University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Nimbus Magazine:

An Inventory of Its Records at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Nimbus: A Magazine of Literature, the Arts, and New Ideas
Title: Nimbus Magazine Records
Dates: 1945-1962
Abstract: The Nimbus records consist primarily of editorial files, and include all issues of the magazine except material for the last issue.
RLIN Record #: TXRC94-A20
Extent: 3 boxes, 2 oversize folders, 16 galley folders (1 linear foot)
Language: English.
Repository: Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Organizational History

Nimbus, a British "little magazine" of the 1950s, represents part of a rich history of literary magazines that reflect not only the literary, but also the social and political history of England. Nimbus continued as well a tradition of modernism cultivated since World War I, especially by writers of the Bloomsbury group and the Auden generation. Nimbus was among such important little magazines as Encounter, London Magazine, and Poetry (London) edited by such distinguished writers as T. S. Eliot, John Lehmann, and Stephen Spender, that helped set a tone of excellence in the publication of little magazines and were instrumental in changing the mood and direction of modern British literature.

Nimbus: A Magazine of Literature, the Arts, and New Ideas began publication in December 1951 as a quarterly magazine of new writing. Tristram Hull, son of the poet R. F. C. Hull, acted as editor for the magazine's four volumes of thirteen issues. Hull was later joined by co-editors Ivo Jarosy, 1953-1954, and David Wright, 1955-1956. Due to editorial differences between Wright and Hull, Christopher Logue, in 1957, became co-editor with Hull and the name of the magazine was changed to Nimbus: New English Review.

The magazine, published by John Trafford at the Halcyon Press, grew in size, stature, and reputation from a fifteen page experiment into a sixty page provocative venue for new British, Commonwealth, and Continental writing. Nimbus editors rejected strict identification with any one contemporary British literary school, yet often found themselves involved in their debates and controversies. Nimbus attempted to distance itself from such recognized "Movement" poets as Kingsley Amis. The Movement poets were themselves reacting against the earlier romantic "New Apocalypse" writers such as George Baker, G. S. Fraser, and Henry Treece. The Movement writers were, in turn, considered by the "Maverick" poets to be conservative, formalist, and neoclassical.

Among the newer and Maverick writers published in Nimbus were Dannie Abse (also editor of Poetry and Poverty), Michael Hastings, Patrick Kavanagh, George MacBeth, Colin MacInnes, Vernon Scannell, Stevie Smith, and Alexander Trocchi (also editor of Merlin). Other distinguished and renowned writers published in Nimbus include W. H. Auden, Bertolt Brecht, Jean Cocteau, Mircea Eliade, T. S. Eliot, Jean Genet, C. G. Jung, Pablo Neruda, and Richard Wilbur. Nimbus ceased publication in 1958 due, it has been suggested, to financial constraints and lack of editorial focus.

For more information about Nimbus see:

Sullivan, Alvin. British Literary Magazines: The Modern Age 1914-1984.

Greenwood Press: New York, 1986.

Scope and Contents

The Nimbus records, 1945-1962, consist primarily of editorial files. The materials are arranged in two series: Editorial Files, 1951-1957 (2 boxes), and Business Files, 1945-1962 (1 box).

All issues of Nimbus, except the material for the last issue (Vol. IV, no. 2), are represented in the editorial files. This series is arranged chronologically by date of publication and volume number, and the order for each folder generally reflects the process of publication from beginning designs through editing and printing. The materials include paste-ups with corrections and printer's marks, galleys, page proofs, cover designs, and manuscripts from contributors with corrections and printer's marks. Illustrations, which usually consist of photographs or prints, by artists such as Leonor Fini, F. E. McWilliam, John Ward, and Gerald Wilde, are also present.

Manuscripts present include original holograph drafts and typescripts which are often annotated with corrections and printer's marks. These manuscripts, often found in edited versions, include translations from the French, German, and Italian. Nimbus published a diverse group of authors representing various literary schools that included such writers as Dannie Abse, W. H. Auden, George Barker, Bertolt Brecht, Jean Cocteau, Mircea Eliade, T. S. Eliot, Jean Genet, Michael Hastings, John Heath-Stubbs, C. G. Jung, Patrick Kavanagh, Laurie Lee, George MacBeth, Colin MacInnes, Pablo Neruda, Stevie Smith, Alexander Trocchi, Richard Wilbur, and Noel Woodin. Unpublished manuscripts are located at the end of this series and include the manuscript of The Unconsideredby James Pirie (an extract of which was published in Vol. III, No. 4), manuscripts by John Heath-Stubbs, Alexander, Trocchi, David Wright, and a radio play, "Too Tired for Words," by Stevie Smith.

