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Identifier: 5

Scope and Contents

From the Collection: The materials in this collection consist of the files assembled by Margaret Drabble from 1990-1995 and used in the writing of her monumental 1995 biography of fellow British novelist Sir Angus Wilson. The files have been categorized by UI Special Collections into five sections: Administrative Materials, which contain papers concerning the logistics surrounding the research and writing; Alphabetical Files, which comprises the largest portion of the collection. The files contain correspondence, photocopies of documents (including letters to and from Wilson), and other materials arranged alphabetically by the last name of the person sourced or, in a few cases, the subject term. The files contain letters from famous correspondents including Peter Ackroyd, Martin Amis, Louis Auchincloss, John Bayley, Saul Bellow, Frederick Busch, Hortense Calisher, William Golding, Nadine Gordimer, Ian McKellen, Michael Moorcock, Iris Murdoch, V.S. Naipaul, Michael Ondaatje, V.S. Pritchett, Muriel Spark, Peter Shaffer, Stephen Spender, and Peter Ustinov. These files have been retained in the same order as Drabble originally arranged them. An Index to the Alphabetical Files provides a full list of the subjects here. Angus Wilson: A Biography: The original typescript and revised, complete typescript of Drabble's work, which include corrections, inserts, and notes made or added by Drabble; Research Materials, comprised of raw material (such as subject files, copies of vital documents, etc.) that Drabble used to assemble her biography; and Notebooks, consisting of the numerous notebooks Drabble used in her research. Drabble's research files are a valuable contribution to the study of biography. They provide a accessible window into the methods by which a skilled biographer assembles and manipulates material to create a significant historical and literary monument. In addition, they nicely complement the Papers of Angus Wilson by providing an "outsider's" view of his life and works and presenting much of the raw material that goes into making up a life. Note: In the box list, "AW" refers to Angus Wilson. "MD" refers to Margaret Drabble.


  • 1990-1995

Conditions Governing Access

At this time, access to this collection must be expressly granted by Margaret, Lady Holroyd (Margaret Drabble).


From the Collection: 4.75 linear feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)