and also writes of his limited visits to London and how “there may not be a future”.

PLO/66/108   10 March 1944
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Asks for the address of John Mavrocordato, which is needed because of a “new… muddle”. Hopes that things are going well for WP. EMF expects to go to Nottingham on Saturday, and he looks forward to this.

PLO/66/109   1 April 1944
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF has heard from Joe that WP is unwell, and expresses displeasure at and criticism of the goings-on and “official treachery” in WP's work. John Simpson also reports of WP that he is ill. Describes Cyril, who has called on WP, as an “agreeable” companion.

PLO/66/110   19 April 1944
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF sends sympathy for Capetanakis' death. Mentions Gide. Hopes to see WP and “American John” soon. John Simpson is to visit “without the Idiot”, and EMF enjoyed Nottingham with its abundance of meat and coal. EMF is trying to persuade Joe to get a parrot or cockatoo.

PLO/66/111   30 May 1944
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Writes at length about how the hot weather is ruining the flowers and vegetables. EMF has visited the Lake District, where he enjoyed the company of a soldier, Eddie Cunningham, from whom he receives letters.

PLO/66/112   11 October 1944
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Invites WP to meet Lalle Vandervelde at Victor's. EMF has formed a list of “Pro Lalla” – “Roger Fry, Clive Bell, Bessie Trevelyan, self”;“anti Lalla”: Bob Trevelyan, Desmond; and “pro Lalla per Lalla - Gide, Bernard Shaw, Bergson”.

PLO/66/113   19 November 1944
Place not indicated. Discusses Balzac. Written on the reverse of a page of printed literary criticism of writers including Woolf, D.H. Lawrence and E.M. Forster.

PLO/66/114   December 1944
Place not indicated. EMF has been reading The Island. Comments on the “vulgarity and cruelties” of war.

PLO/66/115   [1944?]
Place not indicated. EMF has written to the New Statesman.

PLO/66/116   Friday [1944?]
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Arranges meeting with WP. EMF is concerned about WP's finances and plans for his flat. Mentions his cousin Percy Whichelo, retired at 58, and also Frank Vicary.

PLO/66/117   Sunday [before 1945?]
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF has enclosed a letter from Geoffrey Grigson and asks for WP's advice on how or whether to respond in a libel matter.

PLO/66/118   17 February 1945
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF reports that he is now in contact with friends in France, including Charles Mauron, and has news of Hsiao Chi'en, Therese Lecaisme and Achille.

PLO/66/119   22 March 1945
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF writes following the death of his mother, saying “I don't for the moment quite understand myself.” He mentions Charles Mauron who is to become Secretary of the Academy of Arles.

PLO/66/120   15 April 1945
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF has been reading Osbert's [Sitwell?] autobiography, and comments at length on his values and ideas. Gives some general news from home.

PLO/66/121   12 June 1945
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Alludes to The Hidden Force [Couperus] and comments on it at length. EMF reports that he is busy, and lists his engagements, with some domestic news.

PLO/66/122   2 July 1945
[Letterhead] Nightingale Valley. EMF relates the episodes of an ongoing incident involving Valassopoulo and Cavafy; and translations, some of which are played out at the Reform Club.

PLO/66/123   11 August 1945
Postmark Abinger Hammer. EMF looks forward to WP's visit to the country and suggests some arrangements.

PLO/66/124   6 September 1945
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF has had an evening with Bobby Lancaster, to whom he found himself attracted, and who is to go as a merchant seaman to India; EMF describes him and the evening spent in his company. Concludes with some news from home and a mention of Malcolm Darling.

PLO/66/125   10 September 1945
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Makes arrangements to meet. Mentions Aunt Rosalie. Expresses concern about Joe and his depression. EMF has written to Bobby Lancaster to thank him for their evening together, and shows intentions of maintaining correspondence between them. He has been visited by Bob, and on the day of writing has received Sagesse de l'eau from Charles Mauron, and comments on Tropic of Cancer, which he has just finished reading.

PLO/66/126   Postmark 19 September 1945
Abinger Hammer. Brief note on postcard of “Visby. Gamla Apoteket”. Concerning arrangements for meeting.

PLO/66/127   21 October 1945
State Guest House, Jaipur. Reports that Bobby Lancaster has written to him in India, also mentioning the Viceroy. Two days into a conference, EMF has asked to “be excused form a moonlight party on the roof of a local metal magnate” and is alone after meeting many people, autographing students' notebooks, and hearing speeches. Joe's, Richard Ch---'s and Edith Sitwell's messages have been read out. Serogini Naidu is president. Also mentions Nehru and Radakrishna, and Ismail Murza – “prime minister of the state”, whose address EMF compares favourably with Britain's “vulgar politicians”. Complains that he doesn't “see anything, [doesn't] get the Indian impressions” he wants.

PLO/66/128   Thursday [1945?]
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF has had coffee with Evert, lunch with Joe, the S.K. Museum, and tea with May – “this last being the pleasantest for my (mentally) difficult inside”. Suggests arrangements for meeting, writing that Jill Napier and her mother would also be “delighted” to see WP. “Noel Voge has sent [him] a photograph of Howard's End”, and an “account of the condition of Germany… Freiburg sounds heartrending”.

PLO/66/129   Saturday [1945?]
“At Aunt Rosalies”. EMF is “much the happier” for WP's visit. Writes of his visit the next day to “stuffy” Bessie [Elizabeth] Trevelyan, returning by Leith Hill Road which is “still forbidden country” due to munitions and warning signs. He recounts paying “an extremely Mediterranean call” to an army [POW?] camp there. EMF goes on to mention his reading of Denton Welch, commenting on him as a writer. His letter is continued the following day after a gap with two ink blots, and writes “what would he have done with these tears? I left them to dry through the night”.

PLO/66/130   [Written Sunday, sent Thursday; after September, 1945]
Place not indicated. EMF hopes that Robert Liddell is not dead, as he wishes to write to him; comments on Liddell's “sensitive” Cavafy essay – “once or twice I felt to be in my own country: what that may be I know not, but it is not My Ain Countree.” He goes on to comment on various writings, and mentions John Meach and the effects on him of five years of fighting – “I was so disappointed.” EMF is to visit Rupert Scott the next day, broadcast on Tuesday. He reports that Frank Vicary is “answering advertisements for domestic cleaners”.

PLO/66/131   9 January 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF is unable to meet WP as Florence Barger is visiting. He writes about “this monomanical isle” in contrast to WP's good news. EMF is glad that WP is out of the Admiralty. He describes his time in India in retrospect, and concludes his letter with “O and the Dunnock”.

PLO/66/132   11 January 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF is glad that Murdo liked him. He writes that he looks “forward to the Dunnock”, and that Florence Barger, a guardsman, and Agnes' nephew Frank are at his home.

PLO/66/133   Postmark 21 January 1946
Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Postcard: writes concerning arrangements for a visit, and says of Lady J. D. that he “always feels that there is something interesting about her”.

PLO/66/134   28 January 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Reports that May has pleurisy. Passes on the message from Bob that Friday's party is cancelled. Briefly comments on Dr A-

PLO/66/135   8 February 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Discusses business to do with WP's will with regard to leaving capital to WP's father, and attending a meeting with Bolton.

PLO/66/136   10 February 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF is sorry to hear of WP's father's illness. May is well in spite of “frightful scares”. WP is invited by Bob to dinner next Friday. EMF writes “in some emotional exhaustion”. Describes an incident involving Bobby Lancaster, whose account of time in Bombay is interrupted by the visit of Mr John Blofield, formerly of the Embassy at Chungking [Chongqing]; in the ensuing conversation Bobby “majestically outstaging the intruder, and proposing to come again Wednesday evening”. Praises WP's “gratefulness” and “perspicacity”. EMF is excited after opening his BBC fan mail, and is pleased to have had letters from men rather than women. Invites WP to see and discuss his Indian book, which has just arrived.

PLO/66/137   30 March 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF requests a meeting with WP at the [Reform] Club. He has enjoyed a day watching boat races with Robin and George. The previous evening EMF was “shocked and bored” by Joe with his dog; he contrasts this with his “steady affection” for [his own?] pets.

PLO/66/138   Postmarked 13 May 1946
Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Postcard: EMF is pleased WP liked the rhubarb and offers him more. EMF would like to meet R.H.D. again to share some memories and notes of possible interest.

PLO/66/139   17 May 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF has heard about WP's operation from Bob, and he and Bob are distressed; EMF reports on the crude details of side-effects as heard from Bob. Writes that he is sending more rhubarb. Also reports of a visit from “King Insolence (Eddy G- Hardy)” concerning selling a “sheet edition of Cavafy to the London Library… Bryan Howard was with him”. George Wesz has been staying in EMF's flat. Margery W is visiting. EMF himself has been to Monteverdi's Vespers.

PLO/66140   26 May 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF continues to write about WP's medical condition. Reports that the “garden looks sweet” and that he is having visitors, and gives other domestic news.

PLO/66/141   7 June 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF is pleased that WP is well enough to be giving invitations although he is unable to accept one of them because of the libel committee.

PLO/66/142   22 June 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF writes that he and Hart-Davis thought WP “very unwell” ; EMF also wishes to send sympathy to Charles concerning his “ghastly tragedy”, and plans to visit WP in hospital when suitable. Asks WP to check, and if necessary add to, a description of Kazantsaki for the British Council, with reference to a book Kazantsaki wishes to write entitled “Post War Conversations with English Literary Personalities”.

PLO/66/143   28 June 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF had hoped to visit WP [in hospital?] however lists domestic happenings which prevented this, including “Lord Porter and his Defamation” and “John Arlott and his broadcast”. Writes to reassure WP about his operation. Also mentions that he is going to a party at Buckingham Palace, and that he has lost a morning of script-writing due to queuing for a new ration book - “Everyone was very cross about bread and violently anti-Labour”.

PLO/66/144   3 July 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF is concerned for WP. He has been preparing for two days for a jumble sale, and describes a notable item which has been found. EMF has also just read an article about him by Rangee G Shahani, whom EMF has supported and recommended for grants, entitled “Englishmen whom we admire” [“Some British I Admire”?], which EMF has found portrays him badly. He gives an account of many of the points the article makes. The article in proof was sent to him by Sir Frank Brown, and he mentions John Arlott and hopes that WP does not mind that he gave Arlott his address.

PLO/66/145   10 July 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF fears he cannot travel to Richmond with WP, as he is busy, and asks WP to explain to [B-?] that he is house-moving, hence kept away. He notes that WP seems to be going straight back to work rather than convalescing, and asks if WP has the reference for Desmond's article about Roz Campbell. Having visited the Tate, reports that Paul Cadmus' picture has been removed for “something better”.

PLO/66/146   28 July 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF asks for R. G. Shahani's letter to be returned, and remarks that he is uncertain as to whether it is intended to be “venomous” or not. He makes a metaphorical allusion to snakes and frogs in the garden. EMF mentions research still to be done, and asks when he and WP will meet.

PLO/66/147/1-4   24 August 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Makes suggestions for social plans, including WP and Berners. Advises WP on the nature of visits to Wilsford and mentions visits to Sunbury and Hampton Court. Has enclosed “Vishnu reclining upon Ananda”, which, he writes, answers a letter he sent to Dr Shahani saying that he no longer wished to discuss his work with him. EMF goes on to write: “I own to being really puzzled by this anyhow unpleasant experience.” He remarks how A passage to India was “dismissed as a complete failure and Goldie [Lowes Dickinson?] as no Olympian”. He comments on George Eliot's work, with reference to Tom Tulliver's character, to whom he feels “attracted”. EMF includes a forwarded letter from R. G. Shahani, dated 6 August 1946, who writes that EMF “should recognise the integrity of a critic”. He concludes with “I think you are a very fine man – always nice to us Asians. I hope to express this opinion more fully some day”.

PLO/66/148   29 August 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Mentions Berners, and delaying arrangements due to his forthcoming move. Reaffirms that he knew that Wilsford would be success. Also mentions Aunt Rosalie.

PLO/66/149   17 September 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF comments on the “nice letter” he has received from John Arlott [BBC broadcaster], and gives his undecided opinion of him. Writes that he has “a good prospect of getting to America next year… under musical auspices”. Invites WP and Charles to come and choose some more service items.
15 September 1946. 58 Barrington Road, London N8. Forwarded letter from John Arlott, who writes that he understands about EMF's house-moving situation and his decision not to broadcast.

PLO/66/150   21 September 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. Postcard, written to WP at 29 Linden Garden, Notting Hill, W2. Contains arrangements for meeting in London.

PLO/66/151   20 October 1946
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF is glad that WP has gained happiness from his house, and hopes that his “future rootlessness” will be tolerated. He reports that there has been much to do, Bob has heard from Heinz, and Johnny Simpson has caught a subcutaneous fungus and has been ill. He also mentions a letter from Lady Bridges – “Kitty Farmer, who owns the house”. EMF bemoans the situation wherewith he has been forced to move.

PLO/66/152   23 November 1946
King's College, Cambridge. EMF is “dazed and disgruntled”, despite being comfortable. He and Bob have heard from Heinz, who is in the Russian zone. Bob is coming to help “cope with the muddle” – EMF has sold 300 books for £6-6-0. He gives an impression of life in his new home at Cambridge.

PLO/66/153   
???????????????

PLO/66/154   21 January 1947
The Reform Club [London]. Refers to social arrangements with WP, Christopher and Berners.

PLO/66/155   2 February 1947
King's College, a staircase, Cambridge. EMF suggests train travel arrangements for WP to reach Cambridge the next Thursday for a visit and social engagements. He writes that Dadie Rylands wants to meet WP. He plans to gather together for dining some of the young people he met at a party the night before.

PLO/66/156   Postmark 14 June 1947
New York. Postcard is of a painting from The Frick Collection, New York. EMF has had “a most successful outing” to New York and will return in July. EMF has heard from Bob that WP is considering travelling to. Switzerland. EMF is staying in Paul Cadmus' flat in Greenville Village. EMF and Christopher have dined with Lincoln Kirstein, Pete Martinez, and others.

PLO/66/157   4 November 1947
King's College, Cambridge. EMF mentions Cavafy, Edward Carpenter, David Garnett – in relation to unfinished work? He also mentions The Mint “is released in 1950”, and wonders “whether [WP likes] it any better than the Pillars”. EMF would like to read A Life's Morning and what WP says about Gissing. EMF writes of his successful visit to France with Bob and the Maurons. Joe has gone to Italy and “loves Lionel's Farm”. EMF concludes: “Excuse this scrappy letter, but Spanish (through my kind permission) is being taught at the further end of the room”.

PLO/66/158   Postmark 24 November 1947
King's College, Cambridge. Thanks WP for the Gissing and WP's introduction. Reports that Hsiao Chi'en is “in great danger in China, and Charles and Marie not out of it in Provence”.

PLO/66/159   6 December 1947
West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. EMF has heard from Joe that WP is ill again. EMF recommends Dr Bluth, whom Hsiao Chi'en also thinks well of. He mentions Madam Vandervelde. EMF is concerned about the mistranslation of his preface for Fontaine, which he “suspect[s] of being bad form end to end”. He seeks an interview with Mademoiselle Raine over this matter. He mentions a poem given to him by Osbert [Sitwell]. He is about to meet Florence Barger.

PLO/66/160   Sunday. Postmark 18 January
King's College, Cambridge. EMF asks to join tea with Johnny Simpson on Friday.

PLO/66/161   16 April 1948
The Reform Club [London]. Writes about Martin Young, a King's undergraduate, who has written “the famous Spectator review” concerning EMF, calling Young's attentions “a muddled indictment”.

PLO/66/162   27 May 1948
King's College, Cambridge. EMF writes that he shall be staying with [Benjamin] Britten in Aldeburgh on 3 June. He mentions Leo and Stephen Tennant. EMF has entertained visits from Rose Macaulay, Bill Caskey and Dadie [Rylands?], and outlines the impending baptism of Richard Braithwaite, referring to his wife, who is C. F. G. Masterton's daughter. He writes that the affair is “disgusting, depressing, and displays this place at its worst”.

PLO/66/163   11 June 1948
King's College, Cambridge. EMF thanks WP for a gift of some money, with which he intends to buy books. Asks WP to give the rest of the money apparently owed to a good cause instead. EMF has been busy with various parties, and was pleased with his visit to Aldeburgh.

PLO/66/164   17 July 1948
King's College, Cambridge. EMF praises WP, mentioning A. L. Rowse. He writes how he wishes to write letters in bed every morning, and describes the kind of letters he has been receiving [begging letters from distant relations?] and “tearing up”.

PLO/66/165   28 August 1948
Mettingham, Suffolk. EMF has spent ten days at Aldeburgh, which he enjoyed. Writes that he wishes to hear more of WP's Hereford visit.

PLO/66/166   31 October 1948
King's College, Cambridge. EMF has heard WP is unwell. He is to broadcast on Thursday, and invites WP for tea at the Reform Club on Friday. Mentions that Johnny Simpson is lecturing to the Tagore Society next month. Enclosed with this letter is a tabloid newspaper cutting of a the funeral of Mrs Rachel Fennick, or Giner Rae, murdered in Soho. Annotated with “Sydney W. and self cut this out”, and “redundant but oh how sweet”.

PLO/66/167   Postmark 8 November 1948
Postmark, Brighton. EMF had wanted to spend more time with WP, but also wanted to see “the boy of whom I am fond, Eric Fletcher”, before he had to return to the RAF. Describes this boy as working-class, with a “decent degree”, “humanist, humanitarian, openly agnostic”. Hopes WP will find a decent doctor, and mentions WP's father.

PLO/66/168   21 November 1948
Nottingham. EMF is planning for his birthday on 1 January. He is anxious that Bob should be able to attend. EMF has enjoyed Nottingham, “although the female students here deduced from my lecture that I was a snob”. He has just had the Vice Chancellor, Bertrand Hallward, to lunch.

PLO/66/169   Christmas Eve. Postmark 24 December 1948
Chiswick [London] W4. EMF is sorry to hear that WP and Charles are engaged tomorrow and unable to call on him in Wendell Road. Asks when they will be free to visit Chiswick, and writes that he looks forward to 1 January.

PLO/66/170   30 December 1948
The Reform Club [London]. Writes that it is “really my fault about the Birthday Cat”, and wishes for nothing concerning their “private party” to reach the press. Mentions arrangements for speeches, and says that he is spending the last days of his sixties “reading Jane Austen and paying calls”.

PLO/66/171   3 March 1949
4 Crabbe Street, Aldeburgh. Describes the storm on his arrival in Aldeburgh. Writes of making “a start on Billy Budd”. EMF is to stay in Aldeburgh until his next broadcast, all being well.

PLO/66/172   10 March 1949
4 Crabbe Street, Aldeburgh. EMF is working on Billy Budd. Discusses the libretto he and Eric Crozier are working on. Describes a difference between “natural depravity” and absolute evil, with reference to Iago in Othello. Asks WP to write a “bawdy shanty” for the libretto.

PLO/66/173   17 March 1949
4 Crabbe Street, Aldeburgh. EMF writes that he is “ravished by the Rigadoon”, mentioning Joe, and suggests discussing “shanties when we [he and WP] meet”. Writes of “rescuing 'Vere from Melville'”, and how “masses of stuff have been pitchforked into life”.

PLO/66/174   Postmark 21 March 1949
Cambridge. Note concerning WP and Charles visiting the next day. EMF hopes to talk about Billy Budd.

PLO/66/175   17 April 1949
Postmark Cambridge. Postcard note concerning the account for the Kilvert.

PLO/66/176   9 July 1945
King's College, Cambridge. EMF thinks Caskey's photographs from Aldeburgh are good. EMF is kept busy by Aunt Rosalie, Aunt Nellie, Agnes, Bone, the Postons, cousin Percy, Frankie Franklin. And writes that it would be nice to see Murdo again.

PLO/66/177   10 October 1949
King's College, Cambridge. WP's news of himself in his last letter has caused EMF disquiet. He hopes WP enjoys Italy. EMF has written to Laurens [Van der Post?].

PLO/66/178   2 January 1950
9 Arlington Park Mansions, W4. EMF writes of the previous evening's birthday entertainment as WP was absent from this.

PLO/66/179   Postmark 9 January 1950
3 Wilbraham Place [London]. Thanks WP for his greeting, writing that he and May have arrived and are pleased with the room.

PLO/66/180   17 April 1950
4 Crabbe Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk. EMF refers to WP writing about him in the Festival programme. He mentions Ben [Britten?], and advises WP on the focus of his preface to EMF's lecture on Skelton, expressing contentment with “the shields my friends have interposed against [life's] unkindnesses.” EMF is pleased with his doctor, mentions minor ailments, and making Cambridge his base for the weeks up until Aldeburgh.

PLO/66/181   24 April 1950
4 Crabbe Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk. EMF discusses more particulars to do with the content of speeches at the Aldeburgh Festival. The Harewoods stayed for the weekend and have now left. He tells a story of a herd of deer at Woburn falling through ice and drowning one winter. He also refers to Berners and advises WP not to feel bad for not visiting him “at the end”.

PLO/66/182   27 May 1950
129 Wendell Road, W12. EMF begins with a short paragraph giving critical comment on the work of T. S. Eliot, mentioning The cocktail party. He and Johnny Simpson are both pleased with WP's introductions to each of them, which are composed for Aldeburgh, and he comments briefly, mentioning Roger Fry, on Johnny Simpson's career.

PLO/66/183   Monday [28 August 1950]
9 Arlington Park Mansions, Chiswick. A brief letter mentioning receipt of news of WP from Joe and also WP's Polish mushrooms.

PLO/66/184   Postmarked 31 August 1950
Postmarked South Kensington. Postcard giving WP various phone numbers on which to try ringing him.

PLO/66/185   [6 October 1950]
King's College, Cambridge. EMF reports the “excitement” at Cambridge with elections for Chancellor; EMF intends to vote for Nehru. It is the first contested election there for 103 years. Goes on to discuss the elections further.

PLO/66/186   14 October 1950
King's College, Cambridge. EMF has enjoyed a visit to the Lakes, and is back in Cambridge feeling a little dazed. Writes about Freya Stark and a review “in which she made fun of a man who shirked homosexuality”. EMF has been invited by the Egyptian Government to join their Desert Institute celebrations, but feels it would be risky to go considering possible illness, in addition to the fact they would see no more of the desert there than Mena House.

PLO/66/187   [27 November 1950]
King's College, Cambridge. Brief note, mentions house-hunting in Abinger with Bob, and WP's help with Abinger harvest.

PLO/66/188   2 December [1950]
King's College, Cambridge. Brief note thanking WP and Charles for their gift.

PLO/66/189   1 April 1951
King's College, Cambridge. Invites WP to the Reform Club to meet him and Bob before heading to the flat to unpack. EMF has been to Paris, Aldeburgh, Doncaster (where he stayed with Eric Fletcher, a miner, and his family), Hawarth, Selby and York. A postscript about Catholics and Christianity mentions Nick Furbank and ?Gide.

PLO/66/190   3 August 1951
129 Wendell Road, W12. EMF responds to news of WP's ill health and discusses doctors, specialists and operations.

PLO/66/191/1-6   September 1951
Cambridge, England. Typed letter addressed to My dear America “September 1951”, concerning the libretto Billy Budd, in which EMF states he is co-writing it with Eric Crozier, with Benjamin Britten composing the music, and, attributing to Hermann's story the quality of Greek myth, details other versions of the story such as those by Louis Coxe and Robert Chapman, Quasimodo's libretto for Ghedini's opera. He also describes how his libretto version interprets the original story. This is followed with an introduction to Plomer, and reproduces an excerpt of Plomer's criticism of Melville, “from an introduction to some selected poems”, “published by the Hogarth Press, 1943”. Concludes with statement that “Adapters have to tidy. Creator's needn't and sometimes shouldn't”.

PLO/66/192   [6 September 1951]
4 Crabbe Street, Aldeburgh. EMF asks a favour of WP because of a “slight hitch in plans”, that is, to stay at his home one particular night.

PLO/66/193   [9 September 1951]
4 Crabbe Street, Aldeburgh. EMF explains how the problems in the previous letter have been resolved, and regrets troubling WP and Charles for a lodging.

PLO/66/194   [22 November 1951]
129 Wendell Road, W12. Short note arranging to meeting in Covent Garden, where EMF is attending a rehearsal.

PLO/66/195   5 January 1952
King's College, Cambridge. EMF writes how “Of you [WP] many a little bird now whispers from many a twig, led by good brown owl. Dawn will soon break and –”.

PLO/66/196   14 February 1952
“Flat, but flitting”. Thanks WP for sending Clochemerle, and gives a response to it. EMF has also been to see Wozzeck. Gives news of Bone, the gardener, whose hospital operation has been problematic.

PLO/66/197   27 February 1952
King's College, Cambridge. EMF reports that he has heard from Agnes and Bone, and that “Bone has been suddenly allowed to return to his home”.

PLO/66/198   15 May 1952
Aldeburgh. EMF is delighted with news just told to him by Ben [Britten].

PLO/66/199   21 July 1952
4 Crabbe Street, Aldeburgh. EMF is looking forward to being able to read WP's novel, and writes about his time in Aldeburgh.

PLO/66/200   29 August 1952
King's College, Cambridge. EMF philosophises about old and new friends, his work on the “subject of an Indian state”, and “old friends and new amusements”.

PLO/66/201   29 November 1952
King's College, Cambridge. EMF has not contacted WP as was WP's wish, nor mentioned his operation to anyone, but has heard he is getting well again and looks forward to seeing him.

PLO/66/202   8 January 1953
Chez Buckinghams, [129 Wendell Road, Shepherd's Bush, London W12]. EMF sends the signatures, and complains of the cold. Mentions E. K. Bennett [Edwin Keppel?]

PLO/66/203   13 February 1953
King's College, Cambridge. Details arrangements for visiting London.

PLO/66204   Postmarked 3 March 1953
Postmarked Cambridge. Postcard simply reads “am your very own ivy leaf”.

PLO/66/205   13 April 1953
129 Wendell Road, Shepherd's bush, London W12. EMF sends a signed certificate application, and asks if anything more is needed. Briefly mentions Aldeburgh, enjoying the libretto, and Peter and J. C. singing.

PLO/66/206   1 July 1953
King's College, Cambridge. EMF looks forwarding to visiting WP and Charles in their new home once they are settled. EMF is going to Gloriana with Merv Palmer. He has heard that William Burrell and Barbara are also coming, and describes them as “a real audience instead of the dazed ambassadors over who I presided.”

PLO/66/207   7 October 1953
King's College, Cambridge. EMF went to Stephen [Spender's?] party hoping to see WP there, but WP did not go. EMF is pleased WP likes the “H. of D.” and is reviewing it. Despite the “kindness” of King's College EMF is feeling “lost” because of friends' changes of home. He is to read Bennett's proofs of Stefan George, and looks forward to doing this.

PLO/66/208   26 October 1953
King's College, Cambridge. Reports that “the book” is doing well. EMF hopes that WP is now settled in his “houselet”.

PLO/66/209   1 November [1953]
Postmark Chiswick [London] W.4. EMF hopes to visit WP to hear his ballads. Mentions Bob and May [Buckingham], and Robert and Sylvia. He is going to Aldeburgh at the end of week; Ben [Britten?] has asked for news of WP. Reports that the publishers are pleased with the Hillock's sales and there have been no irritable reviews – the knowledge that the book has “come out of [his] heart has been a shield”.

PLO/66/210   9 February 1954
King's College, Cambridge. EMF invites WP to dinner at King's College.

PLO/66/211   2 March 1954
“as from King's”. EMF is pleased that WP and Bob can both attend the King's College dinner. Writes about “Lady Menzies' murder as 'nature trying to imitate art and overdoing it'”. Bob and May [Buckingham] “have acquired a car and a house”. He is writing from Rob's. Mentions a visit to Abinger in the snow, taking flowers to the churchyard and visiting Mrs Bone. Reports the “dreadful events”: the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire “injured a man severely when driving drunk, and shot himself” and the 5th Lord also charged with drunkenness.

PLO/66/212   [27 March 1954]
Postmarked Coventry, Warwickshire. Suggests to WP arrangements for meeting. Writes disparagingly of the gardens around Bob's new house.

PLO/66/213/1-2   18 May 1954
King's College, Cambridge. EMF writes briefly about John Drew visiting the caves, mentions some poems, and goes on to refer to trivial incidents. He muses at length about a tattooed soldier seen on a railway journey.

PLO/66/214   19 November 1954
King's College, Cambridge. EMF invites WP to the Reform Club for his birthday. Bob and May [Buckingham] are going as well as Francis Bennett.

PLO/66/215   7 December 1954
King's College, Cambridge. Short note about arrangments on 1 January.

PLO/66/216   [Christmas, 1954]
Place not indicated. EMF sends Christmas greetings to WP.

PLO/66/217   Christmas Day [1954]
Maidstone [as from] 9 Arlington Park Mansions, W.4. Postcard with arrangements for 1 January at the Reform Club.

PLO/66/218   2 January 1955
King's College, Cambridge. EMF writes about the soap sent to him by WP. He writes that on a recent visit WP's presence was appreciated by all.

PLO/66/219/1-3   12 January 1955
King's College, Cambridge. EMF forwards to WP a letter of emphatic praise for WP's book, and hopes that WP will “delight in the enclosed”.

PLO/66/220   20 January 1955
King's College, Cambridge. EMF asks WP how he should reply to a letter received. The correspondent is apparently from a left-wing newspaper. Bob and May's Tom have visited; EMF reports they went on a drive with Francis Bennett in the “charming… Essex Highlands”.

PLO/66/221   2 February 1955
King's College, Cambridge. EMF writes in response to an apparent loss which has ended WP's heavy responsibility, and is glad WP has Charles' support. He reports that he is “writing to the New Republic as suggested” .

PLO/66/222   15 February 1955
King's College, Cambridge. EMF writes to say how he enjoyed dinner with WP and Joe, and that he, Bob and May plan to attend the Aldeburgh Festival.

PLO/66/223   29 March 1955
King's College, Cambridge. Short letter mentioning that Kenneth Harrison hopes to join them for the Aldeburgh Festival, and that he has enjoyed a Boat Race weekend with Bob.

PLO/66/224   Postmarked 20 May 1955
King's College, Cambridge. EMF writes that he “must not do any more introductioneering at present” and mentions Mr ?Pendse, Mr Sidney, and Mr Bernard Llewellyn, and Forrest Reid, along with Joan and Ben. Writes that “we have all got our tickets. Very wisely I should think”.

PLO/66/225   22 August 1955
King's College, Cambridge. EMF is travelling to France that Friday with Bob and May. Mentions a possible visit to South Africa, agreeing with WP that it might be “disquieting” after a “long interval”.

PLO/66/226   21 September 1955
King's College, Cambridge. EMF refers to planned social engagements with WP and Charles, and is waiting to see the plans of S. Knox Cunningham M.P. who, as EMF notes, is a friend of Forrest Reid's. Reports that his visit to France went well and that he stayed with Marie Mauron.

PLO/66/227   1 October 1955
As from Cambridge. With reference to “John's book”, EMF mentions Noel Annan, Dadie, Raymond, Leonard [Woolf?], and Elizabeth Bowen.

PLO/66/228   5 November 1955
King's College, Cambridge. EMF wonders whether WP is able to visit in London for a weekend, Bob also being there. EMF is just returned from a visit to Coventry including seeing Macbeth at Stratford.

PLO/66/229   26 December 1955
11 Salisbury Avenue, Styvichale, Coventry. EMF writes to say Johnny Simpson had died that morning in hospital from coronary thrombosis, and reports the situation at his home.

PLO/66/230   4 January 1956
4 Crabbe Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk Thanks WP for “the Thurber book”. Margery has returned EMF's old letters to Johnny Simpson and he is sad that he has kept so few of Johnny's. EMF wishes to show WP a short story of Johnny's, and would like to write about his work eventually.

PLO/66/231   4 June 1956
King's College, Cambridge. EMF thanks WP for his sympathy, and writes that cousin Percy, as well as Frank Vicary, died last month. He “sometimes has the frightful feeling that people will now not stop dying”. EMF asks where WP is travelling to, writes briefly about his own visit to Cyprus, and mentions a talk he is preparing to give at Aldeburgh.

PLO/66/232   14 June 1956
King's College, Cambridge. EMF invites WP to join him for lunch in London. He has spent the morning drinking wine at his flat with Rob and hearing his accounts of the army. Joe has been to visit. EMF is heading to Aldeburgh.

PLO/66233   22 June 1956
King's College, Cambridge. Short postcard giving arrangements for lunch at the Reform Club.

PLO/66/234/1-2   Postmarked 29 June 1956
King's College, Cambridge. Brief note concerning an introduction to a friend in South Africa. Also, a notecard to Dr Petronella van Heerden, which is EMF's letter of introduction for WP who is revisiting South Africa.

PLO/66/235   15 November 1956
King's College, Cambridge. EMF makes arrangements for he, WP, Bob and Charles to meet.

PLO/66/236   Postmarked 29 November 1956
King's College, Cambridge. A brief notecard thanking WP and Charles.

PLO/66/237   [December 1956?]
[Cambridge?] Written on a postcard showing an object from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. EMF sends seasons greetings and a joke to WP and Charles.

PLO/66/238   14 April 1957
Rockingham Castle, Market Harborough. EMF responds to a Sushila book which is concerned with India and nationalism, and details his movements between London and Cambridge for the next few days. Mentions Double Lives and the news of its sequel.

PLO/66/239   12 December 1957
King's College, Cambridge. EMF thinks that WP could be as well to move nearer to London, for its better amenities. He writes of how fewer Christmas cards he has to send this year and says he is spending Christmas at Coventry. EMF also writes about his recent reading. He also reminisces on the event of WP's introducing him to Christopher [Isherwood?], and notes that he sees “a great deal” of Francis Bennett and his neighbour Kenneth Harrison, and “the young as they come in and out”. Concludes with how he and Bob tried to contact Leo [Charlton?] on a visit to Northumberland in September.

PLO/66/240   15 January 1958
King's College, Cambridge. EMF refers to some press cuttings, and reports that he has written an article entitled “A view without a room” for the New York Times' celebration of the 50th anniversary of EMF's novel.

PLO/66/241   26 January 1958
King's College, Cambridge. EMF admires WP's letter in the Times that morning. He refers to “our parallel Cambridge scheme” and raising funds for an undergraduate scholarship. EMF again says he has written an article for the New York Times, apparently unaware he put this in his previous letter to WP.

PLO/66/242   5 March 1958
King's College, Cambridge. EMF has read “the whole book” [ At Home – WP's memoir?] and responds warmly to it and its portrayal of his mother and friends. EMF adds anecdotes, mentioning Lady Ottoline, James Stephens, ?Jack Carey, Leo, G. M. Young, and R. C. Trevelyan.

PLO/66/243   20 March 1958
King's College, Cambridge. EMF asks WP if he would start a fund on behalf of Joe, offering to contribute £1000 immediately. This sum is possible, he writes, through its release from an elderly cousin whom he he has “de-codiciled”. EMF is looking forward to visiting Greece, and describes some wrangling to do with the timetable of the cruise.

PLO/66/244   22 June 1958
King's College, Cambridge. EMF is unhappy uneasy and uneasy about an eightieth birthday party, less so about a lunch at the College. Mentions “E.K.B.” [Brathwaite?].

PLO/66/245   5 August 1958
King's College, Cambridge. EMF writes cheerfully about “Summer Love” and his stay in London, where several friends are growing old and proving difficult, mentioning Aunt ?Bunnie and Joe. He also mentions his grand-godson Clive Morgan Buckingham.

PLO/66/246   13 October 1958
King's College, Cambridge. EMF hopes WP will accept the College's invitation to EMF's eightieth birthday luncheon in January, but asks more emphatically that he comes to an evening meal at the Reform Club on his actual birthday, and lists his guests.

PLO/66/247   8 November 1958
King's College, Cambridge. EMF's plans for a birthday meal at the Reform Club have altered since ladies are only admitted on certain days; so the meal is to be on 2 January instead. EMF writes about which guests he has invited.

PLO/66/248   29 November 1958
King's College, Cambridge. A letter of thanks for WP's latest gift. EMF is recently returned from Aldeburgh; he has been told by Ben about “the No project”. He writes that he stayed with the Burrells in Aldeburgh, and mentions the Voltaire Society in Oxford.

PLO/66/249   11 December 1958
King's College, Cambridge. An affectionate letter: EMF tells how WP's writing with its “livingness of words” has brought him to tears.

PLO/66/250   Postmarked 30 December 1958
Reform Club. A short note about the arranged time of arrival at the Reform Club.

PLO/66/251   18 March 1959
King's College, Cambridge. EMF writes of an unspecified occasion, expressing delight.

PLO/66/252   17 July 1959
King's College, Cambridge. EMF writes about Miss Flora Russell. He is back from town where he attended the funeral of Aunt Nellie, and praises the behaviour of his previously despised cousins. EMF also briefly mentions Walter Baxter and K Clarke.

PLO/66/253   11 September 1959
King's College, Cambridge. Short note expressing EMF's regret that he cannot see “E.M.”

PLO/66/254   6 December 1959
King's College, Cambridge. EMF writes of a meal and wine with Bob, May and Kenneth Harrison. He describes his visit to Italy and people he met. He is in good spirits but he writes of Bob's ill health which concerns him. He also describes a dispute between the Dean and Mrs Margaret Knight “on the decay… of Christianity”.

PLO/66/255   16 December 1960
King's College, Cambridge. EMF is entertaining Dr Morton Dauwen Zabel who is over from Chicago. EMF is concerned that WP has said he will not be going to Aldeburgh, and makes a reference to WP's brother's “disappointment”. He writes that Bob's pain and discomfort is a strain on him and May. EMF has attended the eightieth birthday lunch of Charles Tennyson, “a very small affair by comparison”.

PLO/66/256   16 January 1960
King's College, Cambridge. EMF asks WP to dine with him at the Reform Club, and writes that he may go to the premiere of his play.

PLO/66/257   18 May 1960
King's College, Cambridge. EMF briefly mentions Foyle, Howard's End, and the threat of a fourth extension of the New Stevenage.

PLO/66/258   29 March 1960
King's College, Cambridge. EMF makes arrangements for a possible visit. Writes that Edith Sitwell has sent him her anthology, and gives his response to her work – he says he has a “stumbling faith in her”.

PLO/66/259   11 April 1960
King's College, Cambridge. EMF confirms arrangements to visit on the 19th, and reports the receipt of a letter from Norman Routledge at Eton praising a performance. EMF bemoans the horrors of the world, such as child murderers and how “white man tries to murder pro-white leader”, and writes of the comfort he has had from the “compassion” in the M. G. Leader that morning.

PLO/66/260   4 May 1960
King's College, Cambridge. EMF has received the Bavarian Guide, wishes to take it with him, and trusts it will come back with May looking after it. EMF writes that he enjoyed the Collected Poems and that he still finds “A Charm Against Trouble” WP's “profoundest utterance”. He refers, appalled, to W. G. Wiggins in relation to an apparent act of indecency.

PLO/66/261   [15] August 1960
King's College, Cambridge. Dated 17th August in error. EMF is pleased with news from Jack and from WP. EMF has visited Margery in Coventry, and describes the journey back to Ely.

