A Preliminary Inventory of His Manuscript for How I Won the War in the Manuscript Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
This small collection contains material for the first novel by Patrick Ryan, How I Won the War (1963). Set in the Second World War, the novel follows the haphazard career of Lieutenant Ernest Goodbody. A hilarious satire of war memoirs, the novel gained little acclaim until the more sardonic film adaptation in 1967 starring Michael Crawford and John Lennon.
After serving in the British army during World War II, Ryan was a writer for the humor and satire magazine Punch, which was wildly popular in Great Britain. He also contributed to Playboy and Holiday magazines and was the Head Postmaster of Harrogate. His other novels include Hubert Calendar Counts his Blessings (1965), How I Became a Yorkshireman (1967), and Clancy, My Friend, My Friend (1969).
Contained here is the setting copy, with revisions, for the novel that was published in 1963. There is no material in the collection related to Ryan's other works or personal affairs, of which little is generally known.
Open for research
Purchase, 1967 (R 3723)
Jonathan Reynolds, 2006