University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

C. (Cecil) Day Lewis:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Day Lewis, C. (Cecil), 1904-1972
Title: C. (Cecil) Day Lewis Collection
Dates: 1927-1971, undated
Abstract: Includes manuscripts and letters written by the Anglo-Irish poet Cecil Day Lewis, who also wrote under the pseudonym Nicholas Blake. The bulk of the collection consists of files from A. D. Peters, his literary agent, containing letters between Day Lewis and the firm from 1934 through 1963. Other correspondents include Benjamin Britten, Geoffrey Grigson, Veronica Hull, Laurie Lee, John Pudney, Edith Sitwell, and a few others.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-1095
Extent: 11 boxes (4.62 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center



Open for research

Administrative Information

Processed by:

Joan Sibley and Dylan Davidson, 2014


This finding aid replicates and replaces information previously available only in a card catalog. Please see the explanatory note at the end of this finding aid for information regarding the arrangement of the manuscripts as well as the abbreviations commonly used in descriptions.

Container List


1.2-3 The buried day (autobiography), signed handwritten manuscript with extensive revisions, 229 pages in 2 notebooks, 1960. Loosely laid in: original signed handwritten manuscript / draft of review by Cyril Connolly. From Hanley III.
1.4-5 The deadly joker by Nicholas Blake (pseud.), signed handwritten manuscript with revisions, 209 pages in 2 notebooks, undated.
1.6 Dummy run: A play in three acts by Nicholas Blake (pseud.), signed handwritten manuscript / first draft with handwritten revisions and signed note, 111 pages, undated. "My first play."
1.7 The eclogues of Virgil, signed handwritten manuscript with revisions and initialed notes, 38 pages, 1961-1962. From Hanley II.
1.1 Edward Elgar (1857-1934) (poem), signed handwritten manuscript with emendations, 2 pages, undated. From Hanley II.
Four poems, handwritten manuscript with emendations and workings, 5 pages, undated. From Hanley II.
I wish I could believe, signed typescript, 2 pages, undated.
The image (poem), signed handwritten manuscript, 1 page, undated. Removed from copy of From feathers to iron. From Hanley II.
In memory of Dylan Thomas (elegy), signed handwritten manuscript, 2 pages, undated. From Hanley II.
In memory of Dylan Thomas (poem), signed handwritten manuscript, 2 pages, circa 1953. Enclosed with this: typed and carbon copy manuscript copies.
Introduction to a book of English lyrics, signed handwritten manuscript with revisions, 19 pages, undated. From Hanley II.
Lidice (poem), signed handwritten manuscript, 1 page, undated. ANS to John Lehmann at bottom.
Marriage poems, initialed handwritten manuscript, 3 pages, 1929. For marriage of Rex Warner and Frances Chamier Grove.
Not proven, signed handwritten manuscript with revisions, 11 pages, undated.
Poetry for the public (lecture), signed handwritten manuscript with revisions and initialed note, 15 pages, 1962. Delivered to Royal Society of the Arts, March 1962.
1.8 Poetry notebook, handwritten manuscript / drafts and partial drafts with workings and signed notes, 49 pages, undated. Contains many of the poems published in The gate. From Hanley II.
1.1 Preface to definitive edition of Wilfred Owen's poems, signed handwritten manuscript with revisions and initialed note, 23 pages, undated. From Hanley II.
2.1 Requiem for the living, signed handwritten manuscript with emendations, 10 pages, undated.
Requiem for the living, typescript with handwritten title and signed note, 14 pages, undated. Attached to this: TLS Benjamin Britten to Day Lewis, 1 November 1961. Included with this: Travelling light, signed carbon typescript with initialed handwritten note, 5 pages, undated. From Hanley II.
The room, signed handwritten manuscript with emendations, 1 page, undated. Written with this: Images, signed handwritten manuscript / drafts with revisions, 3 pages, undated. From Hanley II.
Sonnet, signed handwritten manuscript, 1 page, undated. From O Dreams, O Destinations.
The voyage by Charles Baudelaire, handwritten manuscript / first draft with heavy revisions, 7 pages; signed handwritten manuscript / second draft with emendations, 7 pages; undated. Attached to these: ALS cover letter to Massey, 18 January 1964.

Works 1:

2.2-4 Lectures, typed and carbon copy manuscripts with handwritten corrections, emendations and additions and initialed notes, 308 pages, undated. Contents: The thirties in retrospect; The poet's way of knowledge; George Meredith; Emily Brontë; The poetry of Edward Thomas; The grand manner; Emily Dickinson; The poet's task; The poet's medium; The dramatic monologue. From Hanley II.

Works 2:

2.5 Poems in MS, signed handwritten manuscript with emendations, 170 pages, 1949-1961. Contents: Father to sons; Seasonable thoughts for intellectuals: at Portland; The committee; Love and pity; Son and father; Going, going; The graves of academe; A riddle; Christmas Eve; Time to go; The house where I was born; Pegasus; In memory of Dylan Thomas; Song; Lot 96; Psyche; Dedham vale; Easter 1954; On a Dorset upland; The years O!; Elegaic sonnet; Baucis and Philemon; The wrong road; Halcyons; Almost human; Some old dull murder-spot; La Sainte Impatience; The pest; The tourists; In a bed-sitting-room; The great magicians; The antique heroes; Final instructions; Ariadne on Naxos; Moods of love; Last words; An episode; View from an upper window; The gate; The newborn; A meeting; Two pathetic fallacies; Edward Elgar; Sheep-dog trials in Hyde park; Getting war-getting cold; Things; The disabused; Walking away; A loss; St. Mary Magdalene: Loders; Travelling light; Not proven; In loving memory E. M. Butler; Fisherman and/or fish; Said the old codger; Bread and wine; An upland field; Wind's eye; The Christmas rose; Ideal home; Circus lion; This young girl. Includes initialed note on title page dated 22 June 1961. From Hanley III.


