Title: Thomas Blackburn Archive
Classmark: BC MS 20c Blackburn
Creator(s): Blackburn, Thomas (1916-1977)
Main language: English
Size and medium: 3 linear metres
The items in this collection relate to Thomas Blackburn's personal life, his career as a poet and his teaching career. Comprises: typescripts, autograph manuscripts and other papers relating to Thomas Blackburn's poetry (2 boxes); 60 notebooks (59 of which are numbered) containing Blackburn's autograph manuscripts drafts of literary compositions and lectures/teaching notes (4 boxes); typescript and manuscript drafts and other papers relating to fictional works including The Feast of the Wolf (3 boxes), critical works including his book on Robert Browning (3 boxes), autobiographical works including A Clip of Steel (2 boxes), and drama (2 boxes); papers relating to appointments and teaching positions held by Blackburn (1 box); correspondence of Thomas Blackburn with others (2 boxes); and family papers and personalia, including Blackburn family correspondence dating to 1893, and a dissertation on his work by Dominique Gatien (1 box). There is also an audio recording on reel-to-reel tape and a gramophone disc of Blackburn reading his own work. This collection includes some family papers from the Fenwick and Bainbridge families. The majority of items relate to Blackburn's early life up, to his death. Many of the notebooks, poem typescripts and letters date from his time in Leeds. The family papers date from before his birth. The majority of the personal letters appear to come from his later life and are most likely only able to give a fragmentary example of what, with some friends, may have been a lengthy correspondence.
Additional item added to collection Nov 2017: BC MS 20c Blackburn/5/1/84 Letter from Margaret Blackburn to Colin Huggett.
Thomas Eliel Fenwick Blackburn (1916-1977), the English writer, was born in Cumbria. A graduate of Durham University in 1940 and a pacifist, after the war he taught at Marylebone Grammar School, then at two London colleges until his retirement at 60. He made his reputation as a poet during the 1950s, and was a Gregory Fellow at Leeds University in 1956 and 1957. He published 12 collections of poetry, 1 volume of verse translations (with others), 5 anthologies, 3 volumes of criticism, a novel, 'Feast for the Wolf', 1971, and an autobiography, 'A Clip of Steel', 1969. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
The first part of this archive was received from the author on 28 May 1964; the majority was purchased from his daughter, Julia Blackburn, on 2 September 1987. Further additions were made by the gift of the publisher Peter Owen, 16 May 1988, and purchases from Quaritch and Neate, 31 July 1991, and Huggett, 16 February 1994.
This collection is arranged into the following subfonds (sub-collections) : Poetry Collections and Published Poems Notebooks and Other Poems Fiction, Criticism and Other Writing Appointments, Teaching and Educational Publications Correspondence and Family Papers
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Catalogues of archives are usually arranged in hierarchies - one hierarchy for each collection in the archive. The details on display will be of a record at a particular level of the hierarchy. There may be other records above, below, or alongside this record in the same hierarchy. You can see the full hierarchy under 'In this collection'.