This collection contains the correspondence between Hilaire Belloc and the James Murray Allison family for the time period 1918-1941.

James Murray Allison came to England with his family from Australia in the years preceding World War I to work for the London Times as advertisement manager. They settled in the Rodmell section of Sussex outside of London. The Allison family had first become acquainted with Hilaire Belloc on a social level, as their home was near Belloc's home at Kings Land where they first became acquainted. Their relationship would take a sudden turn at the begining of World War I, however, when James Murray Allison asked Belloc to write a weekly column for periodical he had recently founded to cover the war effort. "Land and Water" reported on the war effort exclusively and, at its peak, had a circulation of 100,000 subscribers. Belloc's work for this periodical would bring him national recognition and his most success as a writer.

As a French citizen, Belloc had served with the French military for -- years and had closely followed the activities of the French military since completing his enlistment. Familiar with both French military and battle method, together with a familiarity of the terrain where the battles were being fought, gave Belloc an insight into the war's efforts that most journalists were ignorant of. Although his column at times generated considerable debate and controversy among his readers, his popularity as a commentator on the war brought celebrity status to Belloc and led to frequent requests to lecture on this subject around the country.

Belloc maintained a close relationship with the Allison family after the war. He often travelled with James Murray Allison around the countryside. Allison even acompanied Belloc on a trip to the Continent in 1929/? when Belloc was doing field research for his work on the Napoleonic battlefields. Allison kept a journal of their travels and had intended to publish them, before his untimely death in June 1929.

Belloc maintained a correspondence with Allison's widow, Elsie, and their young son Jimmy over the rest of his life. Out of respect for Allison, Belloc completed his friend's "Travel Notes" and saw it through to publication. The subject of much of the correspondence between Belloc and Elsie Allison is related to Belloc's work on this manuscript. Mrs. Allison did remarry shortly after the death of her first husband. The name of her second husband is not known, and she is referred to by the processor as Elsie Allison throughout the correspondence.

Much of the correspondence in this collection has to do with the column Belloc contributed to Land and Water, particularly relating to the effort to have Belloc's column syndicated in 1918 and the ensuing problems.

BULK DATES: 1918 - 1932
SPAN DATES: 1918 - 1941

EXTENT: 1 box


SERIES: 1. Correspondence: James Murray Allison

SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series contains the correspondence for Hilaire Belloc and James Murray Allison over the period 1918 concerning Belloc's weekly column for the Land and Water.

SERIES: 2. Allison Family Correspondence

SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series contains the correspondence between Hilaire Belloc and members of the Allison family over the period 1918-1941.

SERIES: 3. General Correspondence

SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series contains miscellaneous items found with the correspondence with the Hilaire Belloc and the Allison family, including a black and white photograph from the wedding of Eleanor Belloc and Reginald Jebb and various receipts and lists compiled by Belloc related to his work for James Allison.

SERIES: 4. Miscellaneous

SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series contains the correspondence of Hilaire Belloc sent to individuals outside of the Allison family or that is unaddressed.