Collection: BC MS 20c New Statesman: New Statesman, associated correspondence and literary papers 1914-1919 and 1960-1983

Archive Collection icon Archive Collection: New Statesman, associated correspondence and literary papers 1914-1919 and 1960-1983

Details

Title: New Statesman, associated correspondence and literary papers 1914-1919 and 1960-1983

Level: Collection 

Classmark: BC MS 20c New Statesman

Creator(s): New Statesman

Date: 1914-1983

Main language: English

Size and medium: 4 boxes; manuscript, typescript, press cuttings, and printed material (some photocopy).

Persistent link: https://explore.library.leeds.ac.uk/special-collections-explore/8583 

Collection group(s): English Literature

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Description

The collection falls into two sections - editorial correspondence from the First World War period and more recent literary material from the 1960s through to the mid 1980s. This archive complements the larger collection held by the University of Sussex. The correspondence from the earlier period comprises some six hundred autograph letters to the first editor, Clifford Sharp and almost a thousand carbon copies of replies by him and his editorial staff. While Clifford Sharp was absent on military service during the 1917-1918 period John Collings Squire took over as acting editor. The letters cover a wide range of social and political issues of the time, including government policy, war strategy, Russia, Yugoslavia, conscientious objection, the suffragette movement, socialism and education. Correspondents include G.B. Shaw, Sidney and Beatrice Webb and Arnold Bennett. Amongst Sharp’s replies are letters to W.B. Yeats, H.G. Wells and Walter de la Mare. Each correspondent was allocated a numbered file by the New Statesman and the archive has been retained in this order. The handlist follows the same sequence and entries are listed numerically by file number. This is supplemented by an alphabetical index of correspondents. The second part of the archive consists of a collection of book reviews, poems and the surrounding editorial correspondence spanning a period from the 1960s to the mid 1980s. There are some seventy reviews of which over fifty do not appear to have been published, likewise with the similar number of poems of which about a third appear not to have been published, at least not in the New Statesman. This part of the archive has been organised into a section on the book reviews which have been listed alphabetically by review author, followed by an index by book author. This is followed by a section on the poetry, again listed by author and details of the work and whether it was published or not. Finally, there is a small amount of correspondence, mostly between Anthony Thwaite and Stevie Smith and some miscellaneous letters.

The New Statesman archive was acquired with assistance from the Purchase Grant Fund administered by the Victoria & Albert Museum on behalf of the Museums and Galleries Commission.

Administrative or biographical history

'The New Statesman' is a British weekly periodical representing the political and social views of the left as a counterbalance to the long-established right-wing Spectator (1828-). It was founded in 1913 by members of the Fabian Society, notably Sidney and Beatrice Webb and George Bernard Shaw. Its first editor was Clifford Sharp, although during his absence on military service in 1917-1918 John Collings Squire became its acting editor. Its influence increased during the post-war years, and when Kingsley Martin became editor in 1931 it merged with two competitors, 'The Athenaeum' and 'The Nation', to become known until 1957 as 'The New Statesman and Nation'. By 1945 its weekly circulation reached 70,000, and in its heyday in the mid 1960s circulation exceeded 90,000, so that it was indisputably the leading voice in British political commentary. The periodical has always had a significant literary content and interest in addition to its social and political emphasis, so that many prominent literary figures have over the years become associated with it in its correspondence columns, book reviews, and published poetry.

Arrangement

In the 1914-1919 period each correspondent was allocated a numbered file by the New Statesman office and the archive has been retained in this order.

Access and usage

Access

Access to this part of the collection is restricted under the Data Protection Act. You will need to complete a restricted access form and return it to Special Collections for review by staff before access can be granted.

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Related people and organisations

Sharp, Clifford Dyce Sharp, Clifford Dyce

Smith, Stevie Smith, Stevie

Related subjects

WARNING: many of our records have not been classified by subject. So if you search our catalogue by subject using the links below then you are unlikely to find all relevant records. But you will find some...

Letters

English poetry

English literature

World War, 1914-1918

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