PLO/66/262   [Postmarked 17 August 1960]
9 Arlington Park Mansions, Chiswick. EMF discusses arrangements for a London visit whereupon he wishes to talk to WP, writing of his concern that “the job will… be troublesome”.

PLO/66/263    [20 August 1960]
[Postmarked Chiswick.] Brief note confirming arrangements for WP's visit.

PLO/66/264   Sunday [21 August 1960]
[Postmarked Chiswick.] A further brief note concerning WP's visit.

PLO/66/265    5 September 1960
King's College, Cambridge. EMF writes that he has responded to WP's suggestion concerning “Notes on Maurice”, also that Joe liked them and he is to ask Nick Furbank to type them out.

PLO/66/266   Wednesday [28 September 1960]
King's College, Cambridge. EMF gives WP the news that Rob is ill and that he fears it is cancer of the liver. He advises WP not to write to May. EMF is not going to inform Joe as he does not wish to add to his worries. Reports that his “Notes” on Maurice are being typed.

PLO/66/267   29 September 1960
King's College, Cambridge. EMF expects “to go up on Saturday”, and expresses some relief at the prospect of missing “a dinner for Old Kingsmen” at the College. He encloses a letter from May in which she gives the more reassuring news that Rob appears to have hepatitis and that “his condition is satisfactory”.

PLO/66/268   Postmarked 30 September 1960
Cambridge. Telegram which reads “Satisfactory news, writing. Forster.”

PLO/66/269   Friday [30 September 1960]
King's College, Cambridge. EMF has received better news, hence the previous day's telegram, and writes that is a “great relief to know one can trouble friends”.

PLO/66/270   6 October 1960
King's College, Cambridge. EMF sends WP the typed notes. He also writes about his old friend from the First World War, Mohammed el Adl, whose letters and notes he has revisited. EMF would like WP (as his biographer) to know of this friend. He gives brief facts about him, including the circumstances of their meeting in Egypt. He proposes to destroy the more trivial letters and transcribe “the interesting ones”.

PLO/66/271   8 October 1960
King's College, Cambridge. EMF gives details of Rob's condition. He writes that he is pleased with a Gurkha Epic which has been sent to him, and he reminisces about Mohammed, saying “since him I have regarded both race and class as incidentals.”

PLO/66/272   23 October [1960?]
King's College, Cambridge. EMF sends Joe Ackerley's letters, and refers to Ackerley's “peculiar hosts”, mentioning Dadie? He also mentions James Kirkup and John Morris.

PLO/66/273   24 [November] 1960
King's College, Cambridge. Erroneously dated December by EMF. He refers to Joe's situation and his happy ignorance of some distressing news. He also reports his enjoyment of a recent evening with friends.

PLO/66/274   7 December 1960
King's College, Cambridge. EMF further discusses Joe, and how “the whole series of letters now becomes more interesting.” EMF remarks that a book by “J.P.” has strangely not been reviewed. EMF has received a box of his letters to Florence Barger, and looks forward to sorting his Egyptian letters from 1915-1919, for their references to Mohammed el Adl. He explains how Florence, his confidante, became “broad minded” as a result, “less so in later years: but a heroine and a darling always.” With reference to Mohammed's letters which he has copied out he writes of accepting “the experience as my release from apprenticeship.” He thanks WP for prompting him to think more about Mohammed.

PLO/66/275   12 December 1960
Ivy Cottage, Bishopsbourne, Nr Canterbury. A letter from Jocelyn Brooke to Mr Forster [and forwarded to WP?], relating to their letters which have appeared in the Statesman and The Times concerning John Morris's book, and how The Times had edited his letter “with their policy of 'decent reticence'”. EMF has lightly annotated this letter.

PLO/66/276   16 January 1961
King's College, Cambridge. EMF asks for news of Joe [Ackerley], who he thought was meant to arrive in England around the 15th. Gout is preventing EMF from going to Aldeburgh. He gives the news from Bob that Rob is better and has found a job. EMF's letter is written on the back of a letter from John Gawsworth, asking if EMF remembers their encounters in India.

PLO/66/277   18 January 1961
King's College, Cambridge. EMF reports that Joe arrived on the 15th, and that Bunny died on 3 January. Lindsay Heather is with EMF for the day. He refers to Mrs P.L., and concludes with “what a wretched hazardous profession is literature”.

PLO/66/278   26 March 1961
King's College, Cambridge. Mentions Humphrey Spender. EMF gives his whereabouts for the foreseeable future, and refers to WP's “distressing trouble.”

PLO/66/279   [Postmarked 18 April 1961].
Postmarked Cambridge. Apparently EMF writes, in rhyming verse, that Mr Hwyffa invites WP to King's.

PLO/66/280   Saturday [13 May 1961]
Addenbrooke's Hospital, Private Ward 2. A letter written on behalf of EMF, in which he states that “there is no discomfort at all” and asks WP to let him know when he is next free so that he can see him.

PLO/66/281   Thursday [18 May 1961]
Cambridge. EMF expects to still be in hospital when WP visits, and also to see Joe that day, depending on Nancy. He also gives other trivial news.

PLO/66/282   Sunday [21 May 1961]
Addenbrooke's EMF looks forward to WP's visit. He writes that he “did not at all want that R.L.S. 'honour'”, and expresses regrets about it. Reports that Bob was invited to a College Feast as EMF's guest but without him.

PLO/66/283/1-2   7 June 1961
11 Salisbury Avenue, Coventry. EMF praises a review by WP. He writes that the doctors were pleased with his progress in terms of his health, so he is able to stay with Bob and May. EMF had given a ticket for Glyndebourne but had to return it as he felt it would be too much for him. His first evening outing the day before was to see The seven year itch, which was “in no sense worth it.” EMF encloses a note from Faber and Faber announcing the publication of The sun in the morning by Jim Hunter, which he describes as “straightforward and provincial, a little like Johnny Simpson sometimes”.

PLO/66/284   Postmarked 21 June 1961
King's College, Cambridge. EMF has received an unexpected windfall, wishes to use it charitably, and asks WP's advice. EMF suggests ideas such as help for struggling writers or making a donation to the Homosexual Law Reform Society – although he feels this is no longer an influential body; however he asks WP for more information about it.

PLO/66/285   Postmarked 7 July 1961
Leominster, Herefordshire. A short postcard: EMF is enjoying Leominster, and has been to Clyro and Radnorshire.

PLO/66/286   23 July 1961
King's College, Cambridge. Tim Legget and EMF are planning to drive to the South West of England, so EMF asks WP if he can recommend Radnorshire. He makes brief reference to “the staff scandal at Smith's College, USA”. Also enclosed is a leaf from Darlington's Handbook Advertiser, bearing advertisements and an illustration of “The Musical Home”, depicting a woman playing a harp and a child singing.

PLO/66/287   [25] August 1961
King's College, Cambridge. Erroneously dated by EMF as “26 August”. EMF thanks WP for his suggestion, and gives his address in France – apparently he will be staying with Charles Mauron in Provence.

PLO/66/288/1-2   [After 4 October 1961]
King's College, Cambridge. EMF enjoyed S. Remy, but is tired after 2000 miles despite doing no driving. He mentions the city of Nancy. Enclosed is an unsigned letter from “The Shack, 94 Fifth Cross Road, Twickenham”, dated 4 October 1961, which expresses pleasure that EMF is in France and recovering, and repeats a saying attributed to Somerset Maugham. The author of the letter goes on to say EMF is Maugham's “superior in every way” and “modesty personified”.

PLO/66/289   11 October 1961
King's College, Cambridge. Mentions “Moggam's effort at self-advertisement” and cousin Florrie. EMF goes on to discuss “Rosie's cowlification in the Observer”, with reference to some published letters, and Constance Babington Smith.

PLO/66/290   20 December 1961
King's College, Cambridge. Thanks WP for his gift, and says he is spending Christmas at Rockingham.

PLO/66/291   5 January 1952
King's College, Cambridge. Photocopy of PLO/66/195.

PLO/66/292   27 May 1962
King's College, Cambridge. EMF comments on WP's letter which has appeared in The Times. Mentions Robert Thornton, and reports that Joe has reached America.

PLO/66/293   6 June 1962
King's College, Cambridge. EMF is in Coventry and enjoying visits from John Morris, Patricia and Sydney, Ben, and Jack Sprott. He is going to Yorkshire for Whitsun, and mentions Eric Fletcher.

PLO/66/294   Tuesday [26 June 1962]
King's College, Cambridge. Discusses arrangements for lunch with WP. EMF looks forward to WP “on Wilde”, with whom he writes he is “entranced as [he] leans over him in bookshops”. Mentions Cyril Connolly as seeming “mean and envious”, and asks “has Moggam given tongue?” Rob has driven to Weymouth with Sylvia and “At any moment he may collapse and be back”.

PLO/66/295   11 September 1962
King's College, Cambridge. EMF plans to visit the Maurons and asks WP to write to “Bob and the others” while he is away. He writes that he now feels Rob's loss “most terribly personally”.

PLO/66/296   3 January [1963]
King's College, Cambridge. EMF mentions receiving the script of WP's talk, which he missed, writing of his admiration and also referring to “the incidental linking of African with European bestiality”.

PLO/66/297   Postmarked 20 January 1963
Cambridge. Postcard with brief message: “2 Montrachet… 4 happy drinkers, i.e., Morgan, Bob, Ted, Eric.”

PLO/66/298   10 February 1963
King's College, Cambridge. EMF writes about having read WP's work, with reference to Osbert [Sitwell?], Capetanakis, and “letters written to Constable”, and also refers to the “destruction” of 1914-18.

PLO/66/299   1 June [1963]
Hotel des Arts, St Rémy-de-Provence. Postcard: EMF writes that “All going grandly” in St. Rémy.

PLO/66/300   Postmarked 17 June 1963
Hotel des Arts, St Rémy-de-Provence. EMF briefly gives travel plans for returning home from France with May and Bob.

PLO/66/301   26 July 1963
King's College, Cambridge. EMF has been pleased to hear WP's and William Golding's voices featured on the wireless that morning, less so his own and some others' voices. EMF writes that he is glad to be “quite in the news” in terms of publicity for the play. Letter concludes with emphatic “Who is in the news now? Dearest William I am so delighted”.

PLO/66/302   Saturday [31 August 1963]
King's College, Cambridge. EMF asks for details of travel arrangements for travelling to Coventry with WP. He is recently returned from a stay with Eric Fletcher, mentioning Bolton Abbey and the “appalling” centre of Bradford “called Forster Square”, and expressing appreciation for the “making” aspect of Yorkshire as opposed to “advertising” in the South.

PLO/66/303   Postmarked 6 September 1963
King's College, Cambridge. EMF has added to a pencil-written note from presumably the housekeeper regarding his notebook which she has found; so EMF declares that he is “well-equipped to travel”, and refers to travel arrangements for the 13th.

PLO/66/304   16 October [1963]
King's College, Cambridge. EMF writes that the “fortunes of the play have improved” as some of it is to be televised. He also refers to the Ottoline proofs which he has seen.

PLO/66/305   Postmarked 28 October 1963
King's College, Cambridge. EMF informs WP that he is invited to the Founder's Feast at King's College, and urges WP to accept.

PLO/66/306   20 November [1963]
King's College, Cambridge. EMF responds to a query by WP regarding Clun Forest, writing that he walked there and to Ludlow, and “alone, except for the dubious accompaniment of A. E. Houseman.” EMF goes on to write about his thoughts on the past, including matters regarding Mohammed el Adl and scraps surviving from him “gathered in a box”. He also mentions “poor Fitzgerald”. He looks forward to seeing and hearing WP on 22 November.

PLO/66/307   Postmarked 13 December 1963
Postmarked Cambridge. Very brief note responding to a gift from WP.

PLO/66/308   Sunday [15 December 1963]
Postmark Cambridge. EMF has received his gift, and mentions the porter Horace who had left the case in a careless position. He hopes to attend a memorial to Aldous [Huxley] in London.

PLO/66/309   2 March 1964
King's College, Cambridge. Brief note acknowledging an unidentified omission [possibly referring to his age (85)?].

PLO/66/310   29 April 1964
King's College, Cambridge. EMF responds to WP's writing in a recent publication, with comments on “R.R.”, and on his faith and how he has become “more inclined to base my life on the loyalties I have experienced.”

PLO/66/311   23 July 1964
King's College, Cambridge. EMF refers to Curlew River. Joe is in ill-health and EMF hopes to visit him, Bob has also suffered an ailment. EMF has heard that WP is writing poems and is pleased that Turbott Wolffe is to be reissued.

PLO/66/312   11 August [1964]
Postmark Cambridge. EMF writes about Maurice Shadbolt's stories, and mentions a preface which he wrote for Frank Sargeson's collection. Malcolm Darling is staying in college, which EMF appreciates. He asks WP if he knows of the poet James E. Baxter.

PLO/66/313   26 October 1964
As from Cambridge. EMF complains about Frank Sargeson and is concerned about WP's knee. He looks forward to Aldeburgh and may stay with Billy Burrell. EMF is writing from Long Crichel where he has been staying, and he mentions calling on the William Goldings.

PLO/66/314   14 December [1964]
King's College, Cambridge. EMF outlines his arrangements for going to Ben's and to London to see Joe. He comments on Malgonkar's At a bend of the Ganges.

PLO/66/315   17 December [1964]
King's College, Cambridge. EMF thanks WP for a gift of wine. He wishes WP was coming to Aldeburgh.

PLO/66/316   1 January 1965
Coventry. EMF thanks WP for his birthday gift of wine. He is now home from Aldeburgh. May [Buckingham] has written on the verso, thanking WP for chocolates and giving general news.

PLO/66/317   26 February 1965
King's College, Cambridge. EMF writes about the evening before where Bob read WP's poems to him, a probation officer and May. He wishes to send money to Frank Urquhart.

PLO/66/318   4 March 1965
King's College, Cambridge. EMF asks WP for the names of his two new friends, and gives some general news.

PLO/66/319   9 June 1965
King's College, Cambridge. Written for EMF by Joe and signed by him. EMF is pleased with WP's book which has been published and re-published, and thinks it will cause agitation.

PLO/66/320   22 July 1965
King's College, Cambridge. Written by Joe. EMF is busy with the Cambridge Festival, going to Verdi's Requiem and Howards End at the Arts Theatre. He hopes to arrange to see WP in August.

PLO/66/321   3 August 1965
King's College, Cambridge. Written by Joe. EMF hopes to see WP in London when he is at his flat with Eric Fletcher there to look after him.

PLO/66/322   Friday [6 August]
Cambridge. Written on the verso of typewritten manuscript, containing some fictional narrative. Concerning arrangements to meet in London, with Eric Fletcher escorting.

PLO/66/323   28 December [1965]
11, Salisbury Avenue, Coventry. Written by May Buckingham, with one paragraph in EMF's hand. Thanks WP for the wine he has given and gives general news.

PLO/66/324   Friday [16 December 1966]
11, Salisbury Avenue, Coventry. EMF is pleased with more wine from WP, and refers to WP's grandfather whose life was saved. He comments “How often have Indians saved Sahibs?”

PLO/66/325   29 April 1967
11, Salisbury Avenue, Coventry. Written by Joe. EMF reminds WP of his consenting to write a biographical piece in the event of EMF's death and asks if WP will still take on the task. He has an alternative plan to ask Nick Furbank to do so instead, giving him full access to his private papers.

PLO/66/326   3 May 1967
11, Salisbury Avenue, Coventry. Written by May. John Morris has just visited. EMF says that they are looking forward to seeing and hearing WP at Aldeburgh in a month's time.

PLO/66/327   [14 December 1967]
11, Salisbury Avenue, Coventry. EMF writes that he is comfortable and looks forward to the eating and drinking ahead. Included is a short letter from May Buckingham in which she writes that EMF is very frail and depressed at the G---? news.

PLO/66/328   3 January 1968
11, Salisbury Avenue, Coventry. May thanks WP for Christmas gifts, and reports that they were pleased with the news (heard on the radio) of WP's award. They were disappointed to find no confirmation in The Guardian. EMF concludes the letter thanking WP for the wines.

PLO/66/329   Postmarked 17 March 1968
King's College, Cambridge. EMF writes that he is pleased with WP's readiness to help Nick who has had “money trouble”. He mentions Ben's “unexpected” collapse and is anxious.

PLO/66/330   Monday [25 March 1968]
King's College, Cambridge. EMF is pleased to have received a copy of “At Home” and is enthusiastic. He writes that “there are things in it that I have never dared to think about myself, but now they seem true.”

PLO/66/331   29 October 1968
King's College, Cambridge. EMF discusses Joe's book, and wishes WP luck at Belfast. He writes that he is well but that his writing worsens.

PLO/66/332   June 1969
Postmarked [Aldeburgh], Suffolk. Postcard to WP which pictures the Moot Hall, Aldeburgh, and on which is written by May, John, EMF and Bob, that they miss him.

from Nan Fairbrother (married name McKenzie)
Reference: PLO/67
Dates of creation: 10 January 1970
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Referring to one of Plomer's poems, and to her forthcoming book, New lives, new landscapes (including contribution by Plomer)
Writer on landscapes
Fairbrother, Nan, New lives, new landscapes (1970)

from Daphne Fielding
Reference: PLO/68
Dates of creation: 25 April 1967
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets & 1 envelope Relating to her book on Lady Cunard and Nancy Cunard, and asking permission to use Plomer's description of Nancy Cunard in his At home, with praise for Plomer's poetry
Fielding, Daphne, Emerald and Nancy: Lady Cunard and her daughter (1968)

from Ann Fleming
Reference: PLO/69
Dates of creation: 26 October 1959 - 25 January 1967, undated
Extent: 14 letters, 16 sheets, 1 card & 11 envelopes Mainly personal news and arrangements, with some references to Plomer's and other works, and a few comments on Ian [Fleming, author, her husband]
Wife (and widow) of Ian Fleming, novelist, creator of 'James Bond'

from Peter Fleming
Reference: PLO/70
Dates of creation: 29 December 1948 - 2 June 1969
Extent: 10 letters, 11 sheets & 7 envelopes Relating mainly to arrangements and notes on the address for Ian Fleming's memorial service (given by Plomer), and its subsequent publication (including some correspondence with Michael Howard of Jonathan Cape, publishers).
Writer and traveller (including as a correspondent for the Times), 1907-1971; brother of Ian Fleming, novelist, creator of 'James Bond'

from Dick Freislich
Reference: PLO/71
Dates of creation: 24 June 1958, 16 July 1958
Extent: 2 letters, 11 sheets & 1 envelope Comments on South African life, particularly in relation to the death of one of his workers from tuberculosis. Also comments on Richard Rumbold (following re-publication of My father's son in 1958), the English school system, and Uys Krige.
Apparently a South African businessman or farmer (from his letters), and occasional writer (mentioned in letters from Nadine Gordimer)

from Zelda Friedlander
Reference: PLO/72
Dates of creation: 15 January 1964 - 7 August 1965, 15 June 1973 - 16 September 1973
Extent: 8 letters, 15 sheets & 1 envelope First five letters, dated 1964-1965 (Plomer 72/1-4 & 6), are about her work on Olive Schreiner (for Until the heart changes…), with enthusiastic recollections of Schreiner and (briefly) of Enslin Du Plessis and Ingrid Jonker. The 1973 letters (Plomer 72/7-9) contain personal news, and news of her own move from her family home. Plomer 72/5 was originally enclosed with Plomer 72/4, and is a typescript of a talk by Friedlander on Schreiner, dated 24 March 1955.
South African, researcher on Olive Schreiner, who met Plomer in 1965

from Ayako Fukuzawa
Reference: PLO/73
Dates of creation: 22 October 1969 - 27 November 1969
Extent: 2 letters, 7 sheets, 2 photographs & 2 envelopes Affectionate letters with personal news, following Morito Fukuzawa's death (in 1965) and Ayako's reading Plomer's letters [1930s] to him.
Wife (and survivor) of Morito Fukuzawa

from Ima Fukuzawa
Reference: PLO/74
Dates of creation: 2 February 1970
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets, 2 photographs & 1 envelope Personal letter, enclosing family photographs
Youngest daughter of Morito Fukuzawa

from Morito Fukuzawa
Reference: PLO/75
Dates of creation: March 1929 - 1931
Extent: 14 letters, 32 sheets & 2 cards Personal and affectionate letters, with news of his own life and mutual friends, and plans for translating Plomer's Paper houses into Japanese.
Pupil and subsequently house companion and friend of Plomer in Japan, 1927-1929.

from Roger Fulford
Reference: PLO/76
Dates of creation: 26 April 1958
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope Congratulating Plomer on his 'book' (probably At home, his second volume of autobiography), with a reference to the “Torrington election result”
Author, editor and journalist, 1902-1983. Parliamentary candidate (unsuccessful) for the Liberal Party (later President), knighted 1980.

from Darcy [Darsie] Rutherford Gillie
Reference: PLO/77
Dates of creation: 12 February 1922, 11 January 1968
Extent: 2 letters, 3 sheets & 2 envelopes Letter of 1922 (incomplete) includes Gillie's comments on particular authors, and his translation of part of Kuhlemann's poem Tristan da Cunha (with note by Plomer that he had read this poem to Roy Campbell, and that it had prompted him to write his Tristan d'Acunha). Letter of 1968 congratulates Plomer on his CBE and contains personal news.
Occasional editor and translator. A contemporary of Plomer at Rugby school, 1917-1918.

from Rumer Godden
Reference: PLO/78
Dates of creation: undated
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet (with leaf attached) Letter in verse on Plomer's birthday (shared with her own), enclosing a laurel leaf
Novelist, born in India, 1907

from John Godfrey
Reference: PLO/79
Dates of creation: 5 July 1968
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets & 1 envelope Letter following publication of McLachlan's Room 39…, with comments on intelligence work and continuing secrecy (with a brief reference to Porton [Down] and the manufacture of poisoned gas weapons)
Officer (Rear-Admiral, later Admiral) in the navy, and in particular director of naval intelligence, 1939-1942, in which Plomer worked (on the political section of the Weekly intelligence report), 1940-1945

from Nadine Gordimer
Reference: PLO/80
Dates of creation: 21 September 1956, 9 June 1960 - 12 March 1973
Extent: 25 letters, 39 sheets, 2 cards & 8 envelopes Personal letters, with extensive comments on some of Plomer's collections of poems and (occasionally) her own books. Notes on the Classic (African literary magazine) and on the life and suicide of its editor, Nat Nakasa (subject of Plomer's poem 'The Taste of the Fruit', 1965). Frequent comments and lamentations on the state of South African politics under apartheid, including references to the Sharpeville massacre, 1960 (Plomer 80/3), Vorster's 'no trial' bill, 1963 (Plomer 80/6), Rhodesia, 1966 (Plomer 80/18, including references to Laurens Van Der Post's articles), and the commissions of inquiry and banning of students, 1973 (Plomer 80/25).
Novelist and short story writer, born 1923, winner of Nobel prize for literature, 1991. Met Plomer during his tour to South Africa (for a conference at the University of the Witwatersrand) in 1956.

from Colin Graham
Reference: PLO/81
Dates of creation: undated letters, probably [1966] and 26 December [1967?]
Extent: 2 letters, 3 sheets Arrangements for Benjamin Britten productions, and comments on his own work on a libretto of Anna Karenina for Britten
The first letter is undated and the second has no year, although the year of both can be inferred from internal evidence (viz, reference to Taste and remember in first letter, and to Prodigal son in the second).
Artistic director, who produced several of Benjamin Britten's operas, including Curlew River, born 1931

from Robert Graves
Reference: PLO/82
Dates of creation: 13 January 1969
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope References to a manuscript (apparently submitted to Cape in 1929 and now lost?), and to an article by Graves on folk-lore
Writer, poet and critic, 1895-1985. Met Plomer through Jonathan Cape, publishers.

from Julian Green
Reference: PLO/83
Dates of creation: 5 April 1950 - 20 April 1950
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets & 2 envelopes Relating to Tony Butts and copy of Curious relations sent by Plomer, and to an invitation to join the Society of Authors
American and French writer, born and lived in Paris, 1900-1998

from Graham Greene
Reference: PLO/84
Dates of creation: 8 April 1946 - 16 April 1946, 19 March 1963
Extent: 3 letters, 3 sheets & 1 envelope 1946 letters relate to proposals by Eyre & Spottiswoode (publishers) to reprint one of Plomer's works (blocked by Leonard Woolf). 1963 letter relates to Francis Kilvert's father.
Novelist and publisher, 1904-1991

from Joyce Grenfell
Reference: PLO/85
Dates of creation: 28 July 1967 - 29 December 1967
Extent: 2 letters, 3 sheets & 2 envelopes Praising a poem by Plomer and relating to its subsequent reading (on BBC radio?) by Alec Guinness.
Entertainer and broadcaster, 1910-1979

from Alec Guinness
Reference: PLO/86
Dates of creation: 9 July 1960 - 7 February 1961, 3 January 1968
Extent: 4 letters, 4 sheets & 4 envelopes Letters relate to Guinness' idea of turning Plomer's poem Bamboo into a play or a film. Final letter (1968) also refers to Plomer's [CBE] and to Guinness' reading of his “Bavarian church poem” on the radio.
Final letter is dated “3rd January 1967” but reference to [CBE] honours indicates a date of January 1968.
Actor, born 1914

from Norman Haire
Reference: PLO/87
Dates of creation: 3 September 1932 - 13 September 1932, 2 January 1935
Extent: 3 letters, 3 sheets Letters asking to meet Plomer following publication of his The case is altered, with reference to the psychology of Sybil da Costa (Plomer's former landlady, who was murdered by a jealous husband in 1929; also a cousin of Haire). Letter of 1935 also praises Plomer's The invaders for its psychological “truth and accuracy.”
Sexologist, gynæcologist and obstetrician, 1892-1952

from Stuart Hampshire
Reference: PLO/88
Dates of creation: 31 January 1957
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets & 1 envelope About a meeting being organised by Plomer, with reference to a proposed [talk or paper] by Hampshire under the title 'Christian action'. (The subject of the meeting is unclear - possibly South Africa and apartheid?)
Writer and lecturer on philosophy, born 1914

from Christopher Hampton
Reference: PLO/89
Dates of creation: 6 July 1970, 13 June 1973
Extent: 2 letters, 4 sheets & 1 envelope Lengthy letters about Hampton's work on Etruria, the state of modern civilisation and the human spirit
Writer, poet and lecturer
Check Plomer 937.5 HAM for biographical notes

from James Hanley
Reference: PLO/90
Dates of creation: undated
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Praises a book, presumably by Plomer but not named and letter undated
Novelist, short story writer and playwright, 1901-1985

from Gilbert Harding
Reference: PLO/91
Dates of creation: 21 December 1957, 26 March 1958
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets & 2 envelopes Invitation to dine with himself and John Morris, and request for help for Royal Wolverhampton School appeal; refers to himself as a “disciple” of Plomer.
Second letter undated - date taken from postmark on envelope
Broadcaster, 1907-1960

from Evelyn Hardy
Reference: PLO/92
Dates of creation: 8 June 1972
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Thanking Plomer for his review of Hardy's edition of [Thomas] Hardy's letters, with reference also to Gosse letters
Writer

from George Henry Hubert Lascelles, 7th earl of Harewood
Reference: PLO/93
Dates of creation: 8 August 1963 - 6 January 1969
Extent: 3 letters & 1 telegram, 4 sheets & 3 envelopes Personal news
Telegram is undated and states only “many congratulations,” but very probably refers to Plomer's award of a CBE in January 1968.
Artistic director (formerly with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden) and cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, born 1923; initiator of idea behind Benjamin Britten's opera Gloriana
Alexander's biography (p.374 n.6) refers to White, "Benjamin Britten: his life and operas", p.79 - check Plomer 780.92 BRI/WHI

from H Wilson Harris
Reference: PLO/94
Dates of creation: 16 December 1952 - 19 December 1952
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets Inviting Plomer to take over Harold Nicolson's page in the Spectator (refused by Plomer)
Author and journalist, 1883-1955; editor of the Spectator, 1932-1953

from Tom Harrisson
Reference: PLO/95
Dates of creation: 15 October 1959 - 26 October 1959
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets & 1 envelope Relate to quotations from Plomer's Museum pieces, for use in Harrisson's proposed book on Harrow (school) and Old Harrovians
Traveller and pioneer of 'mass observation' techniques, 1911-1976

from Leslie Poles Hartley
Reference: PLO/96
Dates of creation: 12 September 1969
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Thanking Plomer for his contribution towards the PEN 'project', and referring to the fire at Aldeburgh concert hall.
Novelist and critic, 1895-1972; president of the English section of the PEN club

from Margaret, princess of Hesse
Reference: PLO/97
Dates of creation: 30 May 1968 - 10 February 1969, 17 July 1973 - 18 September 1973
Extent: 5 letters, 8 sheets, 2 cards & 2 envelopes Warm letters containing personal news and news of Ban[jamin Britten], with references in the last two letters to The butterfly ball and the grasshopper's feast
Patron and supporter of the Aldeburgh Festival, with her husband Ludwig ('Lu')

from Shizuhiko Higo
Reference: PLO/98
Dates of creation: 1929
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets Thanking Plomer for his teaching, and enclosing a picture (which no longer survives with the letter)
The letter is undated, but is evidently written in late 1928 or early 1929, shortly before Plomer's departure from Japan.
One of Plomer's pupils in Japan, 1926-1929

from Susan Hill
Reference: PLO/99
Dates of creation: 17 September 1970 - 21 September 1973
Extent: 71 letters, 88 sheets, 4 cards, 1 news cutting & 58 envelopes Letters include some comments on Plomer's works, and many relate to the drafting, writing (and subsequent reviews) of Hill's own novels and other writing, often during her regular stays in Aldeburgh. There are references throughout the letters to John Piper, Benjamin Britten and Mary Potter (a painter from Aldeburgh). Other themes are Aldeburgh (place and festival), Coventry cathedral (and its choir), music, radio plays and broadcasts, personal news and faith/religion.
A few of the letters include poems written for Plomer, viz Plomer 99/13 (haiku-style poems) and Plomer 99/46 ( Hens and Resurrection). Plomer 99/68 includes a press cutting on a reading by Plomer of his own poems at the Stratford Poetry Festival in July 1973, written for the Birmingham post.
Novelist, short story writer and broadcaster, born 1942

from Clare Hills
Reference: PLO/100
Dates of creation: 8 October 1962
Extent: 1 letter, 3 sheets & 1 envelope Personal letter of appreciation

from Imogen Holst
Reference: PLO/101
Dates of creation: 27 September 1962, 1 November 1972
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets News of Benjamin Britten (1962 letter), and comments on Kilvert Society (1972)
Musician, 1907-1984; artistic director of Aldeburgh Festival, 1956-1977

from Anthony Homersham
Reference: PLO/102
Dates of creation: 6 March 1944 - 30 May 1948
Extent: 24 letters, 96 sheets & 4 envelopes Initial letter written aged 16, while Homersham was at school (in Chester), after reading Plomer's Double lives. Subsequent letters written from school and the army (National Service, with the Royal Signals). Letters include extensive personal news, ideas for his own writing and comments on many books read by him, as well as opinions on his teachers, places visited (in particular Jarrow, Plomer 102/21, December 1946), occasional works by Plomer, the army, religion and some political events.
Although these letters end in 1948, Plomer's letters to him (Plomer 695) indicate that they continued to correspond until Plomer's death in 1973.
Lecturer and professor of English in California and Germany, c.1927-1994.
Information on Anthony Homersham is from Plomer 695/73, a letter written to accompany Plomer's letters to Homersham when they were committed for sale by Phillips, auctioneers.

from Peter Horn
Reference: PLO/103
Dates of creation: 14 March 1969
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Thanking Plomer for his contribution of a poem to Ophir, with a reference to Voorslag (a South African literary magazine edited by Roy Campbell and Plomer, 1925-1926).
Writer, editor (?) of Ophir literary magazine (in South Africa)

from Michael S Howard
Reference: PLO/104
Dates of creation: 14 September 1968, 10 August 1970
Extent: 2 letters, 3 sheets Letter of 1968 relates to memorial service for his father (Wren Howard, a director at Jonathan Cape, publishers). 1970 letter relates to Plomer's suggestions for changes to his history of the firm.
Publisher, worked at Jonathan Cape (where Plomer was reader), and published history of the firm
Howard, Michael S., Jonathan Cape, publisher (1971)

from Chien Hsiao
Reference: PLO/105
Dates of creation: 23 February 1942 - 2 April 1946
Extent: 3 letters, 6 sheets Thanking Plomer for copies of his books ( Selected poems, 1940, and Double lives, 1943, and news of his voyage to China
Apparently a friend of Plomer during the 1940s and possibly an academic or publisher: letters written from School of Oriental Studies, University of London, King's College, Cambridge and on the paper of Takungpao (The Impartial), apparently a journal or magazine

from TAR Hyndman
Reference: PLO/106
Dates of creation: 9 June 1934 - September 1934
Extent: 3 letters, 8 sheets Personal letters, with news of Hyndman's stay in Vienna and visits from John Lehmann. Plomer 106/2 includes comments on the Mosley's fascism in England and the need for communism.
Plomer 106/3 is undated, but is written from Vienna (where Hyndman was staying with Stephen Spender), after a visit to Tirol. It has been dated "[1939]" (possibly from its former position among the Spender letters?), but probably dates from ca.September 1934: Plomer 106/2 refers to visiting Tirol in August [1934], and Plomer 106/3 refers to Randolph Crescent (home of Stephen Spender) and to Jack [probably Jack Carey, Plomer's partner, 1933-1935].

from Sanki Ichikawa
Reference: PLO/107
Dates of creation: 22 November 1929
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets & 1 envelope Offering Plomer chair of English Literature at the Imperial University in Tokyo (to succeed Edmund Blunden)

from Valentin Iremonger
Reference: PLO/108
Dates of creation: 3 July 1946
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Asking Plomer for additional assistance in getting Iremonger's book of poems, Reservations, published, with reference to Iremonger's proposed prose book on Anglo-Ireland
Irish poet and editor

from Christopher Isherwood
Reference: PLO/109
Dates of creation: 17 October 1932 - 3 February 1938, 27 January 1947 - 9 August 1957
Extent: 25 letters, 24 sheets, 4 cards & 6 envelopes Personal letters, with news of Isherwood's travels and some literary news and comment. Letters written from Berlin 1932-1933 relate to the rise of fascism (PLO 109/1-5). Appreciative comments on Plomer's works ( Cecil Rhodes in PLO 109/5, The Invaders in PLO 109/9, Four countries in PLO 109/20, Museum pieces in PLO 109/22).
Many of the 1930s letters are incompletely dated, but can be approximately dated from internal evidence.
Novelist and playwright (in collaboration with WH Auden), 1904-1986. Taught in Berlin, Germany, 1929-1933, travelled extensively, and emigrated to California, USA.

from Dan Jacobson
Reference: PLO/110
Dates of creation: 16 December 1972 - 27 March 1973
Extent: 4 letters, 3 sheets, 1 card & 2 envelopes Re meeting with Plomer, with comments on some of his poems
Novelist and critic, born South Africa 1929

from Rene Janin
Reference: PLO/111
Dates of creation: 4 February 1931 - 9 January 1937, 27 April 1944 - 18 September 1944, 12 October 1952 - 18 August 1953
Extent: 31 letters, 63 sheets & 4 envelopesLanguage:  Written in French
Friend of Van Der Post and Plomer, born in France and working in London

from Barbara Jefford
Reference: PLO/112
Dates of creation: 3 May 1972
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets Thanking Plomer for (and commenting on) his Celebrations, and referring to reading his poems (possibly at the Aldeburgh Festival)
Actress, born 1930

from Philippe Jullian
Reference: PLO/113
Dates of creation: 1946 - 24 August 1973, undated
Extent: 14 letters, 13 sheets, 2 cards & 5 envelopesLanguage:  Mostly written in French
French writer

from Peggy Kirkaldy
Reference: PLO/114
Dates of creation: 26 February 1945 - 2 March 1945, 14 September 1952
Extent: 3 letters, 5 sheets Thanking Plomer for his elegy for Tony Butts [ In a bombed house] and his Museum pieces, with affectionate reminiscences of Butts during his last illness.
Apparently a friend of Tony Butts and neighbour while he stayed in a nursing home in Colchester, shortly before his death

from James Kirkup
Reference: PLO/115
Dates of creation: 27 May 1957, 12 August 1962 - 14 November 1965
Extent: 10 letters, 9 sheets, 4 cards & 3 envelopes Relate mainly to Plomer's reviews of Kirkup's poetry, and to Kirkup's broadcasts, including broadcasts on some of Plomer's works. Also comments on Ian Fleming (PLO 115/4) and on Richard Rumbold's diaries ( A message in code, ed Plomer, PLO 115/9).
Poet, writer and broadcaster, born 1918. Worked mainly in Japan.

from Y Kobayashi
Reference: PLO/116
Dates of creation: undated [c.1927]
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets Thanking Plomer following a meeting with him, and referring to the 'Japanese manner' of Plomer's character and lifestyle.
Evidence for date comes from reference to Plomer's house in Japan and to Sumida, his 'factotum' there during 1927.

from Arthur Koestler
Reference: PLO/117
Dates of creation: 7 January 1972
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for his message (probably following Koestler's award of the CBE in 1972), and recalling Plomer's recommendation of The gladiators to Jonathan Cape, publishers, in 1938.
Author, 1905-1983

from Uys Krige
Reference: PLO/118
Dates of creation: 27 April 1955 - 20 April 1960, 25 February 1968 - 9 May 1969
Extent: 6 letters, 6 sheets Extensive comments on his own writing and poems, with occasional references to other authors, including Roy Campbell, Laurens van der Post and Enslin du Plessis. Comments on Plomer's works in PLO 118/3 ( Double lives) and PLO 118/5 (Collected poems, 1960)
South African playwright and author

from Charles Lambart
Reference: PLO/119
Dates of creation: 8 April 1972, 12 July 1973
Extent: 2 letters, 7 sheets & 2 envelopes Praising Plomer's Celebrations, and comments on Aegis, a literary periodical edited (?) by Lambart while at Cambridge university, with comments on Gael Turnbull and WH Auden.

from Philip Larkin
Reference: PLO/120
Dates of creation: 16 April 1973
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for award of Cholmondeley prize (as chairman of the judges' panel)
Poet, 1922-1985

from Jennie Lee
Reference: PLO/121
Dates of creation: 3 January 1968
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope Congratulating Plomer on his CBE (written from the Ministry of Education and Science)
Member of Parliament (Labour Party) and Minister of Education, 1967-1970. Later Baroness Lee of Asheridge, 1904-1988.

