Robert Bruce Montgomery (1921-1978) was a detective novelist under the pseudonym of Edmund Crispin, and composer in his own name. Details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.
The collection consists of many hundreds of letters written to Montgomery during the course of his life, reflecting in particular his triple involvement in the worlds of literature, music and film. A large quantity of his working papers is also preserved, and although the manuscripts of most of Montgomery's published works do not survive, there is a great deal of material relating to his activities as a composer, anthologist and reviewer, together with notes and drafts of unfinished and unpublished projects. These include several plays and essays written as an undergraduate, and among his Oxford papers are a series of cartoons drawn by Montgomery and Philip Larkin, and a set of Larkin's notes and essays on Chaucer. Between 1943 and 1945 Larkin also sent Montgomery drafts of the poems he was currently working on, whilst his own annotations appear on several of Montgomery's manuscripts.
The papers were given to the Library in 1986.Access Conditions
Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/services/admissions/).
It was a condition of the gift that letters from Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin should not be made available for research until fifty years after their respective deaths. Philip Larkin's letters, accordingly, will be released in 2035; Kingsley Amis's in 2045. A few other groups of letters are currently restricted.
A full catalogue is available in the Library.Related Units of Description
For Montgomery's music manuscripts see Music Manuscripts of Robert Bruce Montgomery.
Novelists | 20th century
Montgomery | Robert Bruce | 1921-1978 | Writer as Edmund Crispin