Item 2 - Letters and Letters to Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Letters and Letters to Papers


  • 1935-1979 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

1 folder

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Clive Sansom (1910-1981), poet and speech educator, was born at Finchley, North London, in 1910. He worked as a clerk and salesman in London and studied speech and drama under Marjorie Gullan at the Polytechnic, Regent Street, and the Speech Institute (1930-35) and phonetics under Professor Daniel Jones at University College, London (1935-6). He lectured in speech training at Borough Road Training College, Isleworth, and the Speech Fellowship (1937-9) and edited the Speech Fellowship Bulletin (1934-49). He was instructor in the Drama School of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and examiner in speech and spoken poetry. In 1937 he married a fellow student and speech teacher, Ruth Large from Tasmania. Although neither was at the time a Quaker, they were married in the Friends Meeting House at Winchmore Hill. They were both interested in the Society of Friends and had attended a few Meetings. Clive's teacher and friend, Marjorie Gullan, was a Quaker. Soon they both joined the Friends. Clive Sansom contributed poems and articles to Friends' journals and studied religious topics. During the war Clive, as a conscientious objector to war, did land work, partly based on "Spicelands" a Quaker Centre for special "war work". In 1949 Clive and Ruth Sansom travelled to Hobart to visit Ruth's family and decided to settle in Tasmania. Clive was appointed, with Ruth, Supervisor of Speech Education for the Tasmanian Education Department and was responsible for the Speech Centre 1950 - 1965 and was also examiner in speech and drama for the A.M.E.B. He and Ruth broadcast and wrote scripts for the ABC. programs for primary schools. Clive also wrote or edited a number of short plays for schools. Clive Sansom's main works included In the midst of death, (1940), The unfailing Spring (1942), Passion Play (a novel based on the Oberammergau passion play, 1950), The Witnesses (Festival of Britain prize winning poem 1951), The World turned upside down (a morality play, 1948), The Cathedral (1958), performed in Salisbury for that Cathedral's 700th anniversary 1961), Dorset Village (1962), Swithun of Winchester (produced in Winchester Cathedral for the 100th anniversary of the translation of St. Swithun 1971), Francis of Assisi (performed in Winchester Cathedral 1978, published 1981). He also wrote or edited a number of works for schools, including Adventures in words with Rodney Bennett (1936), Speech rhymes, Acting rhymes, Counting rhymes, Story rhymes, (1942-80) Speech and commucation in the primary school (1965) etc. and edited a number of anthologies, such as The poet speaks (with Marjorie Gullan 1940), The English Heart (1946). He published a number of poems and short stories in periodicals and newspapers from the 1930s onwards. Clive was also interested in conservation and was patron of the Wilderness Society. The papers consist of drafts and typescripts of his works (and some published copies) together with research notes, news cuttings, extracts from historical studies etc. on the background of his topics; correspondence with his literary agent, publishers and broadcasters, and cuttings of review notices.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Deposited on indefinite loan by Mrs Ruth Sansom February 1987 (& later additions 1989, 1991) to be held for safekeeping in the University Archives with the Friends' Meeting Records. May be withdrawn by Mrs Sansom on reasonable notice.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Brown folder headed 'Clive- Letters' and 'Copies of Clive Sansom's Letters to Papers' including:
• Letters to various people describing Sansom' s experiences of the London bombing during the war.
• Letter to Aunt Bee.
• To "Babe' (an early girl friend), 14 April 1935.
• To Rodney Bennett referring to Miss Gullan, 28 Dec 1936.
• To Rodney Bennett, 4 January 1937.
• To Aunt Bee, 4th October[?]
• Handwritten notes on range of topics.
• To George West, 4 January and 18 December 1937.
• To Williams at Oxford Press, 26 February 1937.
• To Martin Miles about a poetry reading recital, 25 and 27 January 193 7. To Miss Gullan, 26 February 1938.
• To the Listener on choral speaking, 5 June 194 J.
• To TLS on the current war, 17 September 1941.
• Typed copies of Sansom's poems: 'Renaissance', 'Fidele Chorus, 1940', 'Sonnet July 1940',
• one untitled, 'To Gerard Manly Hopkins', 'Fidele', 'Poem – July 1940'.
• Letter to Ray[?] about the German bombing, 30 August 1940.
• Handwritten notes, which appear to be a diary of a trip.
• To News Chronicle about German sterilization claims, 24 January 1940, and on 31 January 1941 about pronunciation.
• A limerick.
• Letter to a newspaper[?] about G.M. Hopkins.
• To Richard Church on 5 October 1940 in response to his comments on Sansom's first book of poetry.
• To Sedgwick and Jackson about errors in their publication Prefaces to Shakespeare, 6 October 1940.
• Handwritten letter [incomplete] from Martin Miles to Clive while serving in the army.
