Papers of Arthur Caddick, 1970-1972

Scope and Content

Running to twelve boxes, including correspondence with authors, publishers, and artists, and autograph manuscripts, the collection represents a very full record of Arthur Caddick's published career and of his engagement in the political and cultural landscape of West Penrith, Cornwall. Correspondents in the collection include some time Poetry Review editor Derek Parker, artists Peter Lanyon and William Redgrave, the publisher Toni Savage, and writer and critic Denys Val Baker.

The collection can be roughly summarised as follows: box 1 general correspondence and poetry drafts; box 2 scrapbooks of presscuttings; box 3 legal papers; box 4 poetry drafts and presscuttings; box 5 personal family papers and general correspondence; box 6 pocket diaries and notebooks, family papers and correspondence with William Redgrave; box 7 letters from publishers including Eric Quayle and Toni Savage; box 8 general correspondence and presscuttings; box 9 poetry drafts; box 10 drafts of prose works including Laughter from Land's End; box 11 prose drafts, including a heavily annotated copy of Laughter from Land's End, memoirs by his wife and daughter, and copies of some of his publications; box 12 his own copies of publications and some fine typescripts.

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur Caddick (1911-1987) was born in 1911 in Coatham in Yorkshire. He was educated at Sedburgh and Wadham College, Oxford, graduating in Jurisprudence. Caddick married his wife, Peggy, in 1938 and the couple went to live in Brittany, France, leaving when Germany invaded Poland. Arthur Caddick was employed at the War Office during the Second World War, before moving his family (eventually including five children) to Cornwall in 1945. For thirty-six years he lived in the same cottage, Windswept, above the village of Nancledra in West Penrith, until ill health necessitated a move to North Devon. Caddick arrived in Cornwall intending to pursue a writing career, and quickly found the inspiration he was searching for in the place and people of his adopted home. Much of his published work is deeply connected to Cornwall, where he mixed with artists and writers and became involved in the rise of the Cornish nationalist movement, an aspect of Cornish life which his writing both celebrates and satirises. His published poetry books include The Ballad of Michael Joseph, The Captain of Cornwall (1947), Alphabet of West Cornwall (1963), A Croft in Cornwall (1968), and Broadsides from Bohemia, in praise of painters, publicans and other Cornish Saints (1973).

Access Information

Usual EUL arrangements apply.


Description compiled by Charlotte Berry, Archivist, 9 September 2003.

Other Finding Aids

Currently unlisted.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Custodial History

Deposited at the Library in 1997.


Catherine Brace, 'Cornish identity and landscape in the work of Arthur Caddick', Cornish Studies, 1999, 130-146

Geographical Names