RepositorySpecial Collections Archives (GB 0029)
Ref NoEUL MS 271
Datec 1975-c 1993
Extent11 boxes
TitleLiterary papers of David Rees
DescriptionThis collection contains the literary papers of David Rees, c 1975-c 1993. Not all of his works are included, but his most well-known published novels, essays and stories are all represented, including 'Storm Surge', 'The Exeter Blitz', 'The Milkman's On His Way', 'Letters to Dorothy' and his autobiography 'Not For Your Hands'. Some of the manuscripts were published posthumously. As well as manuscripts and typescripts, reviews collected by Rees following publication are also often included.
Admin HistoryDavid Bartlett Rees was born in Surbiton on 08 May 1936, and was educated at King's College School, Wimbledon, and Queen's College, University of Cambridge, where he was awarded a BA in 1958 and an MA in 1961. Originally working as a teacher at Wilson's Grammar School, London, and Vyners School, Ickenham, he moved to Exeter to 1968 to take up the position of lecturer at St Luke's College. He was promoted to senior lecturer in 1973, and then became lecturer in Education in 1978, when the college became a part of the University of Exeter. He was a Visiting Professor at California State University, San Jose from 1982 to 1983. He remained at the University of Exeter until 1984, when he retired early in order to write full-time.

David Rees married in 1966 and had two children. In 1974, he publicly self-identified as gay. In his autobiography, 'Not For Your Hands' (1992), he wrote: 'My growing acceptance of myself as a gay man was freeing me as a writer' (p. 148). His first novel, 'Storm Surge' was published in 1975. Many of his works of fiction were written for young adults, and a considerable number feature gay characters. His novels 'Quintin's Man' (1976) and 'In the Tent' (1979) were the first books for young adults in the UK to have central gay characters. His novel 'The Milkman's On His Way' (1982) was published by Gay Men's Press and was cited in Parliament during the Section 28 debates in 1988 (Section 28 of the Local Government Act was brought in to 'prohibit the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities'). Some of his works were historical fiction, set in Ireland or Devon. Exeter features in several works, including 'The Exeter Blitz' (1978), a story set during the Second World War, for which he was awarded the Carnegie Medal in 1978.

In 1985, David Rees was diagnosed as HIV positive, which may have influenced the writing of subsequent works, such as 'The Wrong Apple' (1987). In 1986, he founded the publishing company Third House with fellow writer Peter Robins. His autobiography, 'Not For Your Hands', was published in 1992. He continued writing until 1992. He died on 22 May 1993.
Access StatusOpen
Related MaterialNone known to be held elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Copies of Rees' books are held within the Reserve Collection (University of Exeter Library, Special Collections).
Access ConditionsAccess to some items in the collection may be restricted under the Data Protection Act, 1988
ArrangementRetained in the original file arrangement as imposed by the creator of the collection. All files have been re-housed and are now arranged alphabetically by title of work.
Creator_NameRees; David (1936-1993); writer
Mgt_GroupLiterary papers
Education papers
University of Exeter papers
DS/UK/180Rees; David (1936-1993); writer1936-1993
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