Fonds - Vera Brittain fonds

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Vera Brittain fonds

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  • 1900-1970 (Creation)

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Physical description

36.5 m of textual records, photographs, and realia 1 audio cassette

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Vera Brittain, writer, lecturer, pacifist, and feminist, was born on 29 December 1893 at Newcastle-under-Lyme. She went up to Somerville College, Oxford in 1914 but left to serve as a VAD in World War I. She returned to Oxford after the war where she became friends with Winifred Holtby, a budding novelist. She married George Catlin in 1925 and became the mother of two children. Her most well-known book is Testament of Youth (1933) about her experiences in World War I. During World War II she was a leading member of the Peace Pledge Union. She died in London on 29 March 1970.

Custodial history

First accrual was purchased on 8 November 1971 from Brittain’s estate through Bertram Rota. Second accrual was purchased in August 1979 from Bertram Rota. Third accrual was purchased from a Sotheby’s auction, 29-30 June, lots 346-7, through Bertram Rota. Fourth accrual was purchased in April 1986 from a Christies auction through Bertram Rota. Fifth accrual was purchased in March 1989 from Sotheran’s. Sixth accrual was acquired from Lady Balfour of Burleigh.

Scope and content

There have been six accruals: one main accrual, the first, and five smaller accruals.The first accrual has been arranged in the following series: A: Major Published and Unpublished Manuscripts B: Contributions to Books C: Juvenilia D: Journals and Diaries E: Scrapbooks and Albums F: Lectures G: Published Articles, Pamphlets, Book Reviews, and Letters to the Editor H: Published and Unpublished Articles, Book Reviews and Letters to the Editor I: Unpublished Articles, Book Reviews, and Letters to the Editor J: Incoming Correspondence, 1916-1965, arranged alphabetically. Note: The archivist has written the outgoing reply date on each letter. K: Outgoing Correspondence, arranged chronologically, 1929-1970 up to Box 16. Boxes 17-39 are arranged alphabetically first, and then chronologically, and consist of letters to family members and close friends. Correspondence to Edith Brittain. Other series: Photographs. News Clippings Realia: Edward Brittain scroll and medals.The following materials are not yet arranged: boxes of material in S.W. 83-5, 226 and 254. S.W. 254 contains two boxes of correspondence awaiting interfiling with the main correspondence series. There are a few documents in S.W. 261. There are some original documents in the master file. The audio cassette contains her speech about Winifred Holtby given at the Guildhall in Hull on 29 September 1960.Other accruals consist of: Second accrual: Television scripts for Testament of Youth. Third accrual: Correspondence to the Society of Authors. Fourth accrual: Photographs of the Brittain and Catlin families. Fifth accrual: Letter from Vera Brittain to George [Catlin], 8 March 1957. Sixth accrual: (16-1996) Memoir of Vera Brittain by her former daughter-in-law, Jennifer, Lady Balfour of Burleigh. Ts., 5 p.

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Further accruals are not expected.

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