The Business Files, 1945-1962, include correspondence, legal papers, and publicity materials. The outgoing correspondence is chronologically arranged, and consists primarily of editorial and financial concerns during David Wright's co-editorship. Miscellaneous notes and publicity copy ads are also found here. The incoming correspondence is alphabetically arranged, and primarily concerns immediate publication matters. A smaller amount, such as the letters of Christopher Logue and Noel Woodin, is of a more personal nature. Other significant correspondents include Dannie Abse, W. H. Auden, Djuna Barnes, Edward Dahlberg, C. Day Lewis, J. P. Donleavy, T. S. Eliot, William Empson, Michael Hamburger, John Heath-Stubbs, Patrick Kavanagh, Christopher Logue, Hugh MacDiarmid, W. Somerset Maugham, Vernon Scannell, Dame Edith Sitwell, Alexander Trocchi, and Evelyn Waugh. A complete Index of Correspondents can be found at the end of this inventory.

Legal documents found here include a certificate of business registration (1953) for Nimbus, and a contractual agreement between Tristram Hull, Noel Woodin, and Martin Green (1952). The publicity materials comprise designs and copy for advertising for Nimbus (as well as ads appearing in Nimbus), flyers, and prospectuses for future issues. Also included here are miscellaneous notes, newspaper clippings, and a drawing by Veronica Hull.

These papers not only add to the scholarship on the life and letters of Nimbus contributing writers, but touch upon the subjects of British little magazines and modern British poetry movements.



Open for research

Index Terms

Abse, Dannie
Auden, W.H. (Wystan Hugh), 1907-1973
Barnes, Djuna
Braybrooke, Neville, 1952-
Brooke, Jocelyn
Dahlberg, Edward, 1900-1977
Day Lewis, C. (Cecil), 1904-1972
Dennis, Nigel Forbes, 1912-
Donleavy, J.P. (James Patrick), 1926-
Eliot, T.S. (Thomas Stearns), 1899-1965
Empson, William, 1906-
Hamburger, Michael
Heath-Stubbs, John Francis Alexander, 2918-
Hull, R.F.C. (Richard Francis Carrington), 1913-1974
Jarosy, Ivo
Kavanagh, Patrick, 1904-1967
Kops, Bernard, 1926-
Lehmann, John, 1907-
Logue, Christoher, 1926-
MacDiarmid, Hugh, 1892-
MacInnes, Colin
Maugham, W. Womerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965
Murdoch, Iris
Russell, Peter, 1921-
Scannell, Vernon
Sitwell, Edith, Dame, 1887-1964
Smith, Stevie, 1902-1971
Spender, Stephen, 1909-
Tambimuttu, 1915-
Trocchi, Alexander, 1925-
Waugh, Evelyn, 1903-1966
Woodin, Noel, 1929-
Wright, David, 1920-
Hull, Tristram
Commonwealth literature (English)
English literature--Periodicals
English poetry--20th century--Periodicals
Essays--Translation into English
Little magazine--Great Britain
Poetry--Translation into English
Document Types
Galley proofs

Administrative Information


Purchase, 1963

Processed by

David Hatfield Sparks, 1994

Nimbus Magazine Records--Folder List

Series I. Editorial Files, 1951-1957

Vol. 1, Nos. 1, 2, and 3 (1951-1952)
box folder
1 1-3 Typescripts with corrections and printer's marks, front matter
4 Illustrations
Vol. 2, nos. 1, 2, and 3 (1953-1954)
box folder
1 5-7 Typescripts with corrections and printer's marks, editorial front matter
8 Paste-up with corrections and layout design
9 Vol. 2, no. 4 (1954).
Typescripts with corrections and printer's marks, front matter, and advertising
Vol. 3, no. 1 (1955)
box folder
1 10 Typescripts with corrections and printer's marks, front matter, layout, and prospectus
11 Illustrations [prints of paintings by Leonor Fini]
Vol. 3, no. 2 (1955)
box folder
1 12 Typescripts with corrections and printer's marks
box folder
2 1 Illustrations (prints)
2 Holograph and typed manuscripts with corrections and printer's marks
3 Paste-up with corrections
Vol. 3, no. 3 (1956)
box folder
2 4 Typescripts with corrections and printer's marks, front matter, and advertising copy
5 Paste-up with corrections
6 Cover design
Vol. 3, no. 4 (1956)
box folder
2 7 Typescripts with corrections and printer's marks
8 Typescript (carbon) of The Unconsidered by James Pirie
9 Paste-up with corrections and printer's marks
10 Illustrations
box folder
3 1 Vol. 4, no. 1 (1957).
Typescripts with corrections and printer's marks
2-3 Miscellaneous unpublished typescripts (A-W, and unidentified)
Galleys--removed to Galley Files

Series II. Business Files, 1945-1962
Correspondence, 1951-1957
Outgoing, 1957, nd
box folder
3 4 Jarosy, Ivo to Tristram Hull, 1955
5 Wright, David to Tristram Hull, 1957, nd
Incoming, 1945-1962
box folder
3 6 A-M
7 N-W
8 Legal documents
9 Publicity
10 Empty folders with annotations