from James Lees-Milne
Reference: PLO/122
Dates of creation: 11 June 1961, 11 September 1966
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets & 1 envelope Refer to the Kilvert Society and to Plomer's Taste and remember, with comments on Richard [? Rumbold, Plomer's cousin and diarist of A message in code, died 1961]

from Beatrix Lehmann (Peggy)
Reference: PLO/123
Dates of creation: 14 December (no year)
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Comments on the theatre, on characterisation and stage direction. Signed as “Peggy” - found in an envelope in Plomer's hand headed “Beatrix Lehmann.”
Actress, sister of John and Rosamund Lehmann, 1903-1979

from John Lehmann
Reference: PLO/124
Dates of creation: 20 January 1956, 6 May 1960, 29 December 1964, 18 July 1972 - 29 August 1973
Extent: 8 letters, 10 sheets, 1 card & 1 envelope Many literary comments, in particular referring to Herbert [or Hubert - Read?] and Edith Sitwell (1956, PLO 124/1, possibly in connection with an edition of the London Magazine), Plomer's Collected poems (1960, PLO 124/2), Edith Sitwell's committal and letters (1964, PLO 124/3) and the Bloomsbury Group (1973, PLO 24/6). PLO 124/4 (1972) includes a poem in typescript, written from California, To my faithful correspondents in England (“Dear letter writers: who have kept me sane…”). PLO 124/7-8 (1973) refer to plans for celebrating Plomer's 70th birthday (later that year).
Editor and writer, 1907-1987

from Rosamond Lehmann
Reference: PLO/125
Dates of creation: 7 July 1942 - 30 May 1960, 30 October 1967 - 18 January 1968, 26 November 1972
Extent: 42 letters, 54 sheets, 1 card, 1 news cutting & 26 envelopes Appreciative letters, mainly on personal and social matters, though with frequent references to each other's works and to mutual literary friends.
Referred to particularly are Lilian Bowes-Lyon (PLO 125/7-10, 20-21, 28-29) and John Lehmann (PLO 125/13, 24, 30, 42). Plomer's works are mentioned particularly in PLO 125/3-4 ( Double lives), 5 (Curious relations), 10 (Dorking thigh…), 26 (Four countries), 31 (Museum pieces), 34 (A shot in the park), 36-37 (At home) and 38 (Collected poems, 1960). She mentions her own works at PLO 125/1-2 (a long story), 8 (? The ballad and the source), 26 (a novel), 32 (The echoing grave) and 39 (The swan in the evening). Laurens Van Der Post's Flamingo feather is discussed in PLO 125/34. The later letters (1960-1968, PLO 125/38-41) discuss religion.
Novelist, 1901-1990

from Patrick Leigh-Fermor
Reference: PLO/126
Dates of creation: 13 March 1951
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for his treatment of Leigh-Fermor's A traveller's tale on “The critics'' BBC programme, with comments on Greece
Author, born 1915

NOT USED
Reference: PLO/127
from GL Lewin
Reference: PLO/128
Dates of creation: 6 April 1961 - 17 April 1961, 3 September 1973
Extent: 3 letters, 6 sheets & 2 envelopes First two letters (1961) refer to books located by Lewin and to a microfilm of correspondence of Thomas Pringle (from the National Library of Scotland), sent to Plomer with a suggestion that he write a biography of or article on Pringle, with allusions also to works by Emerson, Roy Campbell and Adam Lindsay Gordon. Letter of 1973 encloses a sketch and cutting on Byron themes, and comments on the Watergate scandal in America [under President Nixon].

from Norman Leys
Reference: PLO/129
Dates of creation: 14 June 1937
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets Congratulating Plomer on Cecil Rhodes and offering a copy of Leys' Kenya, with comments on African politics in general

from David Lockwood
Reference: PLO/130
Dates of creation: 4 July 1970 - 22 August 1973
Extent: 9 letters, 15 sheets & 7 envelopes Thanking Plomer for his friendship and commenting on Victorian values, with several references to Francis Kilvert. His own poems are included with PLO 130/4 ( William Plomer and Witley Court, “Huge hewn lumps of massive masonry…”), PLO 130/6 (Henry Vaughan's tomb, “A curious quiescence…”) and PLO 130/9 (Summer day 1972, “The old Worcester woman…”, possibly belonging with PLO 130/4).
Anglican clergyman, apparently vicar of Hanley Swan in Worcester, and editor of a new edition of Kilvert's diaries

from David Lytton
Reference: PLO/131
Dates of creation: 6 July 1965 - 21 October 1965
Extent: 8 letters, 12 sheets & 8 envelopes Anecdotes and comments on South African figures and on his own writing. PLO 131/1 refers to Turbott Wolfe. Particular people mentioned include Jan Smuts (PLO 131/1-2), Cecil Rhodes (PLO 131/2-3), Ingrid Jonker (PLO 131/4 & 6, the latter including a poem on her death, Unction for a sea-suicide, “Child on the beach…”) and Zelda Friedlander (PLO 131/7-8).
Author (?), apparently born in South Africa with the name 'Leipoldt' but emigrated to England

from Rose Macaulay
Reference: PLO/132
Dates of creation: 14 February 1949 - 7 September 1952, 6 November 1956 - 28 May 1958, undated
Extent: 10 letters, 10 sheets, 1 card & 8 envelopes Comments on each other's works, and on The Critics BBC arts review programme (which both Macaulay and Plomer took regularly part in).
Particular references to Plomer's books include Four countries (PLO 132/1), Museum pieces (PLO 132/4) and At home (PLO 132/9). Her own works, and their reception, are mentioned in PLO 132/2 (Fabled shore), PLO 132/3 (unspecified, but possibly The world my wilderness) and PLO 132/7-8 (The towers of Trebizond).
Author, 1881-1958

from Desmond MacCarthy
Reference: PLO/133
Dates of creation: 12 November 1943
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Thanking Plomer for writing following MacCarthy's review (?) of one of Plomer's books (probably Double lives)
Critic and journalist, 1877-1952

from Frank Magro
Reference: PLO/134
Dates of creation: 1 December 1967
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for his letter to Osbert [Sitwell], and for his comments on Magro's work for Sitwell

from Patrick Mahony
Reference: PLO/135
Dates of creation: 19 February 1973 - 14 August 1973
Extent: 3 letters, 4 sheets Relating to a legacy for the Society of Authors, an article on Rupert Hughes, and an article in the Daily Telegraph about the arrest of past US presidents, which Mahony considered in breach of his copyright.
Author (?), living in Hollywood, California

from Lucas Makoba
Reference: PLO/136
Dates of creation: 7 August 1956 - 17 September 1956
Extent: 2 letters, 3 sheets & 2 envelopes Thanking Plomer for his visit (while visiting South Africa in 1956) and recalling Entumeni
Assistant to Plomer's father at a trading station at Entumeni in Zululand, c.1923-1926

from John Masefield
Reference: PLO/137
Dates of creation: 17 July 1963 - 16 December 1966
Extent: 9 letters, 11 sheets & 9 envelopes Concerning the award to Plomer of the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1963, and a subsequent invitation to Plomer to join the committee of judges for the award, with a few other matters. (PLO 137/5 suggests that Plomer raised an objection of principle to his being on the committee, and he did not join it.) PLO 137/7-8 comment on Plomer's Taste and remember.
Poet (and Poet Laureate from 1930), 1878-1967

from William Somerset Maugham
Reference: PLO/138
Dates of creation: 30 September 1934
Extent: 1 letter (photostat), 2 sheets Praising Plomer's book (probably The invaders)
Playwright and short story writer, 1874-1965

from Alexie Mayor
Reference: PLO/139
Dates of creation: 9 November 1952, 21 January 1959, 24 July 1968 - 20 August 1973
Extent: 5 letters, 14 sheets, 1 card & 2 envelopes Personal and social news, with occasional reference to Andreas Mayor's work (her husband, a translator).
Wife of Andreas Mayor, translator

from Beatrice Mayor
Reference: PLO/140
Dates of creation: 27 November 1966
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope Commenting on Plomer's Taste and remember, with reference to Andreas and Alexie Mayor, her son and daughter-in-law

from Ilse Merzyn
Reference: PLO/141
Dates of creation: 20 November 1949
Extent: 1 letter, 4 sheets & 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for his help and praising his Four countries

from Ruth Miller
Reference: PLO/142
Dates of creation: 13 December 1961
Extent: 1 letter, 3 sheets Personal news, referring to her intention to dedicate a volume of poetry to Plomer and to South African politics, especially the education system
South African writer

from Merrill Moore
Reference: PLO/143
Dates of creation: 17 March 1950
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets Praising Plomer's poem, A recent discovery (apparently a parody of Thomas Hardy), with a copy of her letter to John Lehmann of 6 February 1950. (The poem was published in Penguin new writing, volume 33, under Plomer's pseudonym 'Robert Pagan'.)

from Katsuye (Captain) Mori
Reference: PLO/144
Dates of creation: 16 April 1927 - 11 January 1929, 8 November 1956, 5 December 1971
Extent: 7 letters, 20 sheets, 1 packet of 10 photographs & 1 envelope Friendly letters, with personal news and comments on perceptions of the Japanese in Mombasa and Durban, 1927 (PLO 144/1-2), and on Van Der Post's story, A bar of shadow, with comments on his view of the Japanese, 1956 (PLO 144/6). The last letter, PLO 144/7, includes a packet of photographs.
Captain of the ship Canada Maru, in which Plomer travelled to Japan from South Africa in 1926 (with Laurens Van Der Post)

from Lady Ottoline Morrell
Reference: PLO/145
Dates of creation: 10 January 1932 - 17 February 1934
Extent: 8 letters, 9 sheets, 1 card & 2 envelopes Social letters, with appreciations of some of Plomer's works
Literary hostess and patron of the arts, 1873-1938

from John Morris
Reference: PLO/146
Dates of creation: 21 March 1946 - 30 July 1973
Extent: 29 letters, 36 sheets, 1 card & 18 letters Letters include lengthy descriptions of some of his travels, including from India to Tokyo, Nepal, India, Russia and Central Asia (PLO 146/1, 8, 11, 20, 29 respectively), as well as frequent comments on Japan (where both Morris and Plomer had lived in the 1920s & 1930s). Comments on Plomer's works include Museum pieces, At home, Turbott Wolfe, A message in code and Celebrations (PLO 146/3, 5, 6, 10, 25 respectively). Morris' own writings and their critical reception are mentioned in PLO 146/6-8 (Hired to kill) and PLO 146/13-18 (refers to “our book”, possibly Eating the Indian air). Many of the later letters (from 1967) discuss EM Forster's news and literary arrangements, and JR Ackerley's autobiography and papers are mentioned in PLO 146/13.
Professional soldier, 1915-1935, extensive traveller and professor of English in Tokyo, Japan, 1938-1942. Subsequently worked for the BBC (Far Eastern Service and Third Programme). 1895-1980

from Raymond Mortimer
Reference: PLO/147
Dates of creation: 4 July 1945, 8 January 1952, 1 June 1960
Extent: 3 letters, 3 sheets & 1 envelope 1945 letter from New statesman & nation, rejecting a story by Plomer, and 1960 letter relates to a review by Mortimer of one of a work by Plomer. 1952 letter refers to a review of a book by Laurens Van Der Post's (possibly Venture to the interior).
Literary reviewer and critic, 1895-1980

from Bryan Walter Guinness Moyne (2nd Baron)
Reference: PLO/148
Dates of creation: 10 November 1959 - 1 December 1959
Extent: 2 letters, 7 sheets & 2 envelopes Thanking Plomer for a reading of his poem(s), possibly at a PEN event, and inviting him to read at the Dublin PEN
Poet and novelist, 1905-1992

from Ezekiel (Zeke) Mphahlele
Reference: PLO/149
Dates of creation: 4 February 1958 - 16 August 1960, 30 January 1970
Extent: 5 letters, 6 sheets & 1 envelope Requests for assistance in tracing various works by Plomer and others, with some news of his own writing and reflections on the political situations in South Africa (PLO 149/1), Nigeria (PLO 149/3) and Zambia (PLO 149/5), and on the debate about African culture within America (PLO 149/4).
Writer and lecturer. Apparently met Plomer in Johannesburg [in 1956], before working in Nigeria and Zambia.

from John (Jock) Murray
Reference: PLO/150
Dates of creation: 2 December 1960
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Thanking Plomer for his review of John [Betjeman's] Summoned by bells
Publisher (John Murray Ltd)

from Marris Murray
Reference: PLO/151
Dates of creation: 30 December 1956
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets & 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for writing about her story “The encounter” (published in the Cornhill), and also for his reference to her The fire-raisers.

from Sir John Ernest Neale
Reference: PLO/152
Dates of creation: 31 July 1952
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope Referring to work on Elizabethan England by EM Tenison and to Plomer's work for the opera [ Gloriana]
Historian and professor at University of London, 1890-1975

from Percy Howard Newby
Reference: PLO/153
Dates of creation: 12 July 1955
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Thanking Plomer for writing about Newby's book, with reference to Egypt and the Egyptians
year not stated, but guessed as 1955 by (?) EMR
Writer and controller/director with the BBC, 1918-1987

from Norman Nicholson
Reference: PLO/154
Dates of creation: 3 September 1967, 11 April 1970
Extent: 2 letters, 4 sheets & 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for his part on the panel of the Cholmondeley award (awarded to Nicholson in 1967) and referring to a Poetry Society meeting
Poet and critic, 1914-1987

from Harold George Nicolson (Hon Sir)
Reference: PLO/155
Dates of creation: 14 January 1952, 28 November 1956, 11 March 1958 - 28 April 1964
Extent: 25 letters, 27 sheets & 18 envelopes Many short references to works of other authors, particularly in connection with the WH Smith prize (PLO 155/6-15); also to Richard Rumbold (PLO 155/3, 14 and after his death, 16-25), with a typescript copy of a poem by Vita Sackville-West ( For Richard Rumbold, “Mystic of soul and mystic of the air…”) at PLO 155/16 and praise for Plomer's edition of Rumbold's diaries (A message in code) at PLO 155/24. PLO 155/4 encloses a copy of a letter from Nicolson to Professor Gardner relating to Roy Campbell and his Georgiad.
Diplomat and author, 1886-1968

from Leslie Norris
Reference: PLO/156
Dates of creation: 15 May 1968 - 14 July 1969
Extent: 5 letters, 9 sheets & 1 envelope Relating to loan by Plomer of a draft MSS (apparently for his poem, The axe in the orchard), for an exhibition at Bognor College. Poems by Norris are included with PLO 156/2 (It's somebody's birthday, “This birthday man…”) and PLO 156/4 (Ransoms (for Edward Thomas), “What the white ransome did was to wipe away…”).

from Simon Nowell-Smith
Reference: PLO/157
Dates of creation: 17 October 1947 - 4 September 1952, 25 October 1972
Extent: 6 letters, 15 sheets & 3 envelopes (also 2 newspaper cuttings, obituaries of Nowell-Smith, 1996) Literary comments and reflections, including detailed comments on Gissing (PLO 157/1-2), Four countries (PLO 157/3-4) and Museum pieces (PLO 157/5). Last letter concerns writing of an obituary for Plomer by Nowell-Smith.
Literary editor and book collector; served in Naval Intelligence Division with Plomer; later Secretary and Librarian of the London Library; 1909-1996

from Sean O'Faolain
Reference: PLO/158
Dates of creation: 11 October 1954 - 11 November 1954, 1972
Extent: 3 letters, 3 sheets & 1 envelope Last letter undated, but probably in connection with an appeal to many writers early in 1972 about detention without trial in Northern Ireland; refers to going “back to Cape's for my last book,” possibly The talking trees, and other stories (1971).
Irish writer, 1900-1991

from Sydney Olivier Olivier (1st Baron)
Reference: PLO/159
Dates of creation: 18 January 1933
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets Refering to Plomer's Cecil Rhodes, with anecdotes about Rhodes and comment on South Africa.
Diplomat and civil servant, member of the Fabian Society, 1859-1943

from Owen O'Malley (Sir)
Reference: PLO/160
Dates of creation: 5 June 1960 - 2 July 1960
Extent: 3 letters, 3 sheets & 1 envelope Concerning Plomer's poem The heart of a king, and the story of Louis XIV's heart.
Diplomat and ambassador, 1887-1974

from Shoji Ono
Reference: PLO/161
Dates of creation: 1928 - 1929
Extent: 1 letter, 5 sheets & 1 envelope Apparently accompanying a gift of a book of paintings to Plomer, with comments on Japanese philosophy
Undated, but refers to Paper houses as forthcoming, and to Plomer's “two years'' in Japan.
Written from Tokyo

from (Marchesa) Iris Origo
Reference: PLO/162
Dates of creation: 27 October 1970 - 9 May 1971
Extent: 3 letters, 3 sheets & 3 envelopes (one postmarked 25 June 1969, without letter) Thanking Plomer for his comments on Origo's Images and shadows (autobiography), with comments on some of her other books and on Plomer's At home
Author, 1902-1988

from Harold Owen
Reference: PLO/163
Dates of creation: 9 July 1963 - 18 January 1971
Extent: 5 letters, 5 sheets & 5 envelopes Thanking Plomer for his reviews of Journey from obscurity, of his edition of Wilfred Owen's Collected letters and of Aftermath
Brother and biographer of Wilfred Owen, poet

from Alan Paton
Reference: PLO/164
Dates of creation: 9 October 1970, 3 August 1973
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets Social letters, with references to proposed book (biography?) by Paton, and to Roy Campbell
South African writer, 1903-1988

from John Piper
Reference: PLO/165
Dates of creation: PLO 165/17 is dated 27 June “1958,” but has been placed as if it should be dated “1968.” This is because it includes “congrats on your honour” (a CBE was awarded to Plomer in 1968). But PLO 165/14 suggests that the letter was written in 1958 after all.
Extent: 18 letters, 17 sheets, 1 card & 7 envelopes Personal and social news, with references to Plomer's Double lives, Dorking thigh, Gloriana and At home (PLO 165/4, 7, 9-12 & 14 respectively). Also some comment on Piper's window in Coventry cathedral at PLO 165/16, and references to a Christmas card painted by Piper (? of the Magi, possibly for the Defence and Aid fund or other body associated with Canon Collins; PLO 165/13-17).
First letter undated, but refers to a “Friday 13th” and “before the war”.
Painter and stained glass artist, 1903-1992

from Myfanwy Piper
Reference: PLO/166
Dates of creation: 15 March 1944 - 17 September 1952, 6 February 1972, undated
Extent: 10 letters, 6 sheets, 4 cards & 1 envelope Personal news, with some references to Plomer's books (not identified, and letters undated)
wife of John Piper, artist

from James Plomer
Reference: PLO/167
Dates of creation: 25 March 1952, 9 September 1962 - 18 September 1962
Extent: 3 letters, 4 sheets & 1 envelope 1952 letter includes a description of a meeting with Captain Mori, while James Plomer visited Japan. 1962 letters contain personal news.
William Plomer's brother, formerly called Peter. Served in the Canadian navy.

from Matthew Henry Hubert Ponsonby (2nd Baron Ponsonby of Shulbrede)
Reference: PLO/168
Dates of creation: 4 January 1941
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Thanking Plomer for his edition of Kilvert's diaries, with comments on diary writing generally
1904-1976

from James Pope-Hennessey
Reference: PLO/169
Dates of creation: 11 August 1955, 25 April 1964, 12 August 1971
Extent: 3 letters, 3 sheets & 3 envelopes Refer to Richard [Rumbold's] diaries ( A message in code), PLO 169/2, and to his own book, Anthony Trollope, PLO 169/3
Writer and literary editor, 1916-1974

from Mary (Marian Anderson) Potter
Reference: PLO/170
Dates of creation: 1 December 1958, 24 June 1973, undated
Extent: 3 letters and card, 3 sheets, 1 card & 2 envelopes Personal news (from Aldeburgh), with references to Ben [Britten] and Susan Hill. PLO 170/2 refers to a performance of Curlew river, and PLO 170/3 is an undated Christmas card referring to “the problem,” possibly alluding to the Burning fiery furnace.
First letter is dated “Dec 1st” but should perhaps be “January” (refers to not having sent Christmas cards).
Artist, lived in grounds of Red House, Aldeburgh (home of Benjamin Britten) from 1963, 1900-1981

from Anthony Powell
Reference: PLO/171
Dates of creation: 15 March 1958, 2 January 1968
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets & 1 envelope Relating to At home (reviewed by Powell in Punch magazine) and to the award of a CBE to Plomer
Novelist and critic, 1905-2000

from John Preston
Reference: PLO/172
Dates of creation: 7 February 1949
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Letter from New York with news of the Sitwells (Edith, Osbert, Stuart) and of the attitude of Americans to Auden and Stephen [Spender]

from Kerrison Preston
Reference: PLO/173
Dates of creation: 24 September 1952 - 1 October 1952
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets & 4 sheets of page proofs About the Butts family, with reference to the collection of Blake paintings formerly owned by Anthony Butts' father, and some news about other members of the family. Encloses page proofs of Preston's introduction to The Blake collection of W. Graham Robertson (Faber and Faber, 1952)
Related material - here PLO/25
These letters were originally filed with the letters of Anthony Butts.

from Frank Templeton Prince
Reference: PLO/174
Dates of creation: 8 September 1954 - 2 December 1967
Extent: 15 letters, 19 sheets & 11 envelopes Mainly concern social arrangements. PLO 174/6 concerns Cavafy's poetry, and PLO 174/8-9 discusses Plomer's At home, and the work of diarists. PLO 174/5-6 & 10-14 relate to his own poetry and attempts to get it published. Enclosed with PLO 174/13 is a manuscript copy of his poem Watching song (“Watch, I warn you…”).
Poet, lecturer, later professor of English; born South Africa, 1912

from Victor Sawdon Pritchett
Reference: PLO/175
Dates of creation: undated
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Apologising for missing a meeting with Plomer because of film commitments
Author and critic, 1900-1997

from C.T.O. (Oswin) Prosser
Reference: PLO/176
Dates of creation: 14 November 1971
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Mainly about AL Rowse, who had given a lecture attended by Prosser
Secretary of the Kilvert Society
Related material - here PLO/187
This letter was formerly attached to letters from A.L. Rowse.

from Peter Quennell
Reference: PLO/177
Dates of creation: 22 August 1944
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Rejecting a ballad submitted by Plomer for the Cornhill magazine.
Writer and editor, 1905-1993

from Tom (Thomas Moore) Raworth
Reference: PLO/178
Dates of creation: 3 July 1970 - 3 August 1973
Extent: 6 letters, 5 sheets, 1 card & 3 envelopes Mainly personal news and reflections
Poet, born 1938

from Herbert Read (Sir)
Reference: PLO/179
Dates of creation: 11 January 1941
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Thanking Plomer for reviewing a pamphlet by Read, with reference to himself and Plomer as “neglected poets,” and asking about the identity of Robert Pagan [Plomer's pseudonym in Penguin new writing]
Poet and editor, 1893-1968

from Vere Redman (Sir)
Reference: PLO/180
Dates of creation: 8 August 1963
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope Personal news and recalling Japanese friends
Lecturer in English at Tokyo, later journalist, later diplomat, 1901-1975

from Henry Reed
Reference: PLO/181
Dates of creation: 11 July 1945 - 30 August 1949
Extent: 18 letters, 23 sheets & 10 envelopes Personal and friendly letters, with many references to his own works and their reception by Jonathan Cape (publishers, for whom Plomer worked as a reader), particularly A map of Verona (collected poems, PLO 181/1-3), Moby Dick (script of radio play, PLO 181/4,6-7) and a book on Hardy (PLO 181/16-17). Plomer's poetry is mentioned several times, mainly in connection with an anthology to be put together by Reed (PLO 181/8-11) and a radio talk for BBC Midland Home Service (PLO 181/13,15).
Poet and radio-dramatist, 1914-1986

from James Reeves
Reference: PLO/182
Dates of creation: 16 June 1973 - 11 July 1973
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets Referring to his anthology of satirical poetry [ A vein of mockery], including work by Plomer
Author, editor and broadcaster, 1909-1978

from Anthony Rhodes
Reference: PLO/183
Dates of creation: 5 September 1955
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope Refer to one of Plomer's works (possibly Museum pieces? - reference to a “portrait of two characters'')
year uncertain: postmark unclear, but appears to be “195_”

from Richard Rive
Reference: PLO/184
Dates of creation: 10 September 1963 - 16 October 1963
Extent: 3 letters, 3 sheets & 1 envelope Arranging a meeting and thanking Plomer for his Double lives.
PLO 184/2 refers to meeting Plomer on “Wednesday 18th October” [1963], but PLO 184/3, written after his return to South Africa, is dated 16th October. As 18th October 1963 was not a Wednesday, he probably meant 18th September.
South African writer, 1930-1989

from Cecil Roberts
Reference: PLO/185
Dates of creation: 1 November 1965 - 30 October 1971
Extent: 9 letters, 9 sheets, 1 photograph, 1 card & 5 envelopes Personal news and comments on his autobiographical works ( The growing boy, The years of promise and The bright twenties, provisionally The bright noon, PLO 185/3-5) and on Plomer's At home (PLO 185/5). Also recollections and stories on various subjects, in particular relating to Richard Rumbold (PLO 185/1), Ali Pasha (PLO 185/2,6), Ian Fleming (PLO 185/3) and the opening of Byron's coffin (PLO 185/8-9).
Writer and editor, 1892-1976

from Alan Ross
Reference: PLO/186
Dates of creation: 15 December 1963 - 9 July 1973, undated
Extent: 6 letters, 1 sheet & 5 cards Mainly picture postcards, concerning social arrangements and poems submitted by Plomer for publication in the London magazine
Author, publisher and journalist, and editor of the London Magazine, born 1922

from Alfred Leslie Rowse
Reference: PLO/187
Dates of creation: 1944, 23 June 1971 - 22 March 1972
Extent: 8 letters, 7 sheets, 1 card & 3 envelopes First letter about Double lives. Other letters mainly concern Rowse's collection of poems, published as Strange encounter by Cape. Last letter is about Plomer's Celebrations.
First later dated only “Mar 23rd” but refers to Double lives (published October 1943).
Historian and writer, Cornish, 1903-1997

from Tom Rumbold
Reference: PLO/188
Dates of creation: 27 February 1968
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets & 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for his Collected poems

from Steven Runciman (Hon Sir)
Reference: PLO/189
Dates of creation: 1 January 1968, 30 December 1968
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets & 1 envelope Letters congratulating Plomer on the award of a CBE, and commenting on Joe Ackerley's book [ My father and myself]
Historian, 1903-2000

from Alexie Russell
Reference: PLO/190
Dates of creation: 14 November 1947 - 24 April 1955
Extent: 7 letters, 16 sheets, 1 photograph & 6 envelopes Personal news and accounts of travels
Wife of John Russell (divorced 1950)

from John Russell
Reference: PLO/191
Dates of creation: 22 September 1944 - 2 January 1957, 26 September 1964 - 1 December 1968, undated
Extent: 81 letters, 120 sheets, 2 cards & 53 envelopes Social and personal letters, with news of his own writings and descriptions of his travels, particularly in Continental Europe. Frequent comments on various literary or artistic works and figures, especially John Piper, Simon [Nowell Smith], Logan [Pearsall Smith, writer, 1865-1946] (especially PLO 191/10-13), Edith and Osbert Sitwell, Joe Ackerley and “the Maestro” (EM Forster?). Comments on Plomer's works include In a bombed house: an elegy in memory of Anthony Butts (PLO 191/1), The Dorking thigh (PLO 191/6), Four countries (PLO 191/48) and A message in code (PLO 191/77).
PLO 191/2 & 10 include references to “XIX” (?). Russell's reactions to TS Eliot's The cocktail party are in PLO 191/58-61, and PLO 191/78 includes an appeal for support for a project to celebrate 20th century European art in London.
Art critic and writer, born 1919; worked at the Naval Intelligence Division of the Admiralty, 1943-1946

from Lavinia Russell
Reference: PLO/192
Dates of creation: Envelope of first letter postmarked 17 May 1954; second letter undated but apparently from an autumn term, 1954.
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets & 1 envelope Personal 'thank you' letters
Daughter of Alexie and John Russell, born 1946, goddaughter of William Plomer (see PLO 191/26)

from Edward Sackville-West
Reference: PLO/193
Dates of creation: 26 October 1931, 3 June 1958 - 1960
Extent: 3 letters, 4 sheets & 1 envelope Later letters ask for help in tracing a novel and offer Plomer a job at Knole (Sackville family home, Kent). PLO 193/1 comments in detail on Plomer's Sado.
First and last letters have no year, but are dated by internal evidence to 1931-1932 and ca.1960-1962 respectively.

from Vita Sackville-West (signed as Vita Nicolson)
Reference: PLO/194
Dates of creation: 6 December 1931 - 9 December 1931
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets Social letters, with comments on Roy Campbell and his attack on Vita and Harold Nicolson in the Georgiad.
No year on letters, but refer to Roy Campbell's Georgiad, published 1931.
Novelist and poet, 1892-1962

from Michael Sadleir
Reference: PLO/195
Dates of creation: 14 December 1944, 4 June 1945
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets & 1 envelope Comments on Plomer's The Dorking thigh and briefly on his own “story…just finished” (? Forlorn sunset).
Writer and publisher, 1888-1957

from William Sansom
Reference: PLO/196
Dates of creation: 31 August 1946, 19 December 1958, 16 November 1970
Extent: 3 letters, 3 sheets & 1 envelope Inviting a contribution to his anthology Choice, commenting on a reading by Plomer for the Royal Society of Literature, and thanking him for his comments on a piece by Sansom.
First letter has no year, but is dated to 1945 or 1946 by reference to Sansom's anthology to be published by Progress Publishing (identified as Choice, published 1946).

from Siegfried Sassoon
Reference: PLO/197
Dates of creation: 1 December 1964
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet with offprint Letter enclosing offprint from Stanbrook Abbey Press edition of his poems, of A prayer to time (“Time, that anticipates eternities…”), with comments on the poem
Poet and writer, 1886-1967

from T. Sawamura
Reference: PLO/198
Dates of creation: 16 March 1929 - 6 December 1931
Extent: 3 letters, 5 sheets Personal news (from Japan), with comments on Plomer's Paper houses, on his successor [at the Koto Gakko school in Tokyo], and on Sawamura's own story, inspired by Virginia Woolf's To the lighthouse.

from Anna von Schubert (previously Anna de Schubert)
Reference: PLO/199
Dates of creation: 26 August 1925, 25 January 1928 - 6 March 1930, 7 February 1939 - 29 June 1941, 9 January 1946 - 19 August 1948
Extent: 35 letters, 102 sheets, 1 card, 2 photographs, 2 news cuttings and 18 envelopes Lengthy and appreciative personal letters, with accounts of her own life, painting and (increasingly) her struggles with illness and a sense of isolation.
Nature and types of document PLO 199/2, 9 & 20 comment respectively on Plomer's Turbott Wolfe, Paper houses and Double lives. PLO 199/10, 12 & 13 refer to Virginia Woolf (whom she met with Plomer in 1939), and PLO 199/17 refers to her death in 1941. There are also occasional references to Roy Campbell in the earlier letters. (She was a mutual friend of Plomer and Campbell, possibly bringing them together while he worked at Entumeni.)
PLO 199/18, written in 1946, describes her life in a Japanese camp during the war, and subsequent letters relate to the worsening condition in Shanghai (especially PLO 199/24-28; she left Shanghai in 1948).
Her letters from 1947 frequently refer to requests for Plomer to send magazines and books, and comment on some of the books she is sent (including, for instance, criticism of Osbert Sitwell, PLO 199/29-30). PLO 199/24, 26 & 30-32 include notes and ideas for a published edition of her diaries, which she worked on at Plomer's advice and encouragement. PLO 199/33 refers to a successful exhibition of her paintings in New York.
Amateur painter, German born, whom Plomer met in South Africa. Subsequently lived in Shanghai, China. Visited Plomer in Japan, 1928, and England, 1939 and 1947.

from H Shidatsu
Reference: PLO/200
Dates of creation: 22 August [1927 or 1928]
Extent: 1 letter, 3 sheets Asking for Plomer's advice on his plans to travel to England and spend time there instead of in Japan
No year, but apparently written while Plomer still in Japan.
Apparently a former student of Plomer in Japan

from Hideo Shinojima
Reference: PLO/201
Dates of creation: 24 March 1929
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Thanking Plomer and wishing him well before he leaves Japan
Apparently one of Plomer's students (or possibly a colleague) in Japan

from Taro Shiomi
Reference: PLO/202
Dates of creation: 20 June 1932 - 12 November 1936, 2 August 1947 - 29 December 1953, 12 April 1958 - 16 May 1960, 10 July 1965 - 29 July 1973
Extent: 32 letters, 49 sheets (many very long), 7 photographs & 25 envelopes Personal letters, thanking Plomer for his friendship and reflecting on Shiomi's lifestyle on a small farm near Kyoto, Japan, with frequent reference to his own happiness and the flowers and garden around him. Many letters refer to a period of illness (Tuberculosis) in c.1932 and his reflections on the experience, and the Japanese attitude to illness and suicide (particularly PLO 202/2-4 & 16). The later letters frequently mention James Kirkup, PLO 202/27 describing a meeting with him, and PLO 202/28 enclosing a copy of Kirkup's Frankly speaking and a pamphlet on the atomic bomb.
Nature and types of document A few letters include brief comments on particular works by Plomer, including Paper houses and Sado (PLO 202/1), Four countries (PLO 202/7-8), Double lives (PLO 202/9-10), At home (PLO 202/18), Turbott Wolfe (PLO 202/24-25, on its 1965 reprint) and The diamond of Jannina (1970 reprint of Ali the lion, PLO 202/31). PLO 202/11-14 relate to a plan by Shiomi to produce a Japanese edition of some of Plomer's works, for use in the colleges (subsequently dropped, see PLO 202/17).
PLO 202/3 refers to a couple of friends in prison for their political beliefs, and PLO 202/5-6, written 1947-1948, to his imprisonment in Russia during the war (also his continued respect for Russia and the Russian Revolution). PLO 202/12 includes an enquiry about the pronunciation of Plomer's name, and PLO 202/23 to a meeting with Laurens Van Der Post in 1960.
One of Plomer's students from the Koto Gakko school in Tokyo, Japan

from Utaro Shiomi
Reference: PLO/203
Dates of creation: 17 June 1946
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets, 1 photograph and 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for his letter and relating that his son, Taro, had been reportedly transferred to Siberia by the Soviet army at the end of the war
Written in Japanese, with a separate translation and a photograph of John Morris
Father of Taro Shiomi

from John Hampson Simpson
Reference: PLO/204
Dates of creation: 11 November 1934
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Relating a party (at a publisher's or newspaper?), and referring to Plomer's “description of Mosley speaking”
Novelist and short story writer (under the name “John Hampson”), born 1901

from Edith Louisa Sitwell (Dame)
Reference: PLO/205
Dates of creation: 5 September 1944 - 31 August 1960, undated
Extent: 56 letters, 98 sheets, 1 card, 3 newscuttings, 55 envelopes & 67 sheets of typescript Personal letters, many relating to social engagements with Plomer in London. Frequently refer to her own problems and complaints. Accompanied by a full set of transcripts, with corrections (from PLO 205/47, whole typescripts) in Plomer's hand.
Nature and types of document Plomer's own works are commented on at PLO 205/9, 12, 31, 46, 49, 55 and 56 (respectively The Dorking thigh, Curious relations, Four countries, Museum pieces, A shot in the park, At home and an unspecified volume, possibly Plomer's Collected poems, 1960). PLO 205/51-52 mention a ballad written by Plomer, unnamed, and apparently dedicated to Edith Sitwell.
Letters refer to rehearsals and performances by Sitwell herself of her Gold coast customs (PLO 205/31) and Façade (PLO 205/36, 43). Many letters refer to struggles with reviewers or publishers, in particular with Joe Ackerley (editor of the Listener, PLO 205/5, 30) and to a dispute with Routledge concerning the unauthorised publication of some of her poems in an anthology (PLO 205/23, 25).
Ian Fleming is mentioned in several letters, after her meeting with him in 1947 (PLO 205/21), and she frequently refers to Lilian Bowes-Lyon and her illness (especially PLO 205/9, 17, 20, 22, 29-32; PLO 205/29-30 relate to a review of her poetry). PLO 205/42 comments on Laurens Van Der Post's Venture to the interior, and PLO 205/24-26 relate to Diana Reeve.
Poet and critic, 1887-1964

from Osbert Sitwell (Sir Francis)
Reference: PLO/206
Dates of creation: 16 September 1940 - 3 December 1968, undated
Extent: 61 letters, 66 sheets, 3 cards & 35 envelopes Personal and social letters, with brief comments on his own writing, on some of Plomer's works, and on his illnesses.
Nature and types of document References to Plomer's works are in PLO 206/1 ( Child of Queen Victoria OR Four countries), 3-4 (Double lives), 16 (The Dorking thigh), 17 (Curious relations), 32 (Museum pieces, with reference to the dedication by Plomer [to Sitwell?]) and 40 (Collected poems, 1960).
PLO 206/42 includes a letter from “David” and PLO 206/61 is written by Frank Magro (during Sitwell's illness).
The undated letter (PLO 206/1) refers to a collection of short stories, including one on Corfu, and has been dated '[1933?]' (probably on the basis of the publication of The child of Queen Victoria in 1933, including the story “Nausicaa”). But 1949 is equally a possible date (publication of Four countries), as “Nausicaa” was published in that collection also.
Writer and critic, 1892-1969

from Logan Pearsall Smith
Reference: PLO/207
Dates of creation: 16 June 1945
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Thanking Plomer for the gift of a book (possibly The Dorking thigh)
Writer and critic, 1865-1946

from Pauline Smith
Reference: PLO/208
Dates of creation: 19 June 1949 - 23 March 1950, 31 March 1958 - 12 May 1958
Extent: 5 letters (copies by Plomer), 6 sheets Thanking Plomer for his introduction to Smith's The little Karoo (Cape, 1950), and for his gift of a scroll signed in her honour by South African writers (given to her by Plomer with Roy Macnab when they visited her in Dorset, 1958)
South African writer

from Stevie Smith
Reference: PLO/209
Dates of creation: 20 February 1970
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for his suggestion that she have a portrait painted
Poet and novelist, 1902-1971

from Charles Percy Snow (Baron Snow)
Reference: PLO/210
Dates of creation: 2 January 1968
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Congratulating Plomer on his award of a CBE
Author and civil servant, 1905-1980

from John Sparrow
Reference: PLO/211
Dates of creation: 2 February 1940, 10 April 1944 - 5 September 1945, 9 January 1949 - 9 July 1973
Extent: 109 letters, 110 sheets, 40 cards and 54 envelopes Appreciative and personal letters, including many comments on Plomer's work, in particular his poetry, and frequent references to Kilvert.
Nature and types of document References to and comments on Plomer's works are at PLO 211/2 (poems, possibly Visiting the caves, 1936, or Selected poems, 1940), 211/4 (The Dorking thigh), 211/10-11 (Museum pieces), 211/17 (Gloriana), 211/21-22 (A shot in the park), 211/28 (At home), 211/33 (Collected poems, 1960), 211/35-37 (In a bombed house), 211/48 (A message in code), 211/52-54 (Taste and remember), 211/66 (address for unveiling of Byron memorial at Westminster abbey, 1969) and 211/71-72 (radio broadcast on L[eonard] W[oolf]), 211/89 (Celebrations).
References to Sparrow's own writing are at PLO 211/3 ( Sense and poetry, 1934), 211/91 (verses on C M B[owra] from the Times literary supplement, 1972), 211/96-99 (various poems, with extracts and drafts), 211/102 (originally enclosed with printed copy of S Maria della salute, 1973, now in Plomer printed books collection), 211/103 (telegram from “Theodore and Hasselquist,” apparently referring to a reading by Plomer from a work by Sparrow) and 211/105 (encloses draft of Intimations of mortality, “Every morning when I rise…”).
References to Kilvert and the Kilvert society are at PLO 211/1, 19, 46-47, 60, 73-78 (with passing references in other letters).
Other literary references and comments are in PLO 211/7-8 (on William Sharp, aka Fiona MacLeod, writer and literary editor, 1856-1905), 211/24-25, 60 (Joe Ackerley's books, My dog Tulip, 1956, and My father and myself, 1968), and 211/96 (referring to A.L.Rowse and his 'dark lady' theory regarding the Shakespeare sonnets).
PLO 211/13 encloses 2 letters (sources and addressees unknown), 1895 and undated. PLO 211/29 encloses a letter to Professor Isaiah Berlin from the 'Yoga-Vedanta Forest University', 1958. PLO 211/56, 85 are leaves from booksellers' catalogues dated 1968 and 1971, with references to unusual/surprising book titles. PLO 211/62, 83 refer briefly to student protests, 1968 and 1970.
Writer and editor, 1906-1992. Warden of All Souls College Oxford, 1952-1977

from Matthew Spender
Reference: PLO/212/1-3
Dates of creation: 14 June 1964 - 5 December 1967
Extent: 7 sheets & 2 envelopes Thanking Plomer for presents, with personal news
Son of Stephen Spender and Plomer's godson, born c.1945

from Inez Spender
Reference: PLO/212/4
Dates of creation: 1 December 1939
Extent: 1 sheet Asking for advice regarding a novel which the Hogarth Press has asked her to rewrite, and which she would like to publish instead with Cape. With postscript from Stephen Spender
Wife of Stephen Spender (married 1936, separated 1939)

from Stephen Spender
Reference: PLO/213
Dates of creation: 1930 - 12 February 1973
Extent: 141 letters, 209 sheets, 4 cards, 1 telegram and 41 envelopes Earlier letters especially are of interest in tracing Spender's literary career, as Spender and Plomer commented extensively on each other's work. Many references to mutual friends, especially to John Lehmann (“the armoured writer,” see PLO 213/71), Rupert Hart-Davis, Muriel Gardiner (in Vienna), and to Spender's family (Plomer was godfather to Spender's son, Matthew, born c.1945).
Many letters are undated or have no year, but can generally be dated from internal evidence and/or from copies of Plomer's letters to Spender (at PLO 276). Comments are added to individual items where the dating is less certain.
Poet and critic, 1909-1995. Edited Horizon (1939-1941) and Encounter (1953-1966) literary magazines. Stayed for part of each year in Germany (with Christopher Isherwood) and was involved in left-wing politics and the Communist Party, and lived near Plomer in Maida Vale in the 1930s.

