Letters and postcards, 1970-1980 and undated, of W.S. Graham to William Featherston, with a few letters of Nessie Graham and others; typescript, carbon typescript and photocopied typescript of draft sections of long poems, 1958 and undated, including `The Dark Dialogues` and `With the Dulle Griet in Canada`; silk screen print portrait of W.S. Graham by William Featherston; and CD and audio-cassette of BBC radio broadcast by W.S. Graham. Edit




  • 1958, 1970-1980, and undated. (Creation)


  • 0.04 linear metres (Whole)
    1 box and one outsize portfolio.

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  • Scope and Contents

    William Featherston, a Canadian artist, lived and worked in Cornwall during the 1960s. During this period he became a friend of Sydney and Nessie Graham. Featherston returned to Canada in 1971, and the friends corresponded over the next decade. The letters and cards are wide-ranging, intensely personal, and often enriched with Graham`s drawings and doodles. The sections of typescript poetry (some of it carbon typescript and photocopies) include draft passages from `The Dark Dialogues` and `With the Dulle Griet in Canada`. The other items were added to the collection by the vendor.

  • Appraisal

    The collection was bought in its entirety.

  • Arrangement

    The arrangement is largely dictated by the format, consisting of: one file of letters, cards and poems; one portfolio of outsize artwork and posters; one file of audio material.

  • Existence and Location of Originals

    Mainly original manuscript and typescript material and artwork.

  • Existence and Location of Copies

    One of the letters (24 February 1980) is a photocopy. The typescript text of `With the Dulle Griet in Canada`is photocopied, as is the accompanying copy of Michael and Margaret Snow`s 1994 article on the poem. The collection includes copies of two photographs.

  • Bibliography

    Two of the letters (4 December 1973, 7 February 1974) were published in `The Nightfisherman: selected letters of W S Graham` edited by Michael and Margaret Snow (Manchester: Carcanet, 1999).

  • Conditions Governing Access

    Normal access conditions apply.

  • Other Finding Aids


  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Bought, 2010, from G. Featherstone, Canada.3 June 2010

  • Custodial History

    These papers belonged to William Featherstone. They were purchased by the National Library of Scotland from his widow.

External Documents