Reginald James White: Papers

Scope and Content

[1] Correspondence, 1928-1971.

A. Literary agents; B. Publishers; C. Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge; D. Broadcasting organisations; E. General correspondence.

[2] Literary manuscripts and typescripts.

Working manuscripts of 'Julie Delvenne' (published as No saint was she, 1938), 'The Masters of Waingroves' and 'Death of a Pierrot'; typescripts of 'The Master of Waingroves', 'The Sleeping Collier', 'Death of Pierrot', 'A House of Friends', 'Mrs. Marten and her Daughter' and 'The Nottingham Captain. A study of the Pentrich Revolution of June, 1817...'; 'Lawrence - of Eastwood. A personal note' (typescript article intended for the London magazine, 1955); a fragment of an autobiography, containing White's recollections of his maternal uncles, the First World War and his early reading.

[3] Notebooks and research notes.

A. Notes taken by White at lectures as an undergraduate; B. Later notes.

[4] Lectures delivered by R.J. White, detailed notes and some complete texts.

'The legacy of the Enlightenment'; 'The age of enlightened despotism'; 'Anglo-French relations before 1789'; 'Some important ideas in nineteenth century England'; 'The Pentrich Revolution 1817', 'The Pentrich Revolution. An example of local history in its bearing on national history' and 'Looking for a revolution'; lectures on individuals: William Cobbett, William Godwin, Baron d'Holbach and T.H. Huxley.

[5] Printed papers.

A. Photographs; B. Dust jackets of White's early novels; C. Press reviews of books by White.

Administrative / Biographical History

Reginald James White (1905-1971) entered Downing College, Cambridge, in 1924 to read history, and gained a First in Part II of the Tripos. He remained in Cambridge after taking his degree, making a living by private coaching and lecturing. In 1930 he published his first novel, The road to the city, which was followed by seven further novels before the Second World War. In 1946 White was appointed to a university lectureship in history and a fellowship at Downing College. He retained both posts until his death, and also served as dean and librarian of his college. During the 1950s and early 1960s he wrote a large number of scripts on individuals and events in British history from the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries for the B.B.C.'s School Broadcasting Department. He published little for almost two decades after 1938, but in 1957 began a productive period which lasted for the rest of his life.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Presented by Mrs. V. White, 1990.


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

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue of the collection is available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Geographical Names