PLO/213/1   Undated [c.1929-1930]
Poem (“That girl who laughed and had black eyes…”), with note inviting Plomer to Oxford “next term.”
1 sheet
PLO/213/2   24 February 1930
social arrangements (with René Janin]), personal news, invitation to play in hockey match
1 sheet
See also -
PLO/276/3:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/3   7 March 1930
Comments on his current inability to to write poetry and his intention to write a novel, with reference to starting a journal. Emphasises absence of external rules in the lives of artists.
Sense of personal loss at death of [D.H.] Lawrence, despises fellow dons at Oxford who laugh at Lawrence's ideas.
Apparently written in reply to a letter from Plomer (not among PLO 276), commenting on a poem sent earlier by Spender to Plomer.
3 sheets
See also -
PLO/276/4:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/4   March-April 1930
Poem, “I hear the cries of evening, while the paw…”
1 sheet
PLO/213/5   4 May 1930
Dislike of Oxford and inability to work freely. Tendency to put himself down in front of Oxford academics, and scorn for competitive and destructive intellectual superiority. Refers to sending poems to [T.S.] Eliot for comment.
Encloses poem, “This world grows tracks in my heart, maps the brow…”
3 sheets
PLO/213/6   7 July 1930
Personal news and feelings. Has started writing novel and written more poems, with some printed [privately?]. Comments on meeting Eliot. Plans for travel to Hamburg, Berlin, Venice and Bonn.
Encloses two poems, “I say 'I am young'. Oh years look up, behold…” and “The faces of living friends I see on water…”
4 sheets
See also -
PLO/276/6:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/7   25 July 1930
Has put aside unfinished poems and is writing his novel. Wants to stop writing short poems and try the form of a novel instead. Personal news and comments on relationships.
2 sheets
See also -
PLO/276/7:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/8   26 August 1930
Enclosing two poems and asking for comments on them: Souvenir de Londres (“My parents quarrel in the neighbour room…”) and “Upon my solitary peak there is no light…”. Refers angrily to reviews in the Observer of books by J.B.Priestley, Rosamund Lehmann and Gide.
3 sheets
PLO/213/9   15 September 1930
Has suffered from blood poisoning, but would like to visit Plomer [and Tony Butts] in Corfu, if he can get there cheaply. Travelling to Venice with his family, but returning to Hamburg in November for personal reasons.
No year. Numbered according to inferred year '1932', but evidence of letter and of Plomer's letters to Spender (especially PLO 276/8) indicate that it should be 1930, and numbered between PLO 213/6 and PLO 213/7.
1 sheet
PLO/213/10   27 October 1930
Depressed about his own writing and lack of romance in Vienna, but still hopeful about his novel.
2 sheets
PLO/213/11   28 November 1930
Describes theft of his money while on a visit to Köln; written to René [Janin], William [Plomer] and Tony [Butts] (apparently sent to Janin); refers to Arthur [Calder-Marshall].
Undated: previously assigned to 1929, but internal evidence suggests 1930 (fits with planned itinerary mentioned in PLO 213/7, October 1930, and PLO 213/10, March 1931, refers to an illness that is mentioned in this letter.
3 sheets
PLO/213/12   1 December 1930
Has accepted offer from publishers for a novel (still unfinished). Notes on his own travel plans and on mutual friends. Has been reading [Flaubert], Madame Bovary, and comments on the novel as “a real art form.”
No year, but apparently written shortly after PLO 213/118 (and with the same contact address as mentioned in that letter)
1 sheet
PLO/213/13   13 January 1931
Description by Stephen Spender's uncle (J.A.Spender) of his stay in Khartoum, Sudan
With note from Stephen Spender to Plomer written at top of letter
1 sheet
PLO/213/14   9 March 1931
Comments on his boarding house in Berlin and its inhabitants, including their attitude to himself.
Encloses poems as follows (letter and Plomer's reply refer to 3 poems, although more are enclosed, possibly strays from another letter): “Your body are stars whose million glitter here…,” “How strangely this sun reminds me of my love…,” “Moving through the silent crowd…,” In the country (“After the town I am fulfilled in peace…”) and “What I expected was….”
4 sheets
See also -
PLO/276/12:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/15   16 June 1931
Has been working hard and has now finished his book. Christopher [Isherwood] and friend are staying. Predicts “an appalling crash in Germany soon.”
Dated “Jan 16” (with no year), but Plomer's reply (PLO 276/13, dated “2 July” with no year) suggests that the month is an error for “June,” and the contents of this and Plomer's letter (including a reference to Plomer's Sado in the latter) suggests the year as 1931.
1 sheet
PLO/213/16   September 1931
Comments on Plomer's Sado, complementing his descriptions, but criticising his “didactic” tone regarding east-west relations and urging him to address “real values'' and to accept the “domination of the mass.”
Dated only “Monday” but answered by Plomer's letter of 22 September [1931] (PLO 276/15), and so probably written 14th or 21st September 1931.
1 sheet
See also -
PLO/276/15:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/17   [September or October 1931]
Additional comments on Sado, and noting his own refusal to publish a poem in Action magazine
Dated only “Wednesday,” but apparently in reply to Plomer's letter of 22 September [1931] (PLO 276/15)
1 sheet
PLO/213/18   6 October 1931
Delighted that Plomer liked his poem, with comments on the language of poetry. With a copy of the poem concerned, “I think continually of those who were truly great…”
No year, but written in reply to PLO 276/18, which is itself undated but written from 95 Warwick Street, where Plomer lived during most of 1931.
3 sheets
See also -
PLO/276/18:
Plomer's letter to which this is a reply
PLO/213/19   11 November 1931, 12 November 1931
Further comments on Sado, apparently shared with Christopher [Isherwood], complaining that it engages insufficiently with political and social realities. Mentions completion of The soldiers' disease.
1 sheet
See also -
PLO/276/16:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/20   1 December 1931
Requests return of The soldier's disease, which Spender now considers “beneath comment.” Comments on the Nazis' rise and failure of Brüning (German chancellor). Asks after René [Janin].
Encloses two poems, The funeral (“Death is another milestone on their way…”) and “After they have tired of the brilliance of cities….”
3 sheets
See also -
PLO/276/17:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/21   9 January 1932
Personal news, with comments on the Berlin communists and on an essay by Middleton Murry about contemporary communism
1 sheet
PLO/213/22   16 January 1932
Own progress in writing and publishing poems, and renewed dissatisfaction with his own poetry, wanting “to look for something new again.” Comments on Rosamund and [John] Lehmann, news of Christopher [Isherwood] and his own money and personal problems.
Encloses three poems, The landscape near an aerodrome (“More beautiful and soft than any moth…”), The express (“After the first powerful plain manifesto…”) and “Who live under the shadow of a war….”
4 sheets
PLO/213/23   30 January 1932
Thanking Plomer and Tony [Butts] for books, including a [magazine] of new poems (unspecified). Personal news, including comments on low-paid jobs currently available for young unskilled people in Germany. Reference to visit by Harold Nicholson and friend.
2 sheets
PLO/213/24   6 March 1932
Comments on stories and poems by Plomer published in various journals. Has been re-writing The temple. Does not want to return to Frognal [family house in Hampstead, London]. Describes presidential election in Germany, with comments on his Nazi landlord and nationalism generally.
No year, but written from same address as PLO 213/17
1 sheet
PLO/213/25   6 May 1932
Comments on his Temple [novel, apparently rewritten from The soldier's disease], and his desire to publish it without rewriting. Exhausted by the “atmosphere of political strife” in Berlin and by money worries, and looking forward to moving to Sellin. Writing a poem as “a series of reflections … a development from my novel,” but nervous about “adding to all the mass of purposeless propoganda” of modern writing. Attraction of writing novels, as less pretentious and less blasphemous.
2 sheets
See also -
PLO/276/26:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/26   3 June 1932
Enjoying a quiet life in Sellin and writing again. Dismisses all his previous writing as “trash.” Criticism of Ellis Roberts alias Richard Sunne, “the true enemy of literature,” and account of his own current reading.
Encloses four poems, although the second sheet of three poems apparently belongs with his next letter, PLO 213/19 (judging from Spender's letters and Plomer's replies). The poems are “Those fireballs those ashes…,”“Here man wakes, conscious of work, whilst wave after wave…,” “The eyes seen vividly across the traffic…” and “In railway halls, on pavements near the traffic….”
3 sheets
See also -
PLO/276/29:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/27   15 June 1932
Working on correcting English letters for a German firm [of booksellers?], and writing more poems: refers to enclosed poems, which are apparently the three poems now numbered as PLO 213/18/3.
Personal news, commenting that “the German people have a strong sense that it is their duty now to support a great many destitute people,” and praising their tolerance of wanderers and the unemployed. Criticism of Roy Campbell's attitude to the unemployed. Writes of his “weakness for Goethe” and love of the “devoutness'' of German poetry and music.
2 sheets
See also -
PLO/276/27:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/28   4 July 1932
Has read I speak of Africa, praising particularly “Portraits in the nude” and [“Ula Masondo”]. Wonders why Plomer is not a communist, and comments on industries whose “interest is directly to promote war.” Asks after E.M.Forster, with reference to his rumoured praise for C[hristopher Isherwood]'s novel.
1 sheet
PLO/213/29   16 July 1932
Annoyed by an unwanted visitor staying with Christopher [Isherwood] and himself. Comments on Plomer's The case is altered, which he enjoys but is disappointed by. Also comments on the beginnings of Plomer's stories. News of recreations.
1 sheet
PLO/213/30   27 July 1932
His novel has been rejected by the publishers following legal advice. Has spent a week in Berlin: comments on the atmosphere there (in a parody of Wyndham-Lewis), and predicts a revolution in Germany “this winter.”
Numbered from inferred year '1934' but more likely to be 1932, from internal evidence (reference to being in Rügen, living alone etc).
1 sheet
PLO/213/31   26 October 1932
Does not like Barcelona, and compares it with Berlin. Is working hard and visiting Hellmut [?], who is ill. Has read some plays by Noel Coward, which he finds “utterly devoid of content.”
No year, but internal evidence suggests 1930-1932 (before meeting Tony Hyndman), and evidence of other letters suggests not 1930 or 1931 (e.g.PLO 213/119 refers to being in South Wales from 24 October [1931] and PLO 213/7 is dated 27 October 1930 and written from Vienna). Also refers to reviewing [Wyndham Lewis], The enemy of the stars (published 1932).
1 sheet
PLO/213/32   21 November 1932
Description of towns visited while travelling from Barcelona with Hellmut, especially Valencia, Alecante and Malaga, and of fellow passengers on the boat
No year, but dated by reference to previous letter; also refers to Bernard [Bayes, Plomer's guardsman friend from early 1932 to May 1933]
2 sheets
PLO/213/33   23 June 1933
Personal news. Refers to articles about Spender in The daily worker and to his stay with Tony [Hyndman] in Florence, Rome and Levanto, with a description of some guests at their hotel. Has rewritten the last part of The temple and hoping that Faber will publish it; considers alternative titles.
Includes note written by Tony Hyndman to Plomer.
No year, but can be dated to 1933 from reference to subsequent letters, and from Spender's autobiography ( World within world), page 177 (allowing for the change of Tony Hyndman's name to 'Jimmy Younger' in the autobiography).
2 sheets
PLO/213/34   27 June 1933
Plans for return to London and news of Christopher [Isherwood]. Commiserates with Plomer on departure of Bernard [Bayes]. Has been writing poetry, “but none of it has been any good.” Additional note written to Plomer by Tony [Hyndman].
Encloses two poems, Perhaps (“The explosion of a bomb…”) and “The shape of death haunts life….”
3 sheets
PLO/213/35   6 April 1934
Postcard of a cyclist
Date of postmark
1 card
PLO/213/36   14 April 1934
Description of Mlini and Dubrovnik. Has started writing his play, and asks about Plomer's novel.
1 sheet
See also -
PLO/276/30:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/37   15 May 1934
Struggling to write his book [on James Joyce and Henry James?], and preparing to write a poetic drama. Description of other English visitors in Mlini.
2 sheets
PLO/213/38   19 June 1934
Personal news. Writing a long poem about Vienna. Dislike of [T.S.] Eliot's The rock.
4 sheets
See also -
PLO/276/32:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/39   31 July 1934
Has finished his book and is working on a poem about Vienna; hopes to get back to working on his play, which is about 1/3 written. Personal news and plans. Concern about state of politics in Austria, following death of the Chancellor, and Spender's feeling that “all decisions are the result of intrigue.” Asks after Plomer's next novel [ The invaders].
2 sheets
See also -
PLO/276/33:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/40   1 August 1934
Enclosing copy of his will (dated 29 July 1934), asking Plomer to be a trustee for a bequest to Tony Hyndman
2 sheets
PLO/213/41   16 August 1934
Has completed 3/4 of his long poem, and is revising his book following comments from Cape [publishers]. Has met James Laughlin (a young American poet referred to Spender by Plomer). Describes some of the people from their last hotel.
Encloses poem, “What the eye delights in no longer dictates…”
4 sheets
See also -
PLO/276/34:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/42   27 August 1934
Plans to return to London in September, for lack of money. Relates comments of James Laughlin and his American friend about Spender and writing.
1 sheet
PLO/213/43   undated [? September 1934]
Thanking Plomer for his comments on his poem. Comments on some introductions to literary works that he has been reading.
No date, but refers to Plomer's review of Seed of Adam: a file of his reviews at PLO 311 includes one for Violet Campbell's Seed of Adam, dated 17 August 1934. PLO 213/33, dated 27 August 1934, refers to Spender's plans to return to London in September [1934]: and this letter refers to his imminent return, and both letters refer to his reviewing work.
1 sheet
PLO/213/44   4 November 1934
Asking advice on whether Spender could get the “Japan job.”
1 sheet
PLO/213/45   Undated [? January 1935]
Arranging to meet Plomer on his return [to London], with news of his stay in Vienna and his work. Comments on failings of English communists.
Undated, but appears to follow PLO 213/35, while Plomer is staying in Vienna with Muriel Gardiner (but with noone else)
1 sheet
PLO/213/46   11 January 1935
Money troubles and personal plans and feelings. Trying to write a play, but “lacking in confidence.” Appreciative comments on Plomer's poem in The mercury, and on the use of rhythm and the difficulty of sustained narrative poetry generally.
2 sheets
PLO/213/47   18 April 1935
General news. Relates story of exhibition in Munich, Germany, in which most pictures were removed by order of Goebbels.
1 sheet
PLO/213/48   25 April 1935
Reassures Plomer that he understands the latter's coldness or irritation with himself, from his own experience. Encloses poem (described as “about people who make Empires''), The thin will (“Whirring outward growth…”).
2 sheets
PLO/213/49   22 May 1935
Comments on his own poetry and its “obscurity.” Praises Plomer's poem, John Drew, but criticises its emphasis on human kindness as “a panaceac return to the primitive.” Comments generally on poets and society, with reference to [Lewis] Mumford, Technics and civilization.
Is writing stories and poems, and translations of Hölderlin.
2 sheets
See also -
PLO/276/41:
Plomer's reply to Spender (numbered out of sequence, as it is dated without a year and the year 1938 has been suggested for it, although it is a reply to this, and both are probably dated 1935)
PLO/213/50   3 June 1935
Praising Plomer's poetry (with reference to his previous letter, about John Drew), but explaining why he believes that political writers belong to a “great tradition” and cannot be played off against Forster or Virginia Woolf, and defending himself against Plomer's charge of being propagandist.
Relates stories of some of the characters in Dubrovnik society.
2 sheets
PLO/213/51   12 July 1935
Personal news. Reading Hölderlin, with comments on romanticism generally and referring to their appeal to “all the humane values of the imagination.”
1 sheet
PLO/213/52   31 July 1935
Praises Plomer's poem in The spectator, and his ability to write prose and poetry contemporaneously. He (Spender) now writing stories, and unable to write poetry at the same time.
Personal news, reflections on relationships with Muriel [Gardiner, his host in Vienna] and Tony [Hyndman], with reference to isolation as his “creative element,” and to his interest in ideas that “are not a part of people's lives now, but they are my life.”
Encloses poem, The uncreative chaos (“To the hanging despair of eyes in the street, offer…”)
3 sheets
PLO/213/53   9 January 1936
Describes countryside, household (staying with Tony [Hyndman], [Christopher Isherwood] and Heinz) and local English “colony.” Praises Plomer's review about T.H.Huxley in the London Mercury review.
2 sheets
See also -
PLO/276/35:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/54   9 February 1936
Progress with his work (especially with a play, The death of a judge), and personal news and plans. Encloses three poems: “Alas for the sad standards'' (apparently from The death of a judge), Speech (“Possibility, possibility of happiness…”) and Socrates and Alcibiades (translated from Hölderlin, “Holy Socrates, why do homage…”).
2 sheets
PLO/213/55   24 March 1936
Asks after Plomer's book [ Ali the lion], and Spender's own travel plans. Comments on the “English colony” in Sintra, Portugal, and their belief in reincarnation. Asks after Morgan [E.M.Forster] and comments on Forster's book of essays [possibly Abinger harvest].
Numbered according to inferred year '1937', but subject matter and the existence of Plomer's reply (PLO 276/36, dated “29 Mar 36”) indicates 1936.
3 sheets
See also -
PLO/276/36:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/56   3 April 1936
His own writing, particularly the writing of his “political book” and the difficulty of writing in particular places, especially London. Explains his need to travel, reluctance to become a “literary figure” and “acquire a mask,” and the possibility of living in the [English] countryside. Has read Lorca, and comments on local English attitudes to the Spanish.
1 sheet
PLO/213/57   8 October 1936
Has moved house and is decorating. Social arrangements
1 sheet
See also -
PLO/276/38:
Plomer's reply to Spender
PLO/213/58   24 November 1936
Announcing his engagement to Inez Pearn
1 sheet
PLO/213/59   December 1936
Regarding Tony [Hyndman's] plans to go to Spain [to join the International Brigade]
Letter undated, but internal evidence suggests the month and year (reference to Spanish civil war; Tony [Hyndman]'s departure for Spain at this stage is related in Spender's autobiography, World within world, where Tony is named “Jimmy”).
1 sheet
PLO/213/60   6 February 1937
Passing on Tony [Hyndman]'s address. Commenting on his inability to fit into the communist kind of life, and his beliefs about his own behaviour and experiences.
2 sheets
PLO/213/61   10 February 1937
Plans to visit Spain (Albacete), and to work for the Communist Party.
2 sheets
PLO/213/62   2 April 1937
News of Tony [Hyndman]'s experiences with the International Brigade in Spain, including his desertion and imprisonment, and Spender's efforts to help him
2 sheets
Previously referenced PLO/213/51
There is another account of the events described in this letter, in Spender's autobiography (where Tony Hyndman is called “Jimmy Younger”).
Spender, Stephen, World within world : the autobiography (1951), pages 212-238
PLO/213/63   12 April 1937
Describes interview with [Harry] Pollitt, [secretary of the British Communist Party], regarding Tony [Hyndman].
2 sheets
PLO/213/64   24 March 1938
Busy while his play [ Trial of a judge] is being performed.
1 sheet
PLO/213/65   17 October 1939
Plans to help Cyril Connolly with a new literary magazine [ Horizon], and asking for contributions
1 sheet
PLO/213/66   30 October 1939
Reference to Plomer's [contribution to Horizon], under the title Kilvert's Country, and to the name of the magazine. Sympathies for death of Plomer's [mother].

PLO/213/67   3 April 1941
Announcing his second marriage [to Natasha Litvin]
1 sheet
PLO/213/68   7 April 1941
Inviting a contribution in memory of Virginia [Woolf], for Horizon
1 sheet
PLO/213/69   29 October 1941
Brief comment on Plomer's contribution to Horizon, a poem in memory of Anthony Butts. Comments on his training with the [National Fire Service].
2 sheets
PLO/213/70   23 November [1941-1942]
Comments on his training with the National Fire Service and the other firemen
1 sheet
PLO/213/71   September 1943
Social arrangements
Letter undated, but written in the week before “Sept 8th” and reference to Plomer's forthcoming book (probably Double lives).
1 sheet
PLO/213/72   15 November 1943
Thanking Plomer for sending him Double lives, with brief comments on it
1 sheet
PLO/213/73   13 March 1950
Thanking Plomer for his present to Matthew [Spender's son and Plomer's godson], and referring to his own plans and to [ World within world]
No year, but refers to [ World within world being finished (it was published in April 1951)
1 sheet
PLO/213/74   25 July 1950
Personal news. Comments on Richard Rumbold, My father's son (called His father's son by Spender), and on a review by Herbert Read of his own translations.
3 sheets & 1 envelope
PLO/213/75   14 November 1951
Personal news and social arrangements
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/76   20 September 1952
Thanking Plomer for sending Museum pieces and family news. Praises [Flaubert], L'education sentimentale.
2 sheets & 1 envelope
PLO/213/77   4 October 1953
Comments on first issue of Encounter magazine [edited by Spender and Irving Kristol], and looking forward to contributions by Plomer for it
1 sheet
PLO/213/78   14 January 1955
Invitation to a party to celebrate Spender's Collected poems
No year, but refers to his Collected poems
1 sheet
PLO/213/79   28 January 1955
Commiserating Plomer on the death of his father, and renewing invitation as last letter
1 sheet
PLO/213/80   28 March 1955
Thanking Plomer for his book, [ A shot in the park], with comments on some of the poems
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/81   9 May 1955
Social arrangements, with a reference to his review of Plomer's [ A shot in the park]
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/82   20 June 1956
Asking for a contribution to Encounter, and suggesting something from Plomer's trip to South Africa
1 sheet
PLO/213/83   8 March 1958
Praising Plomer's At home, referring to it as “a secret book, without being secretive.” Family news, and a request to Plomer to review Michael Swan's book.
3 sheets & 1 envelope
PLO/213/84   14 March 1958
Reference to possible reviewers for M[ichael] Swan's book and family news
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/85   6 June 1958
Thanking Plomer for his “Rumbold piece” [for Encounter], and news of his trip to Japan and meeting with Osamu [? translator of Spender's poems into Japanese]. Encloses poem, To a Japanese friend, translating my poems from English (“My English writing runs behind your eyes…”).
Date appears to be “June 8” but envelope is postmarked “6 Jne.”
2 sheets & 1 envelope
PLO/213/86   9 June 1958
Social arrangements, and comments on [Japan] and his work in translating Schiller
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/87   8 August 1958
Social arrangements, with reference to meeting with Japrahash Narayad. Encloses short poems marked “for WP” and under the title Inscriptions, viz: “Temple,” “Stele” and “Hiroshima rebuilt.”
2 sheets & 1 envelope
PLO/213/88   25 September 1958
Refers to novel published by Cape, A house in Chelsea Square [probably recte, A room in Chelsea Square, published by Cape 1958], and asking Plomer's advice about the copyright and other implications of writing “a kind of answer to this novel” based on the same characters.
Also note of a contract for a novel with Chatto & Windus and query about copyright.
With typescript copy of letter, numbered PLO 213/76A
2 sheets
PLO/213/89   4 October 1958
More notes and thoughts on the same subjects as PLO 213/76, identifying the author of the existing novel as Michael Nelson.
2 sheets & 1 envelope
PLO/213/90   5 October 1959
Arrangements for meeting [Ezekiel Luke] Mphahlele. Suggestions of Joyce and Proust biographies for Plomer to review, with anecdotes of conversations between Joyce and Proust, and between Stravinsky and Eliot.
3 sheets & 1 envelope
See also -
PLO/213/149
Letters from Mphahlele
PLO/213/91   14 October 1959
Suggesting Plomer review the Joyce biography but not the Proust one (see previous letter). Comments on John Lehmann's editorial in the Christopher Isherwood 'number' [of The encounter].
1 sheet & 1 envelope
John Lehmann is described as “the armoured writer:” see PLO 213/76 for this identification.
PLO/213/92   10 May 1960
Thanking Plomer for his Collected poems with brief comments, and referring to his intention to “write poetry for the rest of this year”
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/93   31 October 1961
Inviting Plomer to send a lecture about autobiography, with family news
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/94   22 November 1961
Suggested alterations for Plomer's piece on autobiography. Refers to his (Spender's) criticism John Lehmann's prose poems.
1 sheet
PLO/213/95   26 November 1961
Further about Plomer's piece on autobiography
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/96   28 December 1961
Further on Plomer's piece, and personal news
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/97   13 September 1962
Visit of Gore Vidal; social arrangement
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/98   24 September 1962
Social arrangement
1 card
PLO/213/99   27 September 1962
Thanking Plomer for lunch
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/100   4 May 1963
Thanking Plomer for his parcel for Matthew [Spender's son and Plomer's godson]. Plans to return to America. Family news
2 sheets & 1 envelope
PLO/213/101   13 August 1963
Congratulating Plomer on award of [Queen's] gold medal, and family news
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/102   11 October 1963
Reference to Edmund Wilson and “those other Americans'' (unclear). Asking permission to publish Plomer's poem Before the crash.
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/103   14 October 1963
Social arrangement
1 sheet
PLO/213/104   14 May 1964
Thanking Plomer for “the R.R book” [Richard Rumbold, ed Plomer, A message in code] and promising to write a review sentence on it. Life and acquaintances in Chicago.
Encloses poems, One more new botched beginning (“Their voices heard, I stumble suddenly…,” offprint from The New Yorker) and Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light (“How can they call this dark when stars…”)
3 sheets & 1 envelope
PLO/213/105   26 June 1964
Thanking Plomer for libretto [of Curlew River]. Asking Plomer to write a memoir of Sir Charles Lambe [First Sea Lord and Admiral of the Fleet, died 1960].
2 sheets & 1 envelope
PLO/213/106   24 August 1964
Asking Plomer to write a obituary/memoir for Ian Fleming [novelist]
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/107   27 August 1964
Plans to visit Hungary and Bulgaria and so unable to hear Plomer's address on Ian Fleming
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/108   22 October 1964
Arrangements for publication of Plomer's piece on Ian Fleming
1 sheet
PLO/213/109   27 August 1965
Thanking Plomer for his poem, and social arrangements
1 sheet
PLO/213/110   February 1966
Invitation to party
Undated, but before date of next letter
1 card
PLO/213/111   25 February 1966
Thanks Plomer for records of Curlew River, and looking forward to seeing him at party (reference to “the ghost of Queenie barking at our heels'')
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/112   20 October 1966
Invitation to dinner
telegram
PLO/213/113   23 October 1966
Social arrangements
1 card
PLO/213/114   31 October 1966
Social arrangement
1 sheet
PLO/213/115   25 November 1967
Personal news. Thanks Plomer for his last book of poems [ Taste and Remember]
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/116   9 January 1969
Social arrangement
Dated “Jan 4 68” but postmarked “1969”
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/117   25 November 1969
Thanking Plomer for his comments on Spender's reading, and planning a new book
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/118   3 December 1969
Describes meeting with Professor James Hart and others, regarding Hart's forthcoming work [apparently connected with some unspecified manuscripts]
2 sheets & 1 envelope
PLO/213/119   3 October 1970
Personal news and social arrangements, and congratulations for Plomer's [poetry] reading.
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/120   14 October 1970
Hoping that Plomer's health will improve, and commenting on his work as a professor [at University College London]
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/121   24 October 1970
Thanking Plomer for his comments on Spender's lecture, and social arrangements
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/122   28 November 1970
Social arrangement
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/123   4 December 1970
Social arrangements
1 sheet
PLO/213/124   28 November 1971
Thanking Plomer for his letter and commenting on award [to Spender] of the Queen's Gold Medal, and the lack of proper reviews for books of poetry generally. Will be at poetry reading in Plomer's honour, and recalls Plomer's stay in Corfu.
2 sheets & 1 envelope
PLO/213/125   28 December 1971
Thanking Plomer for his poem, [The planes of] Bedford Square. Family news.
2 sheets & 1 envelope
PLO/213/126   13 April 1972
Priases Plomer's latest poems [ Celebrations]. Family and work news.
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/127   18 November 1972
Regarding arrangements with Plomer to visit Liverpool [purpose of visit is not made clear]
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/128   12 February 1973
Arranging to see Plomer for lunch and discussion
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/213/129   undated [1930x1933]
Arranging to meet Plomer, with a reference to “the drawing”
1 sheet
PLO/213/130   undated [1932x1935]
Personal news and anecdotes
Undated, but refers to illness of Plomer's mother, to Jack [Carey?, Plomer's friend 1933-1935], Tony [Hyndman] and “Dr Hare” [Norman Haire, sexologist, see PLO 87].
1 sheet
PLO/213/131   18 July [c.1944-1958]
Invitation to party with other literary figures and friends
Undated, but refers to Rose Macaulay, who died 1958
1 sheet
PLO/213/132   7 December [c.1945-1950s]
Written to accompany a christmas present and photograph of [Matthew], his godson
No year, but refers to Plomer's godson [Matthew Spender, born c.1945]
1 sheet
PLO/213/133   4 January [c.1950s]
Would like to meet Plomer to discuss application for a post at Athens University
1 sheet
PLO/213/134   4 July [c.1950s]
Thanking Plomer and Charles [Erdmann] for hospitality
No year, but refers to Spender's children
1 sheet
PLO/213/135   9 May [c.1953-1955]
Apologising for misprinting of Plomer's poem [in Encounter magazine]
No year, but references to Encounter magazine and to René Janin.
1 sheet
PLO/213/136   26 May [c.1953-1955]
Would like to meet Plomer at Aldeburgh [festival]
No year, but follows PLO 213/134
1 sheet
PLO/213/137   23 December [1953-1967]
Thanking Plomer for his ballad [for Encounter magazine], with comment on Christmas boxes
1 sheet
PLO/213/138   8 October [1953-1967]
Thanking Plomer for his article [for Encounter magazine]
1 sheet
PLO/213/139   undated
Poem, Looking at a book of death-masks (“Never being, but always at the edge of Being…”)
1 sheet
PLO/213/140   undated
Poem, The swan (“The trumpets were curled away, the drums beat no more…”), with manuscript correction
1 sheet
PLO/213/141   undated
Poem, “Oh young men oh young comrades…”, with note to Plomer from Spender
1 sheet & 1 envelope
from James (Jimmy) Stern
Reference: PLO/214
Dates of creation: 15 September 1952 - 20 September 1973
Extent: 184 letters, 227 sheets, 25 cards, 3 news cuttings and 137 envelopes Friendly and good humoured letters, with many brief memories and comments on literary figures, and occasional short references to African politics. Refers to his own writing as “knitting,” and to his translation work (of the letters of Freud, Kafka and Brecht). Allude to other authors, including especially WH Auden, Nadine Gordimer and John Lehmann (called “John O'London”). Most of the letters are primarily personal, with many references both to Tania Stern and to Charles Erdmann, and often ending with an image of a bow-tie (with reference to a 'bo' or African greeting, as from servant to master).
Nature and types of document Comments on Plomer's work include Museum pieces (PLO 214/1), Tugela river (poem, PLO 214/18), At home (PLO 214/20), Voorslag days (article, PLO 214/25), The case is altered (PLO 214/28), Paper houses (PLO 214/33 & 119), Collected poems (1960, PLO 214/38), review by Plomer of Hart-Davis (ed.), The letters of Oscar Wilde (1962, PLO 214/48-50), radio talk (1962, commenting on influence of Japan, PLO 214/59), introduction by Plomer to HC Bosman, Unto dust (PLO 214/64), A message in code (PLO 214/78-79, Richard Rumbold is also mentioned in PLO 214/39 & 41), Turbott Wolfe (1965 reissue, with introduction by Laurens Van der Post, PLO 214/93), The shortest day (poem, PLO 214/97-98), radio broadcast (for ? Osbert Sitwell or Leonard Woolf, 1969, PLO 214/164-166), Celebrations (PLO 214/174). PLO 214/3 concerns Stern's contact with Noonday (American publishers) about Plomer's work and PLO 214/16-17 a possible German translation of Plomer.
Stern's own writing is mentioned in PLO 214/45-46, 49 & 66 (writing his autobiography), PLO 214/57-62, 71 (article on [Malcolm] Lowry, written for Encounter, with copy of letter from Stern to Stephen [Spender] re same at PLO 214/59, but subsequently submitted to The London magazine), PLO 214/88 & 164 (generally), PLO 214/104-108 (on a literary award granted to Stern, possibly the WH Smith award?), PLO 214/105-110 & 124-128 (publication of selected stories, described by Stern as his “buns'' or “cakes'').
Other authors are mentioned or reviewed in PLO 214/25 (Roy Campbell), PLO 214/7-8, 145-146, 152-156, 167-168 (Nadine Gordimer), PLO 214/87-88 (Siegfried Sassoon), PLO 214/97 & 99 (Marvin Cohen, who had submitted a novel to Cape, 1965-1966, The self-devoted friend) and PLO 214/135, 138 & 140 (Patrick White, with comments on his short stories and on the character of the novelist generally). PLO 214/137 & 139 include a request to Plomer concerning a librettist for Harrison Birtwistle, 1968.
Enslin Du Plessis (South African painter) is mentioned at PLO 214/13. “E.E.” or “Ernestine Evans'' is mentioned at PLO 214/66-74 (and elsewhere), and Gathorne-Hardy's edition of the memoirs of Lady O[ttoline Morrell] (published 1963) at PLO 214/74. PLO 214/148 includes a typescript copy of a letter by Stern's father from Transvaal, South Africa, dated 1901, to his (James Stern's) uncle, regarding his service in the South African war.
Short story writer and translator (from German). Had lived in Rhodesia 1925-1926. Met Plomer in 1947.

from Tania Stern
Reference: PLO/215
Dates of creation: 31 October 1967 - 3 November 1967
Extent: 1 letter, 3 sheets Informing Plomer of James Stern's illness
Wife of James Stern (q.v.)

