Papers of H.E. Bates

Scope and Content

This material was kept by Constance Amelia Sharman (née Ginns), who was a close friend of Bates during his teenage years, when his creative efforts were directed towards art and poetry rather than the prose writing which he later made his career. The collection includes sketches, poems, letters and photographs. First editions of some of his books, which he gave to ‘Con’, accompany the collection, and are catalogued on iDiscover.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born into a family of Northamptonshire shoemakers, H.E. Bates is best known as a writer of short stories and novels. The first of his many novels appeared in 1926; he also wrote regular magazine columns and nature essays. It was for short stories that he won critical acclaim. During the Second World War, he was appointed to the Royal Air Force as a writer, producing highly popular morale-boosting short stories under the pseudonym of Flying Officer X. From the 1940s onwards, his novels became best-sellers; his output also included children’s books, two books on gardening, and three volumes of memoirs. A wider audience has been introduced to his fiction through successful film and television adaptations, the best known of which is probably 'The darling buds of May'.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation

Note

Born into a family of Northamptonshire shoemakers, H.E. Bates is best known as a writer of short stories and novels. The first of his many novels appeared in 1926; he also wrote regular magazine columns and nature essays. It was for short stories that he won critical acclaim. During the Second World War, he was appointed to the Royal Air Force as a writer, producing highly popular morale-boosting short stories under the pseudonym of Flying Officer X. From the 1940s onwards, his novels became best-sellers; his output also included children’s books, two books on gardening, and three volumes of memoirs. A wider audience has been introduced to his fiction through successful film and television adaptations, the best known of which is probably 'The darling buds of May'.

Preferred citation: St John's College library, Papers of H.E. Bates.

Custodial History

This collection was the property of Constance Amelia Sharman (née Ginns) and was given to the College in 2010 by her son John Michael Sharman (BA 1955).

Additional Information

Published