Letters from Kathleen Raine to Grevel Lindop

Scope and Content

This series of letters from Kathleen Raine spans the whole of her twenty-year friendship with Lindop. Their correspondence was initiated when Lindop submitted ten poems to Raine for possible publication in Temenos, the journal she was involved in founding; in his covering letter he outlined his admiration for her poetry and autobiographical writings. Lindop kept copies of many of his later outgoing letters to Raine in a separate sequence from her in-letters; however, a copy of this initial letter, dating from 1983, was kept with her own correspondence and is included in this sequence.

The letters from Raine chart the development of her friendship with Lindop, who became increasingly involved with the Temenos Academy when it was set up in 1990 and was elected by Raine to succeed her as Director in 2000. His involvement in Temenos, and his role as a trusted advisor to Raine, are well documented in these letters; Raine increasingly discusses and seeks advice from Lindop on potential lecture topics, speakers and submissions to the Temenos Academy Review, the successor to Temenos; initially deputy editor, Lindop took over as editor of this journal from 2000, although he continued to consult Raine about the content of the journal until shortly before her death in 2003. The work of the Temenos Academy forms a major topic of the correspondence, including the philosophy behind the organisation, its academic programmes, other activities, and its collaboration with other bodies like the Prince's Foundation. However, the letters are wide-ranging, and many other topics are touched upon. Raine's own work is discussed, including her autobiographical writings and translations, but also the preparation of her Collected poems (published in 2000), with which Lindop was heavily involved. Other matters covered include: the work of numerous other writers; Raine's thoughts on religious, spiritual and philosophical matters; and her response to Lindop's poetry, in particular his long poem on the life of the Buddha, Touching the Earth.


The letters have been arranged into bundles based on Lindop's own organisation of his papers before they came to the Library. Arrangement is chronological: the first bundle of letters spans the period 1983-1996, and each of the other bundles contains a year's correspondence from 1997 to 2003, during which time Raine and Lindop were corresponding much more frequently.