Betty Radice Papers and Penguin Classics Series: DM1187

Betty Radice

Betty Radice (1912-1985) was born Betty Dawson at Hessle, East Yorkshire.  She read classics at St. Hilda's College, Oxford and in 1935 married Italo de Lisle Radice with whom she had three sons and one daughter. Between 1935 and 1958 she taught classics, philosophy and English.  In 1959 she joined Penguin Books Ltd. as deputy to Dr E.V. Rieu (1887-1972), founder of the Penguin Classics series. On Rieu's retirement in 1964 she become joint editor of the Penguin Classics series (L/044), a post she held until her death on 19 February 1985.

Betty Radice translated Pliny’s Letters, Terence’s Comedies, Erasmus’s Praise of Folly, The Letters of Abelard and Heloise and Livy’s Rome and Italy, and also wrote introductions to Horace and Propertius, all for the Penguin Classics. She edited Gibbon’s Memoirs of My Life for the Penguin English Library, and translated from Latin, Greek and Italian for the Officina Bodoni of Verona. She collaborated as a translator in the Collected Works of Erasmus, and was the author of the reference book Who’s Who in the Ancient World. She was an honorary fellow of St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, and a vice-president of the Classical Association.

The papers contain biographical and personal material, as well as materials on translated works, including the works of Erasmus of Rotterdam, Pliny the younger and Peter Abelard.  There is also material pertaining to the Penguin Classics series (L/044), including correspondence with translators and scholars.

A handlist of the Betty Radice papers (67.0 Kb, doc) is available.

Dates of Creation: c.1920-1985

Extent: 27 archive boxes.

Immediate Source of Acquisition: The papers were given in 1988 to the University of Bristol Library Special Collections by the estate of Betty Radice.

Access Conditions: Accessible to all bona fide readers.  A typescript catalogue is available in Special Collections.

Copyright/Reproduction: Permission to copy material must be obtained from University of Bristol Library Special Collections.

See also:
William Radice and Barbara Reynolds (eds.) The Translator’s Art: Essays in Honour of Betty Radice (Penguin, 1987)
Russell Edwards, Steve Hare & Jim Robinson (eds.) Penguin Classics (Penguin Collectors' Society, 2008)
Steve Hare (ed.) Father and Son (Penguin Collectors' Society, 1999)
J.E. Morpurgo Allen Lane: King Penguin (Hutchinson, 1979)
Steve Hare (ed.) Penguin Portrait: Allen Lane and the Penguin Editors 1935-1970 (Penguin, 1995)
Jeremy Lewis Penguin Special: the Life and Times of Allen Lane (Penguin, 2005)

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