Collection: BC MS 20c Piers Paul Read: Piers Paul Read Archive

Archive Collection icon Archive Collection: Piers Paul Read Archive

Details

Title: Piers Paul Read Archive

Level: Collection 

Classmark: BC MS 20c Piers Paul Read

Creator(s): Read, Piers Paul (1941-)

Date: 1950s-2001

Main language: English; German; French; Spanish

Size and medium: 139 boxes, manuscript, typescript, and printed material, and audio tapes.

Persistent link: https://explore.library.leeds.ac.uk/special-collections-explore/8736 

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Description

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.

Administrative or biographical history

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 John’s, 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.

Arrangement

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

Access and usage

Access

This collection has not been listed in detail and access to parts of it may be restricted under the Data Protection Act and other relevant legislation. If you would like to request access to any part of this collection, please contact Special Collections. Upon receipt of your request, a member of the team will discuss your requirements with you and review relevant material accordingly.

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Related subjects

WARNING: many of our records have not been classified by subject. So if you search our catalogue by subject using the links below then you are unlikely to find all relevant records. But you will find some...

English fiction

Catholic Church

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