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Lawrence Durrell personal papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description




Personal and Source Material

Material by others sent to Durrell

Lawrence Durrell personal papers, 1970-1990 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: Lawrence Durrell personal papers, 1970-1990Add to your cart.

ID: 1/1/MSS 163

Primary Creator: Durrell, Lawrence.

Extent: 22.0 Boxes

Arrangement: This collection has been divided into 5 series: (1) Notebooks, (2) Manuscripts, (3) Correspondence, (4) Personal and source material, (5) Material by others sent to Durrell.

Date Acquired: 05/00/1990

Subjects: Durrell, Lawrence, Miller, Henry, 1891-1980

Forms of Material: Correspondence., Durrell, Lawrence - Correspondence, Durrell, Lawrence - Manuscripts, Manuscripts for publication., Miller, Henry, 1891-1980 - Correspondence, Venus, Brenda - Correspondence

Languages: English, French

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection was acquired as a chronological continuation of collection 42, the Lawrence Durrell papers, 1935-1970.  It also contains material before 1970, such as notebooks, including the one kept by Durrell and Henry Miller during their 1939 trip to Greece, manuscripts, and personal material.  543 books and periodicals from Durrell's personal library are also included in the collection.

Correspondence included in this collection is primarily from the years 1970-1990, although some dates earlier.   Included in the correspondence series are all of Henry Miller's letters to Brenda Venus (1976-1980).

The typescripts are fragmented, with the occasional notebook and photocopies of Durrell's works published between 1970-1992, as well as magazine and newspaper articles written by Durrell between 1947-1978. The collection also includes his notes as a visiting lecturer at Cal-Tech in 1973 and news clippings about Durrell and his work, as well as material sent by others to Durrell.

Biographical Note

Lawrence George Durrell (February 27, 1912-November 7, 1990) was an expatriate British novelist, poet, dramatist, and travel writer. Durrell was born in Jullundur, British India and published his first collection of poetry, Quaint Fragment, at age 19. This was the first of many writings to be published, and though he is remembered as a great poet, much of his work in print is prose. Publications include:  Prospero's Cell, White Eagles over Serbia, Bitter Lemons, The Alexandria Quartet, The Revolt of Aphrodite, and The Avignon Quintet. In 1935, Durrell married Nancy Isobel Myers and moved to Greece. In 1940 they had a daughter, Penelope Berengaria, and soon after had to escape from Greece to Egypt where he wrote about Corfu and their life on "this brilliant little speck of an island in the Ionian" in the poetic. During the war, Durrell served as a press attaché  to the British Embassies, first in Cairo and then Alexandria. After the war he held various diplomatic and teaching jobs. Durrell separated from Nancy in 1942 and in 1951 he married Yvette Cohen, the model for the character Justine in the Alexandria Quartet.  Durrell separated from Eve Cohen in 1955, and was married again in 1961 to Claude-Marie Vincendon. Vincendon died of cancer in 1967. Durrell spent several years in the service of the Foreign Office. He was senior Press Officer to the British Embassies in Athens and Cairo, Press attaché  in Alexandria and Belgrade, Director of the British Institutes in Kalamata, Greece, and Cordoba, Argentina. He was also Director of Public Relations in the Dodecanese Islands and on Cyprus. His fourth and final marriage was in 1973 to Ghislaine de Boysson, whom he divorced in 1979. Durrell suffered from emphysema for many years. He died of a stroke at his house in Sommières, France in November 1990.

Subject/Index Terms

Durrell, Lawrence
Miller, Henry, 1891-1980

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions:

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright.  Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection.  Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Curtis Brown Group Limited of London, England maintains literary rights.

Acquisition Source: Purchased

Acquisition Method: This material was purchased in May of 1990 from the London book dealer Anthony Rota.

Related Materials: Lawrence Durrell papers (MSS 042); Lawrence Durrell library (see website) For more information please see

Preferred Citation: [Item], Lawrence Durrell personal papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Notebooks],
[Series 2: Manuscripts],
[Series 3: Correspondence],
[Series 4: Personal and Source Material],
[Series 5: Material by others sent to Durrell],

Series 5: Material by others sent to DurrellAdd to your cart.
Box 20Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Adam, PeterAdd to your cart.
Spirit of Place, Lawrence Durrell's Egypt, A companion-piece to Spirit of Place:  Lawrence Durrell's Greece.  BBC production
Folder 2: Adam, PeterAdd to your cart.
Spirit of Place, Lawrence Durrell's Egypt, A companion-piece to Spirit of Place:  Lawrence Durrell's Greece. BBC production
Folder 3: Beecham, AudreyAdd to your cart.
Different Weather, 47p. TMs with letter
Folder 4: Commenge, BeatriceAdd to your cart.
7p. TMs with letter
Folder 5: Fermor, Patrick LeighAdd to your cart.

88p. TMs, Journey to Peru, July 27-Sept 2, 1971

7p. ALS  to Professor Trypanis, 1980

p. AMS George Katsimbalis

Folder 6: Fielding, XanAdd to your cart.
Five Poems.  Rhodes, 1946.
Folder 7: Guillemard, ColletteAdd to your cart.
14 photographs with quotes from Durrell's Alexandria Quartet with letter, 1976.
Folder 8: Heller, HermineAdd to your cart.
Bittere limonen Gedanken zur mediterranen Lyrik von Lawrence Durrell.  36p. TMs, with letter, 1976
Box 21Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Henig, SuzanneAdd to your cart.

The Age of the Assassin. Aeolin Press, 1976.  Galley proof.

Poems.  San Diego: Transparent Publications, 1974.

Folder 2: Inside the Volcano, Artists Tour of Nicaragua 1984.Add to your cart.
Oakland:  Artists Tour Productions, 1984. with letter and slides.
Folder 3: Karakatzanis, YorguyAdd to your cart.
Acres Gouts:  Quatre Compositions de Luc Claus.  Paris:  Les Presses Artistiques, 1978.  with note and poster.
Folder 4: Levin, ElenaAdd to your cart.
Nine Letters of Boris Pasternak.  From Harvard Library Bulletin, Vol. 40, no. 4.
Folder 5: Manning, HugoAdd to your cart.

The Dream.  London:  Villiers Publications, 1971.

Then People May Laugh.  London:  Village Press, 1973.

Folder 6: Miller, DianeAdd to your cart.
TMs Muse Moments: Poems
Folder 7: Miller, HenryAdd to your cart.
Ams Insomnia or the Devil at Large
Folder 8: Millington-Drake, MarieAdd to your cart.
The Bamboo Flute, Chapters 1-3 136p. TMs,  with letter.
Folder 9: Chapters 4-8 The Bamboo FluteAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: [Monnot, G.], 8p. AMsAdd to your cart.
Box 22Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Morrison, RayAdd to your cart.

10p. TMs Where God is a Yellow Man:  Surrealist and Taoist Elements in the Black Book

6p. TMs With his Art like a Vase: Fangbrand. A Heraldic Life as Poetry.

8p. TMs A Mirror Reference to Reality:  Justine as a Schopenhauerian Woman.

Folder 2: Ogden, C.K.Add to your cart.
Basic English and Grammatical Reform.  Cambridge:  The Orthological Institute, 1937.
Folder 3: Ostovany, JaniceAdd to your cart.
Etching 1980
Folder 4: Papadimitriou, ElieAdd to your cart.
Anatolia.  40p. TMs
Folder 5: Pearl.  No. 6, Fall-Winter 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Perles, AlfredAdd to your cart.
Henry Miller Dead?  London Magazine, Oct 1980.
Folder 7: Ridler, AnneAdd to your cart.

Epitaph for Durrell.

Kaiser Bill

poof letter from Theodore Stepanides

Folder 8: TambimuttuAdd to your cart.
Preface, 3p. TMs
Folder 9: Thomas, AlanAdd to your cart.
Catalog 36, 1977
Folder 10: Thompson, LewisAdd to your cart.
Mirror to the Light, 98p TMs
Folder 11: Whittemore, EdwardAdd to your cart.
Sinai Tapestry: A Novel.  New York:  Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1977.  Uncorrected proof.
Folder 12: Book of SketchesAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Notebooks],
[Series 2: Manuscripts],
[Series 3: Correspondence],
[Series 4: Personal and Source Material],
[Series 5: Material by others sent to Durrell],

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