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Tuesday Treasure: Stan Barstow and the Literary North

Experience the collections up-close and explore the impact of a literary depiction of 1960s working-class Yorkshire.

A Kind of Loving, Stan Barstow’s first novel, enjoyed huge popular and critical success when it was first published in 1960. With it, Barstow became identified as one of a new group of northern, working-class writers emerging from the so-called "Angry Young Men" of the 1950s. The 1962 film version would become a key film of British New Wave Cinema.

Discover the novel from its handwritten drafts to international editions to responses to its radio and film adaptations. Read Barstow’s correspondence around the film with director John Schlesinger, screenwriter Keith Waterhouse, actor Alan Bates and with fellow West Yorkshire writers John Braine and David Storey.

Who were these northern writers and how did they respond to each other’s work? How did the first readers respond to A Kind of Loving? How did these writers’ work change perceptions of the working-class north in the 1960s?

A handwritten book title 'A Kind of Loving' by Stan Barstow
A handwritten book title 'A Kind of Loving' by Stan Barstow