University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Leslie Daiken:

An Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Daiken, Leslie, 1912-1964
Title: Leslie Daiken Papers
Dates: 1935-1963
Abstract: The collection documents the author's early career as a poet and his later career as an authority on children's customs, toys, games, and nursery rhymes.
Identification TXRC94-A17
Extent: 4 boxes, 8 galley folders, 1 oversize folder (1.75 linear feet)
Language: English.
Repository: Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Leslie Daiken, author and educator, was born in Dublin in 1912. He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, and lived thereafter in London. Daiken's early poetry and short fiction appeared in periodicals and anthologies such as Choice, The Dublin Magazine, The New English Weekly, Goodbye, Twilight,and New Irish Poetry. In 1944 Daiken compiled They Go, the Irish, an anthology in which contributors attempted to evoke the spirit of the Irish war effort. Daiken published a monograph of his own verse, Signatures of All Things, the following year.

After these literary endeavors, Daiken turned to the study of children's customs, games, nursery rhymes and toys. His post-graduate thesis was titled “A Comparative Study of Nursery Literature” (1943). Daiken also wrote Children's Games Throughout the Year (1949), Children's Toys Throughout the Ages (1953), Let Us Play in Israel (1950), Teaching Through Play (1954), The Lullaby Book (1959), Out Goes She! (1963), and World of Toys (1963). In “Boys and Girls Come Out to Play,” “Sticks and Stones,” “The English Nursery Rhyme,” “The Feast of St. Stephen” and “Tinsel, Holly and Tinklebell,” Daiken explored the same subjects for radio and television. “Three Outcasts,” a radio play, dramatizes the stereotypes found in children's rhyme; another radio play, “The Circular Road,” explores a child's bereavement in the Jewish-Irish community. London Pleasures for Young People was written as a children's guidebook. His film, One Potato, Two Potato, which documents contemporary children's street rhyme, won an award at the 1958 Festival mondial du film in Brussels. Inspired by his interest in the history of toys, Daiken also founded the Toy Museum of Britain.

Leslie Daiken died in 1964.

Scope and Contents

The papers of Leslie Daiken, 1935-1963, document his early career as a poet and his later career as an authority on children's customs, toys, games, and nursery rhymes. The collection has been arranged into two series, Correspondence, 1936-1963 (0.5 boxes) and Works, 1935-1963 (3.5 boxes). The Correspondence series reflects Daiken's and his circle's literary and political concerns as well as the character of his friendships. The Works series consists of Daiken's manuscripts for his early book of verse and his later books, articles, radio and television productions, and documentary film.



Open for research

Index Terms

Beckett, Samuel
Clarke, Austin
Cusack, Cyril
Heath-Stubbs, John Francis Alexander
Henderson, Wyn
Lewis, Alun
MacDiarmid, Hugh
Milne, Ewart
O'Casey, Sean
O'Sullivan, Seumas
Rudmose-Brown, Thomas B.
Salkeld, Blanaid
Saunders, Roy
Thomas, Caitlin
Thomas, Dylan
Ussher, Arland
Williams, William Carlos
Authors, Irish
Toys, History
Games, History
Nursery rhymes
Document Types
First drafts
Galley proofs

Administrative Information


Purchases, 1960, 1963 (R1637)

