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Harman Grisewood papers 2

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS255

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

This collection comprises the second acquisition of the papers of Harman Grisewood (1906-1997). Included is a long run (Boxes 1 through 5) of correspondence from notable individuals such as W.H. Auden, Max Beerbohm, Violet Bonham-Carter, Tom Burns (editor of "The Tablet”), Winston S. Churchill, historian Christopher Dawson, B.B.C. director general Hugh Greene, Vivien Greene (wife of writer Graham Greene), Deirdre and Rupert Hart-Davis, Sibyl Hathaway (Dame of Sark), Saunders Lewis, members of the Plunket Greene family (Alexander, Gwen, Olivia and Richard), Christopher Sykes, Evelyn Waugh, and Mia and Douglas Woodruff.

Included is correspondence from friends of the artist and poet David Jones: Joan and Rene Hague, Prudence Pelham, Mike Richey, and Barbara and Bernard Wall. In addition there is considerable correspondence from Thomas Dilworth, scholar and writer on David Jones, regarding research for his books. Lengthy correspondence from friend Leslie Hope, daughter Sabina Bailey and wife Margaret Grisewood, are also included.

A group of letters from various family members discusses the Grisewood genealogy.

One box consists of correspondence, articles, and printed ephemera relating to the poet and artist David Jones.

The collection includes subject files, articles and lectures by Grisewood relating to his career with the B.B.C. The final three boxes of the collection contain manuscripts of unpublished works by Grisewood, primarily manuscripts for novels.


  • 1926-1997
  • Majority of material found within 1950-1990

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical note

Harman (Joseph Gerard) Grisewood was born on February 8, 1906, in Broxbourne, England; the son of Harman Grisewood, a lieutenant colonel in the British Army, and Lucille Cardozo. He was educated at the Benedictine Ampleforth College in Yorkshire, as was his friend and contemporary Rene Hague. He completed his university degree at Worcester College, Oxford (1924-1927).

Grisewood began his long association with the BBC in 1929 as a member of the repertory company. He became an announcer in 1933, and assistant to the program organizer in 1936. In 1939, he was made assistant director of program planning; and from 1939 to 1941, he was assistant controller of the European Division. From 1941 through 1945, Grisewood was acting controller of the European Division. In 1945 he became director of talks. His work with the Third Programme began as planner, in 1947 until 1948, when he became controller. He was director of the “Spoken Word” from 1952 to 1955; and was chief assistant to the director-general from 1955 to 1964.

Grisewood was vice-president of the European Broadcasting Union from 1953 to 1954. He was Welsh national lecturer in 1966, at which time a group photograph was taken with, among others, David Jones, Douglas Cleverdon, and Saunders Lewis (see Folder 8:20). He was also a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. Awards and honors held by Grisewood include the King Christian X Freedom Medal, 1946; Commander of the Order of the British Empire, 1960; and Knight of the Order of Malta, 1960.

An author and editor, Grisewood's published works include editions of David Jones: "Epoch and Artist: Selected Writings" (1959 and 1963); "The Dying Gaul and Other Writings" (1978); and "The Roman Quarry and Other Sequences," edited with Rene Hague (1981). From 1949 to 1952 he was editor of "The Dublin Review." Other published works include an autobiography, "One Thing at A Time," (1968); "Broadcasting and Society" (1949) "The Recess" (a novel, 1963) "The Last Cab on the Rank" (a novel, 1964) "The Painted Kipper" (1970) "Why I am Still a Catholic" (1980) "Stratagem" (1988).

Harman Grisewood died at his home in Eye, Suffolk, on January 6, 1997.

Biographical sources: Contemporary Authors and Who's Who, as well as information on file.


8.96 Linear Feet (17 Hollinger boxes: 7 Document Cases, 5 Slim Document Cases, 1 Record Storage Carton.)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Sabina Bailey, 1997.

Harman Grisewood papers 2
Lisette Matano, Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Washington, D.C.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057