from Janet and Reynolds Stone
Reference: PLO/216
Dates of creation: 1970 - 11 August 1973
Extent: 5 letters, 4 cards (with engravings), 1 sheet & 1 envelope Invitations to stay
Reynolds Stone, designer and engraver, 1909-1979; Janet Stone his wife

from H.O. Stutchbury
Reference: PLO/217
Dates of creation: 11 January 1950, 18 January 1950
Extent: 2 letters, 5 sheets Notes and comments on Balzac and the attitude of critics to him, apparently written to Plomer after he took part in a radio broadcast on Balzac (possibly “The critics'' on BBC Third Programme); includes sheet of notes on Balzac

from Frank Arthur Swinnerton
Reference: PLO/218
Dates of creation: 2 November 1959 - 30 November 1959
Extent: 3 letters, 3 sheets & 3 envelopes Relating to journal and typescript drafts left by Pauline Smith, and relating to her visit to South Africa in 1913.
Novelist and critic (reader for Chatto & Windus from 1907), 1884-1982

from Julian Symons
Reference: PLO/219
Dates of creation: 6 April 1950 - 25 April 1950
Extent: 3 letters, 3 sheets & 3 envelopes Requesting help with a book about George Gissing
Author and editor, 1912-1994

from Stephen Tennant
Reference: PLO/220
Dates of creation: March 1945 - 28 August 1946, 28 June 1948
Extent: 15 letters & 3 sketches, 21 sheets & 7 envelopes Letters about Plomer's and his own work (particularly a collection of short stories, Luxury item, and his novel, Lascar). Letters are often affectionate, with many comments on the artist's need for solitude, and on nature and gardens (particularly with regard to Wilsford Manor). Letters written from either Bournemouth or Wilsford Manor, Salisbury.
Many letters are decorated with sketches, mainly of flowers and people/faces, and there are also a few separate sketches (at least one cut from a letter to Plomer). Letters refer to several other authors and artists, in particular Joe [Ackerley], Morgan [Forster], John Russell, Virginia Woolf [deceased], Ben Nicolson.
Two letters are undated (PLO 220/14-15), but appear to immediately predate PLO 220/1 (21 March 1945), although they may be earlier.
artist and poet, 1906-1987

from Charles George Vivian Tryon, 2nd Baron Tryon
Reference: PLO/221
Dates of creation: 23 September 1963
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Covering letter enclosing the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry (awarded to Plomer 1963), with an explanation of the design
Written from the Privy Purse Office

from Makoto Tsutsumi
Reference: PLO/222
Dates of creation: 6 March 1929
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Wishing Plomer well on his departure from Japan for England
No year, but refers to Plomer's [imminent] departure from Japan for England
Pupil at Tokyo High School, Japan

from Laurens Jan Van der Post
Reference: PLO/223
Dates of creation: 15 September 1947 - 4 June 1973
Extent: 137 letters, 187 sheets, 3 cards, 1 newspaper cutting and 107 envelopes Friendly letters with personal news, comments on Plomer's and his own writing, on mutual acquaintances (particularly Ingrid Jonker, South African poet) and on the political situation in South Africa.
Nature and types of document Comments on Plomer's writing are at PLO 223/1 ( Double lives), 19 (Museum pieces), 30 (At home), 56 (libretto of Curlew river, referred to as Sumidagawa), 83 (Taste and remember), 92-94 (performance of Burning fiery furnace at Versailles, France, in 1968), 97-98 (Prodigal son), 108 (Plomer's address on the unveiling of the Byron memorial in Westminster abbey), 126-127 (Celebrations). Many letters concern Van der Post's introduction to the 1965 edition of Plomer's Turbott Wolfe (PLO 223/46-48, 50, 52-54, 57, 63).
Van der Post's own writing is mentioned in the following letters: PLO 223/7 (finishing novel, 1951, provisionally called The sleep walker), 8 (proof of Venture to the interior), 10 & 12 (finishing novel), 14 (finishing “long short story about a Japanese NCO”, December 1951, also refers to a meeting with Jung), 21-22 (re hostile reception to his A bar of shadow), 23 (The dark eye in Africa), 44-45 (The seed and the sower), 58 & 75 (The hunter and the whale, 1964-1965).
There is considerable correspondence relating to Ingrid Jonker, South African poet (in Afrikaans). PLO 223/50 refers to Plomer's meeting with Jonker in 1964. PLO 223/64-65, 68-70 & 72 relates to the deaths by suicide of Jonker and Nat Nakasa (South African poet) in 1965, with references to South African friends of Jonker (Uys Krige and Jack Cope) and to Plomer's poem about Jonker and Nakasa ( The taste of the fruit). PLO 223/76-79 & 81 refer further to Jonker's poetry, and PLO 223/101, 104, 106-107 & 109 to Plomer's edition of Jonker's poems (with Jack Cope, published by Cape, 1968), plus a review and article by Van der Post.
Several of the letters refer to Ian Horobin, formerly MP and occasional poet, 1899-1976, whom Van der Post met while a prisoner of war. See PLO 223/36, 42, 73 (on a proposed edition of his collected poems, 1965), 119.
Comments on South Africa and South African politics are included in PLO 223/2 (1948), PLO 223/27-28 (with reference to Plomer's return there in 1956), PLO 223/31-32 (1960, referring apparently also to a possible post for Plomer in Natal University) and PLO 223/95 (1968, with reference to anti-apartheid playwrights).
Other literary references are to Roy Campbell's poetry (PLO 223/15, 1952), meeting with Leonard [Woolf] (PLO 223/18, 1952), “hysteria anc counter-hysteria” about TE Lawrence (PLO 223/23, 1955), René Janin's death (PLO 223/29, 1957), Richard Rumbold's death (PLO 223/34-35, 1961: Plomer edited his diaries as A message in code, referred to in PLO 223/56), a typescript by Freslich, sent by Plomer to Van der Post for comment (PLO 223/39, 1962: perhaps Richard Freislich, The last tribal war, Cape Town, 1964), a biography of Sukarno [Indonesian president], also sent by Plomer to Van der Post, apparently asking him to write an introduction (PLO 223/62, 1965, possibly Sukarno: an autobiography, as told to Cindy Adams), and to literary reactions to the burning down of the 'Maltings', Aldeburgh (PLO 223/109, 1969).
PLO 223/23-24 refer to Plomer's father (Charles, died 1955), with memories of Plomer's parents in South Africa. PLO 223/42 contains a separate letter sent to Plomer by GL Lewin about Van der Post, with comments on the latter by JC Powys, 1962. PLO 223/94, 96, 99-101 & 115 relate to Plomer's sitting for Frances Baruch, sculptress, and the placing of a bronze head of Plomer in a Johannesburgh museum, South Africa. PLO 223/100 refer to the Russian/USSR invasion of Czechoslovakia after the 'Prague Spring' in 1968. PLO 223/128 include comments on the bushmen and the present government of Botswana in 1972. PLO 223/136 mentions Van der Post's meeting with Captain Mori and Taro Shiomi in Japan in 1960. PLO 223/137 is a copy of a letter from Van der Post to J Schwarz dated 3 December 1964, relating to some of Van der Post's own MSS.
Two letters PLO 223/135-136, are originally undated. They were dated by Louise Stein, assistant to Van der Post's biographer, in 1999. PLO 223/52 is an undated postcard and sorted as [May 1964], although it is referred to in PLO 223/48 and so should be dated [September 1963 x January 1964].
Journalist, soldier and writer, born in South Africa, 1906-1996. Van der Post met Plomer in Durban, and collaborated with Plomer and Roy Campbell on the literary magazine, Voorslag, 1925-1926, travelling with Plomer to Japan on the 'Canada Maru' in 1926. He was a Japanese prisoner of war 1943-1945, only returning to England after military service in 1947. Influenced by Jung in his writings from 1950s.

from Sir Philip Vian
Reference: PLO/224
Dates of creation: 8 March 1960
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for his help (and criticism) before publication of his book ( Action this day: a war memoir, 1960)
Admiral of the Fleet (Navy), 1894-1968

from Gore Vidal
Reference: PLO/225
Dates of creation: undated
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Thanking Plomer for his comments on a [novel] by Vidal (described as a “comedy”)
Author and political journalist, born 1925

from Sherard Vines
Reference: PLO/226
Dates of creation: 5 November 1943
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Commenting on Double lives; also on the “threatened comeback of Religion.”
Poet and literary critic, whom Plomer met while in Japan in the 1920s, born 1890

from Julian Vinogradoff
Reference: PLO/227
Dates of creation: 9 November 1963
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet Thanking Plomer for his review (in The Listener) of Robert Gathorne-Hardy (ed.), Ottoline : the early memoirs of Lady Ottoline Morrell (1963)
Daughter of Lady Ottoline Morrell (literary hostess, 1920s & 1930s)

from Derek Walcott
Reference: PLO/228
Dates of creation: 15 September 1961, 15 August 1969
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets Thanking Plomer for his letter of encouragement about his poetry (? with reference to In a green night), for his vote to grant the Cholmondeley award to Walcott, and for his comments on Another life
Poet and playwright, born St Lucia, West Indies, 1930

from Mary Hermione Grenfell (Countess Waldegrave)
Reference: PLO/229
Dates of creation: 22 May 1968 - 28 May 1968
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets & 1 envelope With reference to a story (recounted by Plomer on radio) about a former Lady Waldegrave, “an elderly Dean” and the heart of Louis XIV
Wife of Geoffrey Noel Waldegrave, 12th Earl Waldegrave

from Alison Waley
Reference: PLO/230
Dates of creation: 22 June 1966, 18 March 1970 - 3 October 1970
Extent: 4 letters, 4 sheets, 1 card & 2 envelopes Comments on Kilvert's diary and on Arthur Waley's appreciation of it, with a reference (PLO 230/4) to his comment in volume 3, “269 like Chinese poem,” and comments on Ivan Morris, Madly singing in the mountains : an appreciation and anthology of Arthur Waley (1970).
Born Alison Robinson, married Arthur Waley in 1966 (shortly before his death)

from Arthur Waley
Reference: PLO/231
Dates of creation: 29 April [1944] & [1956]
Extent: 2 letters, 1 card & 1 photograph Thanking Plomer for his “biographical dictionary” (? Double lives), asking about “Ernestine Evans'' and enclosing a postcard of Yuan Mei.
Letters not dated. PLO 231/1 refers to “Vol 1” or “the magnificent biographical dictionary,” perhaps Plomer's autobiography, Double Lives, published in 1943. PLO 231/2 dated from reference to Waley's biography of Yuan Mei (published 1956).
Translator of Chinese and Japanese poetry, 1889-1966. Met Plomer in 1929 (through René Janin).

from Hugh Seymour Walpole (Sir)
Reference: PLO/233
Dates of creation: June 1932, 18 January 1940
Extent: 2 letters, 1 card & 1 sheet Social arrangements
Novelist, 1884-1941

from Veronica Wedgwood (Dame Cicely)
Reference: PLO/234
Dates of creation: 29 June 1948, 4 September 1968 - 24 July 1969
Extent: 5 letters, 6 sheets & 3 envelopes Social arrangements. PLO 234/3 refers to the possibility of publication by Cape of a semi-autobiographical novel by Vijaya-Tunga, and PLO 234/4 refers to Plomer's address on Byron [in Westminster abbey], both 1969.
Historian, 1910-1997

from Glenway Wescott
Reference: PLO/235
Dates of creation: 17 March 1969
Extent: 1 letter, 3 sheets & 1 envelope Appreciation of Plomer's work and own difficulty in writing currently
Writer

from Arnold Wesker
Reference: PLO/236
Dates of creation: 9 January 1971
Extent: 1 sheet & 1 envelope Thanking Plomer for dedication in an edition of Kilvert's diaries
Playwright and director, born 1932

from Eric Walter White
Reference: PLO/237
Dates of creation: 28 November 1970
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets Refers to story of 'Violante' and 'Lady Isabella', apparently 18th century theatrical artists from Italy, with suggestion that they would be good material for a ballad by Plomer
Writer on English opera

from Ralph Vaughan Williams
Reference: PLO/238
Dates of creation: 22 June 1941
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets Asking about possible sources for ballads and folk songs/dances referred to in Kilvert's diaries
Composer, collector of English folk songs, 1872-1958

from Angus Wilson
Reference: PLO/239
Dates of creation: 4 October 1952, 28 April 1953, 11 November 1960
Extent: 3 letters, 6 sheets & 3 envelopes 1952-1953 letters refer to For whom the cloche tolls : a scrap book of the twenties, written by Wilson and Philippe Jullian in 1953 (dedicated to Plomer), with reference (PLO 239/2) to a review in the Listener that appeared to disparage Edith Sitwell. 1960 letter refers to Wilson's visit to Natal, South Africa. PLO 239/1 also mentions Plomer's Museum pieces.

from Leonard Woolf
Reference: PLO/240
Dates of creation: 1 February 1925 - 23 March 1937, 28 April 1941, 17 September 1952 - 24 November 1968
Extent: 54 letters, 53 sheets, 2 cards & 14 envelopes Earlier letters (to 1932) mainly concern Plomer's publications with the Hogarth Press. Later letters are shorter and less frequent, mainly concerned with social arrangements.
Four of the letters are xerox copies from originals in Sussex University Library (PLO 240/4, 5, 29, 33)
Nature and types of document Letters relating to Plomer's works are as follows (all PLO 240/):

Other letters of interest include:

PLO 240/54 has no date, but is dated to 1931 by reference to Plomer's address (Warwick Street, London: see Alexander's biography, pages 175, 179)
Author and publisher, founder of the Hogarth press, and editor of Nation, 1929-1930, and the Political quarterly, 1931-1959. Husband of Virginia Woolf. 1880-1969.
Plomer published his early works with the Hogarth press, until 1932, viz: Turbott Wolfe (1925, republished by Hogarth Press 1965), I speak of Africa (1927), Notes for poems (1927), Paper houses (1929), The family tree (1929), Sado (1931), The fivefold screen (1932) and The case is altered (1932).

from David Wright
Reference: PLO/242
Dates of creation: 29 November 1969 - 8 March 1973
Extent: 4 letters, 4 sheets & 2 envelopes Letters relating to Wright's poems on South Africa, and on the area of the Orange Grove in Johannesburg generally. Brief mentions of Roy Campbell and his widow and daughter (Mary and Teresa), and of Guy Butler (specifically his collection of poems, South of Zambesi)
Editor

from Andrew John Young
Reference: PLO/243
Dates of creation: 10 January 1949
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 envelope Arranging to meet with Lilian Bowes-Lyon
Canon of Chichester cathedral, from 1948, and vicar of Stonegate, Sussex, 1941-1959; wrote several volumes of poetry; 1885-1971

from Hilda B Young
Reference: PLO/244
Dates of creation: 5 June 1973 - 29 August 1973
Extent: 3 letters, 7 sheets & 2 envelopes Personal news and greetings, with several references to Richard [Rumbold]
Friend of Richard Rumbold (Plomer's second cousin, whose diaries Plomer edited as A message in code); letters written from New South Wales, Australia

fan mail file
Reference: PLO/245
Dates of creation: 23 October 1934 - 23 August 1972
Extent: 13 letters, 14 sheets, 1 card & 5 envelopes Letters from various admirers, apparently kept together by Plomer, with typescript list of dates and correspondents
Letters relate to various works and reviews by Plomer, including (all PLO 245/) Ali the lion (/2), Double lives (/3), At home (/5, /8), Taste and remember (/7, specifically on his poem on Nat Nakasa and Ingrid Jonker, The taste of the fruit), Celebrations (/13, specifically on his poem A church in Bavaria).
File also includes a note of his election as a “knight of Mark Twain” (/6, 1966) and an acknowledgement of his gift of a candlestick to the City of Nottingham public libraries for their Byron collection (/9, 1968).

Letters from William Plomer
Reference: PLO/Section II
to Ridley D Beeton (Professor)
Reference: PLO/246
Dates of creation: 19 September 1970, 3 July 1973
Extent: 2 letters (photostat copies), 3 sheets & 2 envelopes Recounts contact with Pauline Smith (South African short story writer, subsequently living in Dorset), and in particular his visit to her to deliver an illuminated tribute in 1958, in connection with Beeton's essay on Pauline Smith
From the department of English, University of South Africa, Pretoria
Beeton, D.R., Pauline Smith and South African literature in English, periodical article, journal details unknown ([South Africa], 1973)
Related material - here PLO/208

to Sybil, Marchioness of Cholmondeley
Reference: PLO/247
Dates of creation: 15 August 1950, March 1954, 13 November 1959, July 1964, 4 December 1965 - 20 September 1973
Extent: 16 letters, 1 empty envelope & 3 manuscript poems or collections of poems, 46 sheets, 1 notebook & 7 envelopes Appreciative letters relating to Plomer's visits to Houghton Hall (Lady Cholmondeley's Norfolk house) and to the annual Cholmondeley award for poets, set up by her in 1966 (Plomer was on the panel of judges for the award).
Nature and types of document Particular comments on the Cholmondeley award and its recipients are at PLO 247/8 (1968, with Plomer's comments on Edwin Morgan's poetry), /10 (1971) and /16 (1973).
Manuscript poems by Plomer are as follows (all PLO 247/):

PLO 247/10 (1971) refers to Plomer's plans for another collection of poems [ Celebrations]; /12 (1972) to the poet laureateship (and the rumour that Plomer might be appointed next laureate); /14 (1972) mentions Derek Walcott's long poem, Another life (published by Cape, 1973).
PLO 247/19 is dated 20 September 1973, although it must have been written 19 September (Plomer died in the early hours of 20 September); the envelope is marked “The last letter”. PLO 247/20 is a letter to Lady Cholmondeley from Osbert Sitwell, dated 23 October 1966, with a reference to Plomer's poems [ Taste and remember]. PLO 247/16-17 are both incomplete, and PLO 247/5 is an envelope only, with no letter.
Related material - here PLO/36

to Enslin du Plessis
Reference: PLO/248
Dates of creation: [2 September 1926], 5 November 1929, [August 1933 x September 1935] and 30 December 1955
Extent: 4 letters (photostat copies), 11 sheets Personal news. PLO 248/1 (1926) includes a (prejorative) reference to an introduction by “a certain Masefield”. PLO 248/3 (1933 x 1935) to Plomer's having to “write a novel three times to get it right” (probably Sado).
A note with the photostat copies states that the originals of these letters are in the Pringle Collection, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
PLO 248/1 is dated only “Thursday”, but refers to being in the “throes of departure” [from South Africa]: Plomer left South Africa on Thursday 2nd September 1926, having only agreed to go a few days earlier (see Alexander's biography, p.110). PLO 248/3 is also dated only “Thursday” but is addressed from Portsdown Road, where Plomer lived from August 1933 to September 1935 (see Alexander's biography, pp.194-195).

to Gladys Ellen Easdale
Reference: PLO/249
Dates of creation: 10 July 1964 - 20 February 1970
Extent: 36 letters, 60 sheets & 27 envelopes Advice and comments on ideas and journals submitted by Easdale to Plomer, with much personal news of his own work and commitments, and occasional references to other authors and literary figures
Nature and types of document PLO 249/1 includes comments on Easdale's diary, /2 on her autobiography, Middle age (with advice on the possibility of a sequel), and /6 on Don't blame the stars (all 1964).
PLO 249/13-14 (1967) include references to “The Prelude” and to Yeats and Pound (cf.letters from Easdale to Plomer).
PLO 249/12 includes Plomer's comments on a request by Easdale that he should be her literary executor. PLO 249/17-20 include comments by Plomer on Leonard Woolf's A calendar of consolation (1967-1968), and /31-36 (1969) on Woolf's death and a talk by Plomer on him for BBC radio (with a comment by Plomer on the “narrow attitude to religion” of the Bloomsburies, in PLO 249/34).
Writer, born 1885
Acquired as accession number Misc.1989/90:2
Related material - here PLO/63

to Joan Feisenberger
Reference: PLO/250
Dates of creation: 16 June 1961, 5 February 1966 - 1 December 1972
Extent: 21 letters, 29 sheets, 2 cards & 15 envelopes Letters mainly relate to Francis Kilvert and meetings of the Kilvert Society.
PLO 250/11 (1970) refers to a public inquiry, apparently involving barns at Ashbrook, Clyro (home of Francis Kilvert for 7 years from 1865), and includes a letter to Feisenberger from CTO Prosser (secretary to Kilvert Society). PLO 250/17 (1972) mentions proposals for a memorial plaque [to Kilvert] at Ashbrook.
PLO 250/8 (1967) includes advice regarding the printing and publication of “Eric Bligh's book.” PLO 250/17-18 (1972) include comments on Basil Bunting, the latter with a cartoon of Bunting by Plomer.
Presented by H.A. Feisenberger, husband of Joan Feisenberger, 1994; accession number Misc.1993/94:7

to Edward Morgan Forster
Reference: PLO/251
Dates of creation: undated [September 1932 - August 1933]
Extent: 1 letter (xerox copy), 4 sheets Comments on Forster's Maurice, especially its happy ending and technique (“something to steer by”); also on book by F Taverner.
Letter is dated only “Monday” but is addressed from Redcliffe Road, London, where Plomer lived from Sept 1932 to Aug 1933 (see Alexander's biography, pp.185 and 194).
Related material - here PLO/66

to Brian Merton Gould
Reference: PLO/253
Dates of creation: 1 February 1972 - 5 August 1973
Extent: 3 letters, 4 sheets & 3 envelopes Thanking him for his The mysteries of Birmingham with comments on a few of his poems
Poet and writer
Purchased January 1982 (sale list and note with letters)

to Kenneth Gransden
Reference: PLO/254
Dates of creation: 9 December 1960 - 19 April 1963
Extent: 4 letters, 5 sheets & 1 card Relating to reviews requested from or written by Plomer. PLO 254/1 (1960) includes comments on Gransden's poems, and PLO 254/3 (1961) to his request that Plomer write an obituary of [E.M.]Forster for The Listener
Apparently an editor of The Listener (BBC) magazine
Accession number 1993/94:2

to Graham Greene
Reference: PLO/255
Dates of creation: check Plomer 820.11 DOB for Dobrée reference
Extent: 4 letters, 6 sheets PLO 255/1 (1936) granting permission for Greene to use Plomer quotation in [dedication inscription of] his book [ Journey without maps]. /2 (1937) turning down invitation to take part in a symposium on Africa (with reference to Plomer's reluctance to write about Africa or “empire-builders'', and referring Greene to Laurens Van der Post). /3 (1937) refers to invitation to Plomer to contribute to a new paper, Night and day, with suggestion that he write an article about all-in wrestling. /4 (1963) concerns links between [Augustus] Hare and Kilvert [Hardenhuish rectory school].
First two letters dated with no year, but both addressed from Norfolk Square, London (where Plomer lived Sept 1935-June 1936 and Oct 1936-May 1937, see Alexander's biography, p.195). PLO 255/1 refers to Greene using a quotation from a poem by Plomer, apparently for a dedicatory inscription (noted as being in Journey without maps, published May 1936). PLO 255/2 refers to Plomer writing an essay on Captain Cook (noted as being in B Dobrée (ed), From Anne to Victoria, 1937).
Novelist, playwright and literary editor, 1904-1991
Apparently purchased at Sotheby's, July 1975 (part of envelope from sellers is enclosed with the letters)

to Ian Hamilton
Reference: PLO/256
Dates of creation: 16 March 1964 - 1 September 1964
Extent: 4 letters, 4 sheets (first letter incomplete) Article written by Plomer, apparently on the 1930s, for Review (not used)
Poet and literary editor, born 1938; edited Review magazine, 1962-1972

to Louis Herrman
Reference: PLO/257
Dates of creation: 14 November 1970 - 11 February 1972
Extent: 2 letters, 2 sheets Thanking Herrman for copies of Poetry review, with comments about the Poetry Society and Zelda [Friedlander]
Addressed as “Dr” Herrman by Plomer, from Cape, South Africa
Originally with letters from Zelda Friedlander to Plomer, and possibly sent by Dr Herrman to her

to Margaret ('Peg'), Princess of Hesse
Reference: PLO/258
Dates of creation: 17 August 1970 - 21 August 1973
Extent: 9 letters, 12 sheets Social arrangements and personal news, with comments on Plomer's reading for a charity event at Paul Getty's house in Surrey in 1972 (PLO 258/4). PLO 258/5 is a copy of his poem, Painted on darkness (“A sunlit branch of four reflected roses…”), sent as a birthday card. PLO 258/6 (1973) includes brief references to his work on [The butterfly ball and the grasshopper's feast] and on the letters of Alice Lemon [unpublished].
Patron and supporter of the Aldeburgh festival and friend of Benjamin Britten

to René Janin
Reference: PLO/259
Dates of creation: 30 November 1952, 21 August 1953
Extent: 2 letters, 5 sheets Personal letters, including comments on the writing of libretto for (1952) and performances (1953) of the opera Gloriana, including (PLO 259/2) comments on the royal family and on an objection by the Lord Chamberlain's office to a reference to a “chamber pot” in the draft version of the opera. PLO 259/1 includes a reference to having an idea for “another novel” (following the publication of Museum Pieces).
Related material - here PLO/111

to John Lehmann
Reference: PLO/260
Dates of creation: 20 April 1952 - 4 October 1955
Extent: 12 letters (xerox copies), 24 sheets Comments on various books and authors, with some personal news. Plomer's comments on Lehmann's The open night and on some poems (apparently not published when Plomer saw them) are recorded in PLO 260/1 & 5 (1952, 1953) respectively.
Related material - here PLO/124

to G.L. Lewin
Reference: PLO/261
Dates of creation: 23 November 1966
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets Referring to some paintings of Cape Malays by Ritter, and to a piece [? The battle continues] about [Roy] Campbell written by MacDiarmid
Purchased from Quaritch, 1976 (Quaritch catalogue 960, item 503)
Related material - here PLO/128

to Cecil Day Lewis
Reference: PLO/262
Dates of creation: 18 September 1934
Extent: 1 letter (photostat copy), 3 sheets Praising Day Lewis for his A hope for poetry
Related material - here PLO/54

to Dudley Massey
Reference: PLO/263
Dates of creation: 1946 - 1966
Extent: 25 letters and cards, 19 sheets, 12 cards & 13 envelopes (also sale notice from booksellers) Friendly letters and postcards, many addressed to “My dear Cardinal”, with personal news, comments on a few books and mutual friends (including “Simon” [Nowell Smith]). Plomer refers to plans for his second volume of autobiography in PLO 263/18 (1956) and [after publication, as At home] in PLO 263/19 (1958).
Bookseller, apparently with Pickering and Chatto, worked with Plomer at the Naval Intelligence Division from 1941.
Apparently purchased from Bertram Rota Ltd (booksellers)

to Johannes Meintjes
Reference: PLO/264
Dates of creation: 25 January 1970, 11 January 1972
Extent: 2 letters (photostat copies), 4 sheets Thanking (and praising) Meintjes for gifts of his Stormberg [a lost opportunity…, (Cape Town, 1969)] and Sandile [the fall of the Xhosa nation, (Cape Town, 1971)], with comments on his time in Stormberg [where Plomer worked as a farm apprentice, 1921-1922]. The letters include several Afrikaaner words, translated into English in marginal annotations [possibly by Meintjes or a curator at the Rhodes University, Grahamstown].
A note with the photostat copies states that the originals of these letters are in the Pringle Collection, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
South African writer (apparently on South African history) and painter

to Harold Monro
Reference: PLO/265
Dates of creation: 4 April 1921 - 28 October 1923
Extent: 10 letters plus list (photostat copies), 38 sheets (including list) Initial letter enclosing poems for Monro's comment, before Plomer had published any work, and with requests for advice on literature to read. Subsequent letters (after apparently encouraging replies from Monro) include more poems, some with comments. Plomer comments regularly also on the difficulty of writing while in South Africa (and in particular while working on a farm in the Stormberg, 1921-1922).
There is an account of the letters (with some transcripts) in Alexander's biography, pp.60-66 & 73-75. Poems included with the letters are: Evening in Oxfordshire, At present (a fragment, Symphony, Death, Barges, Souvenir, The morning, The afternoon and The night (the last 3 with a preface relating some vaudeville), The visitor, Famille Arlequin, Desert ghosts, Amanzimtoti, Cyrus beheaded, There is no coming back, The house of her mind, The black Christ and The ships of love.
Originals of the letters are in the National English Literary Museum, Grahamstown, South Africa. A list of the letters is enclosed with them, including notes on some of the poems that were published (mainly in Notes for poems).
Poet and publisher of poetry (founder of the Poetry Bookshop in 1913), 1879-1932

to Hiroaki Mori
Reference: PLO/266
Dates of creation: 12 October 1971
Extent: 1 letter, 1 sheet & 1 photograph Sorry to miss Mori on his visit to England, and enclosing a photograph
Son of Captain Katsue Mori (qv)

to Katsue Sencho (Captain) Mori
Reference: PLO/267
Dates of creation: 19 April 1971 - 5 October 1971, 15 September 1973
Extent: 3 letters, 4 sheets & 3 envelopes Personal letters, recalling Mori's role in taking Plomer and Laurens Van der Post to Japan [in 1926], referring to Japanese friends, and with Plomer's own news. PLO 267/1 refers to Japan as “my university”, /2 to [Britten's 'church operas', for which Plomer wrote the libretti] as “derived to some extent from the form of the No”, and /3 to Plomer's The butterfly ball.
Related material - here PLO/144

to Peter Pears
Reference: PLO/268
Dates of creation: [c.1950] and 17 May 1955
Extent: 2 letters (photocopies), 8 sheets Personal letters, including a reference to a performance by Pears of the Gloriana suite at the Festival Hall (PLO 268/2, 1955)
First letter dated only “Wednesday” but addressed from Linden Gardens so pre-July 1953.
Singer (tenor) and partner of Benjamin Britten, 1910-1986

to Mary Potter
Reference: PLO/269
Dates of creation: 8 January 1970
Extent: 1 letter, 3 sheets (plus letters from Britten-Pears and University of Durham libraries) Regarding plans for a collaborative fund-raising proposal between Plomer and Potter, on the theme of (and ? to raise funds for) the reopening of the 'Maltings' concert hall at Aldeburgh in 1970. Encloses copy of his poem, A note from a cello (“A blameless calm night, the people have gone…”), with Plomer's comments on some phrases in the second stanza.
Accompanied by letter from the Britten-Pears library at Aldeburgh, regarding Mary Potter and her collaboration with Plomer.
Related material - here PLO/170

to Frank Templeton Prince
Reference: PLO/270
Dates of creation: 17 August 1954 - 27 December 1956, 1 May 1962 - 17 May 1963, 28 December 1967, 8 October 1970
Extent: 15 letters, 24 sheets, 1 card & 12 envelopes Mainly social arrangements and brief comments on various authors; also comments on Prince's own poetry and the difficulty of getting it published, with reference to his collected poems (published as The doors of stone, 1963) and to his Memoirs in Oxford (PLO 270/6-13 & 15 respectively). PLO 270/5 (1956) mentions a demonstration [against apartheid] at South Africa House [embassy], London.
Related material - here PLO/174

to Taro Shiomi
Reference: PLO/271
Dates of creation: 17 May 1927 - 2 April 1934, 15 January 1946 - 5 August 1973
Extent: 47 letters, 79 sheets Personal news and comments on Plomer's time in Japan. Many letters include references to mutual friends in Japan, especially Plomer's former pupils and James Kirkup.
PLO 271/1-8 (1927-1929) written from Japan
Nature and types of document PLO 271/1-8 (1927-1929) are written from Japan (/4 includes comments by Plomer on his attitude to Christian priests). The war with Japan is mentioned in /11 (sent with John Morris, 1946) and /12 (1947, mentioning the “constancy of our friendship, which is quite unaffected by wars, revolutions…”). /14 (1950) mentions an invitation to Plomer to work in Japan as a successor of Edmund Blunden [as cultural attaché in Tokyo], /23-24 (1960) to a visit by Laurens Van der Post to Japan (with a description of Van der Post) and /32-33 (1966) to James Kirkup and his writings on Japan.
Plomer refers to his own writing in /9 (1932, “I have quite given up writing verse”), /15 (1953, concerning plans by Shiomi to produce a Japanese edition of extracts of Plomer's works for college students), /20 (1958, libretto of Curlew River, based on Sumidagawa, the Japanese No play), /22 (1960, on his enjoyment in giving public readings of his poetry), /26-29 (1963, editing of Richard Rumbold's diary, A message in code, including references to his visit to Japan and a Zen monastery), /38 (1969, referring to a copy of Hikaku Bungaku, apparently a literary magazine, with an essay on Plomer's poems). /29 concerns the stories of Saikaku (in translation), 1963.
Personal comments on himself are in /10 (1934, “my life continues to be a series of ups and downs,” “I am not married, and do not intend to marry”). He explains the pronunciation of his name in /16 (1953, stating of the spelling, “it came from a mistake made in the Middle Ages''). He describes a photograph of himself (not surviving) with the words, “looks to me rather like a bank manager without a bank” (/18, 1958). Some personal opinions are in /4 (1927, on Christian priests), /32 (1965, on England as “a less and less pleasing place”), /38 (1969, on “excursions to the moon”). Several letters refer to his garden at Rustington (/19) or Hassocks (/34), and he sends flower seeds to Shiomi in 1961 (/25-27).
Related material - here PLO/202

to John Hampson Simpson
Reference: PLO/272
Dates of creation: 8 January 1931 - 31 October 1952
Extent: 20 letters, 46 sheets & 14 envelopes Personal news and literary opinions
Nature and types of document Plomer comments on Simpson's works at PLO 272/1 (1931, O Providence), /5 (1936, Family curse) and /20 (1952, A bag of bones). Plomer wrote an introduction to the Eyre & Spottiswoode reprint of Saturday night at the greyhound in 1950, and Plomer writes about the introduction and the republishing in /15, /16, /19 (1946-1950).
Plomer refers to his own work in 1932 ( Cecil Rhodes, PLO 272/2-3) and 1950 (commenting on the BBC radio programme The critics, which Plomer took part in, /19).
Other authors or literary persons are mentioned in PLO 272/2 (references to W.H.Auden and Christopher Isherwood, to [Hugh] W[alpole] and his The fortress, and to [John] Lehmann's intention to leave the Hogarth Press, 1932), /5 (comments on [Richard] Dawkins, professor of Byzantine and Modern Greek, 1936) and /14 (comments on Morgan [E.M.Forster] following the death of his mother, 1945).
The letters include many personal references to “Four ashes'' (Simpson's family home), in particular thanking him for a regular Christmas gift of “branches'' (a sheaf of horse-chestnut and wild cherry branches: see PLO 374/6). A few of the letters refer to wartime conditions, in particular PLO 272/11 (1941) reflects on a walk by Plomer through London after the 'blitz'.
Related material - here PLO/204

to Miss Smit
Reference: PLO/273
Dates of creation: 30 July 1966
Extent: 1 letter, 2 sheets On request that Plomer write introduction to [Zelda] Friedlander's book on Olive Schreiner [ Until the heart changes: a garland for Olive Schreiner (Tafelberg, 1967)]. Includes comments on Olive Schreiner (“her whole life was spent in controversy”) and insisting that he see the finished book before writing an introduction for it.
Apparently from Tafelberg, Cape Town, South Africa (publishers)
Originally kept among the letters from Zelda Friedlander to Plomer

to the Society of Authors
Reference: PLO/274
Dates of creation: 31 August 1944 - December 1970, September 1973
Extent: 69 letters or notes, plus cuttings, 59 sheets, 22 cards, 2 cuttings & 1 service card Many letters relate to routine business of the Society and to Committee meetings. Others include requests for professional advice and notes on suggested members of the Society.
Nature and types of document Plomer's own membership application is PLO 274/1 (1944), and his profile of himself is at /25 (1949). /6 is his consent to serve on a committee of the Society from 1948 (1947), and /7 accepts membership of the Radiowriters Association.
Suggested members for the Society are mentioned or discussed in PLO 274/12, 28, 35 (1948-1951). /47-49 seek advice on a fee for writing a commentary for a film company (1955), /53-55 concern the publisher's contract for Plomer's edition of Richard Rumbold's diary ( A message in code), with reference to receiving help from the Crompton Bequest Fund (1963). /58-60 concern the setting up of the Cholmondeley Award for young writers (1964). /62-63 refer to a query about the copyright and confidentiality of publishers' readers' reports (1965, probably with reference to the publication of Malcolm Lowry's Selected letters, edited by Harvey Breit and Margerie Bonner Lowry, of which the proof version included a copy of Plomer's report: see Alexander's biography, pp.212-213).
PLO 274/19 (1949) include drafts and proofs of a letter from Plomer to The author in support of giving state aid to writers, and /23 concerns replies to the same. /70-72 are not letters from Plomer, but cuttings of his obituary from the D[aily] T[elegraph] (22/9/1973) and of a letter to the Times from Laurens Van der Post relating mainly to the Voorslag period (28/9/1973), and a copy of the printed service sheet for his memorial service (St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, 7/11/1973).
Purchased with assistance from the V & A purchase grant fund. Bought Sotheby's, 30 June 1982.

to John Sparrow
Reference: PLO/275
Dates of creation: 3 December 1943 - 19 July 1973, undated, 27 September 1973 - 21 October 1973
Extent: 105 letters & cards (photocopies) Personal news, with many comments on the diaries of Francis Kilvert and on the Kilvert Society, notes on each other's work, and occasional comments on student protests in the 1960s.
The collection includes a series of Christmas cards sent by Plomer, many with his own captions. These are kept at PLO 275/85-98 (1957, 1966, 1972 and undated). /98 includes comments by Plomer on Kilvert's verse, and on “ 'revolting' students''.
PLO 275/99-105 are letters written by Plomer's friends to Sparrow after Plomer's death.
Nature and types of document Many of the letters include notes by Plomer on his own works, in response to comments from Sparrow. In particular:

Plomer also comments on his own work at /31-32 (on editing of Richard Rumbold's diary, Message in code, 1963-1964), /42-43 (seeking advice regarding his speech at the unveiling of a Byron memorial in Westminster abbey, 1969), and /69 (on editing letters of Alice Lemon [not published], 1973). PLO 275/84 is a MS copy (undated) of Miss Canute (“Oh for my non-permissive youth!…”).
Plomer comments on Sparrow's work at /2 (on Sense and poetry, 1944), /7 (preface to poems by John B[etjeman, published John Murray, London, 1948], 1949), and at /73-75 (Santa Maria della Salute, 1973, read by Plomer at the Aldeburgh Festival)
The Kilvert society, its members and events, are frequently mentioned in the letters, including at /8 (1949), /41 (1968, with a poem about Kilvert's verse, “A thousand thanks for Kilvert's verse…”) and /54 (1970, on contributions to the Kilvert Society by [A.L.] Rowse).
Other authors and their writings are mentioned in /5 (on Mrs Galsworthy and Connolly, 1945), and /45 (on Joe Ackerley, and Plomer's decision to destroy many of his letters from Ackerley “some years ago”, 1969).
PLO 275/50 includes Plomer's comments on “the whole process of opting or dropping out by the young, and of protest” (1970), and /71 (1973) on a group apparently demonstrating against poetry readings.
Additional documents Letters PLO 275/99-105, written after Plomer's death to John Sparrow by mutual friends, are as follows:

Related material - here PLO/211

to Stephen Spender
Reference: PLO/276
Dates of creation: 19 January 1930 - 1938
Extent: 41 letters (photocopies) Personal news and detailed comments on each other's travels and writings, particularly on poems sent by Spender to Plomer in the early 1930s. See the separate list of Spender's letters to Plomer (PLO 213) for details of Spender's poems that Plomer was sent in manuscript, and for references to Plomer's replies within this series.
Letters also refer frequently to mutual friends, in particular Tony Butts, Christopher Isherwood and others (some known by 'nicknames').
Nature and types of document Letters concerning Plomer's own writings include PLO 276/15-16 (on Sado, answering some of Spender's criticisms), /19 (The case is altered), /24 & /29 (on Plomer's decision to give up writing poetry, 1932) and /30 (commenting that he is “writing another [novel], a purely frivolous one”, 1934). PLO 276/11 encloses a copy of Plomer's Headline history (“Grave charge in Mayfair bathroom case…”).
As well as replies to Spender's letters mentioned in the separate list of PLO 213, other letters commenting on Spender's works include /25 (on Spender's The temple, rewritten by Spender 1932, though not published until 1987) and /37 (references to Spender's [The burning] cactus, 1936).
Many letters refer to literary figures and contemporary writing, including /7 (on Wyndham-Lewis and his attitude towards homosexuality, 1930, incomplete), /9 (on Bryan Howard's “anthology”, Julien Green and [Wyndham-Lewis], Apes of God), /17-20 (on articles by Middleton Murray, 1932), /18 & 22 (recommendations of homosexual novels), /22 (on Isherwood novel, incomplete, 1932) and /29 (on Ellis Roberts, [1932]).
Related material - here PLO/213
Spender's letters to Plomer are listed in detail, and refer to Plomer's replies within this series where available. Note that both the letters from Spender and these letters are incomplete, with many replies and letters apparently missing.

Works by Plomer
Reference: PLO/Section III
Copies and drafts of published poems
Reference: PLO/282
Dates of creation: 1960 - 1973
Extent: 1 folder, 25 items Rough copies and drafts, mostly manuscript and with corrections and alterations, of poems from Taste and remember (1966) and Celebrations (1973).
Included are drafts for the preface to Plomer's 1973 Collected poems, with notes for the contents of that volume and corrections to the earlier volume of Collected poems (1960; the 1973 volume incorporated all the poems from Taste and remember and Celebrations with the 1960 volume). But some of the poems are in a different form from that published in any of the volumes, or under different titles, suggesting a range of dates for the drafts extending well before 1973 or even 1966.

Notes and preface for 1973 edition of Collected poems
Reference: PLO/282/1-4
Dates of creation: [1973]
Extent: 4 items, 23 sheets Notes of corrections and instructions, together with drafts (2 manuscript, corrected, 1 typescript) of Plomer's preface to the 1973 edition.

