Title: Philip O'Connor, letters and papers with some of his writings
Classmark: BC MS 20c O'Connor
Creator(s): O'Connor, Philip (1916-1998)
Main language: English; French
Size and medium: 4 boxes; manuscript, typescript, photographs, and printed material (some photocopy).; Includes 13 audio cassette tape recordings.
Collection group(s): English Literature
Comprises the personal papers and documents of Philip O'Connor; his correspondence with various literary figures (including Michael Hamburger, Stephen Spender, Gregory Stephenson, and David Thomson), with family and friends, and with various publishers and the media, together with his address books; some of his publications, including 'Memoirs of a Public Baby', reviews in various literary journals, short stories, plays, poems, radio scripts, photocopied offprints of some of his published works, and 13 tape recordings of his poetry readings, interviews with the media, and favourite music; and miscellaneous photographs of his family and friends. Included also are a copy of 'The Inventory of the Philip O'Connor Collection', held in Special Collections at Boston University, USA, 2002, and 'Publications [of] Philip O'Connor', first published in 2003. Both his birth and death certificates are present, as well as his divorce documents. The biography of O'Connor and his friend, Quentin Crisp, by Andrew Barrow published in 2002 was donated to the collection separately and is kept with the archive.
Philip Marie Constant Bancroft O'Connor, Irish memoirist and poet, was born on 8 September 1916 in Leighton Buzzard, Buckinghamshire, but spent part of a disturbed childhood in France. He has described his unconventional upbringing and early bohemian life-style in his autobiography, 'Memoirs of a Public Baby' (London, 1958). As well as his collections of verse, 'Selected Poems 1936-1966' (London, 1968) and 'Arias of Water' (London, 1981), O'Connor's varied corpus of work includes sociology ('Vagrancy', Harmondsworth, 1963), personal reminiscence ('The Lower View', London, 1960), and an autobiographical novel, 'Steiner's Tour', (Paris, 1960). His work was first published in 'New Verse' during the 1930s. He was twice married, had at least nine children, and died on 29 May 1998.
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