Skip to main content

Correspondence of Sarah Cawkwell and Jenny Joseph

 Single Item
MS. 17253
Held in our offsite storage facility

  • Request

Personal correspondence of Sarah Cawkwell and Jenny Joseph covering topics including publishing problems, exhibitions, and proposed collaborations.


  • Creation: 1994-2017


1 box

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 17253].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.


MS. 17253

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 17253


Correspondence of the artist Sarah Cawkwell and the poet Jenny Joseph, 1994-2017.

Biographical / Historical

Sarah Cawkwell acquired her fine arts degree in painting at the Central School of Art & Design. Her first solo exhibition was in 1987 and her most recent was in 2019. Jenny Joseph (1932-2018) owned some of Cawkwell's art and in addition to their more than two-decade friendship, they occasionally collaborated, including an unfulfilled plan to produce a book called Calendar.

Sarah Cawkwell married the actor, journalist, publisher and athlete Sylvester Stein (1920-2015) in 1985. Stein was the editor of the anti-apartheid South African magazine Drum (first the South African and then the West African edition) from 1955-1957, resigning a few months before Jenny Joseph arrived in South Africa and started work as the secretary to the editor of Drum's Sunday paper offshoot, the Golden City Post. Jenny Joseph was in South Africa from December 1957 until she was expelled from the country in February 1959. Stein went on to publish 2nd Class Taxi (1958), a satire about apartheid that was immediately banned in South Africa.

Jenny Joseph's poetry was first published and broadcast on radio in the early 1950s. Her first poetry collection, The Unlooked-for Season, was published in 1960. During the 1960s she wrote six children's reading books (and in 2000 she published All the Things I See - Selected Poems for Children). Her next poetry collection was the Cholmondeley Award winning Rose in the Afternoon and Other Poems (1974), which contained the famous and much anthologised poem 'Warning' (opening "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple"). Her last poetry collection Nothing like Love, was published in 2009. Despite failing vision, she kept reading and writing until December 2013, after which her eyesight deteriorated so much that she was no longer able to do so.

See the Jenny Joseph archive at the Bodleian Library for more [MSS. 12404/1-132, MS. 12404 photogr. 1, MSS. 12404 digital 1-84].

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Sarah Cawkwell, November 2019.

Related Materials

The Jenny Joseph archive is MSS. 12404/1-132, MS. 12404 photogr. 1, MSS. 12404 digital 1-84 and a portrait photograph of Jenny Joseph by Robert Mitchell is at MS. Photogr. c. 572, fol. 42.

Correspondence of Jenny Joseph and Sarah Cawkwell
Finding aid prepared by Charlotte McKillop-Mash
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom