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F R Leavis Collection, 1934 - 2016

Reference Code: GBR/0269/DCPP/LEA

Scope and Contents

Letters from F R Leavis to L. C. Knights, David Holbrook, Frank Bradbrook, C B Winder, R O C Winkler, A I Doyle, John Tasker, Geoffrey Walton, Canon Frank Telfer, Ronald Hayman, Robert Tudor Jones, Peter Coveney, Michael Yudkin and others (mainly Downing alumni). Also includes reading list suggestions, newspaper articles and photos, memoirs by former students and correspondence concerning donation.


  • Creation: 1934 - 2016


Conditions Governing Access

Most letters are open to researchers, but some closure periods apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright in Leavis letters resides with Leavis's literary executor, his son Dr Robin Leavis. (Prof. Ghan Singh, the other named literary executor, d.2009.) Copyright expires 2048.

Biographical / Historical

Frank Raymond Leavis (1895-1978) was Fellow at Downing 1936-62 and Honorary Fellow 1962-4. He became Director of Studies in English and one of the most influential literary critics of the 20th century. He was editor of the literary journal 'Scrutiny', 1932-1953, with his wife, Q. D. Leavis. He held a visiting professorship at York University after leaving Downing College, from c.1965-1976.


c. 750 item(s) (c. 750 letters) : Paper

c. 12 archive box(es) (c. 10 boxes)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

Detailed finding aid available to visiting researchers on request.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These letters have all been donated by their respective recipients or their relatives.

Related Materials

DCHR/1/2/FRL, DCPP/QDL and various letters from both FR Leavis and QD Leavis in the papers of R Gordon Cox (DCPP/COX) and Harold Mason (DCPP/MAS). See also DCPP/KNI for scholarship examination papers shared with L. C. Knights. Emmanuel College and Girton College Archives also hold collections of papers relating to, and created by, F. R. and Q. D. Leavis.


Various biographies including Ian Mackillop, 'FR Leavis: A life in criticism' published in 1995 by Allen Lane and The Penguin Press.


Leavis, Frank Raymond (1895-1978)

Repository Details

Part of the Downing College Repository

Downing College Archive
Downing College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 1DQ United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 762905