RepositorySpecial Collections Archives (GB 0029)
Ref NoEUL MS 232
Extent3 boxes, 1 bag. 1 file, 4 volumes, 1 elephant folio
TitleLiterary papers of Rupert Croft-Cooke
DescriptionThis collection consists of three deposits
Deposit 1 contains the following: seven scrapbooks containing newscuttings mainly of book reviews of works by Croft-Cooke 1922-1965, also including some newspaper serialisations of short stories; complete galley proofs to 'Conduct Unbecoming' (1975); assorted copies of the Argentinian English-language publication 'The Star' (or 'La Estrella') 1924 and 'Sport and Society' 1923-1924 (Croft-Cooke was the Editor of these publications); three school photographs, undated [1920s].

Deposit 2 EUL MS 232 add 1 contains 1 portrait

Deposit 3 EUL MS 232 add 2, consists of two boxes, 1 set of loose items and 4 published works:
Rupert Croft-Cooke, Songs South of the Line (1925), contains an insert in Croft-Cooke's own hand
Rupert Croft-Cooke, Natal Verses for Sheila, (1927),
Rupert Croft-Cooke (ed), The Circus Book (nd), a copy of which is also available online at
Charles Wain, A Miscellany of Short Stories (1933),
These works have been catalogued on the library catalogue

Deposit add.2 also consists of photographs, press cuttings, typescript for an unpublished play, set of files and envelopes relating to works for 'The Sensual World', Croft-Cooke's collective title for his autobiographical cycle. Also a small set of film stills for 'Seven Thunders', files relating to correspondence with publishers, personal letters, fan mail to Rupert Croft-Cooke and a small group of carbon copies of letters to other writers (copies of letters at the Harry Ransom Centre, Texas.)
Admin HistoryRupert Croft-Cooke (1903-1979) was a writer who also published under the name Leo Bruce. As an adult, he taught English for five years, first in Paris and then in Buenos Aires, where he founded and edited the periodical 'La Estrella'. He returned to England in 1925, setting up a bookshop in Kent, as well as doing broadcasting and journalism work, ith pieces appearing in the literary magazines 'New Writing', 'Adelphi', 'Chapbook', 'The New Coterie', 'English Review' and 'Poetry'. Before joining the British Army in 1940, he moved abroad to Germany, Switzerland and Spain. In the British Army he served in Africa and India until 1946. Returning to the UK in 1946, he took up writing again, holding the position of book critic for 'The Sketch' between 1947 and 1953. For most of his life, sexual relationships between men were a criminal offence and Croft-Cooke never spoke publicly about his sexuality. From 1943, his long-term partner was Joseph Susei Mari (also known as Joseph Sussainathan), whom he met in India and employed as his secretary, typing his manuscripts and correspondence. In 1953, Croft-Cooke was convicted of 'gross indecency'. He served a six-month prison sentence, and later wrote critically about the British penal system in 'The Verdict of You All' (1955). In 1953, he moved to Morocco for fifteen years until 1968, after which he lived variously in Tunisia, Cyprus, Germany and Ireland before returning to the UK. A substantial part of his work was written abroad. He published more than 125 books of all genres, many for the mass market, and was best known as a writer of detective fiction: many of these works were published under the name Leo Bruce. The two heroes Sergeant Beef and Carolus Deane established his greatest literary success.
Access StatusOpen
Related MaterialPapers of Rupert Croft-Cooke are also held at the following repositories: University of Reading; Bodleian Library; University of Durham; University of Oxford; BBC Written Archives Centre; University of Texas (Harry Ransom Center, Austin), Washington State University Library and the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University.
Access ConditionsUsual EUL arrangements apply, but please contact Heritage Collections for information on Deposit 3.
Finding_AidsUnlisted. See Description.
Creator_NameCooke; Rupert Croft- (1903-1979); writer, critic, bookseller and journalist
Mgt_GroupLiterary papers
DS/UK/161Cooke; Rupert Croft- (1903-1979); writer, critic, bookseller and journalist1903-1979
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