File NLW MS 21830E. - David Jones letters to Colin Hughes

Identity area

Reference code

NLW MS 21830E.

Title

David Jones letters to Colin Hughes

Date(s)

  • 1969-1972 (Creation)

Level of description

File

Extent and medium

11 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

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Mr Colin Hughes; Gerrards Cross; Donation; 1980.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Six letters, 1969-1972, from David Jones, artist and writer, to Colin Hughes concerning the attack made by the 38th (Welsh) Division on Mametz Wood, 1916, in which David Jones took part, and the re-creation by him of the attack in part 7 of his In Parenthesis (London, 1937). The recipient quotes from these letters in his short study entitled David Jones, The man who was on the field: 'In Parenthesis' as straight reporting (Manchester: The David Jones Society, 1979).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

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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 noted on the 'Modern papers - data protection' form issued with their readers' tickets.

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 of NLW MSS 21701-22852 are indexed in greater detail in Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, vol. 8 (Aberystwyth, 1999).

Finding aid

Allied materials area

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Notes area

Note

Title based on contents.

Note

Preferred citation: NLW MS 21830E.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number

vtls004244995

GEAC system control number

(WlAbNL)0000244995

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Rules and/or conventions used

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

Status

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Language(s)

  • English

Script(s)

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Physical storage

  • Text: NLW MS 21830E.