University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Lawrence Durrell:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Durrell, Lawrence, 1912-1990
Title: Lawrence Durrell Collection
Dates: circa 1943-1968, undated
Abstract: Includes manuscripts and letters written by the British expatriate author Lawrence Durrell, including multiple versions of Tunc (1968). Correspondents include Graham Ackroyd, Joan Bird, Alfred Perlès, Patricia Rodda, and Tambimuttu.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-1263
Extent: 3 boxes (1.26 linear feet), 1 galley folder (gf)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center



Open for research

Administrative Information

Processed by:

Joan Sibley and Jamie Hawkins-Kirkham, 2011

Note: This finding aid replicates and replaces information previously available only in a card catalog. Please see the explanatory note at the end of this finding aid for information regarding the arrangement of the manuscripts as well as the abbreviations commonly used in descriptions.

Container List


1.1 A private country; poems, typed and carbon manuscript, with handwritten emendations, 60 pages, undated (published 1943). Some individual poems dated. In black folder marked: Lawrence Durrell poems / return to Henry Miller, in hand of Henry Miller. Contents include: Dedication to a daughter; A small scripture; Fangbrand; In crisis; A noctuary; Lament; Uncebuncke; Fourteen carols; Five soliloquies upon the tomb of; Nemea; At Corinth; To Argos; On Ithaca standing; Father Nicholas / his death; Carol on Corfu; Summer in Corfu; In Corcyra; Exiles; In Arcadia; The hanged man; The egg; Journal; Egyptian poem; Nursery rhyme; Daphnis & Chloe; Lyric for Nikh; The three sons; The sermon of one; The green man; Poem in time and space; The poet; The sonnet of Hamlet; To England.
1.2 Spirit of place, proof copy, 430 pages, 1969.
1.3 Studies in genius; VIII Henry Miller, printed with ANS Jacob Schwartz to Edward and Tullah Hanley at top, 17 pages, July 1949. From Horizon. From Hanley II.
1.4-5 The tenth muse; episodes in the life of Sappho, signed carbon typescript with handwritten emendations, 139 pages, undated.
1.6-2.1 Signed typescript with handwritten emendations, 425 pages, 1968.
2.2 Page proofs with handwritten emendations and corrections, 317 pages, 1968.
2.3-4 Page proofs, 361 pages, 1968.
2.5-6 Advance uncorrected proofs, 302 pages, 1968.

Works I:

3.1 Cities, plains and people, signed handwritten manuscript / fair copies, 100 pages, 1960. Contents include: Eight aspects of Melissa; This unimportant morning; The pilot; For a nursery mirror; Pearls; Levant; Alexandria; Water music; Possible worlds; Coptic poem; Mythology; In Europe; For Gypsy Cohen; Six landscape painters of Greece; Byron; La Rochefoucauld; On first looking into Loeb's Horace; Heloise and Abelard; Fabre; Poggio; Delos; Canon in Alexandria; Mareotis; Two poems in basic English; Greek church: Alexandria; Pressmarked urgent; Cities, plains and people.


3.2 ALS, TLI, TPCS to Ackroyd, Graham, 23 August no year, undated. Included with this: Untitled poem, Cupid, the love god…, handwritten manuscript, 1 page, undated.
3.3-5 20 ALS, 6 ALI, ALI / incomplete, 7 TLS, TLI, 8 TL, ANS on envelope, 4 APCS, 6 APCI, 5 telegrams to Bird, Joan, 1965-1967, undated. Included with these: Untitled poem, Suppose we chose some other way…, handwritten manuscript, 1 page, undated.
3.2 ANS, 4 APCS, 3 TLS to Perlès, Alfred, 1964-1965, undated.
APCS to Perlès, Alfred and Anne, 6 April 1965.
3.6 ALS, 10 TL, 4 TLS, 2 TLI, 3 APCI, 5 TPC, TPCS, TPCI to Rodda, Patricia, 1957-1958. Included with these: 3 ALS, TL, 4 TLS, TLI, APCS Claude Forde to Patricia Rodda, 1957-1958.
3.2 ALS to Tambimuttu, Thurairajah, undated.


3.7 Unidentified author Bernard. Christmas card to unidentified recipient, undated.
Durrell, Lawrence. A short song recital on Greek themes, signed printed lyrics for In Arcadia and Lesbos, 1 page, 1964. Not described in card catalog.
gf 1 Perlès, Alfred. My friend Lawrence Durrell, galley proofs, 15 pages, 1962. Original suppressed text.
Perlès, Alfred. My friend Lawrence Durrell, galley proofs, 16 pages, circa 1962.

Explanatory Note Concerning Manuscript Collections Cataloged in the Card Catalog

Prior to 1990 when archival cataloging procedures were adopted at the Ransom Center, all manuscript collections were described in a card catalog.

Organization of Collections:

Manuscripts for each author collection were organized into four categories:

  • Works: manuscripts by the author, arranged alphabetically by title;
  • Letters: the author's outgoing correspondence, arranged alphabetically by recipient name;
  • Recipient: the author's incoming correspondence, arranged alphabetically by the author of the letter; and
  • Miscellaneous: all other manuscripts and correspondence, arranged alphabetically by creator.

Materials that did not fit into these categories, such as art, photographs, books, and near-print materials such as newspaper clippings, were dispersed to other Ransom Center collections for cataloging and storage.

Abbreviations Used in Descriptions:

The symbols below were used in combinations. For example ALS means autograph letter signed; Tccms means typed carbon copy manuscript, etc.

  • A = autograph (i.e., handwritten)
  • T = typed
  • S = signed
  • I = initialed
  • Ms = manuscript
  • Mss = manuscripts
  • L = letter
  • FL = form letter
  • N = note
  • D = document
  • C = card
  • PC = post card
  • cc = carbon copy
  • p = page
  • pp = pages
  • l = leaf
  • ll = leaves
  • nd = no date
  • inc d = incomplete date