Catalogue description H J Massingham Collection

This record is held by Museum of English Rural Life

Details of D MASM
Reference: D MASM
Title: H J Massingham Collection



List compiled April 1997.

Date: 1918 - 1957

D MASM/A1-5 Biographical and personal information


D MASM/B1-2 Correspondence


D MASM/C1-3 Research material


D MASM/D1-5 Reference material


D MASM/E1-5 Published works


D MASM/F1-7 Draft copies of work


D MASM/H1-12 Photographs

Held by: Museum of English Rural Life, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Massingham, H J, 1888-1952, journalist

Physical description: 39 Documents
Immediate source of acquisition:

Accession no: DX225


The records were deposited in April 1997 as a gift by Buckinghamshire County Museum, Aylesbury.

Publication note:

'The Wisdom of the Fields', 1945.


'Where Man Belongs', 1946.


'A Mirror of England: An Anthology of the writings of H.J. Massingham', (edited by E. Abelson), 1988.

  • Rural sociology
  • Journalism
Administrative / biographical background:

Harold John Massingham was born in 1888 and spent his early life in London where he received a conventional middle class education at Westminster School. This was followed by Queen's College Oxford at which he first read history, later transferring to English literature but he failed to graduate due to illness.


Massingham returned to London to follow a career in journalism where he worked for the 'Morning Leader', 'National Press Agency', and the 'Athenaeum' 1912-14. He made weekly contributions to the 'Nation' and 'Athenaeum' 1916-24. He also contributed to the 'Field' 1938-51 and the 'Spectator' in 1951.


As a precursor to the modern ecological movement and a major contributor to English rural literature he encompassed all facets of English rural life from pre-history to the twentieth century. Massingham's interests in literature, art, ornithology, archaeology, anthropology, geology, topography, agricultural and rural history were all brought to bear on his subject of England and it's countryside. He died in 1952.

Link to NRA Record:

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