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Howard Spring Manuscripts

Date range: 1934–64.

Manuscripts of (Robert) Howard Spring (1889–1965), the Cardiff-born novelist and journalist on the Manchester Guardian.  

Spring was a reporter and reviewer on several newspapers: the South Wales News, Yorkshire Observer, Manchester Guardian, and Evening Standard.

He was over forty when he began to write novels. His first books, Shabby Tiger (1934) and Rachel Rosing (1935), achieved only modest sales, but My Son, My Son! (1938), originally entitled O Absalom!, met with considerable critical acclaim and commercial success, and was turned into a film. Fame is the Spur (1940) was a thinly disguised critique of Ramsay MacDonald.

The collection comprises holograph manuscripts of twenty works, chiefly novels such as Shabby Tiger, My Son, My Son! and Fame Is The Spur (1940), all but one handsomely bound in half blue morocco.

In addition there are the three volumes of Spring’s autobiography, and annotated typescripts of three published works by his wife Marion Howard Spring, née Pye, also uniformly bound.

Finding aids

  • Uncatalogued, (English MSS 1345–1367).
  • See note in Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, vol. 59 (1976-7), pp. 5-6.


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