File NLW MS 23541E. - David Jones letters to Juliet and Richard Shirley Smith

Identity area

Reference code

NLW MS 23541E.

Title

David Jones letters to Juliet and Richard Shirley Smith

Date(s)

  • 1953-1964 (Creation)

Level of description

File

Extent and medium

12 ff.

Guarded and filed at NLW.

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.

Name of creator

Biographical history

Name of creator

Biographical history

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Mr Richard Shirley Smith; Marlborough; Purchase; September 1996; B1996/41.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Ten letters, 1953-1964, from David Jones, artist and writer, to the painter and engraver Richard Shirley Smith and his artist wife Juliet Wood, mostly written, 1960-1961, while the latter were abroad studying in Italy. The letters, containing comments on David Jones's work and that of the recipients, were published in a limited edition, David Jones, Ten Letters ..., ed. by Derek Shiel (London: Agenda Editions, 1996); copy no. 1/150 was acquired with the letters and is filed with them.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

The contents are indexed in greater detail in Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, vol. 9 (Aberystwyth, 2003).

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

Note

Title based on contents.

Note

Preferred citation: NLW MS 23541E.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number

vtls004366532

CAIRS System Control Number

(WLABNL)P1Saan0000013231

GEAC system control number

(WlAbNL)0000366532

Access points

Subject 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

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

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

May 2009.

Language(s)

  • English

Script(s)

Sources

Archivist's note

Description compiled by Bethan Ifan for the retrospective conversion project of NLW MSS;

Accession area

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Physical storage

  • Text: NLW MS 23541E.