Symons, Julian, 1912-1994

Variant names

Hide Profile

Julian Symons was an English novelist, poet, essayist, literary critic, short-story writer, historian, and biographer.

From the description of Julian Symons collection of papers, 1933-1967. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122531794

From the guide to the Julian Symons collection of papers, 1929]-1967, (The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.)

British poet, novelist, historian, and critic Julian Symons was born on May 30, 1912, in London, England. Symons was recognized for his crime and detective novels and his critical writing about this genre.

From the description of Julian Symons papers, 1944-1994 (bulk 1970-1990). (University of Delaware Library). WorldCat record id: 630115968

English poet, critic, biographer, and historian; best known for his crime novels.

From the description of The Barsetshire novels : holograph manuscript, 1975 January. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34364327

Julian Symons, 1912- , English author and critic, with a special interest in detective stories.

From the description of Papers, 1980-1985. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122684786

Author.

From the description of Julian Symons papers, 1940. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70980773

Epithet: writer

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000205.0x0001ba

British poet, novelist, historian, and critic Julian Symons was born on May 30, 1912, in London, England. Symons was recognized for his crime and detective novels and his critical writing about this genre.

Symons’s formal education ended in 1927 when he completed study as a shorthand typist at a commercial school. Prior to becoming a full-time writer in 1947, Symons worked as a secretary (1929–1941) and later, as an advertising copywriter (1944–1947).

Many of Symons’s ideas about the literary value of crime and detective novels and the changes in this genre during the 20th century were recorded in his book, Bloody Murder: from the detective story to the crime novel (1972). In Bloody Murder, Symons traced the history of detective and crime novels. He also explained the difference between the formulaic detective story and the more complex crime novel. Symons firmly believed in the value of crime fiction, suggesting that its emphasis on character and motive provides a social commentary. Symons wrote over twenty-five detective and crime novels, beginning with The Immaterial Murder Case (1945) and continuing through Death’s Darkest Face (1990). Symons’s own novels document the pattern from detective stories to crime novels. Although he was most often associated with detective and crime fiction, Julian Symons was also a respected editor, biographer, historian, and poet. He founded and edited the literary magazine Twentieth Century Verse (1937–1939), and was editor of the Penguin Mystery Series from 1974 to 1979.

Symons also edited the selected works of Thomas Carlyle, Samuel Johnson, A. J. A. Symons, Edgar Allan Poe, and Wyndham Lewis. As a biographer, Julian Symons chronicled the lives of Charles Dickens, Thomas Carlyle, Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dashiell Hammett, Horatio Bottomley, and his own brother, noted biographer A. J. A. Symons. Symons’s critical writing encompassed war poetry, historical events in England, the history of crime, and the 1930s. He served as a reviewer for Manchester Evening News (1947–1956), The London Times (1958–1968), and The Sunday Times (1958–). He contributed reviews to The Washington Post, The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times, as well as other newspapers and magazines. Most of his reviews were of books; however, he also reviewed movies, television and radio programs, and theater productions. Confusions about X (1939), Symons’s first published book, was one of his five books of poetry. Symons’s continued to write poetry throughout his life and reviewed the work of other poets in The Sunday Times . Symons was also the author of several collections of short stories, such as The Tigers of Subtopia and other stories (1982); two radio plays, Affection Unlimited (1968) and Night Rider to Dover (1969); and several television plays, including Miranda and a Salesman (1963), The Pretenders (1970), and Whatever’s Peter Playing At? (1974). In 1976 Julian Symons became the President of Great Britain’s Detection Club, an organization previously presided over by crime literature notables G. K. Chesterton, E. C. Bentley, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Agatha Christie. This symbolic honor recognized Symons’s contribution to making crime writing a serious literary genre.

Benstock, Bernard and Thomas F. Staley (eds.) Dictionary of Literary Biography: British Mystery and Thriller Writers since 1940. Volume 87. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1989. 333-343. Lesniak, James G. (ed.) Contemporary Authors. New Revision Series, Volume 33. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1991. 414-418. “Obituary Notes.” AB Bookman’s Weekly. January 30, 1995. 378.

