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Blunden, Edmund Charles, 1896-1974 (poet)

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1896 - 1974

Biography

Edmund Blunden was born in London in 1896, the eldest of nine children. The family moved to Yalding in Kent in 1900 and the rural life and countryside he encountered there inspired much of Blunden's writing throughout his life. He was educated at the local grammar school and Christ's Hospital School in Horsham. In 1915 Blunden was due to go up to Oxford to read Classics, but, against the backdrop of the First World War, he volunteered for the army. He spent two years on the front line in France, winning the Military Cross. In 1918 Blunden met and married Mary Daines. A year later tragedy afflicted the marriage with the death of their new born daughter. The death of the child, together with the pain and suffering Blunden witnessed during the war, haunted him for the rest of his life. In 1919 Blunden took up his place at Oxford. However, literary interests and financial considerations curtailed his studies. He found work on the journal The Athenaeum (later The Nation) and also published his own poems, winning the Hawthornden Prize for poetry in 1922. He also published edited works of other poets, notably John Clare. Blunden's success brought him into contact with many well known literary figures, including Siegfried Sassoon, Walter de la Mere, Thomas Hardy and Robert Graves. Sassoon would remain a close friend until his death. In 1924 Blunden accepted the post of Professor of English at Tokyo University, where he remained for three years. His wife did not accompany him and their relationship deteriorated, eventually leading to divorce in 1931. Returning to England Blunden once again worked for The Nation until 1931 when he took up a fellowship and lectureship at Merton College, Oxford, where he remained until 1944. He continued to publish both poems and prose, including Undertones of War, an account of his war experiences, and other literary works. In 1933 Blunden married Sylva Norman, a novelist and critic who wrote for The Nation. However, in 1939 he began an affair with one of students, Claire Poynting, whom he eventually married in 1945. They had four daughters, the first being born in 1946. In 1947 Blunden accepted the post of cultural advisor to the UK liaison mission in Japan, staying until 1950. His return to the UK was short-lived, returning to the Far East in 1953 to take up the Chair in English at Hong Kong University. Whilst there, Blunden made two trips to China, both times meeting the Chinese premier Chou en Lai. During his time in Hong Kong, Blunden's published output did not diminish, his last volume of poetry appearing in 1962. In 1964 Blunden retired and moved back to Long Melford, Suffolk. Two years later he reluctantly stood for election to Professor of Poetry at Oxford, which he won, but stepped down in 1968 due to ill health. Blunden died in 1974. Blunden's contribution to literature was recognised in 1956 with the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry and he was made a companion of the Royal Society of Literature in 1962. Phyllis Burley was a friend.

Found in 44 Collections and/or Records:

  • 1
  • 2
 Item

Carbon copy of a Deed of Covenant from Siegfried Sassoon to Mrs Theresa Sassoon, 8 Sep. 1931

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9852/5/3
Scope and Contents

Granting an annual sum of £450. to Mrs Sassoon; witnessed by Edmund Blunden.

Dates: 8 Sep. 1931
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: 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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Item

Carbon copy of Siegfried Sassoon's will, 15 Mar. 1929 (with codicil dated 20 May 1933)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9852/5/2
Scope and Contents

Includes later deletions and a codicil in Sassoon's hand. Sassoon bequeathed his books and manuscripts to Edmund Blunden, and his personal possessions to his mother, with monetary payments to be made to Blunden, Glen Byam Shaw, Nellie Burton and Edith Sitwell, among others. Annuities were originally to be made to Robert Graves and to his servant Mrs Dengel, but both are excised.

Dates: 15 Mar. 1929 (with codicil dated 20 May 1933)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: 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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Correspondence from Edmund Blunden, 16 July 1930-2 Jan. 1946 (Circa)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9251/B/47-62
Scope and Contents From the Fonds: The correspondence consists of c.1100 letters, 1926-61, with the letters after 1959 addressed to Kendon's widow. The correspondents include Lascelles Abercrombie (1 letter, 1931); Ernest Altounyan (surgeon, Aleppo) (17, 1936-51); John Arlott (3, 1944); John Armitage (4, 1940-51); Henry Baerlein (3, 1945-56); Sir Ernest Barker (2, 1948-55); H.E. Bates (1, 1941); Clifford Bax (1, 1948); Adrian H. Bell (11, 1940-47); Ernest A. Benians (8, 1948); Anthony Bertram (2, 1948); Edmund Blunden (16,...
Dates: 16 July 1930-2 Jan. 1946 (Circa)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: 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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Correspondents B, 1933-1963

