Literary papers of Cecil Roberts, author and journalist, 1938-1954

Scope and Content

The collection comprises:

  • Manuscript of the poem 'A Man Arose', first published in June 1941 by Hodder and Stoughton, March1941 (MS 130/1).
  • Manuscript and a signed printed copy of the book Achievement: Fifty years' progress of BootsPure Drug Co Ltd, 1888-1938first published in 1939 by Boots Ltd, c.1938 (MS 130/2).
  • Note by Cecil Roberts to Lady Clark regarding his novel A Terrace in the SunJanuary 1951(MS 130/3).
  • Letter from Cecil Roberts to Lady Clark, August 1954 (MS 130/4).

Administrative / Biographical History

Cecil Edric Mornington Roberts was born in Nottingham on 18 May 1892 and was educated at MundellaGrammar School. After leaving school at the age of 15 he was employed by the Corporation ofNottingham in the weights and measures office. He spent his spare time reading and writing and wonthe Henry Kirke White poetry prize awarded by University College Nottingham in 1912 with 'TheTrent'. By that year his poetry had also been published in The Contemporary Review and ThePoetry Review. His first collection of poems, Phyllistrata and Other Poems was publishedin 1913 by James Clarke.

In 1914, his career as a critic began when he was offered a job with The Liverpool Post.This was followed by posts with The Nottingham JournalThe Sphereand The DailyTelegraph. Roberts spent much of his later life living in Italy. It was there that he met andbecame friends with the British ambassador in Rome and his wife, Sir Henry Ashley and Lady Clarke.Roberts died in 1976.

Roberts' works included the novels, Scissors (1923), Little Miss Manington (1926),Victoria Four-Thirty (1937), A Terrace in the Sun (1951), and Pilgrim Cottage(1933). Travel books and biographies included Gone Rustic (1934), And so to Bath(1930), And so to America (1946), and And so to Rome (1950).


The collection has been arranged in order of accession by the Department.

Conditions Governing Access

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Separated Material

Conditions Governing Use

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make published use of any material from this collection must be soughtin advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections(email TheDepartment will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but this can be difficult and theresponsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the person wishingto publish.


Custodial History

The manuscript of 'A Man Arose' was given to The University of Nottingham's Department ofManuscripts in June 1961 and the manuscript and printed copy of Achievement was given in May1965. The note and letter to Lady Clarke were acquired by the Department in July 1970 and November1974 respectively.

Related Material

  • Cambridge University, Churchill College; Churchill Archives Centre: 15 boxes of diaries, correspondence and books of Cecil Roberts, 1913-1975. RBTS
  • Nottinghamshire Archives: manuscripts and correspondence of Cecil Roberts, 1914-1974. various


  • Roberts, Cecil, A Man Arose (Hodder and Stoughton; London, 1941)
  • Roberts, Cecil, Achievement (Boots Pure Drug Co Ltd; Nottingham, 1939)