Place Published: various
Date Published: 1948 to 1991
Binding: No binding & hard cover
The collections contains 28 items dating from 1948 to 1991, specifically, 16 letters, 9 manuscript material, 2 silver gelatin prints and 1 book.
George Granville Baker was a British Catholic author and poet who prided himself on being an outsider. T.S. Eliot declared him a genius, and Yeats thought him the finest poet of his generation. Barker's personal life was passionate. He fathered 15 children by four women. One of these women was Elizabeth Smart (1913-1986), a Canadian poet and novelist. Her book, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, detailed her romance with Barker.
• ALS from David Archer, Thursday evening, sends cheque, hopes that Barker’s health (“ulcers, aches, & pains vanish”) improves. Barker wrote a book entitled In Memory of David Archer (1973).
• TLS from Marius Bewlay, Ray, and Nancy, n.d. Reference to Ulrica, Sergius Farre, everyone drunk, a pretty girl lying on the bed reading Barker’s verse.
• ALS from Tom Blackburn addressed from Cambria Lodge, 2c Oakhill Rd., London SW15 to Via Nemorense 72 Rome, Italy, post-marked 13 January 1961, in which he mentions an anthology and the reviews that are accusing him of nepotism, describes teaching at St Marks and St John in Chelsea, mentioning the gloom and the horrible hymnbook smell. He refers to a visit by Kavanagh and Houlihan, whom Kavanagh “cursed till dawn as we woke to the same tune and then he was up at 8 am fully dressed with even his cap on sitting at the bed-post.” Other news includes mention of a book by Oliver Bernard recently published.
• ALS from Tom Blackburn to George Barker addressed from 4 Luttrell Avenue, London S.W.15., 15 May, probably mid 1970s in which he writes about his nine month stay in a mental hospital. He asks to reproduce a poem by Barker in his Whitelands College broadsheet
• TLS on headed notepaper from Richard Church, The Priest's House, Sissinghurst Castle, Cranbrook, Kent, 18 March 1968, with envelope, in which Church informs Barker about the Civil List pension which is not disclosed until the end of the financial year.
• ALS forwarded from Faber & Faber from Emily Coleman, 20 May1966, in which she offers Barker “a £ or two” and says “Your poetry seems to me to be better & better.”
• ALS from Barker to Prof. Cook, contained in a typewritten envelope with stamp dated 26 October 1965, Poetry Collection, Lockwood Memorial Library, State University of New York at Buffalo, some words crossed out, in which Barker asks about a possible short-term post.
• ALS from Editions Poetry London (Richard Marsh), 55 Victoria Street, London, S.W.1., 23 January 1950, in which Marsh suggests meeting so he can return the manuscript of “The True Confession”.
• ALS from Gavin Ewart, 14 April 1977, with short typed biographical notice about Barker, re Ewart’s typescript’s for the Pen Anthology published by Hutchinson.
• ALS from Hugo Manning addressed from Flat Two, 103 Bayswater Road, London W.2., 25 June 1948, in which Manning acts as a go-between for Patrick Dudgeon (address in Argentina supplied) who would like to publish some of Barker's poems in his anthology English Folios. He also tells him to send biographical details if he decides to send some work.
• ALS from Paul Potts, 8 February ?, addressed “Dear Vecchio Fagiole” (Dear old bean), thanking Barker for “Spring Onion”, sends regards to Barker’s family.
• ALS from C.H. Sisson (English poet, novelist, and essayist), 6 February 1967, thanking Barker for his poem, “It is a lousy life”, Sisson is a grandfather, writes nothing.
• TLS from Barker to G.W. Stonier, 29 July ?, “a lifetime since I pestered you with some verses”, inquires about David Gascoyne.
• ALS (4 pp.) from A.S. (Anthony) Twaite, 6 May [1947?], thanks Barker for his letter and encouragement, still a schoolboy he lists his likes in regard to poetry and asks advice about publishing his work, mentions Marlowe, Blake, Hopkins, Dylan Thomas, etc.
• TLS from Barker to the Secretary of the University of Essex, 4 April 1967, in response to an advertisement (attached) applying for the post of Chair of Literature with handwritten corrections in Barker's hand and ms. of a poem on verso of the second leaf.
• ALS from Maurice West, [1969?], re Runes and Rhymes and Tunes and Chimes.
9 Manuscript Items:
• 16 pp. (130 × 80 mm), notes, lines of poetry and rude limericks, names and addresses, draft of a letter to Maurice [Carpenter?] giving him advice about his marriage, 1966-7, punched with holes for a file.
• Notes that mention the Book of Kells, Gaelic poets, and Matthew Arnold, 2 pp., nd.
• “Two limericks”, 1 p., n.d.
• Quotation, “Inspiration is simply good health. [Hopkins & Pasternak]”, 1 p. n.d.
• Ts., “Only Senai only Sirius | burns in the empty night”, 1 p., n.d.
• Ts. with holograph insertions, “Under waters into which…”, several lines in pencil on the verso, 2 pp., n.d.
• Ts. with holograph insertions, “O Love, O Love, is this, is this…”, 1 p., n.d.
• Ts. with holograph insertions, “The love that rested in my heart…”, 1 p., n.d.
• Ms., 7 lines, from The Enlightenment of Gautama Buddha, 1 p., n.d.
• News of the World. London: Faber and Faber London,1950. First printing, blue cloth in chipped jacket, some discoloration to the spine panel, Barker’s signature on a paper label affixed to the front free endpaper. Also includes: 10 lines, 1 p., handwritten manuscript in pencil of the poem “Choral Ode for St. Cecilia's Day”; initialled ts., “News of the World”, 3 pp. Versions of both poems are in the book.
Collection on consignment with LDRB.
Very Good. Item #8641