Title: Piers Paul Read Archive
Classmark: BC MS 20c Piers Paul Read
Creator(s): Read, Piers Paul (1941-)
Main language: English; German; French; Spanish
Size and medium: 139 boxes, manuscript, typescript, and printed material, and audio tapes.
Manuscripts and typescripts of his novels (Game in Heaven with Tussy Marx, The Junkers, Monk Dawson, The Professor's Daughter, The Upstart, Polonaise, A Married Man, The Villa Golitsyn, The Free Frenchman, A Season in the West, On the Third Day, A Patriot in Berlin, Knights of the Cross, Alice in Exile), non-fiction (Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, The Train Robbers, Quo Vadis? The Subversion of the Catholic Church, Ablaze: The Story of Chernobyl, The Templars, Alec Guinness), plays (Margaret Clitherow, Premeditated Murder, and others), articles, and short stories; extensive correspondence (with Herbert, Margaret and Benedict Read, Richard Adams, Martin Amis, Melvin Bragg, George Carey, Bonamy Dobrée, Margaret Drabble, J.G. Farrell, Sebastian Faulks, E.M. Forster, Antonia Fraser, Anthony Holden, Basil Hume, Denise Levertov, Graham Greene, Alec Guinness, Derek Marlowe, John Mortimer, Andrew Roberts, Stephen Spender, Tom Stoppard, Julian Symons, Paul Theroux, Philip Toynbee, Auberon Waugh, Hugo Young, Anna Wintour, A.N. Wilson, and many others); interview tapes; research notes; press-cuttings and other papers.
Piers Paul Read, the third son of the poet and art critic Sir Herbert Read, was born in 1941, raised in North Yorkshire and educated by Benedictine monks at Ampleforth College. After reading history at St Johns, Cambridge, he spent two years in Germany and from 1963-64 was Artist in Residence at the Ford Foundation in West Berlin. On his return to London, Read took a job as a sub-editor on 'The Times Literary Supplement' and shared a flat in Pimlico with Tom Stoppard and Derek Marlowe, whom he had met in Berlin.
His first novel, 'Game in Heaven with Tussy Marx' (1966) was described by The Times as one of the most arresting British novels to have appeared in recent years. 'The Junkers' (1968) won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize while Read's third novel, 'Monk Dawson' (1969), won the Hawthornden Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award. More recent novels include 'The Free Frenchman' (1986), set in France during the Second World War; 'A Season in the West' (1988, winner of the James Tait Black Award); 'On the Third Day' (1990) and 'A Patriot in Berlin' (1995), a political thriller. His latest novel is 'Alice in Exile' (2001), the story of a young Englishwoman caught up in the Russian Revolution.
In 1974 Read wrote his first work of reportage, 'Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors', which won the Thomas More medal for Catholic literature and has sold five million copies world-wide. A film of 'Alive' was made in 1992, directed by Frank Marshall and starring Ethan Hawke. Other works of non-fiction include 'Ablaze: The Story of Chernobyl' (1993), a history of the crusading military order, 'The Templars' (1999), 'Alec Guinness: The Authorised Biography', and a first volume of autobiography, 'In My Youth'. Piers Paul Read has also written a number of radio and television plays, and several of his novels have been adapted for cinema, television and radio.
Piers Paul Read is a Fellow and Member of the Council of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of the Council of the Society of Authors. He was Harkness Fellow, Commonwealth Fund, New York (1967-68), a member of the Council of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (1971-75), a member of the Literature Panel at the Arts Council (1975-77), and Adjunct Professor of Writing, Columbia University (1980). From 1992-97 he was Chairman of the Catholic Writers'Guild.
The archive of Piers Paul Read comprises manuscripts and typescripts for his novels, plays and non-fiction; extensive correspondence; interview tapes, research notes, press-cuttings and other papers. The correspondence, in particular, gives an absorbing and wide-ranging view not only of the literary world, but also of British Catholic circles and the challenges Catholicism faces in modern times. There are tapes and files relating to Read's biography of Alec Guinness and to 'Alive', series of letters from Herbert and Margaret Read, and retained copies and originals of Piers Paul Read's own letters.
The BC MS 20C Piers Paul Read catalogue is based on an historic inventory. The arrangement of material does not necessarily represent the original order of the archive and it is considered partly processed by an archivist. When making requests to consult, please be aware that there may be discrepancies between description and physical arrangement. The retrievable unit for this collection is file level. A Novels, 46 boxes, B Non-fiction, 25 boxes, C Articles and short pieces
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Catalogues of archives are usually arranged in hierarchies - one hierarchy for each collection in the archive. The details on display will be of a record at a particular level of the hierarchy. There may be other records above, below, or alongside this record in the same hierarchy. You can see the full hierarchy under 'In this collection'.