1975. A five inch stack of files containing about 110 letters from Guy to Jeffrey dated between 1965 and 1989 as well as photocopies of many of Jeffrey's letters to Guy over the same period. Also in the files are a few drafts of articles and other items. Condition of the letters and other material varies - some have a bit of staining or other wear. Some run on to several pages; a few are brief; several are cramped onto the space provided by the old single sheet folded aerogrammes. The archive also includes a file containing 55 WWII letters from Jeffrey Butler to his family back in South Africa. Almost all of the WWII letters are on aerogrammes, stamped "Passed by Censor." The file also includes a typed transcription of Jeffrey's WWII letters. Very Good. Item #81321
Guy Butler was an important English-speaking South African poet and writer as well as a professor at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. His brother Jeffrey eventually emigrated to the United States and spent the majority of his working life as a professor at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut but remained very much interested in South Africa and the town (Cradock) in which he grew up. Despite their Quaker background, both served with South African forces in World War II during which Jeffrey was severely wounded in Italy in 1944 and lost an arm. We don't think Jeffrey ever published an account of his WWII service. Guy described his service and his reaction to Jeff's injury in "Bursting World," the second of his three autobiographical works. Quite a bit of the correspondence collected here is dated in the mid-1970's when the brothers contemplated writing a joint memoir tentatively titled "Two Brothers." After sputtering along for some time, the project is rather firmly put to rest by Guy in a 1978 letter. An earlier cluster occurs in 1965 when their father dies and the estate has to be dealt with by Guy. The letters are generally chatty, quite friendly and sometimes lengthy. Guy shares news of his various writings and honors and often seeks his brother's opinion and suggestions on various matters.