The axe in the orchard (Celebrations)
Reference: PLO/282/5
Extent: 4 sheets Manuscript draft, dated "11,12 Dec 1966", showing many corrections and differences from the published version

A casual encounter (Celebrations)
Reference: PLO/282/6
Extent: 2 sheets Manuscript draft, with corrections, title changed from An episode

Contemporaries (Celebrations)
Reference: PLO/282/7
Extent: 1 sheet Manuscript draft, with corrections, title changed from Three epigrams

Exit lines (Taste and remember)
Reference: PLO/282/8
Extent: 10 sheets & 1 envelope Manuscript draft (title corrected from A message to a poet), with many corrections, together with additional rough draft and notes (282/8/1-5, beginning with a ? quotation from Mary Coleridge, “Whate'er he be, He is become to me, A form of rest…”). Drafts differ significantly from the published version.

Exit lines (Taste and remember)
Reference: PLO/282/9
Extent: 3 sheets Manuscript draft, corrected (to accord with published version)

The half-recluse (Taste and remember)
Reference: PLO/282/10
Extent: 1 sheet Printed copy, taken from Poetry (Chicago, Oct-Nov 1962), with manuscript corrections

Lime-flower tea (Taste and remember)
Reference: PLO/282/11
Extent: 2 sheets Manuscript draft, with corrections, title changed from A night in winter

At the supermarket (Taste and remember, as Mrs Middleditch)
Reference: PLO/282/12
Dates of creation: 1960
Extent: 12 sheets Manuscript draft, with many corrections and reworking of final stanzas. Title changed from earlier versions, scored out ( Supermarket, Mrs Middleditch at the supermarket, Oh, Mrs Middleditch)
Manuscript undated, but dated in Taste and remember as 1960

Now (Celebrations)
Reference: PLO/282/13
Extent: 5 sheets Manuscript draft, with corrections

The planes of Bedford Square (Celebrations)
Reference: PLO/282/14-16
Dates of creation: 16 March 1971 - 27 March 1971
Extent: 3 items, 10 sheets Three manuscript drafts, first two entitled Love fifteen and the third The planes of Bedford Square (altered from A crystal moment and Love fifteen). Each draft is dated and heavily corrected, and the three drafts vary significantly.

Reading in the garden (Taste and remember)
Reference: PLO/282/17
Extent: 8 sheets Manuscript draft, with corrections

Shot at sight (Taste and remember)
Reference: PLO/282/18
Extent: 8 sheets Manuscript drafts and working notes, with many corrections and reorderings. Title of one draft changed from Two-voice elegy for John Kennedy, and versions marked An elegy for two voices and A memorial for two voices (with various arrangements of 1st/2nd voice, not reflected in the published version).

A summer storm (Taste and remember)
Reference: PLO/282/19-20
Extent: 3 sheets Two manuscript drafts, entensively corrected and showing several differences from each other. First untitled, second entitled A summer storm, with title The force of habit scored out.

The taste of the fruit (Taste and remember)
Reference: PLO/282/21
Extent: 5 sheets & 1 newspaper cutting Printed version (newspaper cutting, with corrections), and manuscript version (marked “revised version”, with some small corrections)

They (Celebrations)
Reference: PLO/282/22-23
Dates of creation: one draft dated 1967, other undated
Extent: 4 sheets Two manuscript drafts, with many corrections and variations. Title changed from One old man to another and (in one draft) from To a contemporary.

A victorian album (Celebrations)
Reference: PLO/282/24
Extent: 2 sheets Manuscript draft, with corrections. Note underneath title (scored out and not in published version), “In memory of Osman, or Homage to Osman”

A walk in Würzburg (Taste and remember)
Reference: PLO/282/25
Dates of creation: 1965
Extent: 2 sheets Manuscript draft, with many corrections. Noted “sent to New Yorker 15.2.66” and dated July 1965. Title altered from A walk in Würzburg, 1960.

Drafts for The butterfly ball and the grasshopper's feast
Reference: PLO/283
Dates of creation: 1972 - 1973
Extent: 30 sheets Manuscript drafts for many of the verses, with a few corrections and some significant differences from the published versions. The verses are arranged in a different order from that in the book, and accompanied by a (? later) list of the verses, in an order close to that of the final version.
Also included are some drafts and corrections marked “last revision - Jan 73,” a copy of one of the plates (plate 25, for The grasshopper's feast) and some press notes dated 29 June 1973.

Notes for lectures
Reference: PLO/284
Extent: 3 items Notes for occasional lectures given by Plomer.

PLO/284/1
Notes for lecture on “South African writing today”, with notes also on past and future South African literature in English.
3 sheets
PLO/284/2   [1955]
Notes for lecture on the functions of a publisher's Reader. Noted as given to Lewes Literary Society: see letter from Leonard Woolf, PLO 240/29, referring to an address in January 1955. With “extract from MS submitted about 1930” (unattributed, presumed rejected by Plomer as Reader for Cape).
6 sheets
PLO/284/3   [1967]
Notes for a lecture on autobiography, perhaps given to Lewes Literary Club in March 1967 (see letters from Leonard Woolf, PLO 240/46-49)
18 sheets
Carbon copy book
Reference: PLO/285
Dates of creation: 1968 - 1969
Extent: 1 notebook Carbon copies (in manuscript) of various articles and notes by Plomer. The volume includes very few corrections or alterations.
Nature and types of document The contents of the volume are as follows:


PLO/286 - 289

Related material - here PLO/332 - 333
Extracts of letters to his parents
Reference: PLO/286.
Dates of creation: 16 January 1931 - November 1934
Extent: 1 notebook, 7 leaves containing extracts of letters (some incomplete, other leaves cut out of book) Notebook containing extracts (copied in Plomer's hand) of letters from himself to his parents. Many pages or sections are cut out, and the front of the notebook gives the dates (in Plomer's hand) as “1930-1938”. The cover is noted, “The cut out sections almost certainly the ones that W.P. used in his autobiography.”
Nature and types of document
Includes letter referring to meeting with Somerset Maugham and Herbert Read (1933), and another relating Plomer's impressions of (and disgust at) a speech given by [Oswald] Mosley [founder of British Union of Fascists], 1934.

Manuscript of Plomer's autobiography
Reference: PLO/287
Dates of creation: [1973]
Extent: 1 bundle Manuscript revision of Plomer's Double lives, with printed copy of first three chapters of At home, altered in places. This manuscript (together with the remainder of At home, as originally published) was published posthumously as The autobiography of William Plomer (Cape, 1975)

Grant of CBE to Plomer in New Year Honours list, 1968
Reference: PLO/288
Dates of creation: 1 January 1968
Extent: 1 envelope (outsize) Royal warrant of appointment as Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), awarded to Plomer in New Year Honours list, 1968, with accompanying official letters and copy of statutes.

Papers relating to award of honorary degree by University of Durham, 1959
Reference: PLO/289
Dates of creation: 4 July 1959
Extent: 1 folder Photographs, copy of speeches on presentation of candidates and certificate, for honorary degree (D.Litt.) conferred on Plomer by University of Durham, 4 July 1959, at a ceremony at King's College, Newcastle upon Tyne

Family and genealogical papers
Reference: PLO/290
Extent: 5 folders Miscellaneous letters, cuttings, articles and notes relating to genealogical research into Plomer's family and name

PLO/290/1
Article by Bertram Plummer on the surname of “Plummer” (in envelope annotated by Plomer, “Proof, if proof be needed, that the Plomers began as plumbers'')
1 folder
PLO/290/2-3
Genealogical papers, letters and charts relating to the Plomer family (with envelope marked by Plomer, “Father's side”)
2 folders
PLO/290/4-6
Folders relating to Cornish Plomers, to families of Folkes and Bush, and to Pagan family (including connections with Patrick Lowe-Holmes)
3 folders
PLO/290/7
Charts and notes from envelope marked “Maternal side”, in particular re families ofFranklyn,Arden,Browne,RumboldandHorniman.
1 folder
PLO/290/8
Miscellaneous letters and notes relating to family and ancestors, including several letters from Plomer's relation, Patrick [Lowe-Holmes]. Two of the letters [c.1972] apparently refer to letters from Alice Lemon, and include a question from Lowe-Holmes about possible publication and whether the family would have to be contacted.
1 folder
Miscellaneous items collected by Plomer
Reference: PLO/291 - 309
Broadcast talk and article by Plomer on Martin Folkes
Reference: PLO/291.
Dates of creation: 1954
Extent: 1 folder Notes, letters, transcript of talk (for Third Programme, BBC Radio, 20 May 1954) and copy of article ( Listener, 8 July 1954), on Martin Folkes, antiquary, 1690-1754
Folder also includes typescript copy of letter from H.G.Wells to Gosse, 4 January 1904, with notes about the private life of Gissing

Text of broadcast talk on Plomer by John Morris
Reference: PLO/292
Dates of creation: 13 January 1974
Extent: 1 folder Text of a talk for BBC Radio 3, “William Plomer: a memoir”, by John Morris (soldier and broadcaster)
See also -
PLO/146

Letter of thanks from Brighton art students to Plomer
Reference: PLO/293
Dates of creation: 17 May 1966
Extent: 1 folder Illuminated letter of thanks written on behalf of students at Brighton College of Art (art teacher training department), mounted on card, apparently following readings and lecture by Plomer on libretto writing

Broadcast portrait of Plomer by Ted Walker
Reference: PLO/294
Dates of creation: September 1983
Extent: 1 folder Transcript of a portrait of Plomer by Ted Walker, with Walker as narrator, Hugh Burden and Anne Ridler reading from some of Plomer's poems and letters, and an extract from Museum pieces. Recorded at Broadcasting House, Bristol, and broadcast on [Radio 3]
See also -
PLO/232

Reviews of early books (mainly South African)
Reference: PLO/295
Dates of creation: October 1925 - September 1928
Extent: 1 folder Disbound album of reviews and cuttings, relating to Plomer's South African writings, specifically Turbott Wolfe, the Voorslag magazine and I speak of Africa (published after he had left South Africa for Japan). There are also a few reviews of Notes for poems, and one of Roy Campbell's The Wayzgoose. The album includes many reviews from South African papers and magazines, and some from Japanese papers (including articles on arrival in Japan of Laurens Van der Post and Plomer, on the “Canada Maru”).

Album of reviews of Plomer's later works
Reference: PLO/296
Dates of creation: March 1929 - October 1975
Extent: 1 volume Album of cuttings and offprints with reviews of Plomer's works, from Paper houses (1929) onwards, annotated by Plomer, “What some of my contemporaries wrote about some of my writings''.
Nature and types of document
Plomer's own index of the contents of the volume extends only to reviews of At Home (1958), ff.63-72. Other works reviewed in the volume include: Turbott Wolfe (reissued 1965), ff.72-75, his libretti for Benjamin Britten's “church operas'', f.74, Celebrations (1972), f.76, and Gloriana (libretto, 1972 performances), f.76.
Inside the back cover are loose reviews of The diamond of Jannina (American edition of Ali the lion, 1970), and an article mentioning Tony Butts and Plomer's telling of Butts' stories in Curious relations and Museum pieces (1966). There is also an envelope of reviews of Taste and remember (1966), with an article on Britten's “church operas'' (July 1966).
Inside the front cover are two reviews of The autobiography of William Plomer (published posthumously, 1975)

Address on Japanese literature given by Plomer to Oxford English Society, 1929-1930
Reference: PLO/297
Dates of creation: 1929 - 1930
Extent: 1 volume Manuscript of text of address on modern Japanese literature, given to the Oxford English society at the invitation of Stephen Spender.
Includes copy of obituary of Plomer from Sunday Times, 1973. Plomer notes in the front of the volume, “Since that thime it has been in the possession of H.E. du Plessis, to whom I gave it” (noted 10 Aug 1972). It is not clear who owned the volume prior to its purchase by the University in 1990.
Purchased at Sotheby's sale, 19 July 1990

Cuttings book
Reference: PLO/298
Dates of creation: 1951 - 1972
Extent: 1 volume Book with miscellaneous literary newspaper cuttings, including a few reviews, obituaries etc.
Nature and types of document
Major articles include (in order of book, not chronological):
  • [Obituary] of Roy Campbell, ? The Star, [c.1957-]
  • Article on Plomer from Times literary supplement. 5 Oct 1951
  • On papers of Laurence Housman (brother of A.E. Housman), sold at Sotheby's in July 1968 including letters from Oscar Wilde): from Times, 17 June 1968
  • On racial/colour themes in English South African literature, by Ezekiel Mphahlele, from New statesman, 10 Sep 1960
  • “The novel and the nation in South Africa” by Nadine Gordimer, Times literary supplement, 11 Aug 1961
  • On Nat Nakasa (South African journalist and writer, subject of Plomer's poem Taste and remember after his suicide in 1965), Cape Times, 23 May 1966
  • Obituary of Harold Owen, author and artist, Times, 2 Dec 1971
  • Notes on conversation with George Meredith in 1890, Times literary supplement, 8 & 15 May 1953


Diploma from Men of achievement
Reference: PLO/299
Dates of creation: June 1974
Extent: 1 folder Diploma stating that Plomer is the subject of commendation in Men of achievement 1973

Reader's report on The child of Queen Victoria
Reference: PLO/300
Dates of creation: [1933]
Extent: 1 sheet plus envelope Report by Edward Garnett (reader for Jonathan Cape, publishers), on Plomer's short story collection, The child of Queen Victoria (published with Cape, 1933)

Byron memorial in Westminster Abbey
Reference: PLO/301
Dates of creation: 1824, 1969
Extent: 1 folder Copies of Plomer's speech at the unveiling of a memorial to Byron in Westminster Abbey, including corrected typescript draft and copies printed in The cornhill, number 1060 (summer 1969), and Westminster Abbey One, occasional paper number 23 (Dec 1969)
Also includes copy of A refusal by Thomas Hardy (“Said the grave Dean of Westminster…”, verses on refusal to erect memorial in the abbey after Byron's death in 1824), copy of The mirror of literature, amusement and instruction (number 99, supplementary number, London, apparently 14 Aug 1824, on Byron), and of a cartoon depicting Byron with the dean of Westminster

E.M. Forster's 90th birthday lunch
Reference: PLO/302
Dates of creation: 4 January 1969
Extent: 1 folder Invitation, menu and seating plan for E.M. Forster's 90th birthday lunch in King's College, Cambridge (at which Plomer was a guest)

Drawing for jacket of The case is altered (1970 edition)
Reference: PLO/303
Dates of creation: 11 October 1970
Extent: 1 sheet plus envelope Original pen and ink drawing by John Sergeant for reprint of Plomer's The case is altered (Chatto and Windus, 1970), with brief letter from Sergeant

Broadcast of Plomer's poems
Reference: PLO/304
Dates of creation: 5 January 1949
Extent: 1 folder Typescript text of Broadcast for BBC (Midland Home Service), of some of Plomer's poems. The poems were introduced by Henry Read, and apparently read by Plomer. Poems included are Goodbye to the island, Visiting the caves, Snow, A Basuto coming-of-age, The scorpion, Captain Maru, Archaic Apollo and The Caledonian market.

Visitor's book from “Rossida”
Reference: PLO/305
Dates of creation: August 1953 - 23 July 1961
Extent: 1 folder Extracts from visitors' book for “Rossida”, Rustington, Sussex (where Plomer lived 1953-1966)

Letters to Simon Nowell-Smith about Plomer
Reference: PLO/306
Dates of creation: 11 October 1973, 15 January 1974
Extent: 1 folder Two letters written to Simon Nowell-Smith, both enclosing talks or memoirs on Plomer following his death.
One letter is from Ted Walker, and includes the text of his address at Plomer's cremation service, 27 Sep 1973. The other is from John Morris, and includes a corrected typescript copy of his broadcast on Plomer for the BBC
See also -
PLO/146
PLO/232
PLO/292
PLO/294

Drawings by Plomer
Reference: PLO/307
Dates of creation: mostly undated [1930s-1940s]
Extent: 1 folder, 15 drawings Miscellaneous small drawings, sketches and cartoon figures by Plomer

Notes for talk on libretto-writing
Reference: PLO/308
Dates of creation: 29 November 1970
Extent: 1 folder Notes for talk by Plomer on libretto writing, apparently given at York on 29 Nov 1970. Include very brief notes on librettos for Gloriana, Curlew river, Burning fiery furnace and Prodigal son, together with a corrected manuscript copy of his talk and a typescript copy of a review of Curlew river by James Kirkup (in Japan).

Envelope of “oddments to keep”
Reference: PLO/309
Dates of creation: 1841, 1922 - 1961
Extent: 1 folder Envelope of miscellaneous items, kept together by Plomer with the annotation “oddments to keep”
Nature and types of document
  • /1. Letter to “Miss Rumbold”, Basingstoke, apparently written from Italy or Sicily, with local social news (in particular concerning the Prince of Lucca, also reference to British politics and the Corn Laws). Writer unknown. Dated 1st August, ? 1841. [This letter is extensively quoted from in Plomer's article on Rumbold family papers, "A bundle of old letters - III", The Listener (6 Sep 1945), where it is dated by Plomer “August 1, 1841”: see cutting in PLO 310, f.47.]
  • /2. Picture of a group of Zulus in warrior dress, apparently cut from a magazine, and marked by Plomer “Zulu acquaintances at Entumeni”. Undated [1922-1925]
  • /3. Photograph of a painting by Anthony Butts in Crete (annotated by Plomer, “I think a street in Herakleion”). Undated, ? 1930s
  • /4. Two photographs of Plomer's sketch of Bernard Bayes (head and shoulders in profile, original drawing in folder PLO 307), 1932
  • /5. Two letters from the British Council regarding a proposal for a post in Greece (apparently turned down by Plomer), June 1945
  • /6. Christmas card with family photograph, from “Marion & George”, Christmas 1953
  • /7. Letters with memories and anecdotes about Mary Butts (recognised by the writer from “Lydia Delap” in Museum pieces), with other news of the Butts and Colville-Hyde families. Also notes on (and letters of introduction to) two families from Busted, near Arundel, Sussex. Written by Mrs Wilma Gregory, November 1961 (with envelope annotated by Plomer “strange gossip”)
  • /8-12. Recipes, a photograph of a picture by Edward Burra and other miscellanea, all undated


Review books
Reference: PLO/310 - 312
Literary reviews by Plomer
Reference: PLO/310.
Dates of creation: 1929 - 1953, 1956
Extent: 1 volume Cuttings book containing reviews by Plomer, noted by him on flyleaf as “not a complete file”. Includes brief index at front to main themes or subject areas covered, giving folio numbers for articles under the following headings: “Odds and ends'', “Art”, “Theatre”, “Biography & memoirs'' and “Africana”.

inside front cover   7 December 1956
Two-page article (two copies) on Lytton Strachey and Virginia Woolf (unattributed): reviews Clive Bell, Old friends; Virginia Woolf and Lytton Strachey: letters, ed by Leonard Woolf and James Strachey; Monique Nathan, Virginia Woolf par elle-même

f.1   14 March 1931
Review of Edgell Rickword (collector), Scrutinies: volume II (unattributed)

f.1   11 December 1932
Review of Roy Campbell, Taurine Provence

f.2   May 1933
Review of Roy Campbell, Flowering reeds

f.2   1934
Review of Edmund Blunden, The mind's eye

f.3   18 December 1932 - January 1933
Review of E Sylvia Pankhurst, The home front: a mirror to life in England during the World War
Also two letters published together in Jan 1933, from Sylvia Pankhurst and Plomer, apparently in reply to an earlier letter of objection about Plomer's review

f.4   January 1935
Review of Sacheverell Sitwell, Touching the Orient

f.5   16 November 1934
Review of Cecil Day Lewis, A hope for poetry

f.5   4 September 1936
Review of Maurice Dekobra, A Frenchman in Japan, translated by Metcalfe Wood

f.6   Summer 1935
Review of Nesbitt, Desolate marches

f.7   18 October 1935
Review of Ralph H Brewster, The 6,000 beards of Athos

f.7   21 February 1936
Review of R M Dawkins, The monks of Athos

f.8   February 1936
Review of Lin Yutang, My country and my people

f.9   April 1936
Review of W P Coates and Z K Coates, Armed intervention in Russia, 1918-1922

f.10   2 October 1936
Review of Masterpieces of Japanese poetry ancient and modern, translated and annotated by Miyamori Asataro

f.11   9 July 1937
Review of The collected works of Isaac Rosenberg, ed by Gordon Bottomley and Denys Harding

f.11   5 March 1942
Review of H E Bates, The modern short story: a critical survey

f.12   July 1937
Review of C Day Lewis (ed), The mind in chains: socialism and the cultural revolution

f.13   19 November 1937
Review of The book of songs, translated from the Chinese by Arthur Waley

f.14   29 December 1939
Review of John Piper, Brighton aquatints

f.14   15 March 1940
Review of exhibition of John Piper's work at the Leicester galleries

f.15   9 March 1938
Review of exhibition of Sickert's paintings, at the Leicester galleries

f.16   29 June 1940
Review of exhibition of the Surrealist Group at the Zwemmer gallery

f.17   13 July 1940
Review of performance of Chu Chin Chow at the Palace Theatre, with comments on orientalism in literature generally

f.17   17 August 1944
Review of Richard Church, British authors: a twentieth-century gallery

f.18   15 May 1932
Review of Mrs Alec-Tweedie, Me and mine: a medley of thoughts and memories

f.18   3 February 1933
Review of Constantin Photiades, Count Cagliostro: an authentic story of a mysterious life

f.19   23 July 1933
Review of Countess Alexandra Tolstoy, The tragedy of Tolstoy, translated by Elena Varneck (unattributed)

f.19   14 July 1938
Review of Leslie Halward, Let me tell you (unattributed)

f.19   19 October 1934
Review of John Cowper Powys, Autobiography

f.20   [? 1933]
Review of Joseph Pilsudski: the memories of a Polish revolutionary and soldier, translated and ed by DR Gillie (unattributed)
undated but marked “? 1933” in Plomer's hand

f.20   March 1935
Review of Countess Alexandra Tolstoy, I worked for the Soviet

f.21   August 1935
Review of Roger Fulford, George the Fourth

f.22   23 October 1935
Review of Elizabeth Drexel Lehr, King Lehr and the gilded age (unattributed)

f.22   11 March 1936
Revoew of William Ross Collier and Edwin Victor Westrate, The reign of Soapy Smith

f.23   January 1936
Review of TH Huxley's diary of the voyage of HMS Rattlesnake, ed by Julian Huxley

f.24   15 April 1936
Review of Geoffrey de C Parmiter, Roger Casement (unattributed)

f.24   12 June 1936
Review of Ronald Matthews, English Messiahs: studies of six English religious pretenders, 1656-1927

f.25   July 1936
Review of Vincent O'sullivan, Aspects of Wilde

f.26   9 September 1936
Review of HL Shapiro, The heritage of the Bounty: the story of Pitcairn through six generations (unattributed)

f.26   7 October 1936
Review of Wilfred Macartney, Walls have mouths (unattributed)

f.27   14 October 1936
Review of Hiram Percy Maxim, A genius in the family

f.27   16 December 1936
Review of Miss Weeton: the journal of a governess, 1807-1811, ed by Edward Hall (unattributed)

f.27   November 1937
Review of Wyndham Lewis, Blasting and bombardiering

f.28   22 January 1937
Review of The diary of Vaslav Nijinsky, ed by Romola Nijinsky

f.28   14 July 1938
Review of John Rothenstein, The life and death of Conder (unattributed)

f.28   9 June 1937
Review of Mary Butts, The crystal cabinet: my childhood at Salterns (unattributed)

f.29   1937
Review of The unpublished correspondence of Honoré de Balzac and Madame Zulma Carraud, 1829-1850, translated by J Lewis May (unattributed)

f.30   10 November 1937
Review of Lord Ormathwaite, When I was at court (unattributed)

f.30   3 November 1938
Review of Irving Stone, Sailor on horseback: the biography of Jack London (unattributed)

f.31   30 March 1939
Review of Sir Edward Marsh, A number of people (unattributed)

f.31   21 March 1940
Review of AS Hartrick, A painter's pilgrimage through fifty years (unattributed)

f.31   September 1939
Review of Francis Steegmuller, Flaubert and Madame Bovary

f.32   9 November 1929
Reviews (unattributed) of: A Conan Doyle, Our African winter; Dugald Campbell, Wanderings in central Africa; Cherry Kearton, In the land of the lion; Frank Lavallin Puxley, In African game tracks; Arnold Hodson, Where lion reign; Hugh Marshall Hole, Lobengula. The last four books are reviewed only very sketchily.

f.32   March 1933
Review of S Worthington and EB Worthington, Inland waters of Africa

f.33   1933
Review of Sarah Gertrude Millin, Rhodes

f.33   16 February 1950
Review of Georges Duthuit (ed), Transition Forty-Nine: number 5 (unattributed)

f.34   8 December 1933
Reviews (unattributed) of: Alice Werner, Myths and legends of the Bantu; E Dora Earthy, Valenge women: the social and economic life of the Valenge women of Portuguese East Africa

f.34   27 April 1934
Review of Eric Anderson Walker, The Great Trek

f.35   11 May 1934
Reviews of: Diedrich Westermann, The African to-day; JAI Agar-Hamilton, South Africa; Adriaan J Barnouw, Language and race problems in South Africa

f.35   3 August 1946
Review of Eslanda Goode Robeson, African journey (unattributed)

f.36   [1934]
Review of William Macdonald, The romance of the golden Rand
Marked “? 1934” by Plomer

f.36   20 March 1936
Review of Carel Birkby, Thirstland treks

f.37   24 July 1936
Review of Margery Perham (ed), Ten Africans

f.38   [1934]
Reviews of: Parmenas Githendu Mockerie, An African speaks for his people; LP Mair, An African people in the twentieth century
Marked “? 1934” by Plomer

f.38   15 October 1932
Review of Mrs Wallace, Edgar Wallace

f.40   11 January 1943
Review of exhibition of paintings by John Piper, "The Sitwell country…", at the Leicester Galleries

f.41   22 March 1945
Article on, with quotations from, three unpublished notebooks by a 'Mrs Tonge', with an account of middle-class society in the 1840s.

f.42   22 March 1945
Revuew of Elizabeth Ham: by herself, 1783-1820, ed by Eric Gillett (unattributed)

f.42   1 March 1945
Review of William Gaunt, The aesthetic adventure (unattributed)

f.43   3 May 1945
Reviews (unattributed) of: Edith Olivier, Four Victorian ladies of Wiltshire; Edmund Wilson, Note-books of night

f.43   29 March 1945
Review of Denton Welch, In youth is pleasure (unattributed)

f.44   12 July 1945
Article on the picture postcard, with brief reference to an exhibition at the AIA Centre in Charlotte Street, and comments on the “apogee” of the picture postcard before 1914, and its decline “in fertility of invention” by 1939.

f.45-47   23 August 1945, 30 August 1945, 6 September 1945
Article in three parts on the letters and family papers of the Rumbold family, mainly early 19th century.

f.48   6 December 1945
Review of Norman Douglas, An almanac

f.48   10 January 1946
Review of EG Withycombe, The Oxford dictionary of English Christian names (unattributed)

f.48   29 August 1946
Review of LP Stebbins and RP Stebbins, The Trollopes (unattributed)

f.49   22 September 1945
Review of Willard Price, The Son of Heaven. Includes comments on the future or, and within Japan the need for, an Emperor of Japan.

f.49   28 February 1946
Review of Henry Miller, The cosmological eye (unattributed)

f.50   23 February 1946
Page article on the life and writings of Gissing

f.51   7 March 1946
Page article on the journal of Francis Kilvert

f.52   1 November 1930
Page article on modern Japanese literature, noted “from a paper read to the English Club at Oxford, February, 1930”

f.53   28 November 1931
Article on the Victorian revival and contrast with Edwardian fashions for interior design, written as a letter

f.54   3 November 1933
Page article on Lytton Strachey, with reference to his Characters and commentaries

f.55   17 January 1936
Page article on the practice and art of tattooing

f.56   9 December 1938
Page article on Edgar Wallace, journalist and writer, with reference to Margaret Lane, Edgar Wallace

f.57   6 August 1937
Page article on and review of Balzac, Country doctor

f.58   4 July 1946
Review of Hesketh Pearson, The life of Oscar Wilde (unattributed)

f.58   15 August 1946
Review of Osbert Sitwell, The scarlet tree (unattributed)

f.59-60   29 August 1946
Article (1½ pages) on Rossetti's poetry

f.60   summer 1947
Short article on the practice of reviewing and payment for reviewers, noted in Plomer's hand, “from a symposium inThe Author

f.61-62   12 September 1946
Article (1¼ pages) on Edward Fitzgerald

f.62   2 October 1947
Review of Bergen Evans, The natural history of nonsense (unattributed)

f.62   5 August 1949
Review of Constance E Fripp and VW Hiller (eds), Gold and the Gospel in Mashonaland, 1888 (on the diaries of George Knight-Bruce, later bishop of Mashonaland, and CD Rudd, commercial prospector in Mashonaland)

f.63-64   7 November 1946
Article (1¼ pages) on the poet William Allingham and his diary [published 1907, ed H Allingham and D Radford]

f.64   18 October 1947
Review of Robert Liddell, A treatise on the novel (unattributed)

f.65   15 March 1947
Page article on Charles Kingsley, novelist, with reference to Guy Kendall, Charles Kingsley and his ideas (two copies, unattributed)

f.66   3 May 1947
Page article (unattributed) on Thomas Baines, explorer and pioneer in Africa, with reference to The Northern Goldfields diaries of Thomas Baines, 1869-1872, ed by JPR Wallis (Government Archives of Southern Rhodesia, Oppenheimer Series 3, Chatto and Windus)

f.67   1 May 1947
Article on Charles Keene, illustrator for Punch, and review of Derek Hudson, Charles Keene

f.68   21 August 1947
Review of George Orwell, The English people

f.68   30 August 1947
Review of Audrey Brooke, Robert Gray: first bishop of Capetown, with reference to the controversy with Colenso, first bishop of Natal [South Africa]

f.69   9 October 1947
Article on Edward FitzGerald, with review of Alfred McKinley Terhune, The life of Edward FitzGerald

f.70   1 January 1948
Review of Stefan Zweig, Balzac (unattributed)

f.8-   6 May 1948
Review of Osbert Sitwell, Great morning

f.71   8 May 1948
Short story or sketch (2/3 page only), using the idea of a visit by two horses to an exhibition of paintings by Walter Sickert
This story is not apparently published elsewhere (not in Four countries or Electric delights, for instance)

f.72   7 October 1948
Review of The eighteen-nineties: a period anthology in prose and verse, chosen by Martin Secker, with comments on some of the anthologised authors

f.72   9 December 1948
Review of Richard D Altick, The Cowden Clarkes

f.73   3 June 1949
Page article (unattributed) on memoirs of William Hickey, with review of Memoirs of William Hickey (in four volumes), ed Alfred Spencer

f.74   4 August 1949
Review of Richard Aldington, The strange life of Charles Waterton, 1782-1865 (unattributed)

f.74   3 February 1949
Review of Derek Hudson, Martin Tupper: his rise and fall (unattributed)

f.75   2 July 1949
Article on Herman Melville, and specifically an edition of Billy Budd, ed F Barron Freeman

f.76   13 October 1949
Review of Charles Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson

f.76   20 October 1949
Review of Herman Melville, Journal of a visit to London and the Continent, 1849-1850, ed Eleanor Melville Metcalf

f.77   14 June 1951
Review of Marzieh Gail, Persia and the Victorians (unattributed)

f.77   8 December 1949
Review of Vera Buchanan-Gould, Not without honour: the life and writings of Olive Schreiner, with some notes on Schreiner and South Africa

f.78   15 December 1949
Review of Osbert Lancaster, Drayneflete revealed (unattributed)

f.78   13 April 1950
Review of Helmut Gernsheim, Lewis Carroll: photographer (unattributed)

f.79   20 April 1950
Review of Hastings, Duke of Bedford, The years of transition

f.79   25 June 1950
Review of John Russell, Switzerland

f.80   13 July 1950
Review of Nesta Webster, Spacious days (unattributed)

f.80   16 November 1950
Review of Lady Charlotte Guest: extracts from her journal, 1833-1852, ed Earl of Bessborough (unattributed)

f.81   7 December 1950
Review of The journal of Mrs Arbuthnot, 1820-1832, ed Francis Bamford and the Duke of Wellington

f.82   1 February 1951
Review of Baroness de Stoeckl, Not all vanity [memoirs], ed George Kinnaird (unattributed)

f.82   2 February 1951
Review of HE Bates, Edward Garnett (unattributed). Garnett was reader for Cape publishers, succeeded by Plomer.

f.83   10 May 1951
Review of The autobiography of Arthur Machen (unattributed)

f.83   11 June 1953
Review of Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, The glitter and the gold (unattributed)
Includes Plomer's phrase, “the drone of self-esteem is from time to time broken by the shrill whine of the mosquite piercing the dead horse.”

f.83   21 June 1951
Review of Robertson Davies, The table-talk of Samuel Marchbanks

f.84   31 May 1951
Page article reviewing a photography exhibition at the Festival [of Britain] at the Victoria and Albert Museum, titled Masterpieces of Victorian Photography, 1840-1900.

f.85   7 July 1951
Review of The poems of CP Cavafy, translated by John Mavrogordato; with notes on Cavafy's poetry generally

f.86   20 September 1951
Page article on the use (and abuse) of the term 'foreigners', and on the importance of admitting and welcoming 'outsiders'.

f.87   24 January 1952
Review of Laurens Van der Post, Venture to the interior (unattributed)

f.87   29 May 1952
Review of Rosamond Lawrence, Charles Napier: friend and fighter, 1782-1853

f.88   21 February 1952
Review of exhibition of prints and drawings by Hiroshige, staged by the Arts Council at the new Burlington Galleries, with comments on Japanese art and culture generally

f.89   27 March 1953
Review of Frances Parkinson Keyes, The cost of a best seller (unattributed)

f.89   26 April 1953
Review of André Maurois, Cecil Rhodes

f.90   9 April 1953
Review of Eileen Bigland, Marie Corelli: the woman and the legend (unattributed)

f.90   8 October 1953
Review of Ogden Nash, The private dining-room

f.91   17 October 1953
Article on EM Forster, The hill of Devi: being letters from Dewas State Senior

f.92   3 December 1953
Review of The letters of Sydney Smith, ed Nowell C Smith

Fiction reviews from the Spectator
Reference: PLO/311
Dates of creation: 14 April 1933 - 15 July 1938
Extent: 1 volume Cuttings book containing weekly reviews of fiction written by Plomer for the Spectator, noted by him on the flyleaf as “not a complete file”. Includes index at back to authors reviewed.

