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National Library of Wales
Hanley, manuscripts

Reference code(s): GB 0210 MSHANLEY

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Hanley Manuscripts

Short Title: Hanley, manuscripts

Creation date(s): [early 1930s]-1985

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 38 volumes

Name of creator(s): James Hanley; Timothy Hanley.


Administrative/Biographical history: James Hanley (1897-1985), novelist and playwright, was born on 3 September 1897 in Liverpool. He joined the merchant navy in 1915 and saw action during the First World War. During this time Hanley was constantly educating himself, mainly by reading Russian literature, and these years of his youth at sea were to greatly influence his later writing. Hanley produced a prodigious output of literary work, which included some thirty novels, sixteen volumes of short stories and six plays, as well as numerous radio and TV scripts; some of his work, notably The Welsh Sonata (1954), Another World (1971) and A Kingdom (1978) were born of his life in and love of Wales.
It was at Tŷ-Nant near Corwen in 1931 that Hanley began living with the artist and writer Dorothy Enid Thomas (née Heathcote, 'Timothy Hanley', 1902-1980), and it was here that their son, Liam, was born in 1933. They moved to Llanfechain, Montgomeryshire, in 1941 and were married, at Hampstead, in 1947. Timothy Hanley published the novels The Tough Flower (London, 1957) and Three Inches of Moonlight (London, 1960).


Scope and content/abstract: Manuscripts and correspondence, [early 1930s]-1985, of James Hanley and his wife, Dorothy Enid ('Timothy') Hanley, comprising literary papers of James Hanley, 1954-1985, consisting of published and unpublished works of fiction, including novels stories and plays, mainly in draft form, some fragmentary; manuscripts of Timothy Hanley, 1932-1980, comprising journals, 1932-1980, and notebooks, 1932-1950, containing draft book reviews, short stories, poems, letters and sketches; and letters, mostly to their son Liam Hanley, from James Hanley, 1951-1981, and Timothy Hanley, 1951-[1970s].


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged according to NLW MSS reference numbers: NLW MSS 23122-23132, 23585-23611

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions noted on the 'Modern papers - data protection' form issued with their Readers' Tickets.
A former embargo on access to NLW MSS 23585-23611 (until 1 January 2018) has been lifted in light of Freedom of Information Legislation (February 2011).

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright laws apply.

Finding aids: The contents are indexed in greater detail in Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, vol. 9 (Aberystwyth, 2003).


Accruals: No accruals expected.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: NLW MSS 23122-23130 purchased from Bertram Rota Ltd, London, May 1989 (B1989/19).
NLW MS 23131E donated by Mr Liam P. Hanley, London, September 1990 (A1990/136) and purchased from Bertram Rota Ltd, London, February 1997 (B1997/11).
NLW MS 23132E donated by Mr Liam P. Hanley, London, September 1990 (A1990/136) and October 1991 (A1991/147), and purchased from Bertram Rota Ltd, London, April 1993 (B1993/13).
NLW MSS 23585-23611 donated by Mr Liam Powys Hanley, London, March 1997 (A1997/52).


Related material: Proofs included in the first purchase and an inscribed copy of The Ocean (1941) included in the 1997 purchase are NLW ex 1472; further papers of James Hanley are NLW ex 2771.

Publication note: Frank G. Harrington, James Hanley : A Bold and Unique Solitary (Francestown, 1989)


Note: Title based on contents

Archivist's note: Description compiled by Bethan Ifans for the retrospective conversion project of NLW MSS, and revised by Rhys M. Jones. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Vol. 9 (Aberystwyth, 2003); Oxford Dictionary of National Biography on-line site, viewed 20 February 2009; Chris Gostick, 'Extra Material on James Hanley's Boy' in James Hanley, Boy (London: OneWorld Classics, 2007), pp. 179-204

Rules or conventions: Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2009 and October 2015

English drama | 20th century
English fiction | 20th century
English poetry | 20th century
Hanley, James, | 1897-1985 | Archives
Hanley, Timothy, | 1902-1980 | Archives
Hanley, Timothy, | 1902-1980 | Diaries
Hanley, Timothy, | 1902-1980 | Notebooks, sketchbooks, etc.

Personal names
Hanley , James , 1897-1985
Hanley , Timothy , 1902-1980

Corporate names


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