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PREWETT, FRANK, 1893-1962

Fonds Frank-Prewett. - 1916-19[5?]. - 10 cm of textual record and photographs.

Biographical Sketch

Frank James Prewett was born near Mount Forest, Ontario in 1893. In 1915 Prewett interrupted his studies at University College, University of Toronto and enlisted in the Canadian Army. He was severely wounded shortly after his arrival at the Front in 1916. During treatment for shell-shock, he met Seigfreid Sassoon who became a close friend and mentor, introducing Prewett to English poets and writers. Prewett's first publication, a collection of 22 poems that appeared as Hogarth pamphlet Number 17 entitled Poems (1920), included some of his "trench verse" as well as lyrical nature poems. He returned to Canada in the fall of 1919 but found it difficult to adjust, and returned to England in 1921 where he studied at Christ Church College and received his B.A. in English literature (1922). His poetry was included in the Georgian Poetry 1920-22 anthology and a second publication The Rural Scene was issued in 1922. Around 1926, Prewett ran an experimental farm near Oxford, and then took a teaching position at the Agricultural Economics Institute where he remained until the 1930s. During the 1930s, Prewett broadcast a radio show on English country life on the BBC and edited the Farmer's Weekly and other farm journals. He wrote a novel The Chazzey Tragedy (1933) which was poorly received. Prewett served in various capacities during the Second World War and remained in the Air Force until his retirement in 1954. His Collected Poems were published posthumously by Robert Graves in 1964. Additional unpublished poems were discovered in the archives of the University of Texas and resulted in the publication of The Selected Poems of Frank Prewett in 1987.

Scope and Content

The Frank Prewett fonds consists of manuscripts of poems (including The Rural Scene, 1924), essays and a play; letters and testimonials; and photographs of drawings. A second accession [1990-20] was acquired from a British book dealer and included a bound album containing 85 autographed poems, dated 1917 to 1923. A third accession [1991-02] was acquired in 1991, consisting of six letters to Robert Graves and photographs of two drawings of Prewett in the possession of his daughter. A fourth accession [1991-13] contains Vol. VII, No. 7 of the London Mercury in which his "Lark Song" was published.

Immediate Source of Acquisition: Acquired from the daughter of Frank Prewett [1990-12, 1991-02], and from Palladour Books [1990-20, 1991-13].

Language: material in the fonds is in English.

Restrictions: none.

Finding Aid: finding aid available.

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