Patrick Lees

Patrick Lees

In June Patrick visited the main Archives located on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill to access the Patrick Anderson archive. The bulk of his time was spent on selecting and photographing the source documents. He captured 1000 images of the relevant documents and engaged with the expert archivists there who were very supportive.

It became apparent that the key journal covering the four-month period in 1939, which was to be the central object of Patrick’s study was absent and Patrick concluded that this journal never existed. The intention had been to use the journals to locate and date the photographs taken by Noel Lees on his transcontinental journey with Patrick Anderson in 1939.  Since the journal was absent, Patrick instead analysed many of the letters in the archive sent and received by Anderson during this period. Further, entries in some of the later journals provide some clues as to details of the journey that they undertook.

Patrick found Anderson’s writing to be thoughtful and honest, conveying much detail of the cultural context of living through and reflecting on the threat and the reality of the Second World War and the effect of all that on his life and writing, leading to the decision to migrate to Canada, achieve citizenship there and become active as a poet, teacher, progressive socialist and literary journal editor.

 

Patrick Lees

University of Westminster

2018