Jan Mills Whitham Papers

Scope and Content

The papers include the manuscripts of most of his published works, including Starveacre, Swings and Roundabouts, Broom and Wolfang, annotated copies of his first editions, plus some texts which remain unpublished. These include 'Cry Havoc', a wartime diary 1939-1945, 'A philosophy of recipience', 'Journal of an obscure man' (fiction), and 'Gunnar'. There is also a bundle of his letters, 1928-1942.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Mills Whitham (1883-1956), novelist and historian, also known as 'Jan' Mills Whitham, was born in Folkestone in 1883. He was educated at Liverpool College, and became an architect before turning to writing. In 1912 his first novel, Broom, was published by Stephen Swift and Co. under the name J. Mills Whitham. This was followed by Starveacre (Methuen, 1915), Wolfang (Methuen, 1917) and a further seven novels over the years 1919-1925. He then published two biographical works on the French Revolution under his full name in 1930 and 1933. His final novel, Swings and Roundabouts, was published by Duckworth in 1937. He married Silvia Frances Milman, and lived at The Cottage, Holdstone Down, North Devon, until his death in 1956.


In order of finished or working title.

Conditions Governing Access

Usual EUL conditions apply.

Acquisition Information

John Mills Whitham's widow gave the manuscripts of his novels to the University Library in 1957.

Other Finding Aids

A handlist is available

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL conditions apply.

Related Material

Paul Jordan-Smith, For the love of books (New York, 1934), pp90-101.


Eight novels and two non-fiction works have been published.