Letters to and from Oxford University Press CWS

Letters to and from Oxford University Press (OUP)

The Oxford University Press, Amen House, Warwick Square, London. 22 Jun 34. Re: Cheque coming shortly; have you any stories ready for next year?

--- ibid. 7 Jul 34. Re: No excuse for not paying for The Inventions of Paul, which appeared in "The Big Book of Fun" some years ago; copy enclosed.

--- ibid. 7 Jul 34. Re: Provides appointment schedule; horrified you were not paid for The Inventions of Paul.

To ibid. Jul 34, on back of previous letter. Re: Wondered about Inventions of Paul; will call Wednesday about eleven.

--- ibid. 3 Sep 35. Re: Can accept Orange Flowers with slight alteration (too many seeds in pot).

--- ibid., Southfield House, Hill Top Road, Oxford. 29 Oct 43. Re: Cannot use Enemy Brothers:

We have considered your book Enemy Brothers, but I regret to say that for various reasons we are not able to undertake its publication in this country. One reason for this decision is that we feel that the book comes too late. If it had been offered to us two years, or even one year ago we might have viewed it rather differently. But if we accepted the book now, it would not appear until next year, and our opinion is that the time will then have gone by when a book like this might have made a strong appeal to the public. We do not particularly wish to add to the number of war books that we have already published, and would be more interested in a story that dealt with postwar problems and conditions--if it is possible to forecast them.
With twenty-twenty hindsight, it is clear to me that a book predicting postwar conditions would have gone out of date very quickly, while the American edition of Enemy Brothers went through a number of printings. It was republished in 2001 and continues to appeal to young readers. In defense of the OUP decision, one did not, during wartime, made a decision to publish lightly.

--- ibid., Amen House, Warwick Square, London. 23 Aug 65. Re: No rigid guidelines; 30,000 words is about right for readers up to ten; at least 50,000 words for older readers.

--- ibid., Walton Street, Oxford. 3 Feb 81. Re: Not interested in 'made up' last chapter to Mrs. Gaskell's Wives and Daughters.

--- ibid. 24 Sep 94. Re: Cannot find The king's young babe in a 1933 book, but copyright no longer in effect; you may use it for your Christmas cards.

Savery used the poem, also called Cradles for Babies, at the conclusion of One Leaf on the Track.

NOTE: Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press, published nineteen Savery stories in a variety of annuals. A story that appeared in one annual often appeared later in another.