Processed by

Robert Kendrick, 1994

Leslie Daiken Papers--Index of Correspondents

  • Abarnabel, Bernard--4.1
  • Ahern, Timothy--2.7
  • Armstrong, Edward Allworthy--2.7
  • Aylmer, Ursula A. (Oxford University Press)--2.4
  • Barker, S.--1.15
  • Batsford, Brian (B.T. Batsford Ltd.)--1.15
  • Batson, Eric J. (Bernard Shaw Society)--1.3
  • Beachcroft, Thomas Owen, 1902- --1.5
  • Beary, John--1.3
  • Beckett, Samuel, 1906- --1.1
  • Berlyn, O. J.--3.11
  • Blunden, Edmund, 1896-1974 (Times Literary Supplement)--1.5
  • Bobsz, T. M.--1.15
  • Brady, George M.--4.1
  • Brooks, J. G.--1.15
  • Campbell, Flann, 1919- --4.1
  • Clarke, Austin, 1896-1974--1.2
  • Clarke, Mary--1.15
  • Clarke, Nora--1.2
  • Clear, Richard ( Development, Agriculture and Industry)--1.5
  • Couch, William T. (P. F. Collier & Son)--2.2
  • Craker, Trevor (Thames and Hudson)--3.3
  • Curtis-Brown, Spencer (Curtis Brown Ltd.)--3.11
  • Cusack, Cyril, 1910- --1.3
  • Cusack, Maureen--1.3
  • Daiken, Lilyan--1.15, 4.1
  • Davin, W. K., Mrs (Oxford University Press)--2.4
  • Delcorde, Jacques (Festival mondial du film et des beaux-arts)--3.7
  • Devas, Nicolette--1.11
  • Dowling, M. (Irish Literary Society)--1.15
  • Down, Prudence (B. T. Batsford Ltd.)--1.15
  • Eaton, Faith--4.12
  • Elton, Arthur--3.7
  • Erwood, P. M. Elliston (The Lambarde Press)--4.12
  • Fery, E.--1.15
  • Garrett, Stephen (Toy Museum of Britain)--2.4
  • Gibson, Strickland, 1877-1958--1.15
  • Green, Michael (British Film Institute)--3.7
  • Harris, Katharine M. (Committee on Ulster Folklife and Traditions)--2.7
  • Heath-Stubbs, John Francis Alexander, 1918- --1.5
  • Hecht, David (P. F. Collier & Son Corporation)--2.2
  • Henderson, Wyn--1.11
  • Hill, David ( Esquire)--4.7
  • Holland, R. H. Code (Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons Limited)--3.11
  • Huntley, John (British Film Institute)--3.7
  • Jaques, Faith--3.11
  • John, S. T. H. (Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons Limited)--3.11
  • Johnston, Denis, 1901- --4.1
  • Kavanagh, Patrick, 1904- 1967--1.5
  • Keates, John S. (Penguin (Firm))--1.3
  • Killingback, H. W. (Thames and Hudson)--3.3
  • Le Cras, T. (Thomas)--3.11
  • Lewis, Alun, 1915-1944--1.5
  • Louyet, P. (Festival mondial du film et des beaux-arts)--3.7
  • Lucarelli, Francis (B. T. Batsford Ltd.)--1.15
  • MacCarthy, Desmond, 1877-1952--3.9
  • McCrae, H. M. (Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons Limited)--3.11
  • MacDiarmid, Hugh, 1892- --1.5
  • MacDonagh, Donagh, 1912-1968--1.3
  • Maguinness, Stuart--1.15
  • McGuire, Violet--4.1
  • McHale, R. S.--1.19
  • MacMahon, Bryan, 1909- --1.5
  • Michaux, Georges (Festival mondial du film et des beaux-arts)--3.7
  • Miller, A. E.--1.15
  • Miller, Liam (Dolmen Press)--3.8
  • Miller, M. (L. Rees & Co. Ltd.)--2.5
  • Milne, Ewart, 1903- --1.4, 4.1
  • Milne, Thelma--1.4
  • Montgomery, B. L.--4.1
  • Nixon, Ursula A. (Oxford University Press)--2.4
  • O'Brien, William (Irish Transport & General Workers' Union)--1.5
  • O'Casey, Sean, 1880-1964--1.6, 3.9, 4.1
  • O'Hegarty, P. S. (Patrick Sarsfield), 1879-1955--1.5
  • Orient Line--1.11
  • O'Sullivan, Seumas, 1879-1958--1.7, 1.15
  • Panting, Anthony--2.4
  • Petter, Helen Mary (Oxford University Press)--2.4
  • Phelan, Jim, 1895-1966--4.1
  • Pocock, A. T. G. (Oxford University Press)--2.4
  • Poke, Greville ( Everybody's)--2.7
  • Pollinger, Laurence (Pearn, Pollinger & Higham, Ltd.)--4.1
  • Quinn, Owen--1.5
  • Rainbird, G. M. (Rainbird, McLean Ltd.)--2.3
  • Ramsey, L. G. G. ( The Connoisseur)--2.3
  • Reed, Stanley (British Film Institute)--3.7
  • Rees, Frank L. (L. Rees & Co. Ltd.)--2.5
  • Reeves, James--1.5
  • Rodgers, W. R. (William Robert), 1909-1969--1.5
  • Rowley, Alec, 1892-1958--1.15
  • Rudmose-Brown, Thomas B.--1.8
  • Salkeld, Blanaid--1.9, 1.15
  • Salkeld, Cecil Ffrench--1.9
  • Salkeld, Irma--1.9
  • Sansom, William, 1912- --3.6
  • Saunders, Roy--1.10
  • Schatzky, K. T.--1.15
  • Scott, Eileen F.--2.7
  • Shore, Donald (B. T. Batsford Ltd.)--1.15
  • Simmons, H. Richard ( Games & Toys)--4.12
  • Spira, Joy (Rainbird, McLean Ltd.)--2.3
  • Stanford, William Bedell--1.7, 1.15
  • Staples, A. V. (British Broadcasting Corporation)--2.7
  • Starkey, Estella F.--1.7
  • Symons, Joanne (British Broadcasting Corporation)--4.7
  • Thirifays, A. (Festival mondial du film et des beaux-arts)--3.7
  • Thomas, Aeronwy--1.11
  • Thomas, Caitlin--1.11
  • Thomas, Dylan, 1914-1953--1.11
  • Thomas, Llewelyn--1.11
  • Thomson, David (British Broadcasting Corporation)--2.7, 4.1
  • Ussher, Arland--1.12
  • Wakeham, Elsie (British Broadcasting Corporation)--2.7
  • Walsh, Maurice, 1879-1964--1.5
  • Watson, Ron (Dolmen Press)--3.8
  • Watts, G. Goddard--3.3
  • Whysall, W. W. (Jarrold & Sons Ltd.)--1.15
  • Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963--1.5, 3.9
  • Willoughby, Rosamond--1.3

