This record is held by Cambridge University Library: Department of Manuscripts and University Archives

Details of Add.MS.8651
Reference: Add.MS.8651

The collection of letters to Oliver Stonor under his pen-name of Morchard Bishop, together with a few press cuttings, was bought from Bertram Rota, London, 1986. The collection consists of:


- 83 letters from Frank Swinnerton (1884-1982) to Morchard Bishop; 23 February 1951 to 22 November 1980.


- 2 letters [34/35] from Frank Swinnerton to Mrs J Lewis, sent by her to Morchard Bishop; 24 February 1954.


- 4 letters [85-88] from Olivia Swinnerton to Morchard Bishop; 21 October 1982 to 7 February 1983.


- various press cuttings and copies of press cuttings.

Date: 1951 - 1981

The letters and cuttings are in chronological order; and the letters have been numbered 1-88 in pencil, probably by Bishop, who also annotated them.


FS = Frank Swinnerton


MB = Morchard Bishop


OS = Olivia Swinnerton


JL - Mrs J Lewis


Numbers given refer to the pencilled numbers on each letter.


All letters headed "Old Tokefield, Cranleigh, Surrey."

Held by: Cambridge University Library: Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Swinnerton, Frank, 1884-1982, author

Physical description: 96 items
Administrative / biographical background:

The writers


Frank Swinnerton (1884 - 1982), was born in Wood Green, London, on 12 August 1884. He left school at 14, and became a clerk at J.M. Dent, the publishers. He then became a reader at Chatto and Windus, where in 1919 he discovered Daisy Ashford's The Young Visiters in a drawer. From there he became a full time novelist, settling in the village of Cranleigh, Surrey.


He wrote nearly 50 books, from The Merry Heart (1909) to Arnold Bennett: A Last Word (1978). His most famous books were Nocturne (1917) and The Georgian Literary Scene (1935). He knew many contemporary writers and publishers, and was especially close to Arnold Bennett, H.G. Wells and Martin Secker. He was closely involved with the journal John O'London's Weekly, writing "Letters from Gog to Magog"; and also wrote reviews for many publications, as well as making some radio broadcasts. He was President of the Royal Literary Fund between 1962 and 1966. In his later years he achieved a degree of popular notoriety as the last link with the Bloomsbury group.


He was married to Mary Dorothy Bennett, and had one daughter, Olivia.


Frank Swinnerton sold his collected correspondence to the University of Arkansas in 1963.


Oliver Stonor, who wrote under the name of Morchard Bishop, collaborated with Frank Swinnerton on John O'London's Weekly, and frequently turned to Swinnerton for advice on his own relatively unsuccessful literary career. He wrote a number of books, the most successful of which was Blake's Hayley (1951).

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