Arthur Quiller-Couch's Signature


Welcome to the largest online collection of resources on Arthur Quiller-Couch – a major British writer whose reputation is overdue for revival.

This site is designed to act as the fulcrum for wide-ranging study and exploration of a brilliant man working through a fascinating period of British history. If you have not yet come under the spell of Q, this is the ideal place to begin your journey of discovery. 


The materials on this site were developed and curated by Andrew Symons, a leading researcher who has spent many years investigating the life and works of Q, working from Morrab Library in Penzance.

We hope that this site will grow over the years and we welcome submissions of original academic research related to Arthur Quiller-Couch.

We make our discoveries through our mistakes: we watch one another's success: and where there is freedom to experiment there is hope to improve.
Arthur Quiller-Couch, from the preface to 'On the Art of Reading'

If Arthur Quiller-Couch were alive today, he would undoubtedly be described as a national treasure. 

He would be a familiar face on television – talking with his characteristic energy and enthusiasm about the value of good writing or the importance of stimulating children's creativity – or perhaps simply introducing his latest novel.

Writing under the pseudonym ‘Q’, he produced lively and accessible novels and collections of short stories. These books brought him fame, but they only represent one aspect of his work.

Q was also a literary critic and his anthology the Oxford Book of English Verse was the cornerstone of English poetry for more than half a century. As an academic he was a passionate champion of English literature – from Cambridge University, where he was a Professor, to the elementary school system.

Many of his achievements are largely forgotten today, but his voice is remarkably contemporary. He writes vividly, with a directness that is very attractive to the modern ear. He is curious, articulate and surprising – and we can recognise in him the pragmatic optimism of someone who is determined to make the world a better place.