Papers of Gwen Lees

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive consists of letters from Lees to agent (1982-4); letters from agent to Sheba Publishers and The Women's Press (1984); typed draft of chapter one of autobiography with annotations by Sheba (1984).

Administrative / Biographical History

Gwen Lees (c.1900-c.1988) was born into a poor family somewhere at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century. Her mother was a servant who found herself unable to take her children with her when she was offered a position as a cook. Because of this, Lees and her brother David were placed in a workhouse. In Apr 1982, when Lees was recovering from a stroke, she sent three chapters of an autobiography provisionally entitled 'Jenny', to an agent Rebecca O'Rourke. The autobiography detailed her experiences as a child, feeling that her experiences of the harsh regime might be of some sociological interest. In 1983, the manuscript was rejected by The Women's Press but the first chapter was later accepted by Sheba Feminist Publishers for inclusion in a new anthology entitled 'Everyday Matters II' published Jul 1983.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Lees' agent Rebecca O'Rourke in Oct 1988

Other Finding Aids

Fonds Description (1 folder only)