Please contribute to NCLSN!

Pen, pad and keyboard

A quick reminder that contributions to the NCLSN are always welcome.  Are you working on Aldington?  I’m happy to publicise your research.  Are you working on someone in Aldington’s vast network of literary contacts?  I’d like to hear from you, too.

I’m interested in hearing from both academic and non-academic Aldingtonians.  If you just want to talk about your enthusiasm, that’d be great.  Do you have a favourite bit of Aldington that you’d like to highlight? What’s your connection to Aldington and why is he important to you?  Is there a story, poem, or novel that you think is unjustly neglected and you’d like to say something about why? Do you have a rare edition, or think you’ve uncovered something previously unknown? If you can write a bit about it, that would be great!

I would be really glad to receive contributions from members, readers and followers.  I’m keen to widen the spread of contributors, and believe that the blog offers a great way to do so.  I can either add you to the blog as an author, or you can e-mail me your piece to afrayn [dot] ac [at]

Andrew Frayn


Searching for a Miss Rhodes

Marianne Moore (1948)
NCLSN member Patricia Willis writes:
I am seeking the identification of someone who made a personal connection between Marianne Moore and the London Imagists during Moore’s first year as a professional poet. And I would like to include the results, with all due credit, in my blog,
In October, 1915, an acquaintance of Richard Aldington and Hilda Doolittle visited Marianne Moore at her home in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She was “Miss Rhodes,” possibly Amy Rhodes or Rhoades. She came to Carlisle to stay with Ada Plank Gloss. Gloss was the sister of the artist George Wolfe Plank, whom Moore knew and who had gone to England the previous year with his Philadelphia friends, James and Mildred Whitall.
Miss Rhodes, described as wearing an elegant hat over grey hair, mentioned that she had visited Richard Aldington and Hilda Doolittle at their London home (and that Richard had dispensed with wearing a hat). She was intimate enough with the London literary scene to know that Dora Marsden contributed funds to The Egoist, that James Whitall was writing a novel with the supervision of George Moore, and that John Cournos “was poor.” She also descried Yeats’s turn toward “spiritualism.”
It is likely that Rhodes is an American since Moore does not comment on her speech; her grey hair suggests that she is older than Ada Plank Gloss, who is 34. She could be related to the Planks but I have not found a connection.The tantalizing aspect of this woman’s visit to remote Carlisle is its oddity: for news, other than by letter, of her Imagist “colleagues.” Moore usually had to go to the Library of Congress.
You can contact Patricia at pcwinct [at] gmail [dot] com.

Poets in Translation

Michael Copp - Poets in Translation
NCLSN Correspondent Michael Copp has just published Poets in Translation, consisting of his original translations of four poets: one French, one Belgian (francophone) and two Russian.
Three of them (Maurice Careme, Adrienne Monnier and Yakov Zugmnan) have probably never been translated before. Careme’s poems are a series of delicately poised vignettes, charting the inhabitants, staff and tourists, of a provincial hotel. Monnier was the owner of La Maison des Amis des Livres, that celebrated Parisian home for French, American and British literati in the 1920s and 1930s. The book includes some of her little-known poems. Zugman was a Russian Jew who had the misfortune never to see his poetry ever published in his lifetime, not even via the underground system of samizdat.
Copp Contents - Careme, Monnier, Zugman
The contents page of Copp’s Poets in Translation for Maurice Carême, Adrienne Monnier, and Yakov Zugman.
The best-known poet is Andrei Voznesensky who was one of that generation of young poets who took advantage of the ‘thaw’ in the 1960s to make a dynamic impact with their vigorous appeal to young Russians.
Copp Contents - Vozenensky
The contents page of Copp’s Poets in Translation for Andrei Voznesensky.
If you’d like a copy of the book, please write directly to Michael Copp at: 32 Hunts Hill, Glemsford, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 7RP, UK. Price, inclusive of postage & packing: £7.50, UK; £9.00, rest of the world.

Manchester University Press sale

Cover of Frayn, Writing Disenchantment

I hope you’ll all forgive me the self-promotion, but if you don’t yet have a copy of my monograph Writing Disenchantment: British First World War Prose, 1914-1930 (Manchester UP, 2014), the press currently (January 2018) has an 80% off sale on selected titles.  That brings the price down to a manageable £15!

The book discusses the way in which disenchantment comes to be the dominant narrative about the war through the course of the post-war decade; I argue that disenchantment is a condition of modernity, not only a post facto response to the war.  A wide range of popular, middlebrow and modernist authors are covered, from Ernest Raymond to Virginia Woolf via H.G. Wells (and many more).

Aldington’s Death of a Hero takes up a substantial part of my discussion of the War Books Boom in chapter 5.

Andrew Frayn

Obituary – Shelley Cox, RA bibliographer

Shelley Cox

We’re very sorry to report the death last year of Shelley Cox, a longtime friend of Aldington scholarship.  Her partner’s daughter, Melanie Thomas, writes:

Shelley Marie Cox passed away on August 8, 2017 in Carbondale, IL after a brief illness. Shelley was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1948. She grew up with a love of cats, books, politics and music, passions which she continued to pursue throughout her life. After graduating high school, she attended the University of Pennsylvania where she graduated with honors, then received her Master’s degree in Library Sciences from the University of Chicago in 1974. Her first library position was at Southern Illinois University; she remained there until her retirement over 31 years later, eventually becoming the rare book librarian in the Special Collections department for the SIU library.

Her intelligence and humor made her friends throughout the world who shared her interests. She was also able to follow those interests throughout the country and even internationally as a fan of the Moody Blues and as a member of the Lawrence Durrell International Society and the New Canterbury Literary Society, devoted to the works of Richard Aldington. Although her health prevented her from travelling as much as she wished in her later years, she continued working on research for those organizations.

Shelley is survived by her sister, Marsha Cox, and her longtime partner, Bob Thomas, as well as friends around the world who shared her passions. She will be missed by many.


Aldington biographer Vivien Whelpton, who came to know Shelley in recent years, adds:

I came to know Shelley during just three visits to Carbondale over the course of five years, but our regular correspondence between those visits cemented what became for me a very special friendship. We shared not just our Aldington interest, but our love of cats, an interest in music and in television drama – and our political views! In the time I knew her, Shelley was in constant physical pain, through severe arthritis, and she became increasingly immobilized. But she was full of mental energy, passion and humour, and her shrewdness and wit were a constant delight. I always looked forward to her emails. What I shall never forget is the enormous kindness and generosity that she and Bob both extended to me. I have many happy memories of evening meals out and of tours of Southern Illinois at the week-ends when the Morris Library was closed. On my final visit, earlier this year, Bob and Shelley picked me up from my lodgings the day after my arrival to take me grocery shopping, and Shelley brought with her a gift of a battery-operated night light – in case I needed to get up in the night in my unfamiliar surroundings. I find that light indispensable now, whenever I go away. And there was always a gift to take home for my cats!  I constantly miss a very dear friend.

Melinda has sent me the files of Shelley’s Aldington bibliography. It was work that, sadly, she had to give up when her mobility became a problem for her. But those files represent years of work and travel, and I hope to be able to see them reach some form of publication.