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Antony Alpers letters to Sarah Campion

Identifier: MSS-Archives-2023/12

Scope and Contents

A collection of handwritten and typed letters written by Antony Alpers to his wife Sarah Alpers (also known as Sarah Campion and Sarah Coulton). Some of the letters are also addressed to Alpers young son Philip. It appears Sarah Alpers, whose handwritting was on the large envelopes in which the letters were received,curated the collection in the 1980s selecting letters she thought would be of interest to her son Philip Alpers and his wife Diana.


  • 1948 - 1959


Conditions Governing Access

Not restricted

Biographical / Historical

Journalist and biographer Antony Francis George Alpers (1919-1997) was born and educated in Christchurch.

His early career as a journalist included writing for the Auckland Star, Press and the New Zealand Listener. When Alpers' wrote Katherine Mansfield: a biography, in the early 1950s it was considered the most significant study of her life and work to date. The book was derived from four years research in London partly funded by the New Zealand Literary Fund.

Between 1966 and his retirement in 1982 Alpers lectured in English and American Literature at Queen's University, Ontario, Canada. During this time he produced a number of publications on the Pacific and Mansfield including The life of Katherine Mansfield (1980) and The stories of Katherine Mansfield (1984).

After he retired Alpers returned to Christchurch where with Josephine Baker he compiled a collection of his father O.T.J. Alpers' letters; Confident Tomorrows: A biographical self portrait.

Alpers died in Christchurch in January 1997 aged 77.


Alpers, Antony in Robinson, R. & Wattie, N.(Eds). (1998) Oxford companion to New Zealand literature. Melbourne, Australia. Oxford University Press.

Biographical / Historical

Sarah Campion was the pseudonym of, novelist, journalist, teacher and social activist, Mary Rose Alpers(née Coulton). Born in England in 1906 Campion lived in Australia, South Africa, Canada and the United States before settling in New Zealand. She wrote several novels between 1930s and 1951.

Campion married Antony Alpers in the early 1950s. The couple who divorced in 1962 had one son, Philip Alpers.

Campion was a founding member of CARE and was also involved in HART, CORSO and the anti Vietnam War protest movement. She died in 2002 aged 96 years.


0.05 metres (3 folders)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the University of Auckland Library in the 1980s.

Antony Alpers letters to Sarah Campion
Nigel Bond
April 2023
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, University of Auckland Repository

5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 New Zealand