Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Leslie Daiken:

An Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Creator: Daiken, Leslie, 1912-1964
Title: Leslie Daiken Papers
Dates: 1935-1963
Extent 4 boxes, 8 galley folders, 1 oversize folder (1.75 linear feet)
Abstract: The collection documents the author's early career as a poet and his later career as an authority on children's customs, toys, games, and nursery rhymes.
Identification TXRC94-A17
Language English.
Access

Open for research




Acquisition

Purchases, 1960, 1963 (R1637)

Processed by

Robert Kendrick, 1994

Repository:

Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin


Leslie Daiken, author and educator, was born in Dublin in 1912. He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, and lived thereafter in London. Daiken's early poetry and short fiction appeared in periodicals and anthologies such as Choice, The Dublin Magazine, The New English Weekly, Goodbye, Twilight, and New Irish Poetry. In 1944 Daiken compiled They Go, the Irish, an anthology in which contributors attempted to evoke the spirit of the Irish war effort. Daiken published a monograph of his own verse, Signatures of All Things, the following year.

After these literary endeavors, Daiken turned to the study of children's customs, games, nursery rhymes and toys. His post-graduate thesis was titled “A Comparative Study of Nursery Literature” (1943). Daiken also wrote Children's Games Throughout the Year (1949), Children's Toys Throughout the Ages (1953), Let Us Play in Israel (1950), Teaching Through Play (1954), The Lullaby Book (1959), Out Goes She! (1963), and World of Toys (1963). In “Boys and Girls Come Out to Play,” “Sticks and Stones,” “The English Nursery Rhyme,” “The Feast of St. Stephen” and “Tinsel, Holly and Tinklebell,” Daiken explored the same subjects for radio and television. “Three Outcasts,” a radio play, dramatizes the stereotypes found in children's rhyme; another radio play, “The Circular Road,” explores a child's bereavement in the Jewish-Irish community. London Pleasures for Young People was written as a children's guidebook. His film, One Potato, Two Potato, which documents contemporary children's street rhyme, won an award at the 1958 Festival mondial du film in Brussels. Inspired by his interest in the history of toys, Daiken also founded the Toy Museum of Britain.

Leslie Daiken died in 1964.


The papers of Leslie Daiken, 1935-1963, document his early career as a poet and his later career as an authority on children's customs, toys, games, and nursery rhymes. The collection has been arranged into two series, Correspondence, 1936-1963 (0.5 boxes) and Works, 1935-1963 (3.5 boxes). The Correspondence series reflects Daiken's and his circle's literary and political concerns as well as the character of his friendships. The Works series consists of Daiken's manuscripts for his early book of verse and his later books, articles, radio and television productions, and documentary film.


Correspondents

Beckett, Samuel

Clarke, Austin

Cusack, Cyril

Heath-Stubbs, John Francis Alexander

Henderson, Wyn

Lewis, Alun

MacDiarmid, Hugh

Milne, Ewart

O'Casey, Sean

O'Sullivan, Seumas

Rudmose-Brown, Thomas B.

Salkeld, Blanaid

Saunders, Roy

Thomas, Caitlin

Thomas, Dylan

Ussher, Arland

Williams, William Carlos

Subjects

Authors, Irish

Toys, History

Games, History

Play

Nursery rhymes

Document Types

First drafts

Galley proofs

Photographs

Postcards

Scripts