||The John Lehmann Collection documents the personal and professional life of the English
author, editor, poet and publisher through business records, clippings, correspondence,
financial records, manuscripts, notebooks, photographs, reports, and scrapbooks. He
partner and general manager of The Hogarth Press (1938 to 1946); director of the publishing
firm John Lehmann, Ltd. (1945-1952); and editor of the publications New Writing (1936-1939), Penguin New Writing
(1940-1950), New Writing and Daylight (1942-1946), New Soundings (1952-1953), and The London
||The bulk of the collection reflects his professional life, but the most recent additions
include some material of a more personal nature, such as domestic records and personal
correspondence. Lehmann’s manuscript for In The Purely Pagan
Sense (1976) is also personal, an autobiographical record of his homosexual life in
England and pre-war Germany written in the form of a novel.
||The collection was originally described in a card catalog and arranged into four series:
Works (21 boxes); II. Letters (Outgoing Correspondence, 21 boxes); III. Recipient
Correspondence, 47 boxes); and IV. Miscellaneous (17 boxes). Descriptions in the following
Container List were derived from the card catalog; titles of Lehmann works and names
correspondents are listed in the following Index of Works, Index of Letters, and Index
Recipients. The Index of Miscellaneous chiefly lists third-party letters and works
||Subsequent acquisitions are itemized at the end of the Container List under the heading
"Additional Acquisitions; Not Described in Card Catalog"
(12 document boxes, 3 pamphlet boxes, and 2 oversize boxes). This material has not
fully cataloged and is not indexed. Folder titles in single quotation marks (e.g.,
'Letters – papers – pamphlets, Autumn 1933–Winter 1934, Vienna,
Austria') are taken verbatim from Lehmann’s own folder descriptions.
||The Works series contains manuscripts for most of Lehmann’s writings, both published
unpublished, including autobiographies, biographies, essays, novels, poetry, radio
reminiscences, reviews, stories, and talks. Later acquisitions of Lehmann’s writings
arranged as they arrived, in four groups labeled Works 1 through Works 4; titles of
individual works are listed in these sections of the Container List and in the Index
||The Letters series contains copies of Lehmann’s outgoing correspondence, mostly responses
to submissions for publication by the various presses and journals he worked for.
included are somewhat more personal letters to family and to literary friends (usually
involving matters regarding publication as well) such as Christopher Isherwood; Allen
his mother, Alice Lehmann; his sister, the novelist Rosamond Lehmann; Louis MacNeice;
Nicholson; Stephen Spender; Leonard Woolf; and Virginia Woolf.
||The largest series is Recipient (incoming correspondence). It consists primarily of
inquiring about or enclosing submissions for publication to the various journals and
publishing houses that Lehmann worked for. All letters are filed in one alphabetical
by the name of the letter’s author; letters are not sorted by the name of Lehmann’s
publishing entities—that information must be deduced from the address to which the
was sent or by other internal evidence. Significant amounts of correspondence in this
come from well-known authors such as Jocelyn Brooke, E. M. Forster, Henry Green, Graham
Greene, Christopher Isherwood, Julian Maclaren-Ross, Louis MacNeice, Norman Nicholson,
William Plomer, V. S. Pritchett, John Rodker, Dame Edith Sitwell, Sir Osbert Sitwell,
Stephen Spender, Dylan Thomas, and Rex Warner.
||Frequently a copy of Lehmann's reply is filed with incoming correspondence in the
series; these replies are not indexed.
||Included in the correspondence from Henry Green are letters to Green from writers
invited to a testimonial lunch that Green organized in honor of Lehmann. After the
Green sent the letters to Lehmann. They can be found in box 59 folder 5 and are included
the Recipient index.
||Another file in the Recipient series documents Lehmann’s attempts on behalf of John
Ltd. to find paper in 1946-1947, when wartime shortages were still a major problem
publishers. It can be found in box 74 folder 5 under Purnell & Sons Limited, but it
contains correspondence with other papermakers and publishers about the issue.
||All items in the preceding Works, Letters, and Recipients series were either created
received by John Lehmann. The Miscellaneous series contains works created by others
letters written by or received by others. There is, however a segment of Lehmann materials
containing business and other correspondence filed by subject, student notebooks,
records, and some financial information (boxes 95 through 99). Because of the variety
creators and types of materials present in this series, the Index of Miscellaneous
much more detailed information than the other indexes
||Correspondence addressed to assistants who worked under Lehmann's direction at various
enterprises is filed in the Miscellaneous series. Those assistants include John Bissett
(New Writing), Elizabeth Bone (New
Writing), Barbara Cooper (John Lehmann Ltd., London
Magazine, New Writing, New
Writing and Daylight, Penguin New Writing), Maurice
Cranston (London Magazine), J. C. Hall (Penguin New Writing), Barbara Hepworth (Hogarth Press, John Lehmann, Ltd.), David
Hughes (London Magazine), James Michie (London Magazine), Mrs. Nicholls (Hogarth Press), Charles Osborne (London Magazine), Alan Ross (London
Magazine), and James Wright (London Magazine).
||More recently acquired material (between 1990 and 2018) that was not cataloged in
catalog is listed at the end of the Container List under the heading, "Additional Acquisitions; Not Described in Card Catalog." It is
roughly organized into four groups: Personal and Career-Related, Correspondence, Works,
Works by Others. Prominent among the Personal and Career-Related material are records
Royal Literary Fund for 1959-1976, during which period Lehmann served as the organization’s
||Note: Due to a filing error, not all catalog records were previously available to
the John Lehmann Collection. This error has been corrected in the present finding
Researchers who have used the collection in the past are advised to search this finding
for material that might not have appeared in the card catalog.