Aldington, Chatto, and Heinemann

Aldington biographer Vivien Whelpton sends the following request for information:

Despite a through trawl of the Chatto and Windus and Random House archives (at Reading and Northampton respectively) as well as all the Aldington collections at S.I.U., I have been unable to find out why Aldington abruptly left Chatto for Heinemann in 1936.

The arrangements were made between his agent, Ralph Pinker, Harold Raymond at Chatto and Frere at Heinemann, without any involvement of Aldington himself, apparently (so Pinker tells the others) because Aldington was so ‘irrationally’ angry that he could not put pen to paper himself. In 1948 he tells Alister Kershaw that it was his anger with Ian Parsons (a partner at Chatto’s) that drove him away from the firm. But I would really like to know what the provocation was!

I am also struggling to achieve an understanding of what went wrong with the relationship between Aldington and Patmore in the mid 1930s leading up to his elopement with Netta Patmore. Because the couple were together all the time, there is not correspondence with which to build up a picture of the relationship and its deterioration. Again, any views or insights would be very much appreciated. I had hoped to establish contact with Diana Pingatore, who was working on the life of Brigit Patmore but have been unable to do so.

Finally, I am seeking information about William Dibben, the book-dealer (but not by profession) who supplied Aldington with books and who, apparently, was a friend of Alister Kershaw. Aldington’s correspondence with Dibben ends abruptly in 1956, and I would like to understand the reason for this.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received at vivien [at] vivienwhelpton [dot] com.


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