Letter from A L Rowse and letters from Eric Partridge to Daniel George

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

One letter from A L Rowse, 1953; One letter from Eric Partridge, 1950 and n.d., to Daniel George Bunting of Jonathan Cape Ltd.

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.

Eric Honeywood Partridge (1894-1979), author and lexicographer, was born in New Zealand, and was the son of John Thomas Partridge, grazier, and his wife Ethel Norris. In 1907 the family moved to Brisbane, Australia, where Partridge was educated at Toowoomba grammar school. He studied French and English at the University of Queensland, during which period he also served as a private during the First World War, where his interests in the 'underside' of language originated. He then became Queensland Travelling Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford, and taught at Manchester and London Universities before founding his own publishing firm Scholartis in 1927. This firm closed in 1931, at which point Routledge and Kegan Paul commissioned Partridge to write a dictionary of slang. This was eventually published as A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English in 1937, and was followed by other works on language (slang and etymology in particular). He wrote novels under the pseudonym Corris Denison, and also wrote professionally on tennis, which he played to a high standard. He married Agnes Dora Vye-Parminter in 1925, with whom he had a daughter. During the Second World War he joined the army education corps and later the correspondence department of the RAF. He died in Moretonhampstead, Devon, in 1979.

Daniel George Bunting, 1890-1967, was born on the Isle of Portland, the son of a naval man. In the First World War he served with the Queen's Westminster Rifles, after the war he worked for an engineering firm in London with whom he became general manager. In 1940 Bunting became a reader for publisher Jonathan Cape, a position he held until his retirement in 1963. He published under the pseudonym Daniel George, his works including: 'Tomorrow will be different', 1932, 'A peck of troubles', 1936, 'Alphabetical order: a gallimaufry', 1949, and 'Lonely pleasures', 1954. He died in London in 1967.

Conditions Governing Access

Usual EUL arrangements apply.

Acquisition Information

Purchased for the Library from a London book dealer.

Other Finding Aids

Unlisted. See Description above.

Archivist's Note

Description created by Rob Ford, 19 Apr 2007.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Related Material

Oxford University, (MS. Pym 148) hold letters from, and relating to Daniel George (of Jonathan Cape Ltd.), 1952-64.

Lilly Library Manuscript Collections, University of Indiana, hold the 'The Bunting mss., 1946-1967', consisting of letters and postcards from author William Charles Franklyn Plomer, 1903-1973, to Daniel George Bunting, 1890-1967.

Further papers relating to Eric Partridge can be located at EUL MS 138, MS 324.

Further papers relating to Rowse can be located at MS 113, MS 116, MS 201, MS 244, MS 286, MS 291.

Bibliography

It is not known if these letters have resulted in publication.