Vernon Watkins Papers

Scope and Content

Letters from Vernon Watkins to Neville Masterman concerning the latter's translation of a poem by the Hungarian poet Sandor Petofi and Watkin's translation of 'the Grief poem' etc. c1965-1966; letters from Vernon Watkins and his wife Gwen to Mrs Brenda Masterman in hospital 1966; letters from Vernon Watkins to Neville Masterman concerning family news, descriptions of Seattle etc. 1967; letters from Mrs Gwen Watkins (at Seattle) to Mr and Mrs Masterman thanking them for their sympathy on the death of her husband Vernon Watkins, family news, etc. 1967; typescript of comic verse by Vernon Watkins 'A Survey of the German Romantic Movement' - satirising Kant, Goethe, Schopenhauer, Heine, Lessing, Beethoven etc. 1967; Order of Service for a memorial service to Vernon Watkins at St. Mary's Church, Swansea 1968; typescript translation by Neville Masterman of the poem 'Revolution' by the Hungarian poet Sandor Petofi, undated (c1966-1967?).

Administrative / Biographical History

Vernon Watkins was born in 1906. He was an internationally renowned poet and a lecturer at the University College Swansea (Calouste Gulbenkin Fellow in Poetry). He was friends with Dylan Thomas. His father was a bank manager who had moved to the Uplands in Swansea when Vernon Watkins was seven years old. The family later lived at Caswell and later on at Pennard. Vernon Watkins took up a post in Lloyds Bank, St. Helen's Road, Swansea, only retiring from it in 1966. He married Gwendoline Mary Davies in 1944, and they had four sons and one daughter. The family moved out to the USA when Vernon Watkins was made Visiting Lecturer on Modern Poetry, University of Washington in 1967. It was that same year, in Seattle, USA, that Vernon Watkins died after playing a game of tennis, one of his favourite activities. This archive includes letters to Mr Neville Masterman and his wife Brenda from Vernon Watkins, friends of the poet and his wife Gwen, as well as related papers. Mr Neville Masterman was formerly Senior Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Wales Swansea.

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