Container List

Series I. Correspondence, 1936-1963
(0.5 boxes)

The Correspondence series includes primarily incoming correspondence arranged alphabetically by correspondent. One folder of material from correspondents represented by only one letter is also arranged alphabetically at the end of the series. Among the significant correspondents are Samuel Beckett, Austin Clarke, Cyril Cusack, J.F.A. Heath-Stubbs, Wyn Henderson, Alun Lewis, Hugh MacDiarmid, Ewart Milne, Sean O'Casey, Seumas O'Sullivan, Thomas B. Rudmose-Brown, Blanaid Salkeld, Roy Saunders, Caitlin Thomas, Arland Ussher, and William Carlos Williams. While the correspondence touches on Daiken's early editorial endeavors, the Irish political situation, the formation of modern Israel, and the various concerns of the writer, the bulk is of a more personal nature. Some of Caitlin Thomas's correspondence is in Italian; also among her correspondence are two holograph poems by her husband, Dylan Thomas.
box folder
1 1 Beckett, Samuel, 1957-59
2 Clarke, Austin, 1938-57, nd
3 Cusack, Cyril, 1943-59, nd
4 Milne, Ewart, 1946-59, nd
5 O'Casey, Sean, 1943-45
6 O'Sullivan, Seumas, 1943-58, nd
7 Rudmose-Brown, Thomas B., 1939-41, nd
8 Salkeld, Blanaid, 1952-58
9 Saunders, Roy, 1953-54, nd
10 Thomas, Caitlin, 1954-57, nd
11 Ussher, Arland, 1958-59
12 Miscellaneous, 1936-59

Series II. Works, 1935-1963
(3.5 boxes, 8 galley folders, 1 oversize folder)

