Askwith, Betty (1909-1995)

The Betty Askwith collection includes manuscripts, notebooks, printed material, correspondence, photographs, legal material, and miscellany.

Manuscripts by Askwith in the collection include her novel A Step Out of Time (Chatto and Windus, 1966) and her biographies Two Victorian Families (Chatto and Windus, 1971) and The Lyttletons: A Family Chronicle of the Nineteenth Century (Chatto and Windus, 1975), as well as the unpublished biography Anatole France . The collection also includes short stories, poetry, and the plays A Sketch and The Unwanted Hero .

Notebooks in the collection include four research notebooks used for Askwith’s biography Lady Dilke (Chatto and Windus, 1969); one of the notebooks has a few pages of personal diary entries as well (dated 1933-1934). Other notebooks include five research notebooks used for Two Victorian Families and two notebooks (one labeled “Hawarden Papers”) regarding The Lyttletons .

Printed material in the collection includes brochures used as research for The Lyttletons ; various articles regarding porphyria and its possible affects on King George III; articles regarding book publishing and wartime newspaper clippings (1928-1941); newspaper clippings, dated 1930-1931; an obituary for Henry Festing Jones (1928); and other miscellaneous items.

Correspondence in the collection consists primarily of letters to Askwith and her husband regarding her books Lady Dilke and The Lyttletons . Notable correspondents include Jill Balcon, Lennox Berkeley, Lesley Blanch, Lilian Bowes Lyon, Susan Buchan (Lady Tweedsmuir), Kenneth Clark (Lord Clark of Saltwood), Ivy Compton-Burnett, Anne Cubitt, David Garnett, John Gere, Duncan Grant, Victor Gollancz, V. H. H. Green, Rupert Hart-Davis, Henry Festing Jones, Laurie Lee, Mary Lutyens, Ida Macalpine, Raymond Mortimer, Dorothy Parish (granddaughter of Sir William Gladstone), William Plomer, Kenneth Rose, Arnold Rosin, Steven Runciman, Alix Strachey, and Laurens van der Post.

Other letters in the collection have to do with research conducted by Askwith in the course of writing The Lyttletons . Notable correspondents include Sir William Gladstone and the Earl of Spencer.

Also included are fifteen letters from Askwith to her mother, dated 1916-1929, as well as other personal and professional letters (generally dated 1950-1981).

Photographs in the collection consist of four black and white prints of Askwith, one taken when she was a child; none are dated.

Legal material in the collection consists of various contracts between Askwith and her publishers.

Other items in the collection include research material regarding the Althorp and Spencer families, as well as William Gladstone; and a short memoir by General W. H. Askwith

Notable Figures
1. Askwith, Betty, 1909-1995
Associated Subjects
1. Women's Studies Collections -- History and Culture Subject Guide
2. Literary Collections Subject Guide
3. Plays
4. Short stories
5. Poems
6. Novelists
7. English drama – 20th century
8. English literature – Women authors
9. Novels
10. Women authors, English