Scope and Content

General correspondence file containing letters addressed to Harold Blundell from a variety of individuals and organisations, including business and personal correspondence. The majority of the correspondence is in English, although a few letters from the continent are in French. Included are letters from Blundell's agent, Christina Foyle, W. & G. Foyle Ltd, the Hogarth Press, Pan Books Ltd, the Society of Authors, the Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection, the Who's Who of Authors, the MacMillan Company, New York, the British and French revenue departments, and the Wine and Food Society at Grosvenor Square, London. Also enclosed is a copy of Red Herrings. Bulletin of the Crime Writers' Association, no. 37 (July 1959), which announces on p. 3 Harold Blundell's award of an honorary degree and a draft publishing agreement dated 1960.

Amongst the pick of the personal correspondence is a series of letters dated 16 February 1944 to 14 April 1944 from the Reverend K.E. Wall, chaplain of Ohio Penitentiary, USA, thanking Blundell for donating a number of books to the prison library. There is also a postcard with a black and white photograph of a wooden bridge over a mountain forest in Montana, Canada, along with a covering letter dated 26 November 1957 reminding Blundell of his own 'Brig experience' to which the postcard refers.

There are also two letters from Francis Iles (or Anthony Berkeley Cox), the mystery writer. In the first, dated 30 May 1959, he discusses his play for the BBC in which her refers to himself as 'Mr A.B.C.'. He also offers his sympathy regarding Blundell's relationship with Collins, the publishers, and congratulates him on receiving his honorary degree from Manchester University. In the second, dated 10 November 1960, Iles offers Blundell advice after signing an unfair contract drawn up by an unscrupulous, anonymous publisher. There is a letter dated 20 August 1959 from the singer Reginald S. Crompton of Colchester, Essex, congratulating Blundell on his literary success. There is also a letter dated 12 June 1978 from Peter Cisar, a Czech bookseller based in Prague, requesting a checklist of Blundell's published works for a bibliography he is compiling on English language crime fiction, expressing his regret that Blundell's work is not available in his country. There is also an undated slip of paper praising his latest work, from the American mystery writer, Harry Stephen Keeler.