- 1958-1974 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Placed in melinex sleeves within three ringed boxes at NLW.
Name of creator
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 Fusiliers 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
Name of creator
Name of creator
Lady Megan Lloyd George (1902-66) was the fifth child of David and Margaret Lloyd George. She enjoyed a quite unique childhood at 11 and 10 Downing Street, and accompanied her father to the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Widely regarded as her father's natural political heir by the mid-1920s, she was elected Liberal MP for Anglesey in May 1929, the first woman MP in the history of Wales. In 1931 she became one of the tiny band of Lloyd George Liberals, and during the 1930s spoke regularly in the House of Commons on agriculture, unemployment and Welsh affairs. During the second world war she became a keen advocate of women's rights and Welsh issues. She was already clearly moving leftwards in the political spectrum, and there were persistent rumours that she was likely to join the Labour Party. In 1949 Clement Davies appointed Megan deputy leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party. She was defeated by Cledwyn Hughes in 1951, and subsequently joined the Labour Party in April 1955. She served as president of the Parliament for Wales campaign, 1950-56. Megan was elected Labour MP for Carmarthenshire in February 1957, serving until her death from cancer in May 1966. She remained a backbencher. Although unmarried, Lady Megan Lloyd George had a long, passionate affair with the Labour MP Philip Noel-Baker (1889-1982).
The letters were deposited at NLW in August 1974 by Valerie Wynne-Williams, and were subsequently withdrawn. Consigned to auction in 2020 by Valerie Wynne-Williams.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Bonhams; London; Purchased at auction, lot 232; 19 August 2020; 991060106602419.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
One hundred and twenty-four autograph letters, 1959-1974, from painter-poet David ('Dafydd') Jones, all addressed to Valerie ('Elri') Wynne-Williams (née Price), with the exception of two to her husband Michael ('Mihangel') (ff. 54, 112-113) and one to them both (ff. 55-56), discussing a variety of topics including his, and her, health and living conditions, his work, his friends, the Welsh language and Welsh history and politics. Some letters are illustrated with coloured pencil, pen and ink drawings, mainly of animals and flowers (ff. 8, 32, 33, 45 verso, 46 verso-47, 48 verso, 76, 103, 104 verso, 152), inscriptions (ff. 9, 34, 124 verso, 128, 136 verso) and sketch maps of Harrow (ff. 143, 144).
There are references throughout to friends and correspondents including Saunders Lewis (ff. 2-11 passim, 42-188 passim), Harman Grisewood (ff. 4-192 verso passim), René Hague (ff. 42 verso-187 passim), David Blamires (ff. 160, 186, 190 verso, 192), Louis Bonnerot (ff. 123, 186 verso), Tom Burns (ff. 13, 14 verso, 48, 64 verso, 68 verso, 77, 85 verso, 86 verso, 89 verso, 110, 116, 140 recto-verso, 188 verso), Douglas Cleverdon (ff. 68 verso, 160 verso, 162, 163 verso, 187), Aneirin Talfan Davies (ff. 9 verso, 11, 14 verso, 16, 33 verso, 63 verso, 71 verso, 123, 124, 128, 129 verso, 154 verso, 162), Clarissa Eden (f. 107 verso), T. S. Eliot (ff. 51 recto-verso, 62 verso, 67 verso, 69 verso, 71, 73, 74, 85), Gwynfor Evans (ff. 29 verso, 31, 131-192 verso passim), Illtud Evans (f. 6, 11 recto-verso, 37, 46 verso, 57, 61), Arthur Giardelli (ff. 150, 151 verso, 171 verso, 186), Eric Gill (ff. 45 verso, 66, 67 verso, 68 verso, 121), Stanley Honeyman (ff. 84, 140, 154 verso, 159 verso), Morag Owen (ff. 59, 98, 140), Catherine Rousseau (née Ivainer) (ff. 36 verso-127 passim), Stephen Spender (ff. 81 verso-82, 83 verso, 91), Bill