Arthur Romney Green
Arthur Romney Green (1872-1945) was a prolific writer, and would have liked to dedicate his life to poetry, but he realised that he would have to earn a living, and trained in chemistry and physics at Mason College, Birmingham. He taught in South Africa for three years, but was already crafting boats and furniture, and returned to England in 1900 to set up a workshop, first in Bosham on the Sussex coast, moving in 1902 to Haslemere in Surrey. He applied to his woodworking the mathematical principles he had learned. He continued to teach in a variety of milieux, and in the 1930s he taught woodworking skills in workshops for the unemployed organised by the Rural Industries Bureau. He joined the Independent Labour Party, and established an active branch in Haslemere. He left his family in 1909 to set up home with Bertha Murray, moving in 1919 to Christchurch, where he made furniture until his death in 1945 from head injuries sustained in a road traffic accident.
He had numerous works of poetry and social commentary published, as well as articles about woodworking and sailing. He put together an anthology of his favourite poetry, but could not get it published during the depression of the 1930s, and he also wrote an autobiography. His niece and executor, Joan Yeo-Marsh, succeeded in having the poetry published ('A Craftsman's Anthology', Allen & Unwin 1948).
These papers given by Romney Green's niece's family mainly comprise manuscript, typescript and published works by ARG: poetry, literary criticism, mathematics and social commentary, with a little about woodworking and sailing and (among his early writings) the texts of two plays. There are also papers relating to his autobiography and his anthology of literature, including the attempts after his death to have them published, and there are records of tributes to him, 1945-1997, a few photographs of him and of the staff of his workshop, and about 40 photographs of furniture and objects made by him. Only a very few letters from ARG survive here: a carbon copy of a letter to Eric Gill, 1933, his autobiographical letters to his daughter Beatrice, and correspondence about his anthology, 1934-1936, and about his autobiography, 1942-1944, including letters to and about the women in his life after the death of Bertha.
Papers relating to his family background include the account by his mother, Maria Heath Curtis, of her family (medical practitioners in Alton, Hampshire), transcripts by her of letters from ARG's father, Frederic Green, and the texts of three articles by Frederic Green. There is also information about ARG's brother, the architect William Curtis Green, including genealogical material about Curtis Green's first wife, Cicely Dillworth Lloyd, and their descendants