File NLW MS 24000F. - Brenda Chamberlain letters

Identity area

Reference code

NLW MS 24000F.


Brenda Chamberlain letters


  • 1934-[1942] (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

22 ff.

Placed in melinex sleeves within ringed box at NLW.

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Writer and artist Brenda Chamberlain (1912-1971) was born and raised in Bangor, Caernarfonshire, and educated privately before embarking on her art studies at the Royal Academy, London in 1931. In 1935 Chamberlain married the artist John Petts. The following year the couple moved to Llanllechid, where they set up the Caseg Press, producing postcards and bookplates, and also the Caseg Broadsheets - featuring poetry by Chamberlain and others - with the poet and writer Alun Lewis. Chamberlain's marriage to Petts ended in 1946. Thereafter she lived briefly in Germany before settling on Bardsey Island, where she wrote and painted until, in 1961, she moved to the Greek island of Idhra. In 1967 Chamberlain returned to Bangor, where she died in 1971. Amongst Chamberlain's major published works are the poetic anthology The Green Heart (London, 1958) (dedicated to Karl von Laer), Tide-Race (London, 1962), an account of her life on Bardsey, her only novel The Water Castle (London, 1964), A Rope of Vines (London, 1965), chronicling her time on Ydra, Poems With Drawings (London, 1969), and Alun Lewis and the Making of the Caseg Broadsheets (London, 1969).

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Nine letters, 1934-[1942], from Brenda Chamberlain, writing from Bangor and Tŷ'r Mynydd, to her husband John Petts (ff. 1-18). The correspondence reflects the increasing distance between husband and wife, and includes references to Hugh MacDiarmid (f. 14), local War experiences (f. 15), and a commission for a National Eisteddfod certificate (f. 16).
Also included is a holograph song, 1942, presented by Sydney Burkinshaw to Chamberlain (ff. 19-20), and a printed poem by Chamberlain, entitled 'Christmas Eve' (ff. 21-22).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arranged chronologically at NLW.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

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

See also NLW MS 23207F and NLW, Brenda Chamberlain Manuscripts.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents.


Preferred citation: NLW MS 24000F.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Access points

Place access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

October 2010.


  • English



Archivist's note

Description compiled by Maredudd ap Huw.

Accession area

Related people and organizations

Related places

Physical storage

  • Text: NLW MS 24000F.