From the guide to the Julian Symons papers, 1944–1994, 1970–1990, (University of Delaware Library - Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Roberts, Denys Kilham, 1903-1976. Correpondence, 1930-1964. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Rose, W. K. William Kent Rose papers, [ca. 1940]-1968. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Laura Riding collection of papers, 1927-1989 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
referencedIn Allen Tate collection of papers, 1935-1971 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
referencedIn Gail and Stephen Rudin autograph collection, 1841-1993. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Hunter, Jody Jones. The Jody Jones Hunter Collection of Works by William Styron, 1831-2001. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Higgins, George V., 1939-1999. Letters to Mr. Julian Symons. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
referencedIn John Cushman Associates. John Cushman Associates records, 1965-1978. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Curtis Brown, Ltd. Records, 1914-2006. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Lawlor, Patrick Anthony. Correspondence on Katherine Mansfield, 1938-1966. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Wallace Stevens collection of papers, 1935-1964 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
referencedIn Oscar Wilde and his Literary Circle Collection: Manuscripts and Miscellaneous Materials, 1854-1962 William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.
referencedIn Kahn, Joan. Joan Kahn papers, 1945-1994. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Ruthven Todd collection of papers, 1939-1967 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
creatorOf Tragara Press. Papers, 1953-1996. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn White mss., 1932-1969 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
creatorOf Symons, A. J. A. (Alphonse James Albert), 1900-1941. A. J. A. Symons collection, 1910-1993 (bulk 1910-1929) Princeton University Library
creatorOf Symons, Julian, 1912-1994. Julian Symons collection of papers, 1933-1967. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Barker, George, 1913-1991. George Barker collection, 1930-1966. Southern Illinois University, Morris Library
referencedIn Oscar Williams papers concerning The war poets, 1944-1945. Houghton Library
referencedIn Dannay, Frederic, 1905-1982. Papers, ca.1920-1982. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn J.M. Dent & Sons. J.M. Dent & Sons records, 1834-1986 (author files S-Te). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Rose, W. K. William Kent Rose papers, [ca. 1940]-1968. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Fuller, Roy Broadbent, 1912-. Correspondence with Julian Symons and Jack Clark, 1937-1992. Texas A&M University, Evans Library & Annex; Main campus library complex
referencedIn George P. Garrett Papers, 1929-2008, (bulk 1960-2000) David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
creatorOf Stevens, Wallace, 1879-1955. Wallace Stevens collection of papers, 1935-1964. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Julian Symons papers, 1944–1994, 1970–1990 University of Delaware Library - Special Collections
creatorOf Symons, Julian, 1912-1994. The Barsetshire novels : holograph manuscript, 1975 January. University of Michigan
creatorOf Julian Symons collection of papers, 1929]-1967 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
creatorOf Symons, Julian, 1912-. Review essay on Henry Williamson, between 1979 and 1989. Dartmouth College Library
creatorOf Symons, Julian, 1912-1994. Julian Symons papers, 1944-1994 (bulk 1970-1990). University of Delaware Library, Hugh M Morris Library
referencedIn {unittitle in sentence case} University of Minnesota Libraries. Special Collections and Rare Books.
creatorOf Todd, Ruthven, 1914-1978. Ruthven Todd collection of papers, 1939-1967. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Papers of Robert Graves: Works by others: pamphlets, offprints and other materials, 1824 to 2006 St John's College, Oxford
referencedIn John Cushman Associates Records, 1965-1978 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Symons, Julian, 1912-1994. Papers, 1980-1985. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Frederic Dannay Papers, ca.1920-1982. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Riding, Laura, 1901-1991. Laura Riding collection of papers, 1927-1989. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Levin, Harry. Harry Levin Papers. 1920-1995. Houghton Library
