Papers relating to Welland's Owen research during the 1970s-1980s

Scope and Content

The WO-related material generated by DW during the 1970s-80s is much smaller in quantity than the papers dating from both the earlier and the later periods. This reflects the fact that WO was not DW's primary research interest at this time - a period when he was focusing on his work in American Studies and taking on high-level administrative roles at the University of Manchester. Nevertheless, he retained an active interest in WO scholarship, developed some of his own ideas further through talks and publications, and worked on projects with a WO connection. In particular he published a revised and enlarged edition of his Wilfred Owen: a critical study in 1978, which took into account developments in the study of WO and war poetry that had taken place in the eighteen years since its first publication. He also devised a highly successful dramatic production based around WO's poetry, which was performed by the Contact Theatre Company at Manchester University in 1988 and was revived again twice, in 1989 and 1990.

Whilst DW's correspondence from this period is less extensive, some significant correspondents are nevertheless represented, including Dominic Hibberd, Jon Stallworthy, Philip Larkin and D.J. Enright. The publication of DW's revised critical study in 1978 is well-documented in the form of publishers' correspondence, manuscript material and proofs; there is also a significant quantity of material relating to the well-attended Contact Theatre productions. In addition, there are some further papers relating to articles and lectures by DW, and publications on WO-related themes by other writers which were acquired by DW during this period.


The papers dating from this period were in a much more disordered state than those from the earlier years, which DW had gone some way to arranging during the 1990s. In a number of cases, material (including correspondence) relating to specific projects was broadly bundled together, and this arrangement has been retained here; other correspondence was loose, and this has been organized into a chronological sequence.