University of Arizona

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The Nun at Court

Edmund Blunden (1896-1974) was a prolific literary critic, journalist, travel writer, and author of poetry and prose. His career was shaped by his lifelong participation in the literary and intellectual circles in London and Oxford and his experiences in World War I’s front line from 1916-1918. He worked on the editorial staff of the Athenaeum, Nation, and Times Literary Supplement, as well as taught at Tokyo Imperial University, Oxford University’s Merton College, and the University of Hong Kong before being appointed Professor of Poetry at Oxford University in 1966. Blunden was widely recognized for his literary achievements during his lifetime. In addition to being nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature six times, Blunden was named Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1951, received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 1956, and was made a Companion of the Royal Society of Literature in 1962.

The collection includes a portfolio containing a signed holographic manuscript of Blunden's poem, "The Nun at Court." This romantic narrative of courtly love and tragedy consists of six leaves. It is written in ink with Blunden's edits, signature, and notation that it is for Harold Kamp. Also included in the material are two signed letters to Kamp from Blunden, dated 1930.