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George Barker papers

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

Correspondence

Essays

Lecture Notes

Book Reviews

Poetry

Novels and Prose

Plays

Notebooks

Poems.

Poems.

Lament and Triumph.

Eros in Dogma.

Life and Letters and the London Mercury.

The True Confession of George Barker.

Drawings.


George Barker papers, 1930-1966 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: George Barker papers, 1930-1966Add to your cart.

ID: 1/1/MSS 162

Primary Creator: Barker, George (1913-1991)

Extent: 6.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Arranged in nine series (1) Correspondence, (2) Essays, (3) Lecture notes, (4) Book reviews, (5) Poetry, (6) Novels and prose, (7) Plays, (8) Notebooks, (9) Standing volumes.

Date Acquired: 00/00/1963. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Barker, George, 1913-1991

Forms of Material: Ackerley, John - Correspondence, Barker, George, 1913-1991 - Correspondence, Barker, George, 1913-1991 - Manuscripts, Betjeman, John, 1906-1984 - Correspondence, Correspondence., Eliot, T.S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965. - Correspondence, Empson, William, 1906-1984. - Correspondence, Fiction., Grigson, Geoffrey, 1905-1985 - Correspondence, Heath-Stubbs, John, 1918-2006. - Correspondence, Lehmann, John, 1907- - Correspondence, Lindsay, Jack, 1900-1990. - Correspondence, Manuscripts for publication., Muir, Edwin, 1887-1959 - Correspondence, Postcards, Savage, D. S. (Derek S.) - Correspondence, Spender, Stephen, 1909-1995. - Correspondence, Symons, Julian, 1912- - Correspondence, Treece, Henry, 1911-1966. - Correspondence, Williams, Oscar, 1900-1964 - Correspondence, Yeats, W. B. (William Butler), 1865-1939 - Correspondence

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection includes letters, drafts of poems, plays, novels, reviews and lectures, as well as some of Barker's notebooks and a sketch book of drawings.  The correspondence largely consists of literary correspondence to Barker covering the years 1933 through 1964.  Of particular interest is correspondence from T. S. Eliot, Henry W. Treece, Edwin Muir, John Heath Stubbs, William Empson, John Betjeman, William Butler Yeats and Stephen Spender.  A variety of editors are also represented in the letters, including Julian Symons, Geoffrey Grigson, D. (Derek) S. Savage, John Ackerley, Jack Lindsay, John Lehmann, and Oscar Williams. 

The collection of poetry manuscripts includes about 50 different individual poems and books in various forms.  The proof and galley pages, as well as the published books (see standing volumes), often have Barker's notes, corrections and revisions, giving readers a sense of the poet's composing process, and his need to revise works even after they had been published.  Together with his notebooks, which also contain drafts of poems, the poetry manuscripts provide a fine record of the development of many poems.  There are a number of unpublished poems in this collection also.

Biographical Note

George Barker (1913-1991), a contemporary English writer and poet, was born in Loughton, England. He began writing early and by his early twenties he had already been published by T. S. Eliot at Faber and Faber, who also helped him to gain appointment as Professor of English Literature in 1939 at Tohoku University (Sendai, Miyagi, Japan).

Early volumes of note by Barker include Thirty Preliminary Poems (1933), Poems (1935) and Calamiterror (1937), which was inspired by the Spanish Civil War.

He eventually traveled to the United States where he began his longtime liaison with writer Elizabeth Smart, by whom he had four of his fifteen children, and about whom he wrote his 1945 novel By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept and his 1950 novel, The Dead Seagull. His Collected poems were edited by Robert Fraser and published in 1987 by Faber and Faber.

Subject/Index Terms

Barker, George, 1913-1991

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Accruals: Additions 1965

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright.  Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection.  Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Acquisition Source: Gift

Preferred Citation: [Item], George Barker collection, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Essays],
[Series 3: Lecture Notes],
[Series 4: Book Reviews],
[Series 5: Poetry],
[Series 6: Novels and Prose],
[Series 7: Plays],
[Series 8: Notebooks],
[Volume 1: Poems.],
[Volume 2: Poems.],
[Volume 3: Lament and Triumph.],
[Volume 4: Eros in Dogma.],
[Volume 5: Life and Letters and the London Mercury.],
[Volume 6: The True Confession of George Barker.],
[Volume 7: Drawings.],
[All]