2.6 2 TLS to unidentified recipient Eric, 17 April no year, undated.
ALS to unidentified recipient Mais undated.
TLS to Allott re Geoffrey Grigson, undated. From Hanley II.
TLS to Bean, Marshall E., 24 June 1971.
ALS, 2 TLS to Bull, Eric J. King, undated.
TLS to Fordham, 20 February no year.
8 ALS, TLS to Grigson, Geoffrey, undated. From Hanley II.
2.7 15 ALS, ALI, 10 TLS, 3 APCI to Hull, Veronica, 1965-1968, undated. Included with these: 15 empty envelopes separated from the letters they enclosed. Also included: AccL, 16 TccL from Hull to Day Lewis, 1966-1968.
2.6 3 ALS, APCS to Montgomery, John, 1962-1968.
3 TLS to Patel, undated.
Letters to and from A. D. Peters, Literary Agent, 1934-1963. Includes 223 ALS, 4 ALI, AL, 156 TLS, 27 TLI, 2 TL, TccL, 94 ANS, 13 ANI, AN, 31 TNS, 19 APCS, 20 APCI, telegram to A. D. Peters, Literary Agent, 1934-1963. Included with these: 4 change-of-address cards from Day Lewis; 1324 TccL, 4 TLS, TL, 5 draft telegrams from Peters to Day Lewis. Also included: 4676 pieces of correspondence and related material; Day Lewis, Opening chorus for a Noah play, signed carbon typescript, 3 pages, 1934; Day Lewis (Nicholas Blake), Blind eye, carbon typescript, 5 pages, May 1962.
2.8 1934-1935 (March)
3.1 1935 (April-December)
3.2 1936
3.3 1937
3.4 1938
3.5 1939
4.1 1940
4.2 1941
4.3 1943
4.4 1944
4.5 1945
4.6 1946 (January-June)
5.1 1946 (July-December)
5.2 1947 (January-June)
5.3 1947 (July-December)
5.4 1948 (January-June)
5.5 1948 (July-December)
6.1 1949 (January-June)
6.2 1949 (July-December)
6.3 1950 (January-September)
6.4 1950 (October) - 1951 (June)
6.5 1951 (July-December)
6.6 1952 (January-May)
7.1 1952 (June-December)
7.2 1953 (January-September)
7.3 1953 (October-December)
7.4 1954
7.5 1955 (January-June)
8.1 1955 (July-December)
8.2 1956 (January-July)
8.3 1956 (August-December)
8.4 1957 (January-June)
8.5 1957 (July-December)
9.1 1958 (January-June)
9.2 1958 (July-December)
9.3 1959 (January-June)
9.4 1959 (July-December)
9.5 1960 (January-June)
10.1 1960 (July-December)
10.2 1961 (January-June)
10.3 1961 (July-December)
10.4 1962 (January-June)
10.5 1962 (July-December)
11.1 1963 (January-June)
11.2 1963 (July-December)
2.6 ALS to Pinker, Eric, 23 August 1927.
TLS to Roberts, F. W., 23 April 1963. Letterhead: Chatto and Windus Ltd.
TLS to Rogers, Timothy, 27 January 1964. Letterhead: Chatto and Windus Ltd.
ALS to Sitwell, Edith, Dame, 4 October no year. Removed from AC-L D334it 1953c.
ALS to Sitwell, Edith, Dame, 19 March 1953. Enclosed is TLS to Sitwell from the BBC North American Service.


11.3 Lee, Laurie, 1914- . ALS to Day Lewis, Cecil, undated.
Oxford and Asquith, Margot Asquith, Countess, 1864-1945. ALS to Day Lewis, Cecil, 4 June 1938.


11.4 Albatross Limited. Memorandum of agreement with Cecil Day Lewis re Minute for murder by Nicholas Blake (pseud.), TDS, 2 pages, 24 November 1947.
Pudney, John, 1909- . Questionnaire sent to Cecil Day Lewis, typescript with handwritten answers by Day Lewis, 1 page, undated.

Explanatory Note Concerning Manuscript Collections Cataloged in the Card Catalog

Prior to 1990 when archival cataloging procedures were adopted at the Ransom Center, all manuscript collections were described in a card catalog.

Organization of Collections:

Manuscripts for each author collection were organized into four categories:

  • Works: manuscripts by the author, arranged alphabetically by title;
  • Letters: the author's outgoing correspondence, arranged alphabetically by recipient name;
  • Recipient: the author's incoming correspondence, arranged alphabetically by the author of the letter; and
  • Miscellaneous: all other manuscripts and correspondence, arranged alphabetically by creator.

Materials that did not fit into these categories, such as art, photographs, books, and near-print materials such as newspaper clippings, were dispersed to other Ransom Center collections for cataloging and storage.

Abbreviations Used in Descriptions:

The symbols below were used in combinations. For example ALS means autograph letter signed; Tccms means typed carbon copy manuscript, etc.

  • A = autograph (i.e., handwritten)
  • T = typed
  • S = signed
  • I = initialed
  • Ms = manuscript
  • Mss = manuscripts
  • L = letter
  • FL = form letter
  • N = note
  • D = document
  • C = card
  • PC = post card
  • cc = carbon copy
  • p = page
  • pp = pages
  • l = leaf
  • ll = leaves
  • nd = no date
  • inc d = incomplete date