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Goodland, John Harold, 1919-1978 (poet and environmental campaigner)



  • Existence: 1919 - 1978


John Goodland was born in North Devon in 1919, the son of a prosperous coal merchant. He came up to King's College, Cambridge in 1937 to read first Economics and then Moral Sciences. Whilst at Cambridge he co-founded and edited Seven, a literary magazine, with Nicholas Moore, the son of philosopher G.E. Moore. Its contributors included Dylan Thomas, Lawrence Durrell, Boris Pasternak and Wallace Stevens. It also became the unofficial organ of the Apocalyptic Movement, a loose grouping of poets who espoused notions of Romanticism and mythology as a reaction against the political poetry much in evidence in the 1930s. Goodland was involved in shaping the philosophical direction of the group rather than writing poetry. At the outbreak of the War Goodland briefly considered conscientious objection before being drafted into the Royal Army Medical Corps in December 1939. He was sent to France with the British Expeditionary Force and was evacuated back to England in May 1940. He was then transferred to the Intelligence Corps where he spent most of his time on training duties. After D-Day Goodland spent time in France and the Low Countries in a Field Security unit. At the end of the War, after serving as Aide de Camp to the German Liaison Officer, General Gareis, Goodland gained a commission and was posted to the Hamburg Intelligence Office. He was involved in the de-Nazification process, fostering German youth organisations and working with German business groups. In the early 1950s Goodland returned to Devon to take up a position in the family firm. In 1960 he married Eleanor Richards. A burgeoning interest in conservation led Goodland to a seat on the first committee of the Exmoor Society and a brief Chairmanship of the Conservation Society. He also edited the Exmoor Review. Goodland died in 1978.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


Papers of J. H. Goodland

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9704
Scope and Contents

Includes notebooks and diaries, correspondence with family and friends, miscellaneous literary papers and items concerning JHG's time spent in the army security forces both in England and Germany during and after the War.

Dates: 1935-1974
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (