menu icon mobile devices search icon mobile devicesSearch the site

Elfrida Vipont Collection

Date range: c.1910–90.

Personal collection of Elfrida Vipont Foulds née Brown (1902–92), writer of Quaker and children’s literature.

Vipont was born in Manchester and attended Manchester High School for Girls. She read history at the University of Manchester, but did not complete her degree, choosing to pursue a career as a professional singer.

In 1926 Vipont married the research chemist R. Percy Foulds. On the outbreak of the Second World War the family moved to the north Lancashire village of Yealand Conyers, where she taught at a Quaker school for evacuee children.

She wrote extensively for children, notably The Lark in the Morn (1948) and The Lark on the Wing (1950), which won the Library Association Carnegie Medal, but her most famous book for children was The Elephant and the Bad Baby (Hamish Hamilton, 1969), illustrated by Raymond Briggs.

Vipont also wrote on Quaker subjects, including The Story of Quakerism, 1652-1952, and a biography of George Fox.

The collection contains manuscript and typescript copies of:

  • published and unpublished works
  • correspondence with publishers, memoranda of agreements, royalty statements and other papers concerning her writings
  • letters from admiring readers, many of them children
  • papers relating to her other interests in music and Quakerism
  • childhood writings and later reminiscences about her childhood
  • audio dictation tapes
  • newspaper cuttings
  • copies of her published books and articles
  • ephemera.

Finding aids

  • Uncatalogued.
  • For further information see Brenda J. Scragg, 'Elfrida Vipont: Quaker Children's Writer', Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, vol. 76, no. 3 (1994), pp. 249-65.

Location

The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

Can we help?