Manuscripts of Leslie Daiken's work cover his entire career from the early poems of Signatures of All Things to his final published work, World of Toys. The bulk of the papers, however, consists of his work on children's customs, games, toys, and nursery rhymes. There are prospectuses, holograph and typed notes, typed drafts, production scripts, shooting scripts, and galleys and page proofs, some corrected by Daiken himself.
Most of Daiken's published and unpublished work is represented here in some form. Among his published works represented in the collection are Children's Games Throughout the Year, Children's Toys Throughout the Ages, London Pleasures for Young People, The Lullaby Book, One Potato, Two Potato, Out Goes She!, Signatures of All Things, Teaching Through Play, They Go, The Irish, World of Toys, and various articles on dolls. His unpublished work represented here includes “The Circular Road,” “The English Nursery Rhyme,” “The Feast of St. Stephen,” “For the Children,” “Sticks and Stones,” “Three Outcasts,” and “Tinsel, Holly and Tinklebell.”
The manuscripts are arranged alphabetically by title. Correspondence related to individual works are filed at the end of each work's folders, as Daiken kept it. The genre and the date of publication or production have been supplied in square brackets in the folder list.
Additional Daiken material may be found in the collections of Terence Ian Fytton Armstrong, Constantine Fitzgibbon, John Lehmann, and Sean O'Casey.
box folder
1 13 Boys and Girls Come Out to Play [radio program, nd], typescript, nd
Children's Games Throughout the Year [book, 1949]
box folder
1 14 Holograph working notes, nd
15 Correspondence, 1947-49, prospectus, and invitation to book “christening”
Children's Toys Throughout the Ages [book, 1953]
box folder
1 16 Prospectus, and corrected typescript, nd
17-19 Final corrected typescript, nd, and correspondence, 1953
20 Page proofs, nd
The Circular Road [radio program, 1959]
box folder
2 1 Typescripts titled The Green Atonement and All Our Yesterdays, nd; notes; typescript titled The Circular Road, nd; and production script signed by the author and cast, [1959]
2 “Doll” [article for Collier's Encyclopedia, 1959], typescript, nd, and correspondence, 1958-59
3 “Dolls and Dolls' Houses” [article for Companion to the Connoisseur Concise Encyclopaedia of Antiques, 1954]
Correspondence, 1954, and “Notes for authors,” nd
Galleys--removed to Galley files
box folder
2 4 “Dolls and Dolls' Houses” [article for the Oxford Junior Encyclopedia, 1955], correspondence, 1953-54
5 “Dolls Past and Present” [segment for television program, Family Affairs, 1956], notes and corrected typescript, nd; and correspondence, 1956
6 The English Nursery Rhyme [radio program, nd], typescript, nd
7 The Feast of St. Stephen [radio program, 1958], notes and typescript, nd; final corrected typescript, [1958]; and correspondence, 1947-59
8 For the Children [TV program, nd], corrected shooting script, nd
London Pleasures for Young People [book, 1957]
box folder
2 9 Typescript, nd
10-11 Corrected typescript, nd
box folder
3 1-2 Corrected typescript, nd
3 Correspondence, 1951-56
Galleys--removed to Galley files
The Lullaby Book [book, 1959]
box folder
3 4 First and second corrected typescripts, nd
5 Holograph music and music page proofs, nd
Galleys--removed to Galley files
box folder
3 6 “Mr. Borscht of Bansha” [short story, 1945], correspondence, 1945
7 One Potato, Two Potato [film script, 1957], shooting script, production notes, and printed advertisement, nd; correspondence, 1956-58, nd; descriptions of films in competition at the 1958 Festival mondial du film in Brussels, 1958
Out Goes She! [book, 1963]
box folder
3 8 Prospectus, typescript, page proofs, and final page proofs, nd; correspondence, 1957-63
Galleys--removed to Galley files
box folder
3 9 Signatures of All Things [book of poems, 1945], poems, 1935-44, nd; typed review quotations, printed advertisement, nd; and correspondence, 1943-46
10 Sticks and Stones [radio program, 1956], typescript, nd
11 Teaching Through Play [book, 1954]
Correspondence, 1946-54; page proofs, notes, publisher's presentation copy notice, and holograph poem and prose piece by Christine Lee with colored crayon illustrations, nd
Galleys--removed to Galley files
box folder
4 1 They Go, The Irish [anthology, 1944], correspondence, 1943-45, nd
Three Outcasts [radio play, 1962]
box folder
4 2 Bookseller's description, and notes, nd
3 First draft, nd
4 Second draft, photograph of Little Flower Shrine of the Carmelite Church in Dublin, postcard, and clipping, nd
5 Typescript with holograph corrections, nd
6 Production script, signed by the author and the cast, nd
7 “Tinsel, Holly and Tinklebell” [segment for Focus (TV program), 1958?], notes, typescripts, and production script, nd; correspondence, 1955-58
World of Toys [book, 1963]
box folder
4 8-10 Prospectus, [1963?]; and typescript, 1963
11 Final format proofs, incomplete, 1963
12 Correspondence, 1962-63
Page proofs--removed to Galley files
Galleys--removed to Galley files