Tag Archives: Britain

6. Radical Reading: Reynolds News, Sunday Citizen

Reynolds's Illustrated News 17 August 1930 p.1

Reynolds’s Illustrated News 17 August 1930 p.1

Reynolds News was a radical weekly newspaper published from 1850-1967.  Founded by prolific popular author and Chartist G.M.W. Reynolds, the paper later passed from family ownership to the National Co-operative Press.  It changed its name several times, ending up as The Sunday Citizen.  Find out more about Reynolds News, its name changes, and the story of the set at Bradford University on the collection web page.

Reynolds News is significant for historians because it offers an alternative to papers of record, such as The Times.  It was politically radical and aimed at working class readers.  Contents were often sensational, featuring plenty of  glamour, sex, crime, and sport, alongside thoughtful pieces about politics and ideas.  Well-known authors and thinkers contributed, notably J.B. Priestley, who wrote over fifty articles and book reviews for the paper.

J.B. Priestley article, Reynolds' News 9 June 1940 p. 6

J.B. Priestley article, Reynolds News 9 June 1940 p. 6

Unfortunately, as usual with historic newspapers, our set is in very poor condition.  Even the conserved volumes cannot stand much handling.  This is frustrating because the rich and relatively underused content cannot be easily shared with readers.  Furthermore, the paper is not indexed.   We are delighted that the British Library digitised the 19th century volumes of Reynolds in its British Newspapers programme, making them searchable and really usable for the first time in their long lives.

Is this man an anarchist?  Union advertisement from Reynolds News 5 October 1919 p.3

From Reynolds News 5 October 1919

5. Poems in Stone: A Land, by Jacquetta Hawkes

Front of A Land dustjacketA Land, published in 1951, was the masterpiece of an extraordinary writer and archaeologist.  Drawn to the deep past and the study of nature since childhood, Jacquetta Hawkes (1910-1996) combined a poetic imagination with scientific understanding.  A Land united these to create a unique work that tells Britain’s million-year story in a compelling new way.

Jacquetta Hawkes by a waterfall ca. 1951

Jacquetta Hawkes by a waterfall ca. 1951

As Jacquetta said in her preface to the book, “The image I have sought to evoke is of an entity, the land of Britain, in which past and present, nature, man and art appear all in one piece … I see a land as much affected by the creations of its poets and painters as by changes of climate and vegetation”.  Typically, Jacquetta began the book with her own experience, lying on the ground of her back garden in London, which made her think about the geology below.

A Land tapped in to a contemporary revival of interest in Britain, its history, its distinctive past, its visual heritage, and was itself an appealing artefact.  It featured colour drawings by sculptor Henry Moore; Jacquetta had discussed his creative use of the qualities of stones in the book. The book made a great impression at the time, and was awarded the Kemsley Special Award.  It continues to inspire.  Jacquetta’s view that humans could not be separate from nature is more resonant now than ever.

The Jacquetta Hawkes Archive at the University of Bradford covers the development of the book: manuscript, typescript, different editions, illustrations.

A Land display from Hawkes Archive, Ilkley 2010

Some of our archives documenting A Land, on show Ilkley 2010

To find out more about Jacquetta:

A life online: Jacquetta Hawkes archaeo-poet, by Christine Finn Biography of Jacquetta by a fellow archaeologist and writer.

Past, Present, Man, Nature: online exhibition by Alison Cullingford (who also curates 100 Objects) telling Jacquetta’s story through objects in the Archive.

Our Jacquetta Hawkes blog.  News from Christine Finn and Special Collections, and reflection on Jacquetta’s work and ideas.