D265 - Peers, E. Allison - ca.1896-1999
The collection consists mainly of materials relating to the career of Peers as the pseudonymous "Bruce Truscot". This includes correspondence to and from Truscot, principally from figures within the universities and his publishers, reviews of the Truscot books, press cuttings covering education and...
|Archive level description:||Sub-sub fonds|
|Physical Description:||1 box|
|Summary:||The collection consists mainly of materials relating to the career of Peers as the pseudonymous "Bruce Truscot". This includes correspondence to and from Truscot, principally from figures within the universities and his publishers, reviews of the Truscot books, press cuttings covering education and secondary materials relating to universites. There is also a small amount of material on his work on Spain, including correspondence, and various personal papers such as material relating to his death and biographical accounts.|
|Accruals:||There are no anticipated accruals.|
|Access Conditions:||Access is open to bona fide researchers.|
The collection has been arranged into three sections.
|Finding Aids:||A finding aid is available for consultation in the reading room, in the alphabetically listed University Staff section.|
|Related Material:||The University of Liverpool also holds:A Peers book collectionMaterial relating to Peers' study of the Spanish Mystics and Spanish Civil WarSix original diplomas conferred upon Peers by universities and Societies, reference MS.6.7. (an appointment is necessary to view this collection)There are also papers belonging to E. Allison Peers at Leeds University Library, Special Collections - ref. MS 583 and 737.|
|Separated Material:||Peers was Director of the Institute for Hispanic Studies and the papers relating to the administration of the Institute, found with this collection, are now in the Records of the Institute of Hispanic Studies.|
|Access Restrictions:||Reproduction and licensing rules are available on request.|
|Bibliography:||[Book] E. Allison Peers Redbrick University Revisited: The autobiography of Bruce Truscot edited by Mackenzie, Ann and Allan, Adrian (Liverpool University Press, 1996).|
Edgar Allison Peers was born in 1891 and as a child moved every few years with his father's Customs and Excise job. Peers thus attended many different types of school before going up to Christ's College, Cambridge, to read Medieval and Modern Languages in 1909. He intended to take French and Spanish, but was discouraged from the latter as there was no lecturer and instead took English as a second subject. After graduating in 1912, and with no opportunity of a University post, he took the Teachers' Diploma and became a Schoolmaster. In this capacity Peers pursued his Spanish interest, for example introducing Spanish to the curriculum and publishing a Spanish grammar book.
After the Armistice Peers decided to take any kind of University appointment that presented itself and pursue Spanish as his life-work. He began work at the University of Liverpool early in 1920, setting up the Summer School of Spain that same year, and became Gilmour Professor of Spanish in 1922. His battle with the "New Testament" caucas in receiving this appointment gave him many of the characters and themes he would later describe in Redbrick.
Peers had a prolific output, writing or editing over sixty books on Spain, being perhaps best known for his work on Spanish Mystics. In 1923 he founded the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies and throughout his career he was instrumental in raising the profile of Hispanic studies.
Peers was also passionate in his views on higher education and published two controversial, highly critical and influential books dealing with problems and policies within the Universities. Redbrick University (1943) and Redbrick and these Vital Days (1945) were published under the pseudonym "Bruce Truscot". These provoked lively debate, not least over Truscot's real identity, but also surrounding the purpose of the universities, role of research and responsibilities of the teacher. He coined the term "Redbrick" to denote the more modern universities as compared with "Oxbridge", the newer universities being typically housed in Victorian "Redbrick" buildings. Truscot's contribution to the post-war debate on reform and development within education was significant.
E. Allison Peers died in December 1952 and only then was the real identity of Bruce Truscot revealed. Nowhere was there perhaps greater surprise than in Peers own University of Liverpool, where he had spent his entire university career spanning over 30 years. This would probably not have surprised Peers, for as he commented in the preface to Redbrick and these Vital Days, he had never encountered academics prepared to believe that their institution could possibly have been the model for the book.