Literary and personal papers of Madge Hales (1901-1985), poet, 1946-1986

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises:

Unpublished typescript manuscripts of a novel or novels by Madge Hales, under various titles including 'Hubert Stone', 'A Disturbance in Mirrors', and 'A Triangular Climate', undated (MH 1/1-4);

Unpublished typescript manuscripts of a biography and literary criticism of the Irish poet Thomas Moore (1779–1852) by Madge Hales, undated (MH 2/1-2);

Typescript manuscripts of over 50 short stories and prose works by Madge Hales, undated (MH 3/1-52);

Unpublished typescript manuscripts of a one-act play or libretto by Madge Hales, under various titles including 'The Devil-Eating of Dol', 'Dol with mask', and 'Lue and Roc', undated (MH 4/1-5);

Loose typescript manuscripts of over 100 undated poems, some with manuscript corrections, arranged into alphabetical order. They represent poems predominantly written from 1954 onwards. Some poems not present in this series exist in collections of poetry in series MH 6. (MH 5/1-1109);

Collections of typescript manuscripts of poems gathered together for publication, undated (MH 6/1-11);

8 notebooks containing manuscript drafts of poems and prose, together with poems written on various loose sheets of writing paper and used envelopes, undated (MH 7/1-8);

Correspondence sent to Madge Hales, in three groups:

-Letters sent by publishers, 1953-1985 (MH 8/1/1-149)

-Letters relating to competitions, literary associations and events, and grants, 1948-1985 (MH 8/2/1-20);

-Personal correspondence, 1948-1985 (MH 8/3/1-129);

Periodicals and other publications collected by Madge Hales, most of which include examples of her published work, 1951-1986. Includes a copy of Hales' collection of poems, 'Dark Landscape' (MH 9/1-26);

Newspaper cuttings relating to Madge Hales and her publications, 1946-1982 (MH 10/1-8).

Administrative / Biographical History

Madge Hales was born Madge Elvin in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire, in 1901. She was employed as a clerk before marrying and starting a family. For most of her adult life she lived in West Bridgford near Nottingham. Hales turned to poetry as an escape from her domestic routine and attended classes in philosophy, English literature and poetry at the Adult Education Centre in Nottingham. She was at one time joint editor of a literary magazine 'The Glass'. She described herself as a 'rather personal poet', influenced by family relationships and occurrences.

Four collections of poems by Hales were published: 'Pine Silence' (London: Fortune Press, 1949), 'Dark Landscape' (London: Chatto and Windus, 1954), 'Said the Woman: Twelve Poems' (Nottingham: University of Nottingham, Department of English, Byron Press Pamphlet Series, no. 2, 1968) and six poems in 'Continuities: New Poems by Byron Press Poets' (Nottingham: Byron Press, 1980). During the 1950s and 1960s Hales had a number of poems published in anthologies and literary journals such as 'The Adelphi', 'Chambers' Journal', 'Poetry London' and 'Time and Tide'. 'The Listener', 'The Times Literary Supplement' and 'The Observer' also published examples of her work. The 'Nottinghamshire Guardian' in addition published a number of short stories. Several of Hales' poems and short stories were broadcast on the BBC's Third Programme (later Radio 3) in the 1960s and 1970s.

Hales was at various times a member of the Nottingham Poetry Society, Nottingham Writer's Club and the Nottingham Literary Society, and was a fellow of the literary society International P.E.N.

Madge Hales died in 1985.

Arrangement

The collection has been divided into series according to form. Within these series, items have been arranged chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access

The majority of the collection is accessible to all registered readers. Access to the modern correspondence is restricted but it may be possible for material to be made available by special advance arrangement for registered users.

Other Finding Aids

This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright in the description belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Good

Conditions Governing Use

Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email mss-library@nottingham.ac.uk).

Custodial History

The collection was given to The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections in January 1989. A further typescript poem was added to the collection in April 1990.

Related Material

A collection of Madge Hales' work, plus further correspondence of Madge Hales, is held at the Nottingham Institute for English Research, Nottingham Trent University.