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Cleverdon mss. II, 1926-1988
Douglas Cleverdon, 1903-1987, was educated at Bristol Grammar School and Jesus
College, Oxford. He began his career as proprietor of a bookselling and publishing
firm in Bristol, England, in the 1920s. His first publication, Eric Gill's
Art and Love in 1927, was printed at the Golden Cockerel
Press. In 1929 he published Coleridge's
Rime of the Ancient
illustrated by David Jones, which in 1964 he re-issued with a
new introduction by Jones as the first of his Clover Hill Editions under the imprint
of Chilmark Press, New York. Other fine press books followed and he later published
several books under his own name. His career for the British Broadcasting
Corporation began with free-lance work as an actor and writer, but after his
bookshop was bombed during World War II, he went to work for the BBC full-time as a
producer with the Features Department. Following the war he worked mainly on
productions for the Third Programme until his retirement in 1969. Many of his
productions were submitted as Italia Prize entries, the most famous of which to win
that honor was Dylan Thomas's
Under Milk Wood,
written specifically for the BBC and with Cleverdon often described as its midwife.
Other particularly fine productions included
The Anathemata, by David
Jones, both of which used the full technical resources of radio acoustics and
effects. Cleverdon also devised and produced poetry festivals and recitals, and
directed several stage productions of