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W.H. Auden Journal

Add MS 89035 : 1939

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  • Title:
    W.H. Auden Journal
  • Collection Area: Western Manuscripts
  • Reference: Add MS 89035
  • Creation Date: 1939
  • Extent and Access:
    1 volume

    Access Conditions: Restrictions to access apply please consult British Library staff:
  • Language: English
  • Contents and Scope:

    Autograph manuscript volume which was used by Wystan Hugh (W.H.) Auden as both a journal and a notebook.

    Journal entries date from 30th August until 26th November 1939 and were written when Auden was living in the USA. The beginning of the notebook is incorrectly dated 'August 1938'. Auden writes about his life in New York, the people whom he meets and his thoughts on impending war in Europe. This includes Auden's thoughts on the British reaction to his move to the United States with his friend, the novelist, Christopher Isherwood. The entry for 1st September 1939 sheds light on the poem of the same name which Auden later published.

    Auden also records his thoughts on different subjects including philosophy, science, religion and sexuality. A large number of the journal entries have been crossed through in pencil.

    The notebook also includes poetry drafts, quotations from writers and others, and criticism of their work.

  • History:
    Custodial History:
    Journal was previously owned by a private individual following Auden's death in 1973.
    Immediate Source of Acquisition:
    Purchased at auction at Christie's London on 12th June 2013.

  • Former Identifiers: Deposit 10757
  • Exhibitions: Discovering literature: 20th century, (online), 25 May 2016-

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