• To TLS about a published review and the state of affairs in Britain, 2 November 1940.
• Letter from Air Raid Warden/Officer on 31 May 1940 advising that there were no vacancies for training.
• To Penguin Books pointing out errors in a recent publication, 2 April 1940.
• To an unidentified newspaper/journal responding to a reader's query.
• From Oscar Browne about pronunciation.
• To an unidentified correspondent about lines in poetry, 15 May 1941.
• To Christian World about the war, l May 1941.
• Typed copy of Sansom's poem 'Invocation'.
• To Hermann Pleschmann about T.S. Eliot on 26 November 1945.
• To C.A. West about the Speech Institute.
• Cutting from a newspaper, Sansom 's letter about Keats's cockney accent. Clippings from newspaper/journal correspondence columns on the subject of phonetics and Sansom's Speech Rhymes, from Sansom, Oscar Browne and Elsie Fogarty.
• Poem 'Come Harvest' in ten parts, apparently written by Sansom.
• To Stanley Godman on 27 August 1941 providing a summary of Sansom's activities during the Second World War.
• To Miss Ames about lectures on speech in the army, 22 July 1942.
• To Jordan Smallfield on 20 August 1942 about speech education at the college.
• To Stella Mead on 28 July 1942 about a proposed poetry anthology of New Zealand and Australian verse.
• To Mr Day (Landlord) about rent payments, 12 July 1943.
• To John O' London on 17 July 1943 about Keats's accent.
• To an unidentified periodical on the matter of verse versus poetry ('When is it Poetry?').
• To Mr Cole on 29 September 1943 about religious education.
• To Mr Waller-Bridge on 3 November 1943 about the sale of apples.
• To Miss Birkinshaw on 3 January 1943 about a good speech examiner.
• Typed copy of Sansom's poem 'I am a Leaf.
• To John O' London on 7 August 1940 about the title of a book, The Poet Speaks. To News Chronicle on 14 August 1940 about taxes on books.
• Letter to 'R.B.' (Rodney Bennett) about examining Speech and Margaret Mead's poems, 17 July 1945.
• Two pages of a handwritten letter to an unidentified correspondent.
• To 'R.B.' (Rodney Bennett) on 7 November 1946,
• Sansom's review of T.S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral published in Christian Drama.
• Letter to an unidentified journal about radio announcers.
• The Sansoms' circular Christmas Letter of December 1952.
• Letter to Saturday Evening Mercury complaining about an article on the Brownings.
• The Sansoms' circular Christmas letter of November 1957.
• Two letters to The Mercury about Battery Point and conservation issues (1958).
• To the Examiner on 20 June 1962 about a local drama performance.
• The Sansoms' Christmas circular letter for 1965.
• Letter to Thomas Moult about the 1967 bushfires and Clive Sansom's retirement plans.
• To the Australian about copyright, 23 January 1968.
• To Mercury about Battery Point, 30 July 1968.
• To an unidentified newspaper/journal about censorship, 20 June 1969.
• Typed extracts from several poets and a copy of a poem by W. Cantan.
• To brother Len Sansom on 18 August 1970.
• To Rev. James Day about The Witnesses and other Sansom publications, 24 May 1976.
• To Quaker Greenwood about sound boosting in the meeting room, 23 December 1977.
• To a London Bookshop about some purchases, 15 February 1978.
• To Don Kay about a production of 'Rapunzel', 15 September 1978.
• To Charles Kohler on 15 September 1978 about copies of Poetry and Religious Experience.
• To Charles Menden at the Guildhall School of Music about an examination syllabus, 15 September 1978.
• To Senator Michael Townley about copyright matters on 15 September 1978.
• To David Higham Associates on 30 May 1979 about permission to use poems from The Cathedral.
• To TLS about propaganda and the war, 16 August 1941.
• To David Higham, publisher about reprinting The Witnesses, 30 May 1979.
• To A.D. Haigh (Mount Stuart) about the preservation of old buildings, 30 July 1979.
• To the Tasmanian Mail about an article on religion, JO August 1979.
• To Hilary Webster about two of his Tasmanian poems, 10 August 1979.
• To Sylvia (Stiasny) about Kipling's poems and references to fairies, 26 July 1979. Part of Sansom's letter about a poet whose poem 'The Dreamer' is admired.
• Part of Sansom's report on a candidate's performance.
• Program of a performance of Euripides' Alcestis by the London Verse
• Speaking Choir on April I 19[?] in which Clive Sansom spoke the part of the God Apollo.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Boxes inventoried by Ralph Spaulding March 2006

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May be consulted by researchers under supervision

Conditions governing reproduction

This material is made available for personal research and study purposes under the University of Tasmania Standard Copyright Licence. For any further use permission should be obtained from the copyright owners. For assistance please contact

When reusing this material, please cite the reference number and provide the following acknowledgement:
“Courtesy of the UTAS Library Special & Rare Collections”

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Dates of creation revision deletion

HE Feb2019




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