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Norman Gates Collection of Richard Aldington


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description



Miscellaneous Aldington-related items

Print materials

Norman Gates Collection of Richard Aldington, 1911-2010 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

By David Bond

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Collection Overview

Title: Norman Gates Collection of Richard Aldington, 1911-2010Add to your cart.

ID: 1/1/MSS 384

Primary Creator: Aldington, Richard, (1892-1962.)

Extent: 13.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Arranged into 4 series: 1) Correspondence, 2) Writings, 3) Miscellaneous Aldington materials and 4) Printed materials.

Date Acquired: 00/00/1992. More info below under Accruals.

Forms of Material: Aldington, Richard, 1892-1962 - Correspondence, Newsletters.

Languages: English


Richard Aldington (8 July 1892-27 July 1962) was an English writer and poet. Aldington was best known for his World War I poetry, the 1929 novel Death of a Hero, and the controversy resulting from his 1955 Lawrence of Arabia: A Biographical Inquiry. His 1946 biography, Wellington, was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

Norman T. Gates (1914-2010) was an avid Aldington expert, the author of three books on Richard Aldington, The Poetry of Richard Aldington: A Critical Evaluation and Anthology of Uncollected Poems [Pennsylvania State University Press. 1974]; A Checklist of the Letters of Richard Aldington [Southern Illinois University Press. 1977] and Richard Aldington: A Biography in Letters [Pennsylvania State University Press. 1992].

Gates was also the founder and editor of the New Canterbury Literary Society Newsletter, launched in 1973 and published four times a year. The newsletter has been described as "a treasure trove of scholarship, news, anecdotes, and research relating mainly to Aldington but also his contemporaries, such as his wife H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) and their fellow imagist poets Ezra Pound and F. S. Flint."

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection consists of all of Norman T. Gates' material--books, papers, writings, and correspondences--relating to his three books on Richard Aldington and the publication of the New Canterbury Literary Society Newsletter (The Richard Aldington Newsletter). The bulk of the collection is correspondence, both to and from Gates, as well as photocopies of Aldington's own correspondences. Also included are writings by Aldington, Gates, and other Richard Aldington scholars.

There may be a number of correspondence duplications within other SCRC Aldington collections; i.e., Alister Kershaw Collection, Harry T. Moore Collection, and Eric Warman Collection, but undoubtedly some new documents are found in Gates' research.

Collection Historical Note

How the New Canterbury Literary Society Newsletter was formed: Norman Gates had long picked up on the so-called ‘C. L. S.’ Aldington’s ‘Canterbury Literary Society,’ an informal, mock society the ten (or so) members of which during the Thirties received dedicated copies of RA’s books; of Movietones in particular. There came a time when Norman found he was writing separate letters to the ten people who knew - or had shown an interest - in R. A. It was but a logical step to put together a duplicated sheet and distribute that as the New Canterbury Literary Society Newsletter. Volume 1, Number 1 was circulated on 1st August 1973 to Ann Bagnall, Miriam Benkovitz, Ruth Galloway, Frank Harrington, Alsiter Kershaw, Selwyn Kittredge, Harry T. Moore, Sydney Rosenthal and David Thatcher. Member number 10 of course was Norman T. Gates himself who, until he too moved on, was the sole survivor of that founding membership.

Biographical Note

Richard Aldington was born in Hampshire in 1882. Educated at Dover College and London University he founded the "Egotist journal "in 1913. He joined the British Army and served on the Western Front in 1916-1918 where he was badly gassed.

After the war Aldington published several volumes of poetry including "Images" 1910-1915 (1915), "Images of War" (1919), "A Fool in the Forest" (1925) and "A Dream in Luxembourg" (1930). His successful novel, "Death of a Hero", was a psychological study of a young officer in the First World War. It was during this time that Aldington began exchanging letters with Count Geoffrey Potocki de Montalk, a writer, scholar, private printer,  poet, and exiled Polish artistocrat.

Aldington also wrote controversial biographies of the "Duke of Wellington" (1946) and "D. H. Lawrence "(1950) and an autobiography, "Life for Life's Sake" (1940). Richard Aldington died in 1962.

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Accruals: Additional accruals up to 2006.

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 fro information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Acquisition Source: Purchased

Preferred Citation: [Item], Norman Gates collection of Richard Aldington, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Writings],
[Series 3: Miscellaneous Aldington-related items],
[Series 4: Print materials],

Series 3: Miscellaneous Aldington-related itemsAdd to your cart.
Box 11Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Inventories of Richard Aldington booksAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: The Richard Aldington Centenary Conference, July 5-8, 1992Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Richard Aldington Symposium, University of Reading, July 8-9, 1986Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Richard Aldington in Russia, including copies of his notes, 1962Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Miscellaneous information about Richard Aldington's short story, "Last Straw"Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Index to the New Canterbury Literary Society Notes: Volumes 1-20Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Various literary agencies, newspapers, libraries, and book sellersAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Richard Aldington entries in Dictionary of British Literary CharactersAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Transcript of tape recording with Arabella (Dorothy) Yorke, October 25, 1964Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Price lists of Richard Aldington booksAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Norman Gates' notes and documents seeking Richard Aldington letters and publications, Folder 1 of 2Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Norman Gates' notes and documents seeking Richard Aldington letters and publications, Folder 2 of 2Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Reviews of Richard Aldington: An Autobiography in Letters; other various reviewsAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Reviews of Charles Doyle's Richard Aldington: A BiographyAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: Photographs of No. 12 Bellair Terrace, St. Ives (do not know the significance of these)Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Two items: silhouette of Albert Edward Aldington, August 19, 1878, small postcard view of St. Margaret's Bay from Leas.Add to your cart.
Gifts of Alister Kershaw with letter of October 9, 1980

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Writings],
[Series 3: Miscellaneous Aldington-related items],
[Series 4: Print materials],

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