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8905/10/B
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Hassall died intestate. His working papers were taken to the Royal Society of Literature by his assistant Gillian Paterson, who arranged and (presumably) listed them. They were bought by CUL from Bloomsbury Book Auctions in 1992. They were housed in paper box files 1 25 and cartons A D, as listed. They have now been re boxed, in 28 boxes and one packet, which has involved some reorganisation of the material and hence some rearrangement and re numbering of the original list.

Dates: 1933-1963
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: 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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Edmund Blunden: Letters to Phyllis Burley

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9859
Scope and Contents

Letters from Edmund Blunden to Phyllis Burley, with related correspondence and other items.

Dates: 1938-1980
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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Edmund Blunden: letters to Siegfried Sassoon and Dennis Silk

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10384
Scope and Contents

Ten letters from Edmund Blunden to Siegfried Sassoon, with one from Blunden to Dennis Silk and one from Clare Ross to Sassoon.

Dates: 1962-1966
 Item

Edmund Blunden, The Times Literary Supplement, The times Publishing Company Ltd., Printing House Square, London, EC 4, 11 May 1953

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8905/10/B/123
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Hassall died intestate. His working papers were taken to the Royal Society of Literature by his assistant Gillian Paterson, who arranged and (presumably) listed them. They were bought by CUL from Bloomsbury Book Auctions in 1992. They were housed in paper box files 1 25 and cartons A D, as listed. They have now been re boxed, in 28 boxes and one packet, which has involved some reorganisation of the material and hence some rearrangement and re numbering of the original list.

Dates: 11 May 1953
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: 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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Item

Edmund Blunden, The Times Literary Supplement, The times Publishing Company Ltd., Printing House Square, London, EC 4, 22 Jun 1953

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8905/10/B/124
Scope and Contents

[card]

Dates: 22 Jun 1953
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: 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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Edmund Blunden: Two poems

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8523
Scope and Contents

'Fresh thought on an old poem' and 'To Diana', holograph poems signed by Edmund Blunden.

Dates: 1950 (Circa)
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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Item

from Edmund Blunden, 4 May 1953

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8905/10/B/122
Scope and Contents

[note]

Dates: 4 May 1953
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: 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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Item

from Edmund Blunden, 9 Woodstock Close, Oxford, 2 May 1937

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8905/10/B/116
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Hassall died intestate. His working papers were taken to the Royal Society of Literature by his assistant Gillian Paterson, who arranged and (presumably) listed them. They were bought by CUL from Bloomsbury Book Auctions in 1992. They were housed in paper box files 1 25 and cartons A D, as listed. They have now been re boxed, in 28 boxes and one packet, which has involved some reorganisation of the material and hence some rearrangement and re numbering of the original list.

Dates: 2 May 1937
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: 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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Item

from Edmund Blunden, 19 Woodstock Close, Oxford, 16 June 1935

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8905/10/B/114
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Hassall died intestate. His working papers were taken to the Royal Society of Literature by his assistant Gillian Paterson, who arranged and (presumably) listed them. They were bought by CUL from Bloomsbury Book Auctions in 1992. They were housed in paper box files 1 25 and cartons A D, as listed. They have now been re boxed, in 28 boxes and one packet, which has involved some reorganisation of the material and hence some rearrangement and re numbering of the original list.

Dates: 16 June 1935
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: 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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Item

from Edmund Blunden, 67 Pembury Road, Tonbridge, 8 Dec 1944

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8905/10/B/118
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Hassall died intestate. His working papers were taken to the Royal Society of Literature by his assistant Gillian Paterson, who arranged and (presumably) listed them. They were bought by CUL from Bloomsbury Book Auctions in 1992. They were housed in paper box files 1 25 and cartons A D, as listed. They have now been re boxed, in 28 boxes and one packet, which has involved some reorganisation of the material and hence some rearrangement and re numbering of the original list.

