||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galleys, and page proofs of his works (both published and unpublished), plus accompanying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, film schedules,
documents concerning film rights. There are also numerous articles, book reviews,
dissertations and theses, and other works about Fowles and his work, which were sent
by students, scholars, and others. The remainder of the collection includes personal
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,
of material within folders has generally not been disturbed, except to occasionally
regularize the chronology of correspondence where present. Fowles's original folders
been retained as they frequently include title information, dates, identifications
progression, or other notes. There are also often descriptive notes within folders,
information Fowles apparently jotted down as he was preparing his papers for shipment
||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
writings. A number of unpublished essays, novels, plays, poems, short stories, and
screenplays are also present in this collection, most 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,
Sir Peter Hall. Correspondence from photographer Fay Godwin concerns her work with
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,
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
agency and publishing company personnel, co-authors, solicitors of work, and others.
||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,
David Rudkin. Correspondence from directors Karel Reisz, George Schaefer, and to Fred
Zinnemann is also included.
||Correspondence and writings by others about Fowles and his works makes up another
of this collection. Often Fowles responded to these students, scholars, and other
sometimes providing detailed commentary in his answers to questionnaires and correspondence.
There are also numerous press clippings of reviews of Fowles's works.
||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
selecting the 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.