Correspondence between Colin Gunner and Philip Larkin

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Includes correspondence between Colin Gunner and Philip Larkin (from 1939-1985), carbon copies of some of the Gunner letters, as well as Christmas cards, Larkin-related newscuttings and articles. There is also some correspondence between Colin Gunner and Noel Hughes.

Administrative / Biographical History

Colin Gunner and Philip Larkin met at junior school and were good friends, along with James Ballard Sutton. After leaving school the two lost touch, and last met in the early 1940s. However, their correspondence was renewed in the early 1970s, when Gunner sought Larkin's advice on the publication of his wartime memoirs (later published as Adventures with the Irish Brigade). Their letters initially discussed their writing, but discussion turned to politics later on. The many rightwing outbursts should perhaps be read in the context of Larkin humouring his old friend. Gunner lived in a caravan in a field near Banbury for many of his later years.

Conditions Governing Access

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Custodial History

Purchased from Christie's (auctioneers), 28 November 1990, with the aid of the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends of the National Libraries, from C. Gunner