Dates: 8 Dec 1944
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: 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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Item

from Edmund Blunden, 67 Pembury Road, Tonbridge, 16 May 1945

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8905/10/B/119
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Hassall died intestate. His working papers were taken to the Royal Society of Literature by his assistant Gillian Paterson, who arranged and (presumably) listed them. They were bought by CUL from Bloomsbury Book Auctions in 1992. They were housed in paper box files 1 25 and cartons A D, as listed. They have now been re boxed, in 28 boxes and one packet, which has involved some reorganisation of the material and hence some rearrangement and re numbering of the original list.

Dates: 16 May 1945
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: 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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Item

from Edmund Blunden, Merton College, Oxford, 2 May 1933

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8905/10/B/112
Scope and Contents

[letter to Hassall's father John Hassall (1868-1948), poster designer]

Dates: 2 May 1933
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: 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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Item

from Edmund Blunden, Merton College, Oxford, 26 Oct 1933

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8905/10/B/113
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Hassall died intestate. His working papers were taken to the Royal Society of Literature by his assistant Gillian Paterson, who arranged and (presumably) listed them. They were bought by CUL from Bloomsbury Book Auctions in 1992. They were housed in paper box files 1 25 and cartons A D, as listed. They have now been re boxed, in 28 boxes and one packet, which has involved some reorganisation of the material and hence some rearrangement and re numbering of the original list.

Dates: 26 Oct 1933
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: 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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Item

from Edmund Blunden, Merton College, Oxford, 10 Oct 1936

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8905/10/B/115
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Hassall died intestate. His working papers were taken to the Royal Society of Literature by his assistant Gillian Paterson, who arranged and (presumably) listed them. They were bought by CUL from Bloomsbury Book Auctions in 1992. They were housed in paper box files 1 25 and cartons A D, as listed. They have now been re boxed, in 28 boxes and one packet, which has involved some reorganisation of the material and hence some rearrangement and re numbering of the original list.

Dates: 10 Oct 1936
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: 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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Item

from Edmund Blunden, Merton College, Oxford, 31 Jan 1938

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8905/10/B/117
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Hassall died intestate. His working papers were taken to the Royal Society of Literature by his assistant Gillian Paterson, who arranged and (presumably) listed them. They were bought by CUL from Bloomsbury Book Auctions in 1992. They were housed in paper box files 1 25 and cartons A D, as listed. They have now been re boxed, in 28 boxes and one packet, which has involved some reorganisation of the material and hence some rearrangement and re numbering of the original list.

Dates: 31 Jan 1938
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: 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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Item

from Edmund Blunden, Tokyo, c/o Foreign Office, London, SW 1, 15 Jun 1949

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8905/10/B/120
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Hassall died intestate. His working papers were taken to the Royal Society of Literature by his assistant Gillian Paterson, who arranged and (presumably) listed them. They were bought by CUL from Bloomsbury Book Auctions in 1992. They were housed in paper box files 1 25 and cartons A D, as listed. They have now been re boxed, in 28 boxes and one packet, which has involved some reorganisation of the material and hence some rearrangement and re numbering of the original list.

Dates: 15 Jun 1949
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: 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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Item

from Edmund Blunden, Tokyo, c/o Foreign Office, London, SW 1, 10 Feb 1950

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8905/10/B/121
Scope and Contents

[card]

Dates: 10 Feb 1950
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: 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 mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Journal, 8 Jan. 1921-11 July 1922 (with later annotations dated 1926, 1949 & 1967)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9852/1/17
Scope and Contents The volume is a plain notebook titled 'Journal 1921', written while living at 54 Tufton Street. It is entirely comprised of diary entries in an unusually fair hand together with many later annotations and expurgated sections. It includes: - quotations from Conrad, Sir J. Davies, Pope, Bertrand Russell, Goethe and Stendhal: /1b (r)-1b(v). - list of social engagements: /7r, 8r. - mention of the suicide of young Holloway at Nellie Burton's...
Dates: 8 Jan. 1921-11 July 1922 (with later annotations dated 1926, 1949 & 1967)
Conditions Governing Access: This notebook has been digitised and can be viewed in full on the Cambridge Digital Library at http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/MS-ADD-09852-00001-00017/1. The original item is currently unavailable for consultation due to its poor physical condition.
 File

