Archive of children’s author Dick King-Smith (1922-2011)

Dick King-Smith is probably best known for The Sheep-Pig which was adapted as the film Babe. He wrote countless stories for children featuring a wide range of animal characters including Saddlebottom, Hodgeheg, and Magnus Powermouse. Together with his dog, Dodo, Dick presented an animal television feature on TV-AM’s programme Rub-a-Dub-Tub (1983).

Letter from Dick King-Smith to his agent. Quotes and image reproduced with permission of AP Watt at United Agents on behalf of Dick King-Smith.

Letter from Dick King-Smith to his agent. Quotes and image reproduced with permission of AP Watt at United Agents on behalf of Dick King-Smith.

A substantial series of letters reflecting an especially personal and warm relationship between author and literary agent is now available for consultation in the Archives. These papers form part of the archive of the world’s oldest literary agency, AP Watt.

The correspondence is chatty and sometimes amusing while at the same time full of important business detail. An in depth, behind-the-scenes view is provided on the working and private life of the author, and the dealings of agencies, publishers, illustrators, and film and television producers.

Pig photo (2)

© I. Gillies

The letters reveal how American publishers turned down Babe, thinking he had too strong an ego; how A Windy Knight had to be changed to Tumbleweed, as all children “vulgarly misconstrued the adjective”; and how the author finds himself solemnly recording: how many pounds of earth a mole can shift in an hour.

AP Watt Archive
British Archive for Contemporary Writing
Dick King-Smith