Herbert Read studied at the University of Leeds, during which time his passion for art and literature flourished at the Leeds Arts Club. He went straight from the University to fight in World War I, emerging in 1918 as a decorated hero (DSO, MC), committed pacifist and published poet. His reputation as a poet and critic grew in post-war London, and he made lifelong friendships with leading writers, above all TS Eliot. As a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, he published widely, on literature, art history and the contemporary visual arts.
The papers acquired with the support of the Friends of National Libraries supplement and enrich the existing holdings of the Brotherton Library, extending the chronological scope of the collection. Significantly, this acquisition covers the Great War and the growth of the relationship between Herbert Read and Margaret Read (over a decade later), as well as documenting the close friendship with T S Elliot.