Albert Thomas Trevor Allen: Autobiographical and other writings

Scope and Content

The collection includes background and related material for Allen's books, an unpublished autobiography in five parts, several other unpublished writings, and a mass of largely unsorted typescripts of smaller items.

Box 1

Looking Back (autobiography): 1. Brompton Boy: Prelude to Adventure; 2. A Freelance Life: I collect people and their stories; 3. Freelance at Large: I collect more people with stories; 4. Authors, My Friends: a life's literary contacts; 5. Portrait in Greasepaint (centred on Ruby Miller). 2 files.

Come Over Into Macedonia: Souvenirs of a Balkan Campaign.

Mainly Personal: A Varied View of Life and People.

Ink In My Blood.

A Quest for Loving.

Papers relating to Allen's book Underworld, including original notes by Charles Brooks, press notices, accounts for sales, and correspondence with agents.

Box 2

A Passion for Places: Exploring Town and Country.

A Passion for Places: Abroad.

They Live in History: Dramas and Romances of the Famous and Infamous.

They Loved in History: a Pageant of Real-Life Romances.

They Killed for Love and Other Notorious Murders.

Remembering a Dancer (i.e. Ivey Collette Reuter).

Heavenly Noises: the Kerb Musicians's Saga.

Murder Most Natural, and other short stories of 'the lighter side of crime'.

Contributions by Allen to 'Twenty Years After: the Battlefields of 1914-1918 Then and Now', ed. Sir Ernest Swinton, published in periodical parts, 1936-1938.

Box 3

When Words are Music: Love, Peace and War Poems. 3 files.

Verse (Light).

This Thing Called Love: the Story of Richard Haston (the first version of We loved in Bohemia).

We Loved in Bohemia: a Radio Play adapted from the book. A pilot part-script only, with a synopsis of the remainder.

Three Women: a Play by Trevor Allen and Ruby Miller.

Jade Elephants: a Play in three acts, by Trevor Allen and Ruby Miller.

Rousseau's Confessions: a Comedy in three acts.

Rousseau's Women (an early version of the preceding item, with a letter to Allen from Julian Franks).

Very Good, My Lord. Scenario for Film or Stage. By Madame Max Darewski (i.e. Ruby Miller).

'SS: General'. Short stories, c. 50 typescripts.

Specimens of published articles, etc.

Boxes 4-7

Several hundred plays, mainly unsorted typescripts of articles, short stories, radio plays, poems, etc. The papers include some drafts of published and duplicate material. A letter to Allen from the author Cecil Roberts accompanies several articles on Roberts, and there are a few other letters to Allen accompanying the scripts to which they relate.

Administrative / Biographical History

Albert Thomas Trevor Allen (d. 1983) was born in Brompton. He left school at 14 and worked initially at a junior job in the Mechanical Engineer's Department, District Underground Railway. He wrote satirical verses for A.R. Orage's New age, and met literary people while working for two years as a shorthand-typist in C.F. Cazenove's Literary Agency. Early in 1915 he enlisted with the R.A.M.C. Field Ambulance. He began writing articles on army life for the Daily chronicle, which he continued while serving with the 11th Welsh Fusiliers on the Doiran front, Salonica, which later gave him the background material for his novel Jade elephants.

Allen was demobilized in 1919, and worked as a free-lance contributor to the Daily chronicle, Sunday observer, and other papers and magazines. He took the University of London's two-year journalist's course on his ex-Service grant, before becoming a Fleet Street reporter for 7 years on the morning Westminster gazette. From this came his first book, Underground, a biography of Soho criminal Grant Richards. He was invited to join the Daily chronicle as literary Editor, editing the leader page. He left to edit the London opinion, before work as a free-lance, mainly for the Newnes and Pearson magazines. He was also Book Reviewer for the John O'London weekly, and for many years wrote regular reviews for the Daily telegraph and Contemporary review. He was Chairman of the London Writer Circle. Allen died on 23 Nov. 1983.

Allen's works include the books Underworld: the biography of Charles Brooks, criminal (1931), Ivar Kreuger (1932), The tracks they trod: Salonika and the Balkans, Gallipoli, Egypt and Palestine revisited (1932), Jade elephants (1934),London lover: songs of a city's romance (1947) (verse), We loved in Bohemia (1953), and Roads to success (1957).

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Allen's executor, the National Westminster Bank, 1984.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright in unpublished work by Allen has been assigned to the University Library.