File CT3/3 - Letters, 1951-1960

Identity area

Reference code

CT3/3

Title

Letters, 1951-1960

Date(s)

  • 1951-1960 (Creation)

Level of description

File

Extent and medium

276 ff.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

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 Some of his previously unpublished and uncollected works appeared in Uncollected Poems (London, 1969), Selected Verse Translations, ed.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

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The file comprises letters from various people including D. Brynmor Anthony, Vernon Watkins, (6, 1 incomplete) and Gwen Watkins, William Cookson, Howard Griffin, Vincent Lines (3), Vera Bassett, Neville Braybrooke (4), K. M. Elisabeth Murray, Louis Bonnerot, Percival R. Kirby, Sir Ifor Evans (2), Charles L. H. Duchemin (4), Arnold Palmer (3), William Blissett, Raymond Garlick (2), John Buckland Wright, August Closs (4), D. Emrys Evans, Helen Sutherland (2), David Bell (2), Megan Lloyd George, T. Charles Edwards, Valerie Wynne-Williams (2), J. E. Jones, William Hayward (4), John P[iper], Sir John Cecil Williams (2), Donald Nicholl (5), A. Robert Caponigri, Prof. Thomas Jones (3), Elwyn Evans (2), Alun Oldfield-Davies (3, 1 incomplete), Canon Walter Hussey, Alan Pryce-Jones, Geraint Gruffydd (2), Harman Grisewood, V. E. Nash-Williams, Kenneth Clark, Dr Charles Burns (incomplete), Colin Wilcockson, Janet Stone and W. B. Dalton.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Note

Formerly Group C Box 13.

Note

Preferred citation: CT3/3

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number

vtls004381320

GEAC system control number

(WlAbNL)0000381320

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places

Physical storage

  • Text: CT3/3 (75).