Lois Deacon Collection

Scope and Content

The collection includes all Lois Deacon's material relating to her Hardy studies and her published work on William Mason, etc. There are eight boxes of the typescripts and manuscripts of her published and unpublished monographs, including articles on Hardy in various popular magazines as well as published copies of her own poetry and short stories, two boxes of 'correspondence etc' including a lot of 'etc', being such items as Hardy ephemera and cuttings, articles and booksales (including a proof of Hardy's own sale after his death), one box of audio recordings (interviews), two boxes of notebooks, two boxes marked 'articles, press cuttings & poems', a box of diaries, two boxes of guidebooks and maps (published material and ephemera) and three boxes of pictures and copies of pictures relating to her father's family, Tryphena's family and the Hardy family.

Administrative / Biographical History

Lois Deacon was born at Tamerton Foliot, Devon, and began writing poems and short stories in her youth. Her work began to appear in journals and popular periodicals in the 1930s and 1940s, her 1940s poems appearing in more literary journals, such as Poetry Review. Her first commercial book, So I went my way, a double biography of William Mason and his wife Mary, appeared in 1951; but her major work was a series of books she wrote concerning Thomas Hardy, especially concentrating on Hardy's relationships with women. The first two of these, Tryphena and Thomas Hardy and Hardy's Sweetest Image were published by small presses in 1962 and 1964; her work found a wider audience with the publication of Providence and Mr Hardy in 1966 (Hutchinson). Later books on Hardy were published by the Toucan Press in Guernsey. She lived in Chagford, on the edge of Dartmoor (about which she also wrote in later life), and died there in November 1984.


The collection has not been resorted and preserves the original order applied by Lois Deacon, with the exception of the removal of some tin boxes, the writing on which has been preserved either by photocopying or by removing the cards sellotaped on to the boxes

Access Information

Usual EUL arrangements apply

Acquisition Information

The collection came to the University Library in July 1985.

Other Finding Aids


Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL arrangements apply

Additional Information

Many of the photographs are copies of originals, some well-known