Literary reviews by Plomer
Reference: PLO/312
Dates of creation: 1953 - 1973
Extent: 1 volume Cuttings book containing reviews and some other articles by Plomer

inside front cover   16 May 1958
Article on the practice of literary reviewing, noted in Plomer's hand, “NOT by W.P.”

p.1   5 November 1953
Review of Lady Emily Lutyens, A blessed girl: [memoirs of a Victorian girlhood chronicles in an exchange of letters 1887-1896] (unattributed)

p.1   17 December 1953
Review of A writer's diary: being extracts from the diary of Virginia Woolf, ed Leonard Woolf (unattributed)

p.2   14 January 1959
Review of Leonora Eyles, The ram escapes (unattributed)

p.2   4 February 1954
Review of The diaries of Lewis Carroll, ed Roger Lancelyn Green (unattributed)

p.3   5 August 1954
Review of John Betjeman, A few late Chrysanthemums (unattributed)

pp.3-5   6 August 1954
Longer article on and review of A writer's diary: being extracts from the diary of Virginia Woolf, ed Leonard Woolf (unattributed)

pp.6-7   August 1957
Review of FT Prince, Soldiers bathing, and other poems

p.7   15 December 1955
Review of Guy Deghy and Keith Waterhouse, Café Royal: ninety years of Beohemia

pp.8-11   2 September 1954
Long article on Brighton [on centenary of its incorporation as a borough]. Includes review of Edmund Gilbert, Brighton: old ocean's bauble.

pp.12-13   7 October 1954
Review of David Cecil, Lord M: or the later life of Lord Melbourne

pp.14-15   2 December 1954
Review of: James Laver, Victorian vista; Ralph Dutton, The Victorian home; AMW Stirling, Victorian sidelights

p.16   24 February 1955
Review of LE Jones, A Victorian boyhood (unattributed)

p.16   10 March 1955
Review of Gerald MacMillan, Honours for sale (unattributed)

p.17   24 March 1955
Review of Ethel, Lady Thomson, Clifton Lodge

p.18   14 July 1955
Review of Richard Church, Over the bridge (unattributed)

p.18   1 September 1955
Review of Herman Melville, Journal of a visit to Europe and the Levant, 1856-1857, ed Howard C Horsford (unattributed)

p.19   23 July 1955
Review of EA Ritter, Shaka Zulu: the rise of the Zulu empire

p.20   15 September 1955
Review of Norton B Crowell, Alfred Austin, Victorian (unattributed), with comments on Austin (Poet Laureate, died 1913)

p.20   20 October 1955
Review of DJ Enright, The world of dew: aspects of living Japan (unattributed)

p.21   16 September 1955
Review of Journal of Jan van Riebeeck, volume 2: 1656-1658, ed HB Thom, with reference to the Dutch settlement at the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

pp.22-23   14 October 1955
Review (unattributed) of Leon Edel, The psychological novel, 1900-1950, with reference to novels by Henry James, Dorothy Richardson, Proust, Joyce, Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner

p.23   27 January 1956
Review of Edna and Frank Bradlow, Thomas Bowler of the Cape of Good Hope: his life and works with a catalogue of extant paintings (unattributed)

pp.24-25   1 December 1955
Review of The age of extravagance: an Edwardian reader, ed ME Edes and D Frasier

p.26   3 February 1956
Review of The best of friends: further letters to Sydney Carlyle Cockerell, ed Viola Meynell (unattributed). Includes comments on the practice of publishing letters from the living or very recently deceased (“…there may still be lingering doubts as to how much or how soon private relationships or communications should be thrown open to the public”).

p.27   19 April 1956
Review of Osbert Wyndham Hewett, Strawberry fair [biography of Lady Waldegrave, 1821-1879] (unattributed)

p.28   10 May 1956
Review of EM Forster, Marianne Thornton, 1797-1887: a domestic biography

p.28   17 December 1972
Notes on SN Behrman, Tribulations and laughter, and Wen I-to, Red candle, translated by Tao Tao Sanders. Noted by Plomer as from the “Books of the year” column.

p.29   11 October 1956
Review of Frederick John Gorst with Beth Andrews, Of carriages and kings

p.29   15 November 1956
Review of James W Stapleton, The gate hangs well (unattributed)

p.30   6 December 1956
Review of Helmut and Alison Gernsheim, LJM Daguerre: the history of the Diorama and the Daguerreotype

pp.31-33   7 December 1956
Long article (unattributed) on the 'Bloomsbury' set of writers, including review of: Clive Bell, Old friends; Virginia Woolf and Lytton Strachey: letters, ed Leonard Woolf and James Strachey; Monique Nathan, Virginia Woolf par elle-même

p.34   20 December 1956
Review of Philip Henderson, The life of Laurence Oliphant (unattributed)

p.34   10 January 1957
Review of Nora Wydenbruck, My two worlds: an autobiography (unattributed)

p.35   11 January 1957
Review of The journals of Elizabeth Lees Price, ed Una Long (unattributed)

p.36   16 February 1957
Reviews of books on South Africa and the Afrikaners: Sheila Patterson, The last trek; CW de Kiewiet, The anatomy of South African misery; BB Kerr, Whither South Africa?, translated by NJ Marquard

p.37   14 March 1957
Article (unattributed) on South African literature, with brief references to several writers, including Uys Krige, Guy Butler, Thomas Pringle and Pauline Smith. The article makes reference to a “pioneer literary movement” [ Voorslag, edited by Roy Campbell, Plomer and Laurens Van der Post], and to works by younger writers, particularly Alan Paton, Cry the Beloved Country.

p.38   14 March 1957
Review of Modern Japanese literature, ed Donald Keene, with reference to the 20th century Japanese literary renaissance

p.39   2 May 1957
Review of Ralph Arnold, The unhappy countess [biography of Mary Eleanor Bowes, countess of Strathmore] (unattributed)

p.39   29 March 1957
Review of Efik traders of Old Calabar, ed Daryll Forde (unattributed); including extracts from a diary of a an Efik slave-trader at Calabar, Nigeria, 1785-1788

p.40   25 May 1957
Review of Doris Lessing, Going home

p.41   July 1957
Review of WH Bruford, Anton Chekhov (unattributed)

p.41   8 August 1957
Review of Lady Emily Lutyens, Candles in the sun (unattributed)

p.42   16 August 1957
Review of The Cape journals of Archdeacon NJ Merriman, 1848-1855, ed DH Varley and HM Matthew (unattributed)

p.43   29 August 1957
Review of Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr, The Vanderbilt feud (unattributed)

p.43   25 September 1957
Review of Ursula Bloom, The elegant Edwardian (unattributed)

pp.44-45   3 October 1957
Review of Colonel R Meinertzhagen, Kenya diary, 1902-1906

p.46   4 October 1957
Review of Stevie Smith, Not waving but drowning (unattributed)

p.46   24 October 1957
Review of A Victorian canvas: the memoirs of WP Frith, RA, ed Nevile Wallis (unattributed)

p.47   31 October 1957
Review of Selected writings of Sydney Smith, ed WH Auden (unattributed)

p.47   23 January 1958
Review of Lyndall Gregg, Memories of Olive Schreiner (unattributed)

p.48   5 December 1957
Reviews of: Osbert Lancaster, The year of the comet; Russell Brockbank, The Brockbank omnibus; Anatol Kovarsky, Kovarsky's world; Charles Addams, Nightcrawlers; Dubout cartoons

p.49   26 December 1957
Review of Margaret Dalziel, Popular fiction 100 years ago (unattributed)

p.50   23 January 1958
Review of Thomas Moser, Joseph Conrad: achievement and decline (unattributed); with references to Moser's emphasis on sexual psychology

p.50   30 January 1958
Review of LE Jones, Georgian afternoon (unattributed); with reference to Jones' attitude towards pacifists and writers associated with World War I

p.51   13 March 1958
Review of Everyman's dictionary of literary biography: English and American, compiled by DC Browning, with many comments on Browning's selection of writers

p.52   28 March 1958
Review of Joyce Cary, Art and reality (Clark Lectures) (unattributed)

p.53   12 April 1958
Reviews of Lord Russell of Liverpool, The knights of Bushido and Mamoru Shigemitsu, Japan and her destiny, with some notes on Japanese politics

p.54   22 May 1958
Review of Anthony Sampson, The treason cage (with reference to the trials of African National Congress activists for treason in South Africa, and to the Christian Action fund [established to support their families])

p.54   19 June 1958
Review of Virginia Woolf, Granite and rainbow (unattributed)

pp.55-58   5 June 1958
Lengthy article on changing attitudes in South Africa, with particular reference to a book of essays, Africa in transition, ed Prudence Smith

p.58   10 July 1958
Letter from reader correcting a statement in Plomer's article, "The African revolution from the inside"

See also -
PLO/312/61 (vol)
p.59   5 July 1958
Review of Ian Henderson with Philip Goodhart, The hunt for Kimathi (a leader of the Mau Mau in Kenya)

p.60   17 July 1958
Review of James Morris, South African winter (unattributed)

p.61   2 October 1958
Review of James Laver, Edwardian promenade

p.62   9 October 1958
Review of … and Mr Fortescue (diaries of Chichester Fortescue, later Lord Carlingford, 1851-1862), ed Osbert Wyndham Hewett (unattributed)

p.62   22 October 1958
Cartoon entitled "novel faces", showing Plomer with caption, “Read Plomer's works if you should want a tip on Africa, London, or the land of Nippon”

pp.63-65   23 October 1958
Illustrated article on Brighton, subtitled "on a tradition of health and pleasure"

p.65   25 May 1961
Review of The Swinburne letters, vols 3 and 4: 1875-1882, ed Cecil Y Lang

p.66   30 October 1958
Review of Isobel Rae, The strange story of Dr James Barry (army doctor and medical reformer), unattributed

p.67   6 December 1958
Review of RP Dore, City life in Japan

p.68   8 February 1959
Review of Darkness and light: an anthology of African writing, compiled by Peggy Rutherfoord

p.68   19 November 1959
Review of Groucho Marx, Groucho and me

p.69   1 March 1959
Review of Elspeth Huxley, The flame trees of Thika (autobiographical account of Kenya, c.1913-1914)

p.70   7 March 1959
Review of Christopher St John, Ethel Smyth

pp.71-72   26 March 1959
Article on AE Housman (on the centenary of his birth)

p.73   25 April 1959
Review of Ezekiel Mphahlele, Down Second Avenue (autobiographical account of life in South Africa before emigration to Nigeria in 1957)

p.74   4 September 1959
Review of Howard Hibbett, The floating world in Japanese fiction

p.75   5 September 1959
Review of Ihara Saikaku, Tha Japanese family storehouse: or the millionaires' gospel modernised, translated by GW Sargent

pp.76-77   15 October 1959
Review of James Pope-Hennessy, Queen Mary, 1867-1953

p.77   3 October 1959
Review of Fosco Maraini, Meeting with Japan, translated by Eric Mosbacher (account of Japanese history and society, from a WW2 internee, ending with a reference by Plomer to Hiroshima)

p.78   3 December 1959
Article reviewing (briefly): Gerard Hoffnung, Hoffnung's acoustics; Vicky's world; Jules Feiffer, Sick, sick, sick; Alex Atkinson and Ronald Searle, USA for beginners; The St Trinian's story, compiled by Kaye Webb; Giles cartoons (Daily Express)

bound between pp.78-79   November 1959
Long review of Christopher Hassall, Edward Marsh, Patron of the arts: a biography

p.79   18 December 1959
Review of Sacheverell Sitwell, Bridge of the brocade sash: travels and observations in Japan

p.80   31 December 1959
Review of Edward Grierson, Storm bird: the strange life of Georgina Weldon [1837-1913]

p.80   6 December 1962
Review of Elizabeth Bowen, Afterthought

p.81   5 February 1960
Review of Nika Hulton, The witch (on 'White Russian' refugees in Paris in the 1920s), unattributed

p.82   3 March 1960
Review of Ellen Moers, The dandy: Brummell to Beerbohm

p.83   9 April 1960
Reviews of Noni Jabavu, Drawn in colour, and Ronald Segal, The Tokolosh

p.84   28 April 1960
Review of Roger Fulford, Hanover to Windsor

p.84   5 January 1961
Review of Vyvyan Holland, Oscar Wilde: a pictorial biography

p.85   26 May 1960
Review of The Swinburne letters, vols 1 and 2: 1854-1875

p.86   1 July 1960
Review of Kazuo Kawai, Japan's American interlude (on the American occupation of Japan after WW2)

p.86   8 September 1960
Review of Betsy Sheridan's journal, ed William le Fanu

p.87   29 July 1960
Review of Peter Quennell, The sign of the fish (unattributed)

p.88   6 October 1960
Review of Katherine Lyon Mix, A study in yellow: the Yellow Book and its contributors

pp.88-89   1 December 1960
Review of Christmas humour, including books by or about Gerard Hoffnung, Tony Mayer, George Mikes, Jules Feiffer, Charles Addams, André Francois, Ronald Searle, David Low and 'Vicky'

p.90   2 December 1960
Review of John Betheman, Summoned by bells

p.90   22 December 1960
Review of Owen Chadwick, Victorian miniature

p.91   23 December 1960
Review of Charles Tennyson Turner, A hundred sonnets

p.92   9 March 1961
Review of Alison Adburgham, A 'Punch' history of Manners and Modes, 1841-1940

p.93   16 March 1961
Review of Eric Bligh, Faintly smiling mouth

p.93   26 April 1962
Review of KW Gransden, EM Forster

p.94   7 April 1961
Article on popularity of John Betjeman, with review of Derek Standord, John Betjeman: a study

p.95   18 May 1961
Review of The complete Ronald Firbank and of Ronald Firbank, Valmouth and other stories

p.95   9 August 1962
Review of Ronald Firbank, The new rythum and other pieces

p.96   10 September 1961
Review of Modern Japanese stories, ed Ivan Morris

pp.96-97   4 June 1961
Review of the Earl of Lytton, Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

p.98   30 July 1961
Review of John Beames [1837-1902], Memoirs of a Bengal civilian

p.99   5 October 1961
Review of Cavalcade of the 1920s and 1930s, ed Cleveland Amory and Federick Bradlee (from contributions to Vanity Fair), and Richard Bennett, A picture of the twenties

p.100   26 October 1961
Review of Rose Macaulay, Letters to a friend, 1950-1952, ed Constance Babington Smith

p.101   5 November 1961
Review of John Blofeld, City of lingering splendour

p.101   2 August 1962
Review of The Swinburne letters, vols 5 and 6, ed Cecil Y Lang

p.102   9 November 1961
Review of Leonard Woolf, Growing: an autobiography of the years 1904-1911

p.102   22 March 1963
Review of Dorothy Brewster, Virginia Woolf (unattributed)

p.103   30 November 1961
Brief reviews of: James Laver, Between the wars; Quentin Crewe, The frontiers of privilege; Osbert Lancaster, Signs of the Times, 1939-1961; John Bull's schooldays ed Brian Inglis (mainly from contributions to the Spectator)

p.104   25 January 1962
Review of James Kirkup, These horned islands (journal of stay in Sendai, Japan)

p.105   8 March 1962
Review of Osbert Sitwell, Tales my father taught me

p.105   9 September 1962
Review of Hugh and Pauline Massingham, The Englishman abroad

p.106   17 May 1962
Review of John Gloag, Victorian taste

p.106   14 September 1962
Review of Edmund Blunden, A Hong Kong house: poems, 1951-1961

p.107   28 June 1962
Review of The letters of Oscar Wilde, ed Rupert Hart-Davis

p.107   9 July 1964
Review of Nika Hulton, The general (unattributed)

p.108   4 October 1962
Review of ES Turner, What the butler saw (social history 1700-1950 in UK and US in terms of domestic service)

p.109   7 October 1962
Review of RW Ketton-Cremer, Felbrigg: the story of a house

p.109   25 October 1962
Review of Last letters to a friend from Rose Macaulay, 1952-1958, ed Constance Babington Smith

p.110   2 December 1962
Review of James Lees-Milne, Earls of creation

p.111   7 February 1963
Review of Osbert Sitwell, Pound wise

p.111   7 April 1963
Review of CT Binns, The last Zulu king

p.112   3 March 1963
Review of John Morris, A winter in Nepal

p.113   28 April 1963
Review of Ihara Saikaku, The life of an amorous woman, transl and ed Ivan Morris

p.113   2 May 1963
Review of Violet Wyndham, The sphinx and her circle (biography of Ada Leverson), concluding with a comment on her moral support for “a young man who had got himself disliked … by publishing an angry young book”

p.114   12 May 1963
Review of Noni Jabavu, The ochre people [on Xhosa family and social life in South Africa]

pp.114-115   6 June 1963
Review of H Montgomery Hyde, Oscar Wilde: the aftermath, with comments on prison reform

p.115   7 July 1963
Review of Harold Owen, Journey from obscurity

p.116   4 August 1963
Review of Nina Epton, Seaweed for breakfast

p.116   3 December 1972
Review of Cecile and Michel Beurdeley, Guiseppe Castiglione: a Jesuit painter at the court of the Chinese emperors

p.117   8 August 1963
Review of Children of the A-bomb, compiled by Arata Osada, transl Jean Dan and R Sieben-Morgen, with preface by Bertrand Russell

p.117   8 August 1965
Review of Men who march away, ed IM Parsons

p.118   19 September 1963
Review of JG Lockhart and the Hon CM Woodhouse, Rhodes, with brief comments on Rhodesia

p.119   27 September 1963
Review of The collected poems of Wilfred Owen, ed C Day Lewis

p.119   7 November 1963
Review of Ottoline: the early memoirs of Lady Ottoline Morrell, ed Robert Gathorne-Hardy

p.120   9 April 1964
Review of Rose Macaulay, Letters to a sister

p.121   19 April 1964
Review of Diana Forbes-Robertson, Maxine (biography of Maxine Elliott, actress)

p.122   21 May 1964
Review of Leonard Woolf, Beginning again: an autobiography of the years 1911-1918

p.122   5 December 1965
Review of Harold Owen, Journey from obscurity: Wilfred Owen, 1893-1918: vol III

¾tween p.122 & p.123   March-April 1964
Review of James Kirkup, Refusal to conform: last and first poems

p.123   30 August 1964
Review of Robert Crisp, The Outlanders: the men who made Johannesburg

p.123   30 July 1967
Review of The complete letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, ed Robert Halsband

p.124   10 September 1964
Review of Evelyn Waugh, A little learning

p.125   3 December 1964
Review of Mary Clive, Christmas with the savages and The day of reckoning

p.126   4 April 1965
Review of Edith Sitwell, Taken care of (unattributed)

¾tween p.126 and p.127   2 December 1965
Reviews of: Virginia Woolf, Contemporary writers (reviews by Woolf, reprinted); Jean Guignet, Virginia Woolf and her works; NC Thakur, The symbolism of Virginia Woolf

p.127   9 July 1965
Review of The diary of Alice James, ed Leon Edel

p.128   19 September 1965
Review of Roger Lancelyn Green, Kipling and the children

p.128   30 January 1966
Review of The complete letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, vol1: 1708-20, ed Robert Halsband

p.129   1 October 1965
Review of New letters of Robert Southey, ed Kenneth Curry

p.130   29 August 1966
Review of Eve Palmer, The plains of Camdeboo, and of Ann Woodin, Home is the desert (on nature conservation in the deserts of the eastern Karoo, South Africa, and of Arizona)

¾ween p.130 and p.131   November 1966
Review of Hugo Williams, All the time in the world (part of review apparently omitted)

p.131   27 April 1967
Review of Leonard Woolf, Downhill all the way

p.132   23 July 1967
Review of Simona Pakenham, Sixty miles from England: the English at Dieppe, 1814-1914

p.132   [1967 x 1968]
Review of Letters to Macmillan, ed Simon Nowell-Smith
marked “?1967 ?1968” in Plomer's hand

p.133   [? 1967]
Review of Wilfred Owen: collected letters, ed Harold Owen and John Bell
marked “? 1967” by Plomer

p.134   7 December 1969
Reviews of Basil Davidson, The Africans, and of John Fisher, The Afrikaners

¾tween p.134 and p.135   April 1968
Review of The stories of James Stern

p.135   25 October 1968
Review of Laurens Van der Post, A portrait of Japan

pp.136-137   Spring 1969
Review of Come back Africa, ed Herbert L Shore and M Shore-Bos (anthology of South African short stories)

p.137   7 February 1971
Review of Alfred Douglas [translator/editor], The oracle of change (unattributed)

p.138   22 March 1970
Review of Madly singing in the mountains, ed Ivan Morris (writings by and on Arthur Waley, translator of Chinese and Japanese poetry)

p.138   29 March 1970
Review of Nigel Dennis, Exotics

p.139   3 May 1970
Reviews of Clifford Musgrave, Life in Brighton, and of Ursula Bloom, Rosemary for Frinton

p.140   7 June 1970
Reviews of Johannes Meintjes, General Louis Botha [President of Union of South Africa, died 1919], and of Stanley Jackson, The great Barnato [on Barney Isaacs, speculator with Cecil Rhodes]

p.141   16 August 1970
Review of Alastair Lamb, The Mandarin road to Old Hué

p.142   27 September 1970
Review of Christopher Hibbert, The dragon wakes: China and the West, 1793-1911

p.142   31 December 1972
Review of Marina Warner, The dragon empress: the life and times of Tz'u-hsi (1835-1908), Empress Dowager of China

p.143   28 February 1971
Review of Lytton Strachey by himself: a self-portrait, ed Michael Holroyd

p.143   18 February 1973
Review of Tom Winnifrith, The Brontës and their background

p.144   17 October 1971
Review of Betty Askwith, Two Victorian families [on the Strachey and Benson families]

¾tween p.144 and p.145   Feb/Mar 1972
Review of Robert Sencourt, TS Eliot: a memoir

p.145   4 June 1972
Reviews of: One rare fair woman [letters from Thomas Hardy to Florence Henniker], ed Evelyn Hardy and FB Pinion; and Merryn Williams, Thomas Hardy and rural England

p.146   15 October 1972
Review of Malcolm Easton, Aubrey and the dying lady [on Aubrey Beardsley, illustrator, 1872-1898]

p.146   27 May 1973
Review of The Purefoy letters, 1735-1753 [of Henry Purefoy, squire of Shalstone, Buckinghamshire], ed LG Mitchell

p.147   22 July 1973
Review of David Greysmith, Richard Dadd: the rock and castle of seclusion

loose inside back cover   30 April 1964
Article on diaries of Haruko Ichikawa, Francis Kilvert and Richard Rumbold, all edited by Plomer, and published respectively as A Japanese lady in Europe (Jonathan Cape, 1937), Kilvert's diary (3 volumes, Jonathan Cape, 1938-1940), and A message in code (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1964)

loose inside back cover   4 December 1969
Article (from BBC Third Programme talk) on Leonard Woolf and his autobiography. Noted by Plomer as “cut here & there by the editor, without asking my leave”.

Notebooks and albums
Reference: PLO/313 - 322
Scrap book
Reference: PLO/313.
Dates of creation: 1956 - 1973
Extent: 1 volume Scrap book containing reviews (by and of Plomer), articles, obituaries, letters to the press and other items, interspersed with many manuscript notes by Plomer.
Nature and types of document
The volume includes several articles on South Africa, including from South African newspapers, in connection with Plomer's visit to the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in 1956, and his subsequent support for the Christian Action “Defence and Aid Fund” and other initiatives.
Plomer's manuscript notes are mainly recollections by himself of other literary figures. Notable recollections include with Laurie Lee (in 1960), Leonard Woolf (1961, 1962, 1965, 1967 & 1969), Siegfried Sassoon (1964), Benjamin Britten (1965), Arthur Waley (1965 & 1966), Robert Graves (1968), EM Forster (1969), Sir John Waller (1969), Admiral John Godfrey (1965, on Harold Nicolson, & 1969), and Marie Belloc-Lowndes (quotations from, near back of book).

Scrap book and commonplace book
Reference: PLO/314
Dates of creation: 1960 - 1972
Extent: 1 volume Scrap book with cuttings of letters to the press, reviews and other articles, both by and about Plomer, as well as other literary articles which appear to have interested him.
The book also contains many poems and other quotations by various authors, in the nature of a commonplace book. There are also two articles from South African papers/journals following Ingrid Jonker's death in 1965.

Postcard album
Reference: PLO/315
Extent: 1 volume, 40 cards Album of postcards. Some are blank, some sent to Plomer, others apparently purchased or acquired from others. Many are from South Africa.

Postcard album
Reference: PLO/316
Extent: 1 volume, 49 cards Album of postcards, most apparently blank and collected according to a theme (including many of wrestlers etc)

Postcard album
Reference: PLO/317
Extent: 1 volume, c.190 cards Album of postcards, mainly blank and apparently collected in several series. Subjects include portraits of royalty and other individual figures, a couple of series of comic sketches (printed in Germany), cards with romantic or religious verses, a series of French cards, and many other postcards from the 1930s or earlier.

Commonplace book
Reference: PLO/318
Extent: 1 volume, 170 pages (last 5 blank) Leather bound book, apparently a gift from “LRW” [Lilian Bowes Lyon, see PLO/377] for Christmas 1947. Used as commonplace book.

Notebook of draft poems
Reference: PLO/319
Dates of creation: 1965 - 1969
Extent: 1 volume Heavily worked and corrected drafts of poems, some published in Taste and remember, but most drafts of poems published in Celebrations. Drafts of a few apparently unpublished poems are also included towards the back of the notebook, plus a prose piece relating to the war in Vietnam.
Dated inside front cover by Plomer. A very few poems are also dated within the volume.

Notebook of draft poems
Reference: PLO/320
Dates of creation: Dec 1969-[1973]
Extent: 1 volume Heavily worked and corrected drafts of poems subsequently published in Celebrations or Electric delights. A few of the poems appear not to have been published. Notes for the blurb of Celebrations are also included.
Dated “Dec 1969-” inside front cover by Plomer. Some of the separate poems are also dated.

Notebook with draft of prose story
Reference: PLO/321
Extent: 1 volume Corrected draft of A presentable young man (apparently unpublished), together with typescript copy at back of notebook.

Notebook with drafts for poems and prose
Reference: PLO/322
Extent: 1 volume, 31 pages only used (rest blank) The notebook is largely blank, but includes draft autobiographical notes, including an anecdote about Morgan [E.M.] Forster, comments on his parents, and notes about the “Thirties'' (possibly for a radio broadcast or for the revision of his autobiography, or possibly unpublished). Two poems are also in draft, one published as A radio interview (in Electric Delights), and the other apparently unpublished (The biographers or Three biographers in search of the truth, also separate copy on loose sheet inside volume).

Folder of uncollected poems
Reference: PLO/323
Dates of creation: 1971 - 1973
Extent: 1 folder, 11 sheets & 1 envelope Folder of manuscript copies of some poems not included in Plomer's 1973 Collected Poems, with a few corrections noted by Plomer.
Original envelope marked “Copies of poems not yet published in book form”, and accompanied by list of poems (titled “Uncollected poems''). List includes dates of the poems and notes on publication or original commissioning.
Nature and types of document Poems are as follows:

All published posthumously in Electric delights. The accompanying list also includes a note on the publication of Adopted son (no manuscript copy present in folder).

"Notes and papers of possible autobiographical interest"
Reference: PLO/324
Dates of creation: 1921 - 1973
Extent: 1 folder Folder of miscellaneous personal papers, apparently put together by Plomer (title on folder in his handwriting), with additions by (?) Simon Nowell-Smith (Plomer's obituarist)
Nature and types of document Notable items include:


Miscellaneous notes by Plomer deposited by Simon Nowell-Smith
Reference: PLO/325
Extent: 1 folder Folder of miscellaneous items, deposited by Nowell-Smith in 1980

PLO/325/1   28 May 1949
Manusript copy by Plomer of his reply to a [critical] letter from VH Collins about Four countries
3 sheets
PLO/325/2   [1968]
Notes on Plomer's experiences as a reader for Jonathan Cape, publishers, titled by Plomer “Cape stuff”. Noted by Simon Nowell-Smith as “a first draft of a piece sent to MS Howard in 1968 for his book on Jonathan Cape”.
22 sheets
PLO/325/3   1945, 1952
Autobiographical notes, written by Plomer in the third person. One set was used for the blurb of Museum pieces (1952), and the other longer piece is titled, “M.S.H. (for "Books to Come")” and dated in pencil (? by Nowell-Smith) 1945 [date fits with list of published books appended by Plomer].
5 sheets
PLO/325/4   [relates to reader's rport of 1945, though apparently written later]
Manuscript article by Plomer describing the circumstances in which Malcolm Lowry wrote a reply to Plomer's report on Lowry's Under the Volcano for Jonathan Cape, publishers
5 sheets
Letters written to GL Lewin
Reference: PLO/325/5-24
Dates of creation: 1960 - 1973
Extent: 24 sheets & 1 envelope Letters written to GL Lewin. PLO/325/5 is from Hector Bolitho, and refers to a remark (?) by Roy Campbell, [no year]. PLO/325/6-24 are letters from Plomer, many incomplete, 1960-1973

Material for poetry readings by Plomer
Reference: PLO/326
Dates of creation: 1970 - 1973
Extent: 1 folder Copies of poems in Plomer's hand, together with draft programmes, for poetry readings given by Plomer (plus another) at the Royal Society of Literature, 1970, and the Southern Arts Festival, Worthing, 1973, and elsewhere.
Nature and types of document The poems are arranged in two batches, as follows:

List of items /1-2. Programmes for a reading, in Plomer's hand, with items initialled “WP” or “PB”. The first item appears to have been an earlier programme, marked up and reordered for the second programme. As well as the following items (PLO 326/3-33), the programmes include mention of a number of other poems, including by Beardsley, Kenneth Fearing, Po Chü-i, Allan Ramsay, Chr[istina] Rossetti, Wen Yi-tou (I-to) and [Charles] Causley.

/34. Programme for second group of items, all of which have been copied by Plomer as listed below, apart from the final item on the programme (J[ohn] Sparrow, Santa Maria della Salute).


Miscellaneous items relating to poetry
Reference: PLO/327
Dates of creation: 1960 - 1972
Extent: 1 folder, 9 items Folder of “miscellaneous letters and documents to do with poetry”, including copies of articles in literary magazines and items relating to readings or broadcasts by Plomer. Includes transcript of discussion on poetry publishing by Rupert Hart-Davis, Charles Monteith, Colin Franklin, Diana Athill and Erica Marx, from The poetry review, 53.2, Spring 1962

Article on Plomer from South African magazine
Reference: PLO/328
Dates of creation: [1939 x 1943]
Extent: 1 folder, 3 sheets Article on William Plomer and his writing by Dora Taylor, in three parts ( Prelude to Plomer), from a South African magazine or newspaper (annotated by ?Plomer with a Cape Town address).
Undated, but after 1936 ( The invaders mentioned), and no mention of Double lives. Footer of each page includes an advert for “war bonds''.

Papers relating to Plomer presented by Simon Nowell-Smith
Reference: PLO/329
Extent: 2 folders Items collected by Nowell-Smith in the course of his work on The autobiography of William Plomer (published posthumously in 1975, based on Plomer's own revisions of Double lives with his At home and a long preface by Nowell-Smith).
Items are mainly of biographical interest or relating to Jonathan Cape, publishers, but include several broadcasts by Plomer.

PLO/329/1   3 June 1977
Card from Nowell-Smith presenting the items
1 card
PLO/329/2   18 February 1946
Copy of letter from Plomer to [Cape's], apparently in answer to Lowry's reply to Plomer's criticism of Lowry's Under the volcano (see Alexander biography, p.212).
Noted “original sent to Mrs Lowry by GWH 8.10.63”
2 sheets
PLO/329/3   21 December 1969
Copy of letter from Plomer to Michael [Howard, publisher, author of history of Jonathan Cape, publishers, in 1977], with comments on literary fashion in the 1930s and some comments on Cape's from the 1940s.
4 sheets
PLO/329/4   24 January 1968
Copy of notes by Plomer for “M.S.H.” (Michael Spencer Howard), relating to his experiences with Jonathan Cape, publishers, and some of those involved in the firm.
17 sheets
PLO/329/5   4 November 1972
Copy of letter from Plomer to Nowell-Smith, answering Nowell-Smith's letter concerning his writing of an obituary for Plomer (PLO 157/6). Plomer's reply is partially quoted in Nowell-Smith's preface to The autobiography of William Plomer (1975), and includes comments on his own writing (particularly on his failure to continue writing novels) and on “homosexual overtones or undertones'' in his writings.
4 sheets
See also -
PLO/157
PLO/329/6   7 March 1972
Copy of letter from Plomer to Nowell-Smith, enclosing various autobiographical notes
7 sheets
PLO/329/7   [c.1969 x 1970]
Autobiographical notes (chronological), with lists of books written, edited or introduced by Plomer
Undated; includes reference to JR Doyle, William Plomer (New York, 1969), but not to Notes from a cello (1970), The planes of Bedford Square (1971) or Celebrations (1972).
9 sheets
PLO/329/8   31 October 1969
Typescript of BBC broadcast on Leonard Woolf by Plomer, The journey not the arrival matters. With note on envelope about obituary of Leonard Woolf written by Plomer for the Guardian
14 sheets (plus blank sheet) & 1 envelope
PLO/329/9   November 1962
Transcript of BBC broadcast (network three) by Plomer on Gibbon's Autobiography (BBC programme series Unread classics)
17 sheets
PLO/329/10   September 1962
Transcript of BBC programme, Conversations with my younger self (with Denis McCarthy playing the 'younger' Plomer). Annotated by Plomer, “for Simon this corrected script, to which he listened, and of which he approved…”
17 sheets
PLO/329/11   June 1959
Transcript of conversation between Plomer and Revd Trevor Huddleston, for BBC programme (series First meeting, number 18, subtitled, “Outstanding people who have not yet made each other's acquaintance meet at the microphone”)
4 sheets
PLO/329/12   June 1959
Transcript of conversation between Plomer and Dr Carmen Blacker (lecturer in Japanese, University of Cambridge), for BBC programme (series First meeting, number 17, subtitled as PLO 329/11)
4 sheets
Script for radio broadcast
Reference: PLO/330
Dates of creation: 17 March 1953
Extent: 1 folder, 16 sheets Script for BBC radio (Third Programme) broadcast by Plomer, An enclosed society, on Maud du Puy in Cambridge, late 19th century

Drafts of unpublished poems
Reference: PLO/331
Dates of creation: [c.1970s]
Extent: 1 folder, 16 sheets Drafts of poems, with rough workings and alterations. All the poems appear to be unpublished.

PLO/331/1-4
Fair copy (manuscript) of Experience teaches
4 sheets
PLO/331/5-11
Heavily worked draft of A little old clock
7 sheets
PLO/331/12-14
Notes for poem (or poems) beginning “Suns with a furnace-roar…”
3 sheets
PLO/331/15-16
Very rough notes for a poem, mostly scored out
Found with a letter to Plomer from John Sparrow dated 11 Feb 1973, and perhaps inspired by it
2 sheets
See also -
PLO/211
Additional autobiographical papers
Reference: PLO/332 - 333Related material - here PLO/286 - 289:

Article, Men of the thirties
Reference: PLO/332.
Dates of creation: c.1967
Extent: 4 sheets Galley proof of article, uncorrected but with title added, Men of the thirties, with autobiographical notes and comments on the 1930s and some poets of that era (particularly Stephen Spender, Cecil Day Lewis, John Betjeman, David Gascoyne). Noted as “unpublished” by Plomer.
Noted by Plomer as “about 1967 unpublished”

Autobiographical notes
Reference: PLO/333
Dates of creation: undated
Extent: 2 sheets Brief autobiographical notes relating to Japan (“I have never been back to Japan…”, possibly for an article or radio broadcast), and to Paul and Anna Von Schubert (noted “p.192”, possibly a reference to p.192 of Double lives, which mentions Anna Von Schubert, although the description in this note is different)

Scripts for broadcasts, BBC Far Eastern Service
Reference: PLO/334 - 336
Dates of creation: 1945 - 1948
Extent: 1 folder, 3 items Autograph draft scripts for broadcasts by Plomer, noted as for the BBC Far Eastern Service.
The scripts are dated 1950 in pencil (apparently not by Plomer), but internal evidence suggests earlier dates (see separate entries for each item).

Thomas Hardy
Reference: PLO/334.
Dates of creation: [1947 x 1948]
Extent: 19 sheets Broadcast on Thomas Hardy, including notes on his reasons for giving up writing novels
Dated in pencil “1950” (? not by Plomer), but refers to Hardy's death as “nearly twenty years ago” (he died in 1928).

The Mayor of Casterbridge
Reference: PLO/335
Dates of creation: [1947 x 1948]
Extent: 21 sheets Broadcast on Thomas Hardy's The mayor of Casterbridge
Undated, but refers to his broadcast on Hardy “last week” (PLO/334)

Untitled broadcast
Reference: PLO/336
Dates of creation: [1945]
Extent: 20 sheets Untitled broadcast on a few new books, apparently given in place of [EM] Forster (begins “As Mr Forster is regrettably prevented from coming to talk to you to-day”). Includes comments on William Gaunt, The aesthetic adventure, Denton Welch, In youth is pleasure, and Penguin new writing, ed John Lehmann (number 23). Includes comments on “aesthetes'' and the artist's relationships with society and social service.
Dated in pencil “1950” (? not by Plomer), but mentions books published in 1944 and 1945 as “some new books''.

Articles and addresses on various topics
Reference: PLO/337 - 343
Address given at St Mark's Church, Hamilton Terrace
Reference: PLO/337.
Dates of creation: 22 October 1967
Extent: 9 sheets Typescript of an address given at St Mark's Church, Hamilton Terrace, N.W.8, [London]. Includes comments on poetry and its similarity to religion, and on Plomer's “collaboration” with Kilvert ( Kilvert's diary) and Benjamin Britten (Curlew River and The burning fiery furnace), also brief comments on his own poems in [Taste and remember].

Address to Shortlands Poetry Circle
Reference: PLO/338
Dates of creation: undated [1963 x 1973]
Extent: 5 sheets Draft script for address to Shortlandds Poetry Circle, [Kent], with comments on the recent “revolution” in poetry and in particular the practice of poets giving public readings.
Undated, but states that he is older than the Shortlands Poetry Circle, whose Diamond Jubilee is being celebrated.

Notes beginning “If Britain Enters Europe”
Reference: PLO/339
Dates of creation: 2 November 1962
Extent: 2 sheets Brief, rough notes on Britain's relationships with the wider world and consequences of entering the Common Market. Noted (by Plomer), “posted to Lasky” (possibly a reference to Marghanita Laski, writer and broadcaster).

Articles on South African writing
Reference: PLO/340 - 341
Dates of creation: 1957
Extent: 2 items, 2 and 32 sheets Two articles on South African writers and writing in English, by Plomer
List of items
PLO/340 is a corrected galley proof of “South African Writing”, The London magazine (Feb 1957).
PLO/341 is a corrected typescript of Plomer's address to a writers' conference at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, entitled South African writers and English readers. It is noted as published in Proceeedings of a conference… (Johannesburgh: University of Witwatersrand, 1957, pp.54-72).

Autobiographical article, Angle-Afro-Asian
Reference: PLO/342
Dates of creation: 10 January 1966
Extent: 12 sheets Typescript of an autobiographical article, recounting and commenting on Plomer's upbringing in South Africa and time in Japan, with comments on his and others' attitudes to the English and to other inhabitants of Japan and South Africa. Refers to Japan as “my university” and to South Africa as “a maze of Berlin Walls of racial distinctions, prejudices, and taboos.”
Noted as sent to Professor John Peter, University of Victoria, BC, Canada, and published in The Malahat Review (Victoria, BC, Jan 1967).

article on Three diaries
Reference: PLO/343
Dates of creation: 1964
Extent: 13 sheets Typescript of article Three diaries, on the diaries of Haruko Ichikawa (Japanese lady in Europe, 1937), Francis Kilvert (briefly) and Richard Rumbold (all edited by Plomer). Noted by Plomer as “contributed to Listener [30 April 1964]” and “posted to Anna Kallin 24.3.64”.
Describes at greatest length aspects of the life and diary of Richard Rumbold (edited as Messages in Code), describing him as “the one who suffered most and attempted most…”

Obituaries
Reference: PLO/344 - 346
Drafts for obituary of EM Forster
Reference: PLO/344.
Dates of creation: [1969 or earlier]
Extent: 1 notebook, 7 sheets written on, plus loose green sheet and 7 smaller sheets inserted Notebook containing heavily corrected drafts and notes for obituary of EM Forster (died 1969).

proof for obituary of EM Forster
Reference: PLO/345
Dates of creation: 1969
Extent: 1 sheet Galley proof, corrected by Plomer, for obituary of EM Forster (died 1969). With note by Plomer, “Corrected proof, written some years ago, & revised 15.2.69, for Sunday Times.”

proof of obituary for Leonard Woolf
Reference: PLO/346
Dates of creation: 1954, 1969
Extent: 1 sheet plus letter Galley proof of obituary for Leonard Woolf, apparently written for the Manchester Guardian in 1954, and used by it on 16 Aug 1969. With letter dated 21 Nov 1977 concerning use of obituary.

