Twenty-one letters and notes from Henry Williamson to Lionel Dakers, Organist and Master of the Choristers at Exeter Cathedral, who taught Williamson's son, Harry, at the Cathedral School and became a friend.
Collection consisting of 19 autographs of which 9 are written on correspondence cards, 2 on picture postcards and 2 typed letters, mainly from North Devon (Georgeham, Braunton and Ilfracombe) but also from London, Londonderry and Venice. Signature types include his name, initials or his printed owl logo.
The letters give insights into Williamson's work, in particular, writing the concluding volumes of 'A chronicle of ancient sunlight' and personal problems. There are references to the flight of his second wife, Christine, in 1962 and his ensuing loneliness, his prolonged overwork and his feeling of purposelessness after the 'Chronicle' project has been completed. Williamson mentions 'A test to destruction' while asking Dakers the correct title of Frank Bridge's 'The sea'. Also mentioning Christmas Eve carols in Exeter Cathedral, fishing in Ireland, Arnold Bennett, W G Hoskins, Oscar Wilde, Rupert Brooke, Katherine Mansfield, Britten's 'Requiem'.
Dr. Lionel Dakers (1924-2003) was Organist and Master of the Choristers at Exeter Cathedral, 1957-1972 and Director of the Royal School of Church Music, 1972-1989. He collected works of Henry Williamson, Siegfried Sassoon and T. E. Lawrence. He also contributed articles to the Northcott Magazine in 1969.