Journal, 27 Dec. 1921-13 July 1922 (diary entries from 21 Jan. 1922)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9852/1/18
Scope and Contents The volume is a ruled notebook marked '1922 I' and mostly comprises diary entries, notes from Sassoon's reading; and reflective passages on a variety of subjects. Diary entries include frequent mention of horse racing, and /51v-64r. entries concerning Thomas Hardy and visits to Max Gate. It also includes drafts of poetry: /2v-3r. 'On Beauty'; /4r-4v. 'Visiting Blenheim Palace'; /5r. 'Ducal Survival'; /6r-7r. 'A Ducal Insignificance', later called 'A Ducal Anterior'; /8r-10r....
Dates: 27 Dec. 1921-13 July 1922 (diary entries from 21 Jan. 1922)
Conditions Governing Access: This notebook has been digitised and can be viewed in full on the Cambridge Digital Library at http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/MS-ADD-09852-00001-00018/1. The original item is currently unavailable for consultation due to its poor physical condition.
 File

Journal, 13 Dec. 1926-11 Mar. 1927 (with some later annotations and scoring out in Siegfried Sassoon's hand)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9852/1/24
Scope and Contents The volume is a ruled notebook marked '1926-27-I' and mostly comprises diary entries. These include passages on: /27r. showing American publisher Crosby Gaige the manuscript of [Wilfred] Owen's poems; /34r-34v. a visit from Robert Graves; /43v-44r. 'My Landlord' (about Harold Speed); /44v-45v. anecdotes about poets W.B. Yeats and Wordsworth told to him by Edmund Gosse; /54v-67r. visits to Ruth and Henry Head and to Thomas Hardy at Max Gate; /79r. reflections on his influence on Wilfred...
Dates: 13 Dec. 1926-11 Mar. 1927 (with some later annotations and scoring out in Siegfried Sassoon's hand)
Conditions Governing Access: This notebook has been digitised and can be viewed in full on the Cambridge Digital Library at http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/MS-ADD-09852-00001-00024/1. The original item is currently unavailable for consultation due to its poor physical condition.
 File

Journal, 12 Mar. 1927-28 Sep. 1927

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9852/1/25
Scope and Contents The volume is a ruled notebook marked '1927-II' and mostly comprises diary entries. These include passages on: /48r. meeting Stephen Tennant; /55r-56r, /59v-63r. Robert Graves; /69r-73v. meeting Ellen Terry; /81r-124r. Sassoon's trip to Belgium, France, Austria and Germany with Frankie Schuster, Glen Byam Shaw, John Philbin and Anzie Wylde, with reminiscences about the Great War; and passages relating to the Sitwells, Edmund Blunden, and Edmund Gosse, among others. The journal...
Dates: 12 Mar. 1927-28 Sep. 1927
Conditions Governing Access: This notebook and its enclosures have been digitised and can be viewed in full on the Cambridge Digital Library at http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/MS-ADD-09852-00001-00025/1. The original items are currently unavailable for consultation due to their poor physical condition.
 File

Journal, 29 Sep. 1927-7 Jan. 1928 (with inserted photographs dating 1926-1927)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9852/1/26
Scope and Contents The volume is a ruled notebook marked '1927-III' and mostly comprises diary entries (many concern Glen Byam Shaw and Stephen Tennant). It also includes: - prose passages: /27v-30r. 'A letter to Stephen which he will never read'; /74v-76r. 'An example of the way Stephen is discussed and interpreted by the 'Wilsford Party''; /106r-106v. 'Stephen's 'Nannie''. - a list of number of words written: /2r. - a list of persons 'Copies of Heart's Journey...
Dates: 29 Sep. 1927-7 Jan. 1928 (with inserted photographs dating 1926-1927)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Series: The First World War journals and some post-war journals (MSS Add.9852/1/4-25 and 32) are unavailable for consultation due to their poor physical condition. Digital copies of these items are provided in the Sassoon Journals section of the Cambridge Digital Library, https://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/collections/sassoon/1. The other journals are available for consultation.
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