Department of Special Collections
Washington University Libraries
Washington University in St. Louis

Finding-Aid for the Progressive League Archive (WTU00097)

Finding aid prepared by:
Special Collections Staff

Summary Information
Title: Progressive League. Archive,
Creator: Progressive League
Inclusive dates: 1935-1963.
Extent: 125 items
Call number: WTU00097
Language: English
Repository: Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO 63130

Access and Use:
Source of Collection:

Access Restrictions:


Use Restriction:


Users of the collections must read and abide by the Rules for the use of manuscript collection materials.

Users of the collections who wish to use items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication (as defined in the form) must sign and submit to the Washington University Department of Special Collections a hard copy of the Notification of intent publish manuscript collection materials form.

All publication not covered by fair use restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder.


The Progressive League was a literary and political group which flourished in London from the 1930’s through the early 1960’s. Its primary function was to sponsor readings and lectures and to provide a meeting place for the literary and political minds of the time. These lectures and readings were often loosely thematic and an emphasis was placed on presenting differing views of an issue. The League was a descendent of the similarly Promethean Society, and in 1957, it in turn spawned the Contemporary Poetry and Music Circle which maintained its activities through the early 1960’s.

Collection Scope and Content Note

Scope and Contents Note

The Progressive League collection consists almost entirely of correspondence between League members A. Ashton Burall, Peter Russell, Alec Craig, and the people whom they solicited for lectures or readings. Among the correspondents are W. H. Auden, Robert Graves, Donald Hall, Elizabeth Jennings, V. S. Pritchett, Stevie Smith, and Enid Starkie. the collection also contains several poetry manuscripts and a small group of clippings.

Subject Terms

  • Auden, W. H., 1907-1973
  • Day Lewis, Cecil, 1904-1972
  • Duffy, Maureen, 1933-
  • Ghose, Zulfikar, 1935-
  • Gombrich, E. H., 1909-2001
  • Graves, Robert, 1895-1985
  • Hall, Donald, 1928-
  • Heath-Stubbs, John, 1918-
  • Hobsbaum, Philip, 1932-
  • Housman, Laurence, 1869-1959
  • Huxley, Julian, 1887-1975
  • Jennings, Elizabeth, 1926-2001
  • Johnson, Pamela Hansford, 1912-1981
  • Knight, G. Wilson, 1897-1964
  • Lee, Laurie, 1914-1997
  • Logue, Christopher, 1926-
  • Lucie-Smith, Edward, 1933-
  • MacCaig, Norman, 1910-1996
  • Pritchett, V. S. 1900-1997
  • Purcell, Victory William, 1896-1965
  • Raine, Kathleen Jessie, 1908-2003
  • Reed, Herbert, 1893-1968
  • Redgrove, Peter, 1932-2003
  • Reeves, James, 1909-1978
  • Ridler, Anne, 1912-2001
  • Russell, Peter, 1921-2003
  • Smith, Stevie, 1902-1971
  • Starkie, Enid, 1897-1970
  • Wain, John Barrington, 1925-1994
  • Watkins, Vernon, 1906-1967