A collection of material relating to Daniel Defoe, assembled by John Cuming Walters, editor of the Manchester City News, comprising original manuscripts of lectures by him, and newspaper and magazine cuttings of articles by him and others.

John Cuming Walters (1863-1933), editor of the Manchester City News [Daniel Defoe]
Publication details: 
Manchester and other English cities. One set of manuscript notes dated 17 July 1931; the cuttings dating from between 1907 and 1932.
SKU: 12849

A notable man by any measure, Walters is a puzzling omission from the Oxford DNB. For many years a central figure in the literary life of the north-west of England, he was an authority on Shakespeare (his extensive papers on whom are now in the Folger), Tennyson and Dickens. Walters was the author of 'about 20 books and [...] 250 lectures', and an 'actual or corresponding member of close upon fifty' literary societies, in addition to his professional work as editor of the Manchester City News (for twenty-five years), and the Manchester Evening Chronicle. Shortly before his death (and as reported in The Times, 28 April 1932) Walters boasted of having written 'between 15,000 and 20,000 leading articles, nearly 20,000 reviews of books, 8,000 dramatic notices, and 15,000 special articles'. His journalistic achievements including a year-long successful 'anti-slum campaign'. Further information on Walters' life is to be found in L. M. Angus-Butterworth's 'Lancashire Literary Worthies' (1980). The present collection is in fair condition, on aged paper, with occasional leaves frayed and worn. It contains a total of 124pp., 12mo, of autograph notes by Walters. These texts are disordered, with hiatuses, and fall into four main groups. ONE. Titled 'Daniel Defoe | J. Cuming Walters'. 58pp., 12mo, in ink, with two different sets of numbering (one in pencil and one in ink) from 1 to 61. Begins: 'Everybody knows Robinson Crusoe, perhaps the most popular boys' book in the world.' TWO. Untitled disordered ink notes. Dated at head 'Defoe | July 17. 31'. 9pp., 16mo. Begins: 'The right attitude towards Defoe - or perhaps it would be better to say, the safe attitude - is one of healthy scepticism as to his motives.' THREE. 43pp., 12mo, of disordered ink notes, with the first page headed 'Defoe', and beginning: 'It might reasonably be asked what possible interest Robinson Crusoe could have for a body of matured [sic] readers.' FOUR. 14pp., 12mo, of disordered pencil notes, with the first page headed 'Defoe', and beginning: 'In some respects I am quite disqualified for the task of discussing Daniel Defoe.' FIVE. Walter's article 'A Bicentenary Tribute to Daniel Defoe', from the Manchester Quarterly, 1932. 12pp., 12mo. Disbound, and somewhat grubby. With accession stamp of the Rochdale District Library, 17 February 1932. SIX. Printed postcard advertising Walter's lecture 'The Bicentenary of Daniel Defoe', at the Darwen Literary Society, on 12 November 1931. Pencil notes by Walters on the reverse. SEVEN. A total of 70 cuttings, including 23 loose and 47 laid down on 12mo leaves. Included are pieces from the Academy, the Athenaeum and the Times Literary Supplement; and five cuttings making up the article 'Daniel Defoe. A Chequered Career' by Arthur Ransome.