Papers of Grevel Lindop

Scope and Content

The content of the archive reflects Grevel Lindop's wide range of interests and activities, and documents his entire career as poet, editor, literary critic, reviewer, literary scholar, short fiction and travel writer. Of particular interest is the general literary correspondence, which spans a thirty-two year period and features an array of eminent poets, editors, publishers and literary critics, as well as artists, Buddhist monks, journalists, folklorists and others. The subject matter of the correspondence encompasses the whole range of Lindop's work, but poetry is particularly well represented. Fellow poets with whom Lindop corresponded include Simon Armitage, Neil Astley, Gillian Clarke, Brian Cox, Neil Curry, William Cookson, Robert Crawford, Dick Davis, John Heath-Stubbs, Jeremy Hooker, Elizabeth Jennings, Peter Levi, Chris McCully, Christopher Middleton, Paul Mills, John Mole, Bernard O'Donoghue, Tom Paulin, Christopher Reid, Anne Ridler, Peter Russell, Peter Sansom, Michael Schmidt, Anne Stevenson, Tambimuttu, R.S. Thomas, John Wain, Clive Wilmer and David Wright. The genesis and development of Lindop's own poetry can be traced through a series of notebooks and drafts of poems; these form a continuous sequence spanning his career as a poet since 1967 and include work published in all of his major collections. There is also a small quantity of published pamphlets and literary magazines which contain work by Lindop, including some very early poems which never appeared in any of his later collections; some of the magazines - such as copies of Carcanet from the 1960s, and Caret from the 1970s - also contain early work by other poets who are now established names.

His twenty-year literary friendship with Kathleen Raine is well documented through correspondence, as well as papers relating to Lindop's work on her Collected poems and a tribute to Raine he edited for PN Review in 2000; a number of well-known writers contributed to the latter, and the archive contains letters and contributions from figures such as John Heath-Stubbs, Peter Redgrove and Anne Ridler.

Closely related to his correspondence with Raine is a body of material generated by Lindop during his involvement with the Temenos Academy as editor of Temenos Academy Review and as Director, which document the way the Academy was run, its programme and agenda, and its relationships with other organizations - notably the Prince's Foundation.

The largest body of material in the archive relates to the monumental edition, The works of Thomas De Quincey, of which Lindop was the General Editor, co-ordinating and international team of eleven other editors. It includes papers relating to funding for the project, the co-ordination of the work of the other editors, the meticulous and exhaustive research undertaken by the editors to track down manuscripts and published work by De Quincey, the editorial principles of the edition and the preparation of the text for publication. It provides a fascinating case study of a major scholarly editing project.

Some of Lindop's other publications are also represented in the archive: there are some papers relating to the preparation of his edition of Robert Graves's The white goddess (which complement letters from members of the Graves family included among Lindop's correspondence); there are research files and other background material generated during his work on A literary guide to the Lake District; and a small quantity of material relating to his long poem on the life of the Buddha, Touching the Earth - a work which is widely commented on by Lindop's correspondents.

In addition to these papers generated in Lindop's capacity as a writer and editor, there is also a grouping of family papers, comprised of letters he sent home to his parents and brother during the late 1960s and 1970s which document his life at Oxford and subsequently in Manchester.

Overall Grevel Lindop's rich and varied archive will be of value to researchers working in a wide range of fields and with a broad range of research interests. Every aspect of Lindop's own work is represented here, and the archive is also particularly strong in the areas of recent and contemporary poetry and scholarly editing. Other strengths include: the life and work of Kathleen Raine; the work of De Quincey; writing of the Romantic era; poetry publishing, editing and reviewing; travel writing; the Lake District and its literary associations; Buddhism, other religions and spirituality; and the work of the Temenos Academy.

Administrative / Biographical History

Grevel Charles Garrett Lindop was born in Liverpool on 6 October 1948, the son of John Neale (a solicitor) and Winifred (Garrett) Lindop. He attended school in Liverpool and in 1966 he took up a place at Wadham College, Oxford, to read English. It was as an undergraduate at Wadham that he began to write poetry seriously, and he became one of the earliest poets to be published in Carcanet magazine, edited by his friend and fellow Wadham student, Michael Schmidt. For a time Lindop co-edited the magazine with Schmidt, and when the fledgling Carcanet Press announced a series of poetry pamphlets in 1969, Lindop's first collection, Against the sea, was one of them. Carcanet Press has since expanded to become one of the UK's foremost publishing houses, and Lindop's work still forms part of their poetry list; in one of the letters in his archive (GCL/1/1/108) he explains that his loyalty to Carcanet means that he will not consider approaching other publishers with his poems. In 1977 Carcanet published his first full-length collection, Fools' paradise, and since then the press have published four other collections by Lindop: Tourists (1987); A prismatic toy (1991); Selected poems (2000); and Playing with fire (2006). His poetry has met with critical acclaim over the years as well as respect and appreciation from fellow poets: Elizabeth Jennings praised Lindop's best gifts as "care for detail, love of Nature, clear eye and formal excellence", and Eavan Boland has called Lindop's "a lyric voice that handles images well...that moves language in and out of metaphor with skill and grace...It reminds you of an ordered and structured world. It is somewhat the voice of a happy spirit, with, maybe, a measure of regret and an interesting intimation of waste" (from the Independent and PN Review, quoted by Literature North West).

