||The John Fowles Papers, ca. 1926-1992 (bulk 1953-1991), consist largely of manuscripts,
galleys, and page proofs of his works (both published and unpublished), plus
accompanying clippings, contracts, correspondence, and research materials. Playscript
and screenplay adaptations of his works are also present, as are some cast lists,
schedules, and legal documents concerning film rights. There are also numerous articles,
book reviews, dissertations and theses, and other works about Fowles and his work,
were sent to him by students, scholars, and others. The remainder of the collection
includes personal papers and miscellaneous items, such as audio recordings, diaries,
legal papers, nature observation journals, photographs, receipts, a royalty statement,
and school reports.
||The collection is arranged in five series: I. Works, ca. 1953-1991 (35 boxes), II.
Adaptations of Fowles's Works, ca. 1968-1987 (5 boxes), III. Works about Fowles, ca.
1963-1991 (10 boxes), IV. Personal Papers, ca. 1926-1990, (5 boxes), and V.
Miscellaneous, ca. 1965-1981 (2 boxes). While the materials have been arranged into
these series, the order of material within folders has generally not been disturbed,
except to occasionally regularize the chronology of correspondence where present.
Fowles's original folders have been retained as they frequently include title
information, dates, identifications of draft progression, or other notes. There are
often descriptive notes within folders, information Fowles apparently jotted down
was preparing his papers for shipment to the Ransom Center.
||John Fowles and his works are the foremost subjects represented in this collection.
Manuscript materials are included for several of his major works: The Magus, The Aristos, The French Lieutenant's Woman, The
Ebony Tower, Daniel Martin, Mantissa, and A Maggot.
Additional manuscripts represent poems, plays, several translations from the French
Cinderella, Don Juan,
Lorenzaccio, The Lottery of
Love, Martine, and Ourika), various nonfiction works (such as Shipwreck, Islands, Land, The Tree, and The
Enigma of Stonehenge), contributions to books by others, and book reviews, as
well as curatorial and local history writings. A number of unpublished essays, novels,
plays, poems, short stories, and screenplays are also present in this collection,
notably the manuscript for Fowles's first novel, to have been titled "A Journey to Athens," or "An
Island and Greece."
||Fowles's interest in and role as a translator of French literature, especially of
drama for performance by the National Theatre, is well represented in this collection
manuscripts and correspondence from Michael Bogdanov, John Russell Brown, Peter Gill,
and Sir Peter Hall. Correspondence from photographer Fay Godwin concerns her work
Fowles on Islands and Land. A wide variety of topics are addressed in Fowles's non-fiction writings,
including American culture, antiquarianism, art, authors and books, conservation and
ecology, criticism, England, local history, music, the natural world, philosophy,
sports, and writers and writing.
||Other correspondents represented in Fowles's manuscript files include his agents (Julian
Bach, Anthony Sheil), and editors (Tom Maschler, Ray A. Roberts), as well as other
literary agency and publishing company personnel, co-authors, solicitors of work,
||Various adaptations for stage, screen, and television versions of such works as The Collector, Daniel Martin,
The Ebony Tower, and The French
Lieutenant's Woman are also present. The long process of successfully
adapting and producing The French Lieutenant's Woman for
film is detailed in extensive correspondence (chiefly legal in nature) and contracts,
well as through several drafts of screenplays by writers Harold Pinter, Dennis Potter,
and David Rudkin. Correspondence from directors Karel Reisz, George Schaefer, and
Fred Zinnemann is also included.
||Correspondence and writings by others about Fowles and his works makes up another
segment of this collection. Often Fowles responded to these students, scholars, and
other writers, sometimes providing detailed commentary in his answers to questionnaires
and correspondence. There are also numerous press clippings of reviews of Fowles's
||The personal papers provide documentation of Fowles's school days, his interest in
observing birds and identifying plants, as well as the analysis of dreams. Diaries
intermittently over a 50-year period are also present,"...deliberately reflecting either my personal or the later twentieth century's
growth," but having no clear literary or historical purpose, according to
Fowles. Legal papers concern a libel action involving The
Collector, and correspondence from fellow 1971 Booker Prize panelists Saul
Bellow, Antonia Fraser, and Malcolm Muggeridge concerns the controversy in selecting
recipient of that award.
||This collection offers extensive material for critical, bibliographical, and textual
studies of the works of John Fowles, but contains less in terms of more personal
information, such as personal correspondence, financial or legal records.