referencedIn Joan Kahn papers, 1945-1994 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Tate, Allen, 1899-1979. Allen Tate collection of papers, 1935-1971. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Aiken, Conrad, 1889-1973. Conrad Aiken collection of papers, 1913-1963. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Rolfe, Frederick, Baron Corvo, 1860-1913. Papers, 1892-1980. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Donald and Katharine Foley Collection of Penguin Books, post 1965 Bancroft Library
referencedIn Curtis Brown Ltd. Curtis Brown Ltd. records, 1914-1992. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Lewis, Wyndham, 1882-1957. Wyndham Lewis collection, 1877-1975. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Conrad Aiken collection of papers, 1913-1963 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
creatorOf Symons, Julian, 1912-1994. Julian Symons papers, 1940. Library of Congress
referencedIn Wyndham Lewis collection, 1877-1975 Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf Julian Symons Papers, 1938-1995 British Library
creatorOf Prokosch, Frederic, 1908-1989. Works and correspondence, ca. 1933-1972. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Inventory of the Roy Fuller Correspondence with Julian Symons and Jack Clark LIT/Fuller MSS 00068., 1937-1992 Cushing Memorial Library,
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Tom. person
associatedWith Aiken, Conrad, 1889-1973. person
correspondedWith Barker, George, 1913-1991. person
associatedWith Boucher, Anthony, 1911-1968 person
associatedWith Chatto & Windus (Firm) corporateBody
associatedWith Connolly, Cyril, 1903-1974. person
associatedWith Conquest, Robert. person
associatedWith Curtis Brown Ltd. corporateBody
associatedWith Dannay, Frederic, 1905-1982. person
associatedWith Deutsch, Babette, 1895-1982 person
associatedWith Eyre & Spottiswoode corporateBody
associatedWith Fisher, Howard (W. Howard) person
associatedWith Foley, Donald L. person
associatedWith Foley, Katharine person
correspondedWith Fuller, Roy Broadbent, 1912- person
correspondedWith Garrett, George P., 1929-2008 person
associatedWith Graves, Robert Ranke, 1895-1985 person
associatedWith Greene, Graham, 1904-1991. person
associatedWith Grigson, Geoffrey, 1905- person
associatedWith Grigson, Geoffrey, 1905-1985. person
associatedWith Harper & Brothers corporateBody
associatedWith Higgins, George V., 1939-1999. person
associatedWith Hunter, Jody Jones. person
associatedWith J.M. Dent & Sons. corporateBody
associatedWith John Cushman Associates. corporateBody
associatedWith Kahn, Joan. person
associatedWith Lawlor, Patrick Anthony. person
associatedWith Levin, Harry, 1912-1994 person
associatedWith Lewis, Wyndham, 1882-1957. person
associatedWith Lockley, Eric A person
associatedWith Lockley, Eric A. person
associatedWith Mallalieu, Herbert B., 1914- person
associatedWith Morse, Samuel French, 1916- person
associatedWith Murdoch, Derrick. person
associatedWith O'Connor, Philip person
associatedWith O'Connor, Philip. person
associatedWith O'Donnell, George Marion, 1914- person
associatedWith Orwell, George, 1903-1950 person
associatedWith Perkoff, Hugh Leslie person
associatedWith Perkoff, Hugh Leslie. person
associatedWith Porteous, Hugh Gordon person
associatedWith Porteous, Hugh Gordon. person
associatedWith Pritchett, Guy person
associatedWith Prokosch, Frederic, 1908-1989. person
associatedWith Rhys, Keidrych person
associatedWith Rhys, Keidrych. person
associatedWith Riding, Laura, 1901- person
associatedWith Riding, Laura, 1901-1991. person
associatedWith Roberts, Denys Kilham, 1903-1976. person
associatedWith Rolfe, Frederick, Baron Corvo, 1860-1913. person
associatedWith Rose, W. K. person
associatedWith Savage, D. S. (Derek S.) person
associatedWith Scarfe, Francis, 1911-1986. person
associatedWith Sieveking, Lancelot de Giberne person
associatedWith Stevens, Wallace, 1879-1955. person
associatedWith Symons, A. J. A. (Alphonse James Albert), 1900-1941. person
associatedWith Tate, Allen, 1899-1979. person
associatedWith Todd, Ruthven, 1914-1978. person
associatedWith Tragara Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Treece, Henry, 1911-1966 person
associatedWith Trollope, Anthony, 1815-1882 person
associatedWith Weeks, Gladys person
associatedWith William Andrews Clark Memorial Library corporateBody
associatedWith Williamson, Henry, 1895-1977. person
correspondedWith Williams, Oscar, 1900-1964 person
associatedWith Woodcock, George, 1912-1995. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
England
Subject
Detective and mystery stories
Occupation
Critics--20th century.--England
Authors
Authors, English--20th century
Function

Person

Birth 1912-05-30

Death 1994-11-19

Britons

English

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6b56v25

Ark ID: w6b56v25

SNAC ID: 50764203