Michael Alan (Mike) Cooper

Discipline: English

Project Summary

I'm working on a Master's by Research (MbyRes) degree as a part-time, distance-learning student at Exeter -- from September 2019. The subject is the Cornish writer and broadcaster Charles Causley (1917-2003); the specific focus of the investigation is the impact of war on his writing.

This impact appears in several ways. The first of these centres on his early years as the only child of a Great War soldier who died when Causley was only 6. Secondly there was his life as a young man in his home town of Launceston in the 1920s and 30s. Following that, he served as a lower-deck sailor in the Royal Navy 1940-46, Finally, there was a half-century of post-war civilian existence as a returned veteran.

Causley's 30-year career as a primary school teacher in his native Launceston was paralleled by a steady output of poetry and other kinds of writing, as well as editing, criticism and broadcasting work. This led to his early retirement to become a full-time writer, including a period as Writer in Residence and Visiting Fellow in Poetry at Exeter in the mid-1970s. Causley was subsequently awarded an Hon. D.Litt. from the University. He was also the recipient of many other literary awards, prizes and honours.

The largest Causley Archive is lodged with Special Collections in the Old Library on the main Streatham campus of Exeter University.

Supervisory Team

First Supervisor: Professor Tim Kendall.

Second Supervisor: Dr. John Wedgwood Clarke.




Wider Research Interests

Still to be determined, as a relatively new 'return-to-learning' postgraduate student.

(I might otherwise have applied to research several other, very different areas, however: e.g., the films of Powell and Pressburger, or the influence of European emigres and refugees on the British film industry around World War II, or even the use of film and television on-stage in live theatre performances.)