Introduction to the PenPals Exhibition
One of the strengths of the University of Exeter Special Collections is a rich collection of twentieth-century literary papers by writers associated with the south west of England, with more than more than thirty writers, poets and playwrights represented within the collections.
These writers all had links to the south west of England, and many of them knew one another. Some were friends, attended each other's parties or weddings, and even supported each with their literary works by reading drafts, comparing experiences or sharing advice.
This exhibition explores some of the letters that they wrote to one another and the personal connections that they forged. The letters reflect themes in both their work and personal interests, and offer an interesting insight into the private lives of these public figures.
This exhibition is a digital version of a free exhibition currently on display at several host venues around Exeter until September. Each exhibition board features a letter from a writer to another. Why not go on a trail around Exeter to see if you can find them all! Follow the trail (in any order) and trace a circle, starting and ending with A.L. Rowse, and including Charles Causley, Jack Clemo, Agatha Christie and Daphne du Maurier.
- A.L. Rowse (letter to Charles Causley) - Royal Albert Memorial Museum cafe
- Charles Causley (letter to Jack Clemo) - Custom House Visitor Centre
- Jack Clemo (letter to A.L. Rowse) - Exeter Cathedral
- A.L. Rowse (letter to Agatha Christie) - Exeter Phoenix
- Agatha Christie (letter to Daphne du Maurier) - Oxfam Books & Music Exeter
- Daphne du Maurier (letter to A.L.Rowse) - Bookbag Bookshop Exeter
Project team: Sarah-Jayne Ainsworth (Special Collections Team Leader) and Milly Earnshaw-White (University of Exeter Student Intern)