Lindop has had a parallel career as an academic. Following two years of postgraduate research at Wadham and Wolfson Colleges, Oxford, he moved to Manchester in 1971 to take up a post as junior lecturer. He remained at the University for 30 years, being promoted to senior lecturer in 1984, appointed to a Chair in the 1990s, and ultimately becoming Professor of Romantic and Early Victorian Studies. The principal focus of his research has been the writing of the Romantic period; in 1972 he edited a selection of Thomas Chatterton's verse for Carcanet Press, and in the late 1970s he became particularly interested in the life and work of Thomas De Quincey, essayist and friend of Wordsworth and Coleridge. His biography, The opium-eater: a life of Thomas De Quincey, was published by Dent in 1981 and he also edited De Quincey's Confessions of an English opium-eater and other writings for the Oxford World's Classics series in 1985. Lindop made another major contribution to De Quincey scholarship in his role as General Editor of the vast scholarly edition, The works of Thomas De Quincey, published in 21 volumes by Pickering and Chatto during 2000-2003. Work on researching and producing this edition spanned a decade, and Lindop co-ordinated nine other international scholars as well as editing three - and co-editing a further three - of the volumes himself.

His interest in the writing of the Romantics led Lindop to investigate further the literary associations of the Lake District. The culmination of many visits and extensive research, his book A literary guide to the Lake District was published by Chatto and Windus in 1993. Based around five walking routes, the book focuses not just on the more obvious writers like Wordsworth and his circle, but also on other major literary figures who visited and were inspired by the region, and on local Cumbrian writers. The popularity of this book was reflected in Lindop's receipt of the Lakeland Book of the Year Award in 1994, and a fully revised edition was published by Sigma Press in 2005.

Much of Lindop's creative work reflects his conviction that in both art and life, "it is vital to have contact with the 'deep imagination' - the place where our individual insight and creativity connects with universal archetypes and spiritual dimensions". He recognized this quality in the work of poet and literary scholar Kathleen Raine, and in 1983 he submitted some of his poems to her for possible publication in Temenos, a journal devoted to "the arts of the Imagination" founded in 1981 by Raine, Keith Critchlow, Brian Keeble and Philip Sherrard. Lindop continued to correspond with Raine, and became increasingly involved in the work of the Temenos Academy, the educational charity Raine founded in 1990 to provide "teaching in philosophy and the arts in the light of the spiritual traditions of east and west". The Academy established series of lectures, study groups, events and publications which were firmly based in ten key principles (focusing on wisdom, spiritual vision, and tradition) and in the "perennial philosophy" - the learning of the Imagination. In 1998, the Temenos journal (which had ceased publication in 1992) was revived as the Temenos Academy Review, and Lindop worked with Raine as her deputy editor. In 2000 he took over as editor, although he continued to consult Raine on the content of the journal until her death in 2003. Raine also selected Lindop to succeed her as Director of the Academy in 2000, a role he held until the end of 2003, when he stepped down in order to focus on his writing. As well as valuing Lindop as a trusted advisor in her Temenos work, Raine also appreciated his response to her poetry, and he worked closely with her on shaping her final volume of Collected poems, published in 2000.

Lindop's conviction that universal archetypes and spiritual dimensions underly all individual creativity led him in 1997 to edit Robert Graves's seminal work on poetic myth-making and the source of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess (published by Carcanet Press). A Buddhist himself, Lindop has long practised (and sometimes taught) meditation under the auspices of the Samatha Trust. One of his ongoing projects is a long poem-in-progress about the life of the Buddha, Touching the Earth, the first four books of which were published in 2001 by Wisdom Audio Visual Exchange. Lindop envisages that the poem will ultimately consist of 32 books, telling the story of the Lord Buddha from birth to Parinibbāna (Final Passing Away), to end with the Enlightenment of his closest disciple, Ānanda.

Lindop left the University of Manchester in 2001, and relinquished his Directorship of Temenos in 2003, in order concentrate on writing full time. In his more recent poetry (such as the work published in Playing with fire) he has turned his focus on sexuality and the erotic, an area he has also explored in essays and short fiction. His enthusiasm for salsa dancing prompted him to travel to Latin America and the Caribbean in 2007 in a search for the geographical and cultural roots of salsa music and dance. He described his journey and the adventures he encountered in Travels on the dance floor (Andre Deutsch, 2008), which was chosen as Radio 4's Book of the Week in August 2008. He is currently working on another collection of poems on lunar and magical themes, and a biography of the poet, novelist, occultist, theologian and literary critic, Charles Williams.

