A L Rowse: papers compiled by Eric Glasgow

Scope and Content

The collection consists of one letter and postcard from A L Rowse to Dr Eric Glasgow, 1980, copies of letters from Eric Glasgow to Rowse, 1980-1983, a number of newspaper reviews and articles on Rowse, 1980-1984, and a rejection letter from the TLS to Eric Glasgow, 2003.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alfred Leslie Rowse (1903-1997), historian, poet, diarist, biographer and critic, was born in Tregonissey near St. Austell, Cornwall, to Dick Rowse (china-clay worker) and Annie Vaston. He attended St. Austell grammar school and won a scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford, gaining a first class honours degree in history in 1925 when he was also elected Fellow of All Souls, Oxford (the first man from a working-class background to do so). It was during this period that he established so many of the social contacts with academic, political and literary circles within which he was to move for the remainder of his life. He stood unsuccessfully for parliament at Penryn and Falmouth in 1931 and 1935. He became Sub-Warden of the All Souls but was defeated in his election as Warden in 1952, shortly after which he retired to Trenarren, his Cornish home, for the remainder of his life.

He began to publish relatively late in life, with his first commercial full-length historical monograph 'Sir Richard Grenville of the Revenge' being published in 1937. 'Tudor Cornwall' (1941) further strengthened his reputation and readership. He produced a tremendous output of works on both history and Shakespeare between the 1950s and 1980s, and published 65 of his 105 books after the age of 65.

He was awarded an Honorary doctorate by the University of Exeter in 1960, was elected to Athenaeum under Rule II in 1972, received the Benson Medal of the Royal Society of Literature in 1982 and was made a Companion of Honour in 1996, a year before his death in 1997.

Dr Eric Glasgow (1925-2005) was educated at Bickerton House School, Birkdale, St John's College, Cambridge, and Manchester University. He worked as a teacher before he joined the Open University as a tutor of modern history. He later taught history and English for the external BA Degree of London University.

He built up a distinguished reputation as a local historian in the Birkdale and Southport area, and published two books on the history of the locality, as well as writing features for various newspapers and journals from the 1950s to the 1970s. He corresponded with A L Rowse in the early 1980s and his obituary of Rowse appeared in 'Contemporary Review' in December 1997. He died in Southport, England, in February 2005.

Access Information

Usual EUL arrangements apply.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the University Library in 2005.

Other Finding Aids

Unlisted. One file only.

Archivist's Note

Description created by Rob Ford, 12 Mar 2007.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Related Material

Further material on A L Rowse is held at University of Exeter, Special Collections at locations: EUL MS 113, MS 116, MS 201, MS 244, MS 289, MS 291.


It is not known whether publication has resulted from the use of this collection.