The John Pudney Papers, 1850-1977 (bulk 1926-1976), include drafts,
notes, printer's copies, galleys, research material, notebooks, diaries, and
correspondence. The collection is arranged in two series: Works, 1850-1977
(2.75 boxes) and Correspondence, 1937-1962 (.25 box).
The Works series reflects the diverse genres (novels, poems, plays,
diaries, literary criticism, humorous non-fiction, short stories) in which
Pudney wrote. The manuscripts found here, both holograph and typescript, most
often represent drafts, modified with corrections, annotations, and inserts.
This series is alphabetically arranged by published titles or Pudney's folder
headings, which are designated in the folder list by single quotation marks.
The folders often contain numerous manuscripts and/or related notes, proposals,
and correspondence. Many of the drafts of poems are written on the verso of
other incomplete manuscripts by Pudney. This series contains both published and
unpublished material, which are identified as such whenever possible.
Manuscripts for Pudney's poetry collections and chapbooks in this series
Collected Poems, 1957 (here entitled
"The Green Verges: Collected Poems") and
Selected Poems, 1967-1973. The folder for
the collected poems entitled
Ten Summers: Poems, 1933-1943 includes only
notes and correspondence. Manuscripts for early and/or unpublished later ("post-Spandrels") poems, 1926-1968, as well as later
individual poems (1960-1961) are also found here. Proofs for war and post-war
chapbooks, such as
Beyond this Disregard (1943) and
South of Forty (1943), as well as the more
Spandrels: Poems and Ballads (1969) and
Living in a One-Sided House (1976), are
present in this collection.
Several manuscripts of Pudney's fiction, often found here in bound
The Accomplice (1950),
Shuffley Wanderers: An Entertainment (1948),
Sleadley (nd). Materials for
The Net (1952), one of Pudney's most
successful novels and
Trespass in the Sun (1957), include only
critical notes and correspondence. Among the unpublished works is the holograph
manuscript of a play entitled
The Break Through (1974-75).
Non-fiction materials include the proposal and correspondence for
Home and Away: An Autobiographical Gambit
(1960) and the manuscript of Pudney's critical study,
Lewis Carroll and His World (1976). The
The Thomas Cook Story (1953) consists of the
mid-19th century correspondence and ephemera of Thomas Cook, George Cruikshank,
and Emily Ellis. These letters, collected by Pudney, include a few signed
sketches by George Cruikshank and concern the British temperance movement. The
materials for his humorous non-fiction,
The Smallest Room (1954), a history of
sanitation and water closets, includes working files, research material,
correspondence, and an annotated bound copy with printer's marks used for a
1959 revised edition.
Several diaries and notebooks created by Pudney are present in this
series including a World War II diary entitled
"Duty Run" that details his daily military
routine during 1942-1943. This diary also includes numerous poems copied at the
end. Also included here is a commonplace book, "Working
notebook used on travel, 1947" which Pudney used during his research on
the history of the British Royal Air Force. In the folder entitled
"Juvenile Pieces" are also found three untitled
notebooks (1968, nd) that contain drafts of poems, general notes, and
The bulk of the Correspondence series, divided into incoming and
outgoing and chronologically arranged, concerns the publication and revision of
The Smallest Room. Other correspondence
helps to describe the nature of his literary endeavors and editorial duties.
Letters from George Barker and H. E. Bates are, however, of a more personal
nature. Another series of letters from Jules Roy concerns the translation of
his poetry into French. Letters from representatives of Queen Elizabeth and of
Queen Mary acknowledge receipt of Pudney's book,
His Majesty, King George VI: A Study (1952),
as well as to offer several suggestions and criticism.
Other significant correspondents include Kingsley Amis, Malcolm Arnold,
John Betjeman, Benjamin Britten, Jocelyn Brooke, Sir Winston Churchill, Cynthia
Coville (Secretary to Queen Mary), Oliver Dawney (Secretary to H. M. Queen
Elizabeth, the Queen Mother), C. Day Lewis, T. S. Eliot, John Lehmann, Compton
Mackenzie, Wolf Mankowitz, Lady Ottoline Morrell, Laurence Olivier, J. B.
Priestley, Frederic Prokosch, Herbert Edward Read, Michael Redgrave, Vita
Sackville-West, Edith Sitwell, Stephen Spender, Henry Treece, and Evelyn