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University of Texas at Austin

Aldous Huxley:

An Inventory of His Collection in the Manuscript Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963
Title: Aldous Huxley Collection
Dates: 1915-1973
Extent: 6 boxes (2.52 linear feet)
Abstract: The Aldous Huxley materials date from 1915 to 1973 and include his manuscripts, proofs, contracts, and correspondence.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-02103
Language: English
Access: Open for research

Administrative Information

Acquisition: Purchases and gifts, 1964-1989 (R1205, R1364, R2260, R2382, R3324, R3599, R3732, R4228, R4289, R4786, R6625, R6921, R11910)
Processed by: Katherine Mosley, 2006

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Novelist Aldous Huxley was born July 26, 1894, in Godalming, Surrey, England, to Leonard and Julia Huxley. He attended Eton College and hoped to become a doctor until an eye infection left him blind for nearly eighteen months. After his eyesight recovered enough, he went on to study at Balliol College, Oxford, where he received his B.A. in English in 1916. However, his poor eyesight disqualified him from serving in World War I and the medical profession. He worked as a schoolmaster at Eton from 1917 to 1919, but from then on made a career from his writing. Besides novels, essays, and short stories, he also produced poetry, travel writing, and filmscripts.
Huxley married Maria Nys in 1919; they had one son, Matthew, who was born in 1920. Huxley worked as an editor at the Athenaeum and as a drama critic for the Westminster Gazette from 1919 until 1924. Beginning in 1923, publishing contracts with Chatto & Windus provided him with financial security.
Huxley published three volumes of poetry before publishing his first fiction, Limbo (1920), a collection of short stories and one play. His first two novels, Crome Yellow (1921) and Antic Hay (1923), were social satires, as was Point Counter Point (1928), one of his most regarded works. These early novels struck a chord with the post-war generation, and Huxley became a popular literary figure in England. Brave New World, a broader satire of values in modern technological society, was published in 1932 and brought him international recognition.
Huxley’s later writings, such as Eyeless in Gaza (1936), were more mystical and philosophical. After having lived in Italy during much of the 1920s, the Huxleys, along with Gerald Heard, moved to California in 1937. There Huxley became interested in Hindu philosophy, parapsychology, and mind-altering drugs. The Perennial Philosophy (1954) discussed the ideas of the world’s great mystics. Huxley described his experiences with hallucinogenic drug use in The Doors of Perception (1954). In Literature and Science (1963), he reflected on the relationship between the two disciplines. His later novels Ape and Essence (1948), The Genius and the Goddess (1955), and Island (1962) were apologues and less successful due to their expository style.
Maria Huxley died of cancer in 1955, and Huxley married Laura Archera in 1956. Aldous Huxley died of cancer in Los Angeles, California, on November 22, 1963.

Scope and Contents

Aldous Huxley materials date from 1915 to 1973 and include his manuscripts, proofs, contracts, and correspondence. The materials are arranged in two series: I. Works and Career-Related, 1929-1938, 1955, 1957, undated; and II. Correspondence, 1915-1973, undated. Series I is divided into two subseries, A. Works, 1929-1936, undated; and B. Career-Related Material, 1931-1938, 1955, undated. This collection was previously accessible through a card catalog, but has been re-cataloged as part of a retrospective conversion project.
Huxley’s works are arranged alphabetically. Notable manuscripts include a bound corrected typescript of Brave New World, with handwritten inserts; bound corrected page proofs of Eyeless in Gaza, a corrected playscript with handwritten stage directions for The Genius and the Goddess, and corrected playscripts of Now More than Ever and The World of Light. Corrected typescripts, page proofs, and galley proofs of many essays written for Nash’s Pall-Mall Magazine are also present. Two bound volumes ("Seventeen Essays" and "Sixty-two Short Essays") contain typescripts of essays, many with corrections. Typescripts of various poems are also present. An index of works is located at the end of this inventory.
Career-related materials include publishing contracts from 1931 to 1938 and a 1955 production contract for The Genius and the Goddess, as well as a typescript interview with corrections made by Huxley and a handwritten questionnaire of interview questions with Huxley’s handwritten responses, both undated.
Correspondence is primarily outgoing; notable letters include those to Jelly d’Arányi, Alannah Harper, literary agents J. B. Pinker and Sons, Naomi Mitchison, and Kethevan Hotinski Roberts. Correspondence relating to the playscript The Genius and the Goddess includes letters with Rita Allen, Joseph Anthony, co-author Beth Wendel, and the William Morris Agency, as well as Wendel’s correspondence with Rita Allen, Courtney Burr, Frank Hauser, and numerous others about the play and its production. Grover Smith edited a collection of Huxley’s letters, Letters of Aldous Huxley (1969), and letters to him from various individuals regarding Huxley are also present. A complete list of correspondents may be found in the Index of Correspondents at the end of this inventory.

Related Material

Other manuscripts relating to Aldous Huxley at the Ransom Center may be found in the Sybille Bedford, Judson Crews, Allanah Harper, Mary Hutchinson, Nicolas Nabokov, James B. Pinker, Frederic Prokosch, Nancy Wilson Ross, Leonard Russell, Evelyn Scott, Swami Vidyatmananda, and Mike Wallace papers.

Index Terms


Allen, Rita.
Anthony, Joseph, 1912-1993.
Arányi, Jelly d', 1893-1966.
Bedford, Sybille, 1911-2006.
Brook, Clive, 1887-1974.
Carrington, Dora de Houghton, 1893-1932.
De Liagre, Alfred, 1904- .
Harper, Allanah,1904- .
Heard, Gerald, 1889-1971.
Herlitschka, Herberth E., 1893- .
Isherwood, Christopher, 1904-1986.
Loos, Anita, 1893-1981.
Neveux, Jeanne.
Pearson, Malcolm.
Robinson, G. Sidney.
Sackville-West, Edward, Hon., 1901-1965.
Smith, Grover Cleveland, 1923- .
Wendel, Beth.


Fosters' Agency Ltd.
J. B. Pinker and Sons.
William Morris Agency.


Authors, English.

Document Types


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