Lindop has written many pieces for the Times Literary Supplement during the course of his career, as well as contributing essays, reviews and poems to a wide range of magazines, including PN Review, The London Magazine, Stand and Poetry London. He also has a busy schedule of poetry readings, lectures and talks. He lives in Chorlton, Manchester, with his wife Amanda, whom he married in 1981. They have three children.


The archive has been arranged into the following groupings, reflecting Lindop's varied projects and interests:

  • GCL/1 General literary correspondence
  • GCL/2 Papers relating to Lindop's literary friendship with Kathleen Raine
  • GCL/3 Poetry drafts and manuscripts
  • GCL/4 Papers relating to Lindop's work on De Quincey
  • GCL/5 Papers relating to other publications by Lindop
  • GCL/6 Published pamphlets and literary magazines
  • GCL/7 Papers relating to the Temenos Academy
  • GCL/8 Family papers
  • GCL/9 Miscellaneous material

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader. However, some material has been closed for Data Protection, confidentiality or copyright reasons; where applicable this is noted at item level in the catalogue. Other material which has not been read in detail by the cataloguing archivist may also be subject to access restrictions or closure; this is also noted at the relevant point in the catalogue, and readers are advised to contact the Library in advance if they wish to see any of this material.

The open part of the collection also contains personal data about living individuals, and readers are expected to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 in their use of the material.

This finding aid also contains personal data about living individuals. Under Section 33 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), The John Rylands University Library (JRUL) holds the right to process such personal data for research purposes. The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2000 enables the JRUL to process sensitive personal data for research purposes. In accordance with the DPA, the JRUL has made every attempt to ensure that all personal and sensitive personal data has been processed fairly, lawfully and accurately.

Acquisition Information

The archive has come to the Library in numerous different accessions over an eight year period. Lindop presented the papers relating to The works of Thomas De Quincey, A literary guide to the Lake District and The white goddess to the Library as a gift, and they were received in batches on four separate occasions during 2001-2003. There have been five further accessions of material: additional De Quincey papers, additional papers relating to A literary guide to the Lake District, and papers relating to the Temenos Academy were presented as gifts; Lindop's literary correspondence, papers relating to his literary friendship with Kathleen Raine and his own literary manuscripts were purchased by the Library and arrived in two further accessions in 2005 and 2006.

Other Finding Aids


Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

Most of the items in the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Keeper of Manuscripts and Archives, John Rylands University Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Custodial History

The papers in the archive were all generated or accumulated by Grevel Lindop from the 1960s until the present, and remained in his custody (either at home or in his office at the University of Manchester) until they came to The John Rylands University Library.


Future accruals to the archive are expected.

Related Material

Grevel Lindop's own archive is closely related to a number of other modern literary archives at the John Rylands University Library. As a Carcanet writer, and frequent contributor to PN Review, Lindop is a notable presence in the Archive of Carcanet Press, which includes correspondence as well as manuscripts and proofs of his Carcanet publications. Correspondence and papers of Lindop also feature in the Archive of Critical Quarterly and the Papers of Chris McCully (although McCully's correspondence with Lindop in the latter archive is closed). Although Lindop does not appear directly in the archive of Norman Nicholson (or the numerous associated Nicholson collections held by the Library), there is much overlap between the Nicholson and Lindop archives both in terms of subject matter and correspondents represented. Lindop's literary acquaintance is so varied and extensive that many of the individuals represented in his archive also make an appearance in other modern literary archives held at the Rylands.


Grevel Lindop, Against the sea (Oxford: Carcanet Press, 1969).

Thomas Chatterton, Selected poems, edited with an introduction by Grevel Lindop (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 1972).

Grevel Lindop and Michael Schmidt (eds), British poetry since 1960: a critical survey (Oxford: Carcanet Press, 1972).

Grevel Lindop, Fools' paradise (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 1977).

Grevel Lindop, The opium-eater: a life of Thomas De Quincey (London: Dent, 1981).

Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English opium-eater and other writings, edited with an introduction by Grevel Lindop (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985).

Grevel Lindop, Tourists (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 1987).

Grevel Lindop, Moon's palette (Dorset: Words Press, 1988).

Grevel Lindop, A prismatic toy (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 1991).

Grevel Lindop, A literary guide to the Lake District (London: Chatto and Windus, 1993). Revised edition published by Sigma Press in 2005.

Grevel Lindop, The path and the palace: reflections on the nature of poetry (London: Temenos Academy, 1996).

Robert Graves, The white goddess: a historical grammar of poetic myth, edited by Grevel Lindop (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 1997).

Grevel Lindop, Selected poems (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2000).

The works of Thomas De Quincey, general editor Grevel Lindop (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2000-2003).

Jean Mambrino, Land of evening, translated by Kathleen Raine, preface by Grevel Lindop (London: Enitharmon Press, 2004).

Grevel Lindop, Playing with fire (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2006).

Grevel Lindop's website. URL: Accessed 22 January 2009.

Carcanet Press website author page focusing on Grevel Lindop. URL: Accessed 22 January 2009.

Literature North West website author page focusing on Grevel Lindop. URL: Accessed 22 January 2009.