Series 8: NotebooksAdd to your cart.
Box 5Add to your cart.
Folder 1: "Notes Boxholm '39"Add to your cart.
ruled paper (small) AMs [drafts of poems: "Lament and Triumph," "The Echoing Tomb," "It is the Sorrow Season," "I, Mute Immutable, Cry"], 21pp. 1939
Folder 2: QuartoAdd to your cart.
(front cover cut away) AMs [drafts of letters to Walter de la  Mare, Kit, and T. S. Eliot; poems: "Munich Elegies," "To Robert Owen," and prose: "Note on the Dialectics of Poetry."], 30pp.  [1939]
Folder 3: "Of Love Vol. 4"Add to your cart.
AMs [outlines, poems (including "Bridal Nightmare I"), notes, etc.], 47pp. [ca. 1941?]
Folder 4: QuartoAdd to your cart.
(part only, no covers) AMs [drafts of poems: "News of the World III" and "Turn on your side and bear the day to me";  drafts of letters, including one to Prof. Dobree], 14pp. [1950?]
Folder 5: Duplicate book ("GB Hearne" written on first page)Add to your cart.
AMs ["The Dying and Heroic Captives of Italy," draft of "Poem in the Orange Wig"; drafts of poems, including "Sonnets of the Triple Headed Manichee" and "Swansong for Langharne"; drafts of letters], 114pp. [1953?]
Folder 6: Black and red hardcoverAdd to your cart.
AMs [drafts of poems, including part of  The True Confession of George Barker II and "Fables VII-XII," drafts of letters, etc.], 98pp. [1960?]
Folder 7: Green Italian appointment bookAdd to your cart.
("Notebook 1961 Rome" on first page)  AMs [Notes, drafts of poems, including "To Francis Bacon," "St. Sebastian's Day, Rome 1960," "Poem as Dedication," "The Tomb of  Hadrian," "To Robert Colquhoun," "Dreams of a Summer Night," and  others; TMs poem inserted in notebook: "Here folded in my colder arms..."; drafts of prose pieces, including "The Hyppogryph and the Water Pistol" and "Dialogue Between a Moral Philosopher and an Amoral Poet," and a short story, "The Water Lillies of Shantung"; drafts of letters, etc.], 233pp. 1961
Box 6Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Pocket notebookAdd to your cart.
brownish orange ("Notebook of Rome 1961" on first page) AMs [Notes, poems, comments on poets: Cyril Connelly,  Stephen Spender, Donald Davie, etc.], 68pp. 1961
Folder 2: Blue duplicate bookAdd to your cart.
("MS Notebook GB 1964 London" on page 1) AMs [Drafts of poems, including "The Shades of Childhood," "Letter from Italy," "Stanzas Written Near Lake Nemi," "Dreams of a Summer Night," "The Stabat Mater: An English Version" and others; draft of essay--"The Two Voices of Tennyson," letters to Oscar Williams," etc.], 126pp 1964
Folder 3: Two notebooksAdd to your cart.

a. blue hard cover ("Notes * et ceteras GB 1964" on title page) AMs [prose: "Asterisks" and 1pp. TMs of "Asterisks"; poetry: "Dreams of a Summer Night" #'s I-IV], 139pp. 1964

b.  Blue duplicate book, soft cover ("Islington Sept. 1st-Sept. 23rd 1964" on page 1) AMs [draft of "Dreams of a Summer Night" #'s VII-XXVI; notes for an elegiac poem on the death of Oscar Williams, letter to Oscar Williams], 73pp. 1964

Folder 4: Blue duplicate book, soft coverAdd to your cart.
("Notes GB" on page 2) AMsS  [initialed; outline for Dreams of a Summer Night; poem: "What ho! You pam-"; parodied lists of authors' names and book titles, aphorisms, draft of an essay on Eliot, comments on Shakespeare plays, drafts of letters, etc.], 132pp.
Folder 5: Miscellaneous envelopes (6), folio covers, book cover, etc.Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Essays],
[Series 3: Lecture Notes],
[Series 4: Book Reviews],
[Series 5: Poetry],
[Series 6: Novels and Prose],
[Series 7: Plays],
[Series 8: Notebooks],
[Volume 1: Poems.],
[Volume 2: Poems.],
[Volume 3: Lament and Triumph.],
[Volume 4: Eros in Dogma.],
[Volume 5: Life and Letters and the London Mercury.],
[Volume 6: The True Confession of George Barker.],
[Volume 7: Drawings.],
[All]

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