Stevenson (f. 158 verso) and Helen Sutherland (ff. 68, 97 verso, 157). There are also occasional references to Desmond Chute (f. 120 verso), Idris Foster (ff. 60 verso, 63 verso), Philip Jones Griffiths (ff. 1, 131), David Lloyd George (ff. 108 verso-109, 127 verso), Megan Lloyd George (ff. 18 verso, 20, 21-22), J. D. Innes (f. 49 verso), Augustus John (f. 85 verso), Alun Oldfield-Davies (ff. 37, 77), Tristram Powell (ff. 142 recto-verso, 144), Caradog Prichard (ff. 19 verso, 77, 108), Kathleen Raine (f. 59 verso), Keidrych Rhys (ff. 6 verso, 8, 9, 16, 30 verso, 36 verso), Meic Stephens (ff. 171, 175), Vernon Watkins (ff. 47, 128 verso), D. J. Williams (f. 106 recto-verso), Kyffin Williams (ff. 49, 63, 77) and R. O. F. Wynne and his family (ff. 61, 62, 63, 64 verso, 67 verso, 81, 94 verso, 96 verso¸ 98, 130 verso), and brief reminiscences of his experiences during the First World War (ff. 70 recto-verso, 76, 79 recto-verso, 108 verso-109, 130 recto-verso, 151 verso, 164). Also included is a copy of his letter, dated 10 August 1959, to Megan Lloyd George (f. 21; for her reply see NLW, David Jones (Artist and Writer) Papers CT3/3, f. 247); cuttings of letters to the Times by David Jones, Valerie Price and others, 1958 (ff. 193-196); and a copy of a 1959 photograph of the two by Philip Jones Griffiths (f. 197). The letter of 23 September 1973 (ff. 178-179 verso) was published under the title 'Yr Iaith' in Planet, 21 (January 1974), 3-5.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Arranged at NLW as follows: letters (arranged chronologically); miscellaneous papers.
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 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.
Conditions governing reproduction
Usual copyright laws apply. Information regarding the ownership of David Jones copyright can be found at: http://tyler.hrc.utexas.edu/ (viewed December 2020).
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
English, some Welsh, Latin.
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Thomas Dilworth, David Jones: Engraver, Soldier, Painter, Poet (London, 2017)
Purchased with financial assistance from The Friends of the National Libraries.
Title based on contents.
Alma system control number
Place access points
Name access points
- Jones, David, 1895-1974 -- Correspondence (Subject)
- Wynne-Williams, Valerie -- Correspondence (Subject)
- Grisewood, Harman, 1906-1997 (Subject)
- Hague, René (Subject)
- Blamires, David, 1936- (Subject)
- Bonnerot, Louis, 1897-1974 (Subject)
- Burns, Tom, 1906-1995 (Subject)
- Cleverdon, Douglas (Subject)
- Eden, Clarissa (Subject)
- Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965 (Subject)
- Evans, Gwynfor (Subject)
- Evans, Illtud (Subject)
- Giardelli, Arthur (Subject)
- Gill, Eric, 1882-1940 (Subject)
- Honeyman, Stanley (Subject)
- Owen, Morag, 1930-1999 (Subject)
- Rousseau, Catherine (Subject)
- Spender, Stephen, 1909-1995 (Subject)
- Stevenson, Bill (Subject)
- Sutherland, Helen, 1881- (Subject)
- Chute, Desmond Macready, 1895-1962 (Subject)
- Foster, Idris, 1911-1984 (Subject)
- Griffiths, Philip Jones (Subject)
- Lloyd George, David, 1863-1945 (Subject)
- Lloyd George, Megan, 1902-1966 (Subject)
- Innes, James Dickson, 1887-1914 (Subject)
- John, Augustus, 1878-1961 (Subject)
- Oldfield-Davies, Alun, 1905-1988 (Subject)
- Powell, Tristram (Subject)
- Prichard, Caradog, 1904-1980 (Subject)
- Raine, Kathleen, 1908-2003 (Subject)
- Rhys, Keidrych (Subject)
- Stephens, Meic (Subject)
- Watkins, Vernon Phillips, 1906-1967 (Subject)
- Williams, D. J. (David John), 1885-1970 (Subject)
- Williams, Kyffin, 1918-2006 (Subject)
- Wynne, R. O. F. (Robert Oliver Francis), 1901-1993 (Subject)
- Davies, Aneirin Talfan (Subject)
- Lewis, Saunders, 1893-1985 (Subject)
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Description compiled by Rhys Jones.