Correspondence of Norah Smallwood, with some related material

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 206 Brotherton Collection MS 20c Smallwood
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      5 boxes; manuscript, typescript, photographs, postcards, press cuttings, and printed material (some photocopy).  Includes several Christmas and other greetings cards.

Scope and Content

Comprises the correspondence of Norah Smallwood, chiefly letters to her, but with some of her own replies, and some related papers, divided into five main divisions, as follows: Box 1, autograph letters and postcards from Dirk Bogarde, dated between 1976 and 1984, arranged in a numerical order 1-187, concerning his publications and films, notably, An Orderly Man (ca. 1982), together with an index to the work and a printed proof of the index, photocopies of published reviews in the press, some related publicity material, and a subsidiary sequence of 27 letters and postcards from Tony Forwood to Norah Smallwood, dated 1979-1984, concerning Bogarde's works; Box 2, (a) autograph correspondence between Norah Smallwood and Iris Murdoch, dated 1972-1983, concerning several of the latter's publications, notably, The Philosopher's Pupil (ca. 1983), The Sea, the Sea (1978), and Nuns and Soldiers (1980), together with contracts with Viking Penguin Inc., New York, a typescript list of her publications in American Books in Print (1977/78), reviews of The Philosopher's Pupil in 7 American publications, notes of royalty earnings from the books in successive years from 1978 to 1982 and other financial matters, and a black and white portrait photograph of Norah Smallwood in middle life, (b) an authorised photocopy of Iris Murdoch's typescript collection of poems entitled 'Conversations with a Prince', covering 94 ff.; and (c) autograph letters and postcards from Roger Senhouse to Norah Smallwood, dated ca. 1956-1969, and numbered 1-59; Box 3, (a) autograph letters and postcards from Sylvia Townsend Warner to Norah Smallwood, dated 1947-1977, arranged in a numerical order 1-199, including an uncorrected printer's proof of the former's essay 'Women as writers' and three copies of an advertisement for her novel Lolly Willowes, and (b) 69 picture postcards from William Sansom to Norah Smallwood, dated ca. 1954-1975; Box 4, autograph letters and postcards from miscellaneous correspondents to Norah Smallwood, arranged in an alphabetical sequence by correspondents' names, dated ca. 1956-1983; and Box 5, autograph letters and postcards, including several Christmas and other greetings cards, from miscellaneous friends to Norah Smallwood, dated 1932-1983, especially concerning her retirement from Chatto and Windus in 1982 and including a photocopy of a printed appreciation of her work there published in the Bookseller for 20 February 1982, together with a few carbon-copies of her typed replies, a few drafts of poems, printed cards for dinners, weddings, and memorial services for friends, and a small photograph of her as a young woman dated 30 June 1932.

Administrative / Biographical History

Norah Evelyn Smallwood, the publisher, was born on 30 December 1909 in Little Kingshill, Buckinghamshire and died on 11 October 1984 in Westminster Hospital, London. She was associated with Chatto and Windus from 1936 until her retirement in 1982. In 1973 she was awarded the OBE, and in 1981 she received an honorary D.Litt. from Leeds University. For fuller details of her life and achievements see the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Access Information

Access is unrestricted.

Acquisition Information

The bequest of Norah Smallwood, 1984.


In English.

Other Finding Aids

Letters described in the Library's Letters database