Plomer's response to Lowry's letter re Plomer's report on Under the volcano
Reference: PLO/347
Dates of creation: January 1946
Extent: 2 sheets Copy of Plomer's letter, as PLO/329/2

Draft literary reviews by Plomer
Reference: PLO/348 - 356
Dates of creation: 1972 - 1973
Extent: 1 folder Manuscript drafts of various literary reviews by Plomer

PLO/348.   1972
Review of Robert Sencourt, TS Eliot: a memoir (Garnstone Press, 1971), published as “Urbane invader”, London magazine, Feb/Mar 1972, 174-176. Corrected manuscript
8 sheets
PLO/349   3 December 1972
Review of Cécile and Michel Beurdeley, Giuseppe Castiglione: a Jesuit painter at the court of the Chinese emperors, transl Michael Ballock (Lund Humphries); published as “Priest goes East”, Sunday Telegraph, 3 Dec 1972. Corrected manuscript
1 sheet
PLO/350   1972
Review of John D Jump, Byron (Routledge & Kegan Paul, [1972]). Noted by Plomer, “posted to Mrs Dangerfield 26 Dec 72.” Corrected manuscript
5 sheets
PLO/351   18 February 1973
Review of Tom Winnifrith, The Brontés and their background (Macmillan), published as “Wuthering on,” Sunday Telegraph, 18 Feb 1973. Corrected manuscript
2 sheets
PLO/352   27 May 1973
Review of The Purefoy letters, 1735-1753, ed LG Mitchell (Sidgwick & Jackson), published as “The squire in action,” in Sunday telegraph, 27 May 1973. Corrected manuscript
3 sheets
PLO/353   22 July 1973
Review of David Greysmith, Richard Dadd: the rock and castle of seclusion (Studio Vista), published as “Perspectives of troubled mind,” in Sunday telegraph, 22 July 1973. Corrected manuscript, with one page of additional notes
6 sheets
PLO/354   July 1973
Galley proof (uncorrected) for previous review, as PLO/353
1 sheet
PLO/355   August 1973
Review of Wilfred Owen, War poems and others, ed Dominic Hibberd (Chatto and Windus, 1973); noted by Plomer as “posted to Sunday Telegraph 19 Aug 1973. Corrected manuscript
3 sheets
PLO/356   September 1973
Review of Nigel Nicolson, Portrait of a marriage (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, [1973]), [with autobiography by Vita Sackville-West]. With card requesting review from Alan [Ross], London magazine, and noted by Plomer, “Posted to Alan Ross 11 Sept '73.” Corrected manuscript
7 sheets & 1 card
miscellaneous articles about Plomer
Reference: PLO/357 - 360
Dates of creation: 1951 - 1973
Extent: 1 folder
PLO/357.   5 October 1951
Article “Life in two parts'' from Times literary supplement; reviews Turbott Wolfe and Plomer's later work (following republication of Sado by Chatto and Windus [in association with Hogarth Press] in 1951).
1 sheet
PLO/358   21 May 1964
Article “South African Writers - 25” by JPL Snyman, from Femina & woman's life; reviews in particular Plomer's poems (following publication of his Collected poems in 1960).
1 sheet
PLO/359   1965
Typescript article (with corrections), “The Japan of the western novelists'', noted by Plomer as “By James Kirkup - 1965.” Includes discussion of Paper houses and individual stories within it at pp.2-4.
5 sheets
PLO/360   20 September 1973
Article “Mr P, that other elusive butterfly” from Evening argus (prior to publication of The butterfly ball and the grasshopper's feast).
1 sheet
reviews of Plomer's work
Reference: PLO/361 - 366
Dates of creation: 1960 - 1972
Extent: 1 folder
PLO/361.   August 1960
Review of Collected poems (1960 ed) by Charles Causley, from London Magazine, volume 7, number 8
3 sheets
PLO/362   May 1965
Typescript transcripts of reviews of Turbott Wolfe (1965 ed), from Spectator, New statesman, Daily sketch, Listener and Sunday telegraph (duplicated copy). Include some comments on introduction by Laurens Van der Post.
2 sheets
PLO/363   6 June 1965
Review of Turbott Wolfe (1965 ed) by Peter Blandish, in Sunday Chronicle (Johannesburg), under the title “This book enraged S.A.” (newspaper cutting).
Comments on Van der Post's introduction and on current South African laws regarding issues raised in the novel. Refers to Plomer's return to Johannesburg [in 1956] as “like an engaging literary lamb.”
1 cutting
PLO/364   June 1965
Review of Turbott Wolfe (1965 ed) by Nadine Gordimer, in London magazine, under title A wilder fowl (copy)
3 sheets
PLO/365   6 February 1969
Review of recital organised by the Poetry Society (for their diamond jubilee), and chaired by Plomer as President of the Poetry Society (newspaper cutting).
Comments on readings by Plomer, Hugh MacDiarmid, Basil Bunting, Brian Patten, Stevie Smith, Christopher Logue, Spike Hawkins and Ted Hughes (“the one poet … any real linguistic depth”). Comments on evening as a “mild flurry of embarrassment.”
1 cutting
PLO/366   16 June 1972
Review of Celebrations (also of Douglas Dunn, The happier life) by Normal Nicholson in Church times (newspaper cutting).
1 cutting
transcripts of radio broadcasts about Plomer
Reference: PLO/367 - 368
Dates of creation: 1958, 1970
Extent: 1 folder
PLO/367.   25 May 1958
Transcript of HA Hammelmann (transl P Couster), Les lettres et les arts, for BBC European Service (French Service)
6 sheets
PLO/368   28 October 1970 (transmission date)
Transcript of Susan Hill, Plomer revisited, for BBC Radio 4, about Plomer's novel Museum pieces
9 sheets
Miscellaneous items
Reference: PLO/369 - 374
Miscellaneous lists
Reference: PLO/369.
Extent: 7 sheets lists compiled apparently by Plomer, autograph manuscript (except for PLO 369/2, typescript)
List of items
  • /1 books edited or introduced by Plomer
  • /2 contributions by Plomer to Penguin new writing (including those under the pseudonym “Robert Pagan”)
  • /3-6 names of miscellaneous writers and friends, apparently for sending copies of publications too (/6 marked “Butterfly ball”)
  • /7 books by Edith Sitwell (? in Plomer's possession)


Miscellaneous newspaper cuttings
Reference: PLO/370
Dates of creation: 1969 - 1972
Extent: 4 sheets
  • /1 “The quiet revolutionary”, article on EM Forster by Roy Perrott for his 90th birthday, from Observer review, 5 Jan 1969; includes photograph of Forster by Plomer
  • /2 “The reformed puritan: the multiple masks of the poet laureate”, article on Cecil Day Lewis from Times literary supplement, 6 Nov 1970
  • /3 miscellaneous cuttings mounted together by Plomer, with quotation from Sir Humphry Davy, Consolations in travel (1830) on the English climate. Cuttings include Plomer's “books of the year” notes from Sunday telegraph, 1972, a note on an apparent connection between eczema and apples from the Times, 8 Dec 1972, and an obituary and appreciation on Admiral JH Godfrey from the Times, Aug-Sep 1971
  • /4 anecdote reprinted from Mid-Sussex times of 17 Aug 1897 under the heading, “Seventy-five years ago”, relating to a vow of silence


Testimonials from Plomer's work in Japan
Reference: PLO/371
Dates of creation: March 1929
Extent: 2 sheets & 2 envelopes testimonials on Plomer's work, from the director of the Tokyo Higher School and the dean of the literature department, The Japan University, Tokyo

Proof of “Little Susan”
Reference: PLO/372
Dates of creation: 1945
Extent: 3 sheets Galley proofs of Plomer's story, “Little Susan”, published in Penguin new writing, number 26, with minor corrections by Plomer

“One thought only”
Reference: PLO/373
Dates of creation: November 1942
Extent: 3 cuttings Translation by Plomer of Paul Eluard, Une seule pensée, printed in the Listener under the heading, “One thought only”; includes alteration by Plomer of last word (“Liberty”), to “Freedom.” Also printed text of original, taken from La France libre, with a printed footnote that it had appeared in Fontaine, June 1942, published in Algiers

Article on John Hampson Simpson
Reference: PLO/374
Dates of creation: February 1956
Extent: 7 sheets Manuscript of article on life and writings of John Hampson Simpson (author of Saturday night at the greyhound under the name John Hampson). Noted by Plomer as “sent to some man in Madras''

Papers of other writers and artists
Reference: PLO/Section IV
Manuscripts by JR Ackerley
Reference: PLO/375 - 376
PLO/375.   December 1934
notebook of poems (manuscript, without corrections), dedicated “To a sailor.” Noted on original envelope (by Plomer), “MS book of sad poems by Joe Ackerley given to W.P. by him in, I think, 1934.”
List of contents
  • Notes for a portrait of a sailor, “Where are your friends, your familiars…” (9 pages)
  • The forest, last three verses, “and then I said I loved you…” (2 pages)
  • Unfinished sonnet, “Now that this sad and solitary year…” (1 page)
  • Sonnet, “How often with my every need contained…” (1 page)
  • Sonnet, “How can I ever think of you with blame…” (1 page)
  • To an other, “How good you are, and how considerate…” (1 page)
  • Unfinished sonnet, “My weary-waiting heart must learn at last…” (1 page)
  • The jacket, “I met your brother in the street…” (5 pages)
  • The forest of silence, “How could I face you now?…” (2 pages)
  • Sonnet, “Take courage, heart, for all expiring things…” (1 page)

poems not dated, but apparently accompanied letter of 20 Dec 1934, and marked as “? 1934” by Plomer
1 notebook & envelope
See also -
PLO/1
This notebook appears to be that referred to as “this small sad collection” in his letter to Plomer of 20/12/1934 (PLO/1)
PLO/376   1942
Manuscript (fair copy) of poems, noted by Plomer, “given by [Ackerley] to W.P.”.
List of poems
Includes Destination D, “First I must tell you that my house was wrecked…” (32 pages) and Oddments (four poems, 8 pages).
Destination D is [dedicated] “F.J.H.” and includes a prefatory note: “Destination D was one of the official addresses of the B.E.F. to the Middle East in the winter of 1940. The two destroyers Diamond and Wryneck, loaded with evacuated troops from the Peloponnese and the Greek mainland, were both sunk with scarcely any survivors.” It is dated “June 1941 - June 1942.”
The “Oddments'' include “This sumer lays a finger to its lips…” (dated 1941), “What were you doing there? Could you have said?…”, “War is now so swift and complicated…” and “And had not anything, but nothing, nothing…”.
poems dated 1941-1942, but date when manuscript was given to Plomer is not stated
45 loose sheets (one blank)
Lilian Bowes-Lyon
Reference: PLO/377 - 391 letters, manuscripts and articles

PLO/377.   1941, 1944 - 1949
Letters written by Bowes Lyon (signed as “L.R.W.”) to Plomer
Outline of contents
Affectionate and honest letters, including comments and corrections for her own poems (published by Cape), and (increasingly) accounts of her own extreme pain and desperation.
Several letters include possible revisions for her poems, apparently in response to comments by Plomer, and to publications ( A rough walk home, 1946, and Collected poems, 1948). PLO 377/2 (1944) includes a reference to her article on London's East End (written as a letter and published anonymously in Orion, see PLO 380). PLO 377/6 (1946) has notes on the blurb for A rough walk home [written by Plomer]. Versions of and notes on The stars go by (published in Uncollected poems), with various draft titles, are in PLO 377/11, /13, /15 & /17 (1948). PLO 377/19 (1949) includes Cut grass. PLO 377/22 is a set of notes on [Cecil Day-Lesis'] introduction to her Collected poems (3 pages). PLO 377/23-24 are manuscript copies of, respectively, Pray now for men (published as A choir of close-knit bones, in A rough walk home) and Burning leaves (published in Collected poems as an addition to the collection A rough walk home).
Comments on the use of “pain-killing” drugs are in PLO 377/4-5 (1946). PLO 377/21 (June 1949) includes comments on the St Pancras Hospital, where she intends to visit others in the “chronic wards''.
First letter annotated “1941” by (?) Plomer, but reference to Joe [Ackerley] and bombing also suggests 1941: Ackerley lived with Plomer May-November 1941 after their houses in Maida Vale were bombed: see Alexander's biography, pp.238-239.
21 letters plus 4 other items, 40 sheets, 14 envelopes and 1 photograph
PLO/378   February 1949
Copy of Collected poems (Cape, 1948) with corrections by Bowes Lyon in manuscript (mostly minor), and accompanied by a sheet listing the corrections. Sheet is marked “in case reprinted.”
Corrections undated, but apparently sent with (or just before) letter of 18 Feb 1949, PLO 377/19.
1 book & 1 sheet
PLO/379   1948 - 1949
Poems not included in Collected poems but all published posthumously as Uncollected poems (Tragara Press, Edinburgh, 1981). Include notes on magazines where many of the poems were first published.
Mainly manuscript copies of the poems, with some corrections (by Bowes Lyon) and a few printed versions. Accompanied by envelope with note by Plomer.
List of poems
  • New year, “From deafening fears that have pursued me far…” (published in Listener, 1 sheet, manuscript)
  • Secret light, “Vital as though, a wing or a frond…” (published in Listener, 1 sheet, printed cutting)
  • The guilty (alternative title, War criminals, scored out), “The guilty stood. I counted six…” (published in Listener, 1948, 2 sheets, 2 manuscript copies)
  • A failure, “Around my friend his fate had built a wall…” (published in Botteghe Oscure, Rome, winter 1949, 3 sheets, 1 manuscript copy and 2 printed, one translated into Italian as Destino fallito by Nina Ruffini)
  • Rhyme to a lamb, “Lamb, in your coat of light, who killed you…” (published in Listener, 6 Jan 1949, 1 sheet, printed cutting)
  • The sovereign ash, “Young heifers, tousled in their tom-boy coats…” (published in Time and Tide, summer 1948, 2 sheets, 2 manuscript copies)
  • The stars go by, “A fox, in heaven's trap that gleams…” (published in Orpheus II, 1949, 1 sheet, manuscript)
  • Cut grass, “Grass of my body, long and lithe…” (apparently unpublished before Uncollected poems, 1 sheet, manuscript, with draft version on dorse)
  • A woman in the park, “She wept under a delicate tree furred with moisture…” (published in Listener, 1949, 1 sheet, manuscript)
  • Four lines: to light, “Heart, crying for night…” (apparently unpublished before Uncollected poems, 1 sheet, manuscript, dated Feb 1949 with notes by Bowes Lyon)
  • The ford (alternative title, Plankey ford, scored out), “Old age rode, and we the children waded…” (apparently unpublished before Uncollected poems, 1 sheet, manuscript, noted by Bowes Lyon “Too personal? But quite True!” and by Plomer as an early poem)

16 sheets & 1 envelope
PLO/380   1945
Copy of Orion: a miscellany (Nicholson & Watson, London, 1945), including an essay on conditions and people in London's East End, noted by Plomer (on slip in front of book) as written by Bowes Lyon. Written as A letter from another London and addressed to “My dear William [Plomer],” pp.30-41.
1 volume
PLO/381   1938
Fragment of prose piece by Bowes Lyon, Beech avenue at home
1 sheet
PLO/382   26 August 1949
Letter to Plomer from Winifred ('Freda') Bowes Lyon (? sister to Lilian), referring to Lilian's letter to the Times Literary Supplement about Evening in Stepney and to a copy of some of her verses
1 sheet
PLO/383   1 August 1949
Letter to Plomer from Ronnie Bowes Lyon (brother to Lilian), thanking him for his appreciation in the Times and Sunday times and with news of her funeral and burial
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/384   14 January 1948
Letter to Plomer from Cecil Day Lewis, relating to his introduction to her Collected poems (Cape, 1948) and to her suggested amendments (as in PLO 377/22)
1 sheet
PLO/385   undated
Copy of letter from Ian Parsons (Chatto & Windus) to Rupert [Hart Davis], relating to recent publication of one of Bowes Lyon's books by [Cape].
Contents of letter suggests 1945 or earlier (when Hart Davis left Cape publishers, who published all Bowes Lyon's books; Bowes Lyon's first book published 1934, The white hare), although reference to Royal Wedding (possibly November 1947) might suggest that either A rough walk home (1946) or Collected poems (1948) is referred to.
1 sheet
PLO/386   1937, 1947 - 1949
Press cuttings of reviews of Bowes Lyon's books.
Reviews include Bright feather fading (from Times literary supplement, 20 Feb 1937), A rough walk home (from Spectator, 10 Jan 1947), a letter from Edith Sitwell regarding an earlier review of Collected poems (from New statesman and nation, 9 Oct 1948) and Collected poems (from Book review digest, New York, Dec 1948, and from New York herald tribune, 30 Jan 1949)
5 cuttings
PLO/387   July 1949
Press cuttings of obituaries of Lilian Bowes Lyon, from Daily Mail (25 July, quoting Plomer), Times (26 July and 30 July, the latter written by Plomer) and Sunday times (31 July, “appreciation” written by Plomer)
3 cuttings
PLO/388   February 1966
Note by Plomer on Lilian Bowes Lyon, with very brief outline of her life, publications and articles about her. Noted by Plomer as “prepared in answer to an enquiry, via Cape, from the National Book League.”
1 sheet
PLO/389
envelope originally containing PLO 381-388
1 envelope
PLO/390   1949
Copy of The poetry review, ed John Gawsworth, vol 40, number 5, Oct-Nov 1949. Includes an appreciation of Lilian Bowes Lyon by John Murray at pp.352-353, and a poem “in memoriam” by Peter Appleton, p.353.
1 volume
PLO/391   1964
Copy of The poetry review, ed John Smith, vol 55, number 1, Spring 1964. Includes an article on the poetry of Lilian Bowes Lyon by Anne Treneer, pp.28-38 (with a few corrections by Plomer).
1 volume
See also -
PLO/272
Ian Fleming
Reference: PLO/418 - 430 letters and articles

PLO/418.   1962
Typescript of broadcast “The writer speaks'', conversation between Fleming and Plomer, produced in cooperation with the New American Library
9ff.
PLO/419   15 September 1964
Order of service for Fleming's funeral, at St Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield, London (with address by Plomer)
1 sheet
PLO/420   [15 Sep 1964]
Typescript of address by Plomer at Fleming's funeral, “Ian Fleming remembered”
10 sheets
PLO/421   26 August 1964
Letter from Joan Saunders (writers' research agent) to Plomer about Fleming, in connection with Plomer's intended funeral address
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/422   18 August 1964 - 1 October 1964
Correspondence between Plomer and Peter Fleming relating to Plomer's address at Ian Fleming's funeral, and to subsequent arrangements with Cape for its printing and distribution; includes notes on worldwide sales and translations of 'James Bond' novels
5 items, 8 sheets
PLO/423   August 1964 - 24 February 1965
Letters from Admiral John Henry Godfrey (Director of Naval Intelligence, 1939-1942), about Ian Fleming and in particular his alleged exploits during his service with the Naval Intelligence Division, 1939-1945. Many letters concern the possibility (and difficulty, given naval security requirements) of contributing to John Pearson's forthcoming biography of Fleming, and the letters include one from Vice Admiral Sir Norman Denning (Defence Intelligence Staff) to Plomer.
Includes typescript extracts from Godfrey's Naval memoirs regarding Ian Fleming (and Rudolf Burmester). One extract is headed “Appendix 5 to Vol V” and the other “XXXIV” but the extracts are substantially the same (in the ? final version the passage appears in chapter XXXIV of volume V of the memoirs).
16 items
PLO/424/1-6   10 January 1965 - 7 April 1965
Letters from John Pearson regarding his intended biography of Ian Fleming (published by Cape, 1966), in particular relating to meetings arranged with John Godfrey and Ian Denning (Naval Intelligence Division/Defence Intelligence staff).
6 items, 7 sheets & 1 envelope
PLO/424/7   undated [1966-1973]
Letter from Richard Usborne regarding Ian Fleming, particularly his writing of Casino Royale. Letter refers to an intended book by Usborne on the fiction of spying, apparently not published.
Not dated, but refers to John Pearson's biography of Ian Fleming (published 1966), and probably dated shortly after that.
1 sheet
PLO/425   5 October 1964
Copy of letter from Kingsley [Amis] to Tom [Mascheler, Cape publishers], regarding his view of and theories on Ian Fleming's The man with the golden gun and enclosing a list of corrections to the book.
4 sheets
PLO/426   August 1964
Newspaper cuttings and obituaries following Ian Fleming's death on 12 August 1964
5 cuttings
PLO/427   28 August 1964
Typescript copy of Allen Dulles, “Our spy-boss who loved Bond,” from Life, 28 August 1964 (written by former Director of CIA, USA)
2 sheets
PLO/428   1965
Offprint of PH Muir, “Ian Fleming: a personal memoir,” from The book collector, Spring 1965, pp.24-33

PLO/429   9 December 1964
Letter from Robert Musel of United Press International asking how Plomer intends to spend the legacy left by Ian Fleming to him, with reference to American newspapers
1 sheet
PLO/430   31 December 1964
List of books by Fleming, apparently sold to Schwartz by Plomer, with list of inscriptions written by Fleming to Plomer in Fleming's books
List of inscriptions is not dated. List of books marked “sold” dated only “31 Dec” but on an envelope postmarked 29 Dec 1964.
1 envelope & 1 sheet
E.M. Forster
Reference: PLO/431 - 440
Extent: 1 folder Notes and material accumulated by Plomer in connection with the proposal that he should write Forster's biography
In the event only the Sunday Times obituary was written by Plomer, the biography being written by PN Furbank. See Alexander's biography

PLO/431.   9 January 1959
Menu and seating plan for Forster's 80th birthday luncheon at King's College, Cambridge
1 card & 1 sheet
PLO/432   21 July 1960 - 14 August 1960
Letters from Jack Sprott, initially requesting that Plomer write Forster's biography, and (PLO 432/3) discussing the scope of the proposed life
3 letters, 5 sheets & 3 envelopes
PLO/433   23 August 1960
Autobiographical notes by Forster, noted by Plomer as “key to his private life.” Includes list of diaries and other personal notes (some marked “H”), and list of significant people (“importanti”).
Dated on dorse by Plomer
1 sheet
PLO/434   23 August 1960
Notes by Plomer of a conversation between him and Forster, mainly comments on “H”
2 sheets
PLO/435   1943 - 1944
Verses written by Forster, including two noted “Chinese” and one (in French) “Cocteau”
One sheet undated. Other noted by Plomer, “enclosed in a letter to WP from EMF in 1943 or 1944” (annotated by library staff “30/v/43?”).
2 sheets
PLO/436   3 November 1832
Letter from John [Jebb], bishop of Limerick, to “Miss Laura. Refers to visit from “Mr Forster” and to a manuscript to be copied by Laura. Noted by Plomer as “enclosed in a letter to Wp from EMF (of uncertain date).”
1 sheet
See also -
PLO/433
Forster's list of “autobiographicalia” includes a reference to “Bishop Jebb's Commonplace Book”.
PLO/437   1960
Printed cutting from The periodical of an extract of Forster's “An idea for a novel” (written for introduction to “World's Classics'' edition of The longest journey)
Undated, but The longest journey published in “The world's classics'' series (Oxford University Press) in 1960
2 sheets
PLO/438   September 1960
Corrected typescript of notes by Forster on Maurice
8 sheets
PLO/439   January 1965
Typescript draft obituary of Forster, noted by Plomer as written for Sunday Times
7 sheets (one blank)
PLO/440   1 May 1967 - 9 March 1968
Letters from PN Furbank regarding Forster's biography (to be written by Furbank). PLO 440/1 is to May [Buckingham], regarding the previous arrangement that Plomer should write the biography.
PLO 440/1 dated only “Monday” but dated by library staff as 1 May 1967; PLO 440/2 has no year, but dated by the postmark on its envelope at 1968
2 letters, 3 sheets & 1 envelope
Admiral John Godfrey
Reference: PLO/441
Dates of creation: 1964
Extent: 4 items, 6 sheets Notes and papers on Admiral JH Godfrey, The naval memoirs, including notes by Library staff (by Dr AI Doyle, typewritten) and by Plomer, and a corrected manuscript and fair typescript copy of Plomer's “epilogue” to the memoirs
Related material - here PLO/423: , August 1964 - 24 February 1965

Ingrid Jonker
Reference: PLO/442 - 453
Extent: 4 folders
PLO/442.   22 September 1965
Letter from John Thompson, Farfield Foundation, New York, thanking Plomer for his poem “Taste of the fruit”
1 sheet & 1 envelope
PLO/443   6 November 1965 - 15 January 1968
Letters concerning translations (from Afrikaans) by Jack Cope and William Plomer (with assistance from Laurens Van der Post and Uys Krige) and publication of a selection of Jonker's poems (published as Jonker, Selected poems by Jonathan Cape, 1968)
Several letters include notes on the meanings or possible translations of particular Afrikaans words, and on translations into English by Jonker herself (especially PLO 443/16). Letters are from Jack Cope (Cape Town, South Africa, 16 letters), Tom Maschler (Jonathan Cape, London, 4 letters), Laurens Van der Post (London, 2 letters) and Ed Victor (Jonathan Cape, London, 1 letter).
23 letters, 39 sheets
Note that letter PLO 443/17/1-2 and PLO 443/17/3 are separate letters, although numbered as if one.
PLO/444   16 August 1967 - 13 November 1967
Letters from David Lytton regarding a proposed “Third” (BBC radio) programme on Jonker's poetry
3 letters, 3 sheets
PLO/445   19 October 1968
Letter thanking Plomer and sending photographs following presentation of Ingrid Jonker prize to Sidney Clouts [awarded for his book of poetry, One life]. Photographs show Plomer, Clouts, Anthony Delius, Uys Krige and Roy McNab.
1 letter, 1 sheet & 2 photographs & 1 envelope
The names of those in one of the photographs are given in the Cape Times notice of the prize on 7 Oct 1968, which is included in PLO 313.
PLO/446   1966
Typescript contents notes and translations of extracts from In memoriam Ingrid Jonker (Human and Rousseau, Pretoria, 1966). Notes on contents are in English, and include some brief notes on the contributors. Essays or contributions that are translated from the original Afrikaans in the book are Prof Rob Antonissen, “Double-play on love” (“Dubbelspel om Liefde”), Jan Rabie, “Who is left?” (“Wie bly oor?”) and Uys Krige, “Soos in Haarself…” (extracts)
18 sheets
PLO/447   1967
Fair copy (in Plomer's hand) of Ingrid Jonker, Selected poems (under the title, The poems of Ingrid Jonker), including list of contents but not preface. Copy is not corrected but differs slightly from final published version (see correspondence in PLO 443).
Copy undated, but apparently written before Jack Cope's letter of 14 July 1967 (PLO 443/16).
54 sheets
PLO/448   July 1967
Typescript copy of Selected poems (under title The poems of Ingrid Jonker), with several small corrections in Plomer's hand
Typescript undated, but notes that list of contents and request for translator's note posted to [Jack] Cope on 8th August.
78 sheets (last blank)
PLO/449   1967
Typescript drafts of preface for Selected poems. Includes fair copy typescript (apparently of an earlier version), and a corrected typescript marked up with notes for printing (of the final version).
Drafts not dated, but see letters to Jack Cope regarding preface at PLO 443/18-20.
5 sheets
PLO/450   May 1968
Uncorrected proof copies (3) of Selected poems, all with corrections by Plomer
PLO 450/2-3 are marked “return by May 29th” and “18 May 68” respectively; PLO 450/1 is undated but includes corrections that match the final published version.
3 volumes
PLO/451   December 1966
Copy of Jonker's short story “The Goat”, cut from London Magazine, December 1966. The story is translated (originally “Die Bok”) from the Afrikaans by Jack Cope, with a concluding note on Jonker's life and work by Cope.
6 ff.
PLO/452   March 1967
Article by Jack Cope on Ingrid Jonker for Mademoiselle (? New York), March 1967, under the title, “Black butterflies: the harshness of present-day South Africa proved too much for a brilliant, sensitive young poet, whose fame will outlive her detractors''
3 sheets
PLO/453   October 1968 - December 1968
Reviews of Selected poems from Cape Times (23 Oct 1968, South Africa, newscutting, review by Hazel Prinsloo), Contrast (Nov 1968, South Africa, cut from magazine, review by Adèle Naudé) and London magazine (Dec 1968, review by Alan Ross). The Contrast cutting also includes a note of award to Sidney Clouts of the Ingrid Jonker poetry prize.
5 sheets
Francis Kilvert
Reference: PLO/454 - 470
Extent: 2 boxes
PLO/454.   19 July 1870 - 6 August 1870
Original notebook (diary) of Revd Francis Kilvert, numbered by him “No 4”, and relating to a holiday in Cornwall, with William and Emma Hockin
Volume is kept in a small box, which includes a note by Plomer that it was given to him by Mrs Essex Hope (née Smith), Kilvert's niece, in 1958, and referring to her destruction of all but 3 of the original 22 volumes.
1 volume (boxed)
Full edition of the notebook, with introduction and notes, and illustrated with photographs
Kilvert, Francis, Kilvert's Cornish Diary, ed. by Richard Maber and Angela Tregoning (Penzance, 1989)
PLO/455
Drafts for article or lecture, Kilvert and his diary. Includes manuscript draft (incorporating typescript extracts, presumably from an earlier article, annotated by Plomer), and a typescript copy, with a few corrections and deletions.
2 items, 65 sheets
PLO/456   19 July 1972
Drafts of Francis Kilvert and his diary, read by Plomer as Giff Edmonds Memorial Lecture 1972. Includes proof for printed slip advertising lecture, manuscript draft, and typescript draft (with additional corrections and changes).
3 items, 61 sheets
PLO/457   1962 - 1963, 1973
Draft articles by Plomer on Kilvert and the diaries, and on the Kilvert Society, with correspondence with the Sunday Times.
List of items
Three draft articles at PLO 457/1-3:
  • /1: manuscript draft on the diary and Francis Kilvert, heavily corrected (3 pages), noted by Plomer, “To G.C.G. at Cape's (14 Feb)” and probably dating from 1973;
  • /2: typescript draft on the diary, Kilvert Society and Francis Kilvert (5 pages, possibly later version of PLO 457/3;
  • /3: manuscript draft on Francis Kilvert and the Kilvert Society (14 pages plus cover page), dated by Plomer 1 May 1963 and apparently submitted to Sunday Times (see letter at PLO 457/7)

Correspondence with Sunday Times, 14 Aug 1962 to 10 Sept 1963, relating to proposal (aborted) to publish article on Kilvert and photographs in the colour section (PLO 457/4-10, 7 sheets)
Article on diaries apparently written for Cape's (PLO 457/1) is not dated, but reference to the Kilvert Society “set up 25 years ago” suggests 1973.
1 folder, 30 sheets
PLO/458   8 August 1941 - 22 July 1948
Letters to Plomer from T Perceval Smith (Kilvert's nephew, and then owner of the original diaries). 1941-1945 letters (PLO 458/1-3) relate to the restoration of Kilvert's grave (Bredwardine churchyard), and PLO 458/4-5 (1948) to the Kilvert memorial [bench in Bredwarding churchyard]. PLO 458/5 also refers to a suggestion that the original MSS notebooks be deposited with the Hereford library.
5 letters, 5 sheets & 2 envelopes
PLO/459   19 June 1970 - 8 February 1973
Letters to Plomer from Revd David Lockwood, relating mainly to the Kilvert Society and in particular to plans for a (replacement) memorial plaque on Ashbrook House [in Clyro]
6 letters, 10 sheets
PLO/460   6 June 1972 - 31 July 1973
Letters to Plomer from CTO (“Oswin”) Prosser, secretary of Kilvert Society. Letters relate to general society business and (PLO 460/1) to evidence for Kilvert's school education.
4 letters, 4 sheets
PLO/461   6 April 1943 - 12 February 1973, undated
Letters to Plomer from miscellaneous members of the Kilvert Society, readers of the diaries, descendants of Francis Kilvert and others interested in the diaries.
Notes on particular documents
Several of the letters include notes on places or people mentioned in (or associated with) the diaries, in particular: a Cornish church “in the sand” near Gwithian (PLO 461/1), Daisy Thomas of Llanthomas (/2), photograph of Kilvert (“Capt de Wintons fishing party”, /3), John Fredric Lowder (/6), Fanny Thomas, Nonsuch, Andrew Pope and Kilvert's schooling (/8, with copies of poems), Moccas Court and Sir William Cornewall (son of Kilvert's patron, with notes of corrections by him to the published diaries, /9), John Monkhouse of Stow (/10), Mary Dew (née Monkhouse, /11), Thomas Hardy and Henry Moule of Dorset (/17-18)
Notes on the diaries or other Kilvert manuscripts are in PLO 461/7 (1963, on manuscript letters apparently owned by Kilvert descendants), /20 (1973, on the “missing third notebook”, apparently that deposited in National Library of Wales as XXXX)
PLO 461/12-13 (1967) relate to a proposal to dramatise parts of the diaries for a theatre production and a BBC film, by Alan Bennett and Patrick Garland (apparently dropped).
The last three letters (PLO 461/21-23) have no year but appear to date from 1970 (cf.PLO 461/16).

PLO/462   c.1970-1973
Duplicated lists of publications and information sheet for the Kilvert Society
3 sheets
PLO/463   April 1970 - October 1973
Duplicated newsletters of the Kilvert Society (last newsletter accompanied by obituary of Plomer, written by CTO Prosser, secretary of the Society)
10 items
Alice Lemon
Reference: PLO/475 - 539
Extent: 1 box
PLO/475.   [1973]
Manuscript proof of The girl in the State Paper office, or The private life of Alice Lemon: edition of extracts from letters of Alice Lemon to Winifred Nicol, 1859-1862, prepared for publication with introduction and linking annotations by Plomer
List of contents and introduction include references to Mrs Tonge looks back (letters from a Mrs Tonge) and He kept everything (extracts from family papers of Richard Rumbold). Articles on both these collections were written by Plomer for the Listener, and references to them in the introduction have been scored out. The text does not survive as part of this item.
undated, probably June-July 1973 (see PLO 531-539)
350 + vi numbered pages plus 2 unnumbered
PLO/476-486   [1859-1862]
Original letters and copies of drawings by Alice Lemon. The drawings were traced by Patrick Lowe-Holmes (one is apparently an original by Alice), and include a few annotations by him.
List of items
  • /476-477: two original letters from Alice to [Winifred] Nicol, undated
  • /478: humorous verses written in pretend dialect, ending “Adoo false one for hever”, possibly written by Alice
  • /479-480: two envelopes, one postmarked 20 Dec '62
  • /481: drawing (? by Alice) of three people at table, with note [by Lowe-Holmes] referring to breakfast and to the letter dated 30/9/60
  • /482: tracing of drawings, with note [by Lowe-Holmes] stating, “Jocy's first night in Q- T- Sept 13th”
  • /483-486: tracings of other drawings [by Alice]

9 sheets, 2 envelopes & 2 notes
PLO/487-492   16 November 1972 - 1 June 1973
Letters from Patrick Lowe-Holmes to Plomer, concerning his purchase of the letters and notes from his researches into the Lemon family
6 sheets & 2 cards & 2 envelopes
PLO/493-496   [1973]
Notes from Patrick Lowe-Holmes about the Lemon family and commenting on some of the letters
4 sheets
PLO/497-524   26 January 1962 - 13 June 1962
Letters to Patrick Lowe-Holmes from various libraries and public bodies concerning his researches into the Lemon and Nicol families, together with a copy of pages about Nicol genealogy [at PLO 497, possibly from The genealogy of the Nicol family, and apparently sent with letter from Central Public Library, Edinburgh, at PLO 524]
Letters include one from Penguin Books (PLO 503), rejecting possibility of publishing a book suggested by Lowe-Holmes (presumably an anonymous edition of some of the letters, as mentioned in his letter to Plomer of 16 Apr 1973 (PLO 489).
31 sheets and cards
PLO/525-530
Copies of wills and probates of Mark Lemon (proved 1871), Robert Lemon (proved 1867) and George Garden Nicol (proved 1897); also copy of pages from The history of Punch [by RGG Price, 1957] on Mark Lemon (co-editor 1841-1870); all apparently collected by Patrick Lowe-Holmes

PLO/531-539   27 April 1973 - 17 July 1973
Correspondence with Jonathan Cape publishers, with a genealogist and with a relation of Alice Lemon, relating to proposed publication of the Alice Lemon letters (referred to in most of the correspondence under the title Burn these letters)
File includes notes on Alice Lemon's descendants (PLO 534) and copy of letter from relation refusing publication of the letters (PLO 539).
24 sheets & 1 envelope
Richard Rumbold
Reference: PLO/540 - 684
Extent: 10 folders
PLO/540.   1942
Rumbold, “From a pilot's diary” (written sub nomine Richard Nugent), cut from Penguin new writing, [number 13]
Extract undated but dated to 1942 in Plomer's note of Rumbold's publications, PLO 683.
7 sheets
PLO/541-542   8 December 1944
Rumbold, “When I consider…”, from Spectator (two copies)
2 sheets
PLO/543   18 October 1946
Rumbold, “With the Benedictines'', from Spectator (two copies)
1 sheet
PLO/544   November 1960
Rumbold, “An evening with Paul Bowles'' [on taking hashish], from London magazine, volume 7, number 11
6 sheets
PLO/545-547   1940
Photographs of Rumbold in the RAF
Only PLO 546 is dated, 10 June 1940.
3 photographs
PLO/548   April 1933 - January 1936
Scrapbook of newspaper cuttings, relating particularly to Little victims, and to Rumbold's subsequent excommunication and appeal to the Vatican (pp.1-43,47), and a court case ordering destruction of books seized from two London publishers in 1934 as 'obscene' (pp.44-46).
1 volume
PLO/549-559   3 March 1948 - 30 July 1958
Contracts and correspondence with publishers
List of items
  • PLO 549: contract with Jonathan Cape for The spring comes slowly, 3 Mar 1948 (apparently never published)
  • PLO 550-551: letters from Nigel Nicolson of Weidenfeld and Nicolson (publishers) concerning the firm's financial difficulties and payment of debts to Rumbold, 23-24 May 1951
  • PLO 552: letter from Mark Bonham Carter of Collins (publishers), rejecting Rumbold's Antoine de Saint-Exupery, 30 June 1952 (published as The winged life by Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1953)
  • PLO 553: contract with Weidenfeld and Nicolson for Saint Exupery (later The winged life), 30 Oct 1952
  • PLO 554: royalty statements for The winged life from Weidenfeld and Nicolson (3), 31 Dec 1953-31 Mar 1957
  • PLO 555-556: letters from Jonathan Cape (of Cape publishers) regarding reprinting My father's son, 29 Aug-3 Oct 1957
  • PLO 557: contract with Jonathan Cape for (reprint of) My father's son, 28 Oct 1957
  • PLO 558-559: letters from G Wren Howard and Jean Mossop (secretary to Mr Cape) of Jonathan Cape publishers, regarding paperback reprint of My father's son by Penguin Books and sales of the Cape reprint, 15 May-30 July 1958


PLO/560-578   18 April 1940 - 3 March 1944, undated
Letters from Lord Alfred (“Bosie”) Douglas (photostat copies), mainly concerning personal meetings with Rumbold and Douglas' own financial difficulties.
Comments on his relationships with Oscar Wilde are in PLO 564, and with his wife Olive in PLO 576. PLO 570 includes comments on the poetry of TS Eliot (and modern poets in general), and PLO 574 relates a dispute with the Royal Society of Literature regarding publication of a lecture by Douglas.
19 letters, 43 sheets (copies)
PLO/579   31 May 1947
Typescript note of “additional facts supplied by my aunt” (relating to Rumbold's forebears)
1 sheet
PLO/580   23 January 1954
Carbon copy of letter from Rumbold to Dom Bede [Griffiths], including notes on possible books by Rumbold with a religious or Roman Catholic theme
3 sheets
PLO/581   undated
Postcard to Plomer from Germany
Undated but 1944 or later (mentions Charles [Erdmann])
1 card
PLO/582   26 February 1959
Letter to Plomer regarding Plomer's role as Rumbold's literary executor, and the possibility of publishing posthumously Rumbold's diary and other writings
3 sheets & 1 envelope
PLO/583-591   14 February 1949 - 14 November 1957, undated
Letters to Rumbold from various correspondents
List of items
  • PLO 583: from Harold Nicolson, commenting on Plomer's [Four countries], 14 Feb 1949 (apparently shown by Rumbold to Plomer)
  • PLO 584: from Nevill [Coghill], concerning My father's son, with references to Coghill's own family upbringing and to relationships generally


Olive Schreiner
Reference: PLO/685 - 689
Extent: 2 folders
PLO/685-688   1914, 1955 and 1963 and undated [c.1965-1967]
Notes and papers relating to Olive Schreiner, sent to Plomer by Zelda Friedlander. Folder includes (apparently originally sent to Plomer by Friedlander) a letter from Joan Eden [née Smith] dated 3 Dec 1963, together with 3 postcards written by Schreiner (from Alassio, 1914) and cutting of letter about her, sent to the Listener by Sylvia Pankhurst (5 May 1955).
Friedlander's notes on Olive Schreiner are undated, but probably date from 1965-1967 while she was working (with help from Plomer) on Until the heart changes: a garland for Olive Schreiner (Tafelberg, Cape Town, 1967).
5 sheets & 3 postcards & 1 cutting & 1 envelope
PLO/689   1871 - 1896, 1955
Photographs of Olive Schreiner and friends, most or all sent to Plomer by Zelda Friedlander. With letter from South African Library, Cape Town, to the University Library dated 22 Oct 1986 (relating to photograph PLO 689/8), and negatives of photographs PLO 689/2 & 9.
List of items
  • /1. Olive Schreiner's mother (Rebecca Lyndall), at Roman Catholic convent in Grahamstown
  • /2. Schreiner at time of writing The story of an African farm (1973, aged c.18)
  • /3. From a painting by Boonzaaier
  • /4-5. Schreiner sitting at a desk (photograph printed as postcard, plus published paper copy)
  • /6. Notes by Friedlander on PLO 689/7-11
  • /7. Schreiner aged 16, 1871
  • /8. Dr John and Mrs Mary Brown, taken in Lancashire
  • /9. Schreiner with her black servant, Gangalezewe
  • /10. Memorial plaque marking Schreiner's centenary year, 1955
  • /11. Schreiner in 1884

10 photographs & 2 sheets & 2 envelopes & negatives