Item NLW MS 23980F, f. 21. - David Jones letter,

Identity area

Reference code

NLW MS 23980F, f. 21.

Title

David Jones letter,

Date(s)

  • 27 May 1961 (Creation)

Level of description

Item

Extent and medium

1 f.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

David Jones (1895-1974) was an accomplished artist who produced watercolours, illustrations and inscriptions, and who also gained acclaim as a poet, especially as the author of In Parenthesis in 1937, and the long prose poem The Anathemata in 1952.
David Walter Jones was born in Brockley, Kent, on 1 November 1895. His mother, Alice Ann née Bradshaw, was from London, and his father, James Jones, was originally from Holywell, Flintshire. He attended the Camberwell School of Art from 1910-1914, and the Westminster School of Art from 1919-1921.
He joined the London Welsh Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fuseliers in 1915 and served as a private with them until 1918. This experience had a profound effect on him, and his first book, In Parenthesis (1937), is an epic war poem which deals with the period he spent in France.
In 1921 he was received into the Roman Catholic Church, adopting Michael as a middle name. This was a defining moment in his life and work. In the same year he met Eric Gill and joined Gill's community at Ditchling, Sussex, where he learnt wood-engraving. In 1924 he became engaged to Petra Gill and often visited the family at Capel y ffin, near Abergavenny. His engagement with Petra was broken off in 1927 and subsequently he never married.
Between 1928 and 1932 he moved around a great deal, producing watercolours and also writing. In 1933 he suffered a breakdown in health and endured repeated periods of ill-health from then onwards. He virtually stopped painting until 1937. In 1937 Faber published In Parenthesis, which T. S. Eliot regarded as 'a work of genius'. He was awarded the Hawthornden prize for it in 1938.
He was based at the parental home at Brockley until his mother's death in 1937. He then lived in Notting Hill, and from about 1946 lived in Harrow on the Hill. In 1970 he fell ill after breaking a bone in his hip and resided at Calvary Nursing Home, Harrow until his death in 1974.
A volume of essays Epoch and Artist was published by Faber in 1959, followed by The Fatigue (1965), The Tribune's Visitations (1969) and The Introduction to The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1972). The Sleeping Lord (1974) and The Roman Quarry (1981) were published posthumously.
In 1955 he was awarded the CBE, and also the Harriet Monroe memorial prize. In 1960 he was awarded the degree of D. Litt from The University of Wales and became both Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1961. He was awarded the Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales Gold medal in 1964 and the Welsh Arts Council Literature Prize in 1969.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Michael Silverman, Antiquarian Books & Manuscripts; London; Purchase; March 2009; 004633403.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

An autograph letter, 27 May 1961, from the artist and poet David Jones, Harrow on the Hill, to Geoffrey Robinson, general editor at publishers Barrie & Rockliff, thanking him for the page proofs for his foreword (on pp. vii-ix) to R. W. Barber, Arthur of Albion: An Introduction to the Arthurian Literature and Legends of England (London: Barrie & Rockliff, 1961), and suggesting a very few minor emendations.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply. Information regarding ownership of David Jones copyright can be found at http://tyler.hrc.utexas.edu/ (viewed October 2012).

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Tape residue on page margin.

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Text

Related units of description

The original page proofs are now NLW, David Jones (Artist and Writer) Papers CD1/13, ff. 31-37; two typescript copies of the foreword, one heavily emended by Jones, are CD1/13, ff. 25-30; Jones's personal copy of the book is NLW, David Jones Collection 385.

Related descriptions

Notes area

Note

Title based on contents.

Note

Preferred citation: NLW MS 23980F, f. 21.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number

vtls004633403

Access points

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Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

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Sources

Accession area

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Physical storage

  • Text: NLW MS 23980F, f. 21; $q - Tape residue on page margin.