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MS 437

Reference code

MS 437


David Horner archive (Osbert Sitwell material)



Administrative / Biographical history

Horner, David Stuart (1900-1983)

David Horner was born on 29 July 1900. He was educated privately in France before going to Trinity Hall, Cambridge to study History and Modern Languages.He was an author who wrote various novels, short stories and poems. However only three full length novels were published:
Through French Windows (1938)
Was it Yesterday? (1939)
The Devil’s Quill (1959)

During the Second World War he served as an officer in the RAF Volunteer reserve. Horner met Osbert Sitwell in the mid-1920s and they would remain lovers and companions until Sitwell died in 1963. Horner died in 1983.

Osbert Sitwell (1892-1969)

Sir Francis Osbert Sacheverell Sitwell, fifth baronet, attended Eton College from 1906-1909, and in 1911 joined the Sherwood Rangers, later transferring to the Grenadier Guards. In 1914 Sitwell's regiment was deployed to the French battlefront, and it was there that Sitwell turned to poetry, writing his first work, 'Babel'. In 1918 Sitwell left the army with the rank of captain and published his first volume of poetry. With his sister Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell and their brother Sir Sacheverell Sitwell, he co-authored almost 200 works of poetry, fiction, biography, music, art and literary criticism. Among his most notable works is his five-volume autobiography, published between 1945 and 1950. Sitwell succeeded to the baronetcy in 1943, and died in Florence in 1969.


20th century

Extent & medium

16 boxes, 7 volumes

Content description

The collection is of primarily interest due to Horner’s connection with Osbert Sitwell. Various items in the collection directly relate to the Sitwell family, having been given by Osbert Sitwell to Horner, and include correspondence and photographs.

However, Horner was also a published author in his own right and the collection contains his own literary and personal papers.


The papers were collected by David Horner during his lifetime and after his death passed to his godson Nicolas Barker
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