Nimbus Magazine Records--Index of Correspondents

  • Abse, Dannie ( Poetry and Poverty)--3.6
  • Astor, David, Hon., 1912- ( The Observer)--3.6
  • Auden, W. H. (Wystan Hugh), 1907-1973--3.6
  • Barker, Kit--3.6
  • Barnes, Djuna--3.6
  • Bellerby, Frances, 1899-1975--3.6
  • Benson, Mary--3.6
  • Braybrooke, Neville, 1925- --3.6
  • Brooke, Jocelyn--3.6
  • Clark, Kenneth, 1903- --3.6
  • Dahlberg, Edward, 1900-1977--3.6
  • Day Lewis, C. (Cecil), 1904-1972 (The Hogarth Press)--3.6
  • Dennis, Nigel Forbes, 1912- --3.6
  • Dobrée, Bonamy, 1891- --3.6
  • Donleavy, J. P. (James Patrick), 1926- --3.6
  • Duffy, A. J.--3.6
  • Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1899-1965--3.6
  • Empson, William, 1906- --3.6
  • Frost, Hónor--3.6
  • Fulcher, Joan (The Guinness Poetry Award)--3.6
  • Goacher, Denis--3.6
  • Green, Martin Burgess, 1927- --3.6
  • Grieve, Christopher--see MacDiarmid, Hugh, 1926-
  • Halcyon Press--3.6
  • Hamburger, Michael--3.6
  • Hampshire, Stuart, 1914- --3.6
  • Hastings, Michael, 1938 Sept. 2- --3.6
  • Hayman, Ronald, 1932- --3.6
  • Hayward, John--3.6
  • Heath-Stubbs, John Francis Alexander, 1918- --3.6
  • Hill, Geoffrey--3.6
  • Hirst, Désirée--3.6
  • Hopkins, William--3.6
  • Hull, R. F. C. (Richard Francis Carrington)--3.6
  • Hutchinson, Mary--3.6
  • Jarosy, Ivo--3.4
  • Johnson, Keith--3.6
  • J. W. Arrowsmith, Ltd.--3.6
  • Kavanagh, Patrick, 1904-1967--3.6
  • Kennedy, Stetson--3.6
  • Kops, Bernard, 1926- --3.6
  • Latimer, Hugh--3.6
  • Lehmann, John, 1907- ( The London Magazine)--3.6
  • Logue, Christopher, 1926- --3.6
  • Lougee, Alice Jane ( Merlin)--3.6
  • MacDiarmid, Hugh, 1892- --3.6 [pseudonym of Christopher Murray Grieve 1892-]
  • MacInnes, Colin--3.6
  • Martin, Jay--3.6
  • Maugham, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965--3.6
  • Milne, Ewart, 1903- --3.6
  • Minton, John--3.6
  • Moraes, Dom F., 1938- --3.6
  • Murdoch, Iris--3.6
  • Oakley, J. E. (Mrs.)--3.7
  • O'Connor Philip--3.7
  • Orton, I. R.--3.7
  • Pirie, James--3.7
  • Porterhouse, Hugo--3.7
  • Porteus, Hugh Gordon--3.7
  • Potts, Paul Howard--3.7
  • Prime, A. N. (J. W. Arrowsmith Ltd.)--3.7
  • Robertson, Bryan--1.5, 3.7
  • Roche, Paul, 1927- --3.7
  • Russell, Peter, 1921- ( Nine)--3.7
  • Scannell, Vernon--3.7
  • Scott, Michael, 1907- (The African Bureau)--3.7
  • Scott, Tom--3.7
  • Singer, Burns--3.7
  • Sitwell, Edith, Dame, 1887-1964--3.7
  • Skelton, Robin--3.7
  • Smith, Stevie, 1902-1971--3.7
  • Spender, Stephen, 1909- --3.7
  • Stanford, Derek--3.7
  • Stevenson, Quintin--3.7
  • Swift, Patrick--3.7
  • Tambimuttu, 1915- --3.7
  • Thomas, Nelson & Sons Ltd., Publisher--3.7
  • Thwaite, Anthony--3.7
  • Times Literary Supplement (The Editor)--3.7
  • Toynbee, Philip ( The Observer)--3.7
  • Trocchi, Alexander, 1925- ( Merlin)--3.7
  • Waddams, Keith--3.7
  • Wainhouse, Austryn--3.7
  • Watkins, Vernon, 1906-1967--3.7
  • Waugh, Evelyn, 1903-1966--3.7
  • Wharton, Gordon, 1929- --3.7
  • Whitting, John--3.7
  • Williams, J.--3.7
  • Woodin, Noel, 1929- --3.7 [also known as Noel Woodin Bernard]
  • Woodin Bernard, Anna (Mrs. Noel)--3.7
  • Woods, W.--3.7
  • Wright, David, 1920- --3.5, 3.7