University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

John Osborne and Helen Dawson Osborne:

A Preliminary Inventory of Their Papers at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Osborne, John and Osborne, Helen Dawson
Title: John Osborne and Helen Dawson Osborne Papers
Dates: 1929-2003 (bulk 1960s-2003)
Abstract: The papers of John Osborne and Helen Dawson Osborne include works, notebooks, clippings, correspondence, financial, and personal material for both John and Helen Osborne.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-5139
Extent: 35 document boxes and 13 oversize boxes (osb) (23 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

Scope and Contents

The papers of John Osborne and Helen Dawson Osborne complement a number of previously received additions to the Osborne Collection held at the Ransom Center. Obtained from The Hurst, the Osborne's residence in Clunton, Shropshire, England, after the death of Helen Osborne in 2004, the papers include works, notebooks, clippings, correspondence, financial, and personal material for both John and Helen Osborne. Married in 1978, they formed a close working partnership in personal, professional, and financial affairs so that the content of the papers intertwine their mutual endeavors. However, it was possible to separate portions of Helen Osborne's papers as they relate to her formative years, correspondence, and journalistic career. Her correspondence contains letters written solely to her, unlike the John Osborne correspondence which is often addressed to the both of them. With this in mind, the papers are organized into two distinct yet somewhat interwoven series: I. John Osborne and II. Helen Dawson Osborne.

Series I. John Osborne is arranged into six subseries: A. Published Works, 1966-2000; B. Notes and Notebooks, 1952-1994; C. Clippings, 1957-2003; D. Correspondence, 1966-1994; Business and Financial, 1957-2003; and F. Career-Related and Personal, 1929-2002.

The published works in Subseries A. are arranged alphabetically by title and include plays, screenplays, and autobiographies. Most of the titles are reissues of previously published plays by Faber and Faber and Oberon Books in collections, such as Four Plays (“A Sense of Detachment,” “The End of Me Old Cigar,” “Jill and Jack,” and “A Place Calling Itself Rome”); John Osborne: Plays Two and Plays Three; Plays for England and Watch It Come Down; and Osborne's translation of Hedda Gabler. These works are represented by uncorrected page proofs and contain no original material such as notes or drafts. Correspondence included with these reissued titles was directed to Helen Osborne who mediated the production and publication of John Osborne's work toward the end of his life and after his death. The earliest work is his 1966 production script for the film The Charge of the Light Brigade, a project that led to a falling out between Osborne and his long-time friend and collaborator Tony Richardson. England, My England is well-represented with marked-up copies of J. A. Westrup's Purcell and Tony Palmer's Charles II, followed by a succession of film outlines and drafts leading to the final script and bound presentation copy. Also of interest are extensive handwritten notes for Déjàvu and a copy of the film script Handel inscribed to Osborne by director Tony Palmer. The papers contain material for Osborne's autobiographical work A Better Class of Person (1981) in the form of a corrected typescript, as well as BBC radio scripts. Looking Back, published posthumously in 1999, combines A Better Class of Person and Almost a Gentleman in one volume. Osborne's handwritten and typed notes, as well as page proofs, are included for this title.

The notes and notebooks in Subseries B. provide revelatory content, for they were written over a considerable time span, 1952-1994, and contain insight into John Osborne's frame of mind, especially in his later years of ill health and disillusionment. Characteristically, the entries are often constructed of brief paragraphs or runs of short phrases and single words. This is especially the case for entries in the years closer to his death when his handwriting became more erratic. Many of the notebooks contained inserted material such as notes and newspaper clippings. The loose material that arrived with the notebooks is gathered in two folders at the end of the notebook series.

A number of the notebooks have pages removed. Entries for the majority of the notebooks are dated. Undated entries were placed in approximate chronological order with imposed dates listed in brackets with question marks. The notebook entries that appear in quotation marks were obtained from the covers or first page of the notebooks.

Subseries C. contains numbered clippings scrapbooks from 1957-2003 and loose clippings from 1989-2003. The numbered scrapbooks run from No. 3 to No. 21. Scrapbooks No. 2, No. 4, and No. 5 are located with Osborne materials previously received at the Ransom Center. Scrapbook No. 1 appears to be an unnumbered item dated 1956-1961, from the earlier accession. The scrapbooks contain review articles of Osborne's plays and other works, as well as general articles on Osborne, supplied by a clippings service. There is considerable obituary and tribute material at the end of 1994 and early 1995. The clippings dwindle by 2003 as Helen Osborne entered a period of ill health leading to her death on 12 January 2004. The scrapbooks are in delicate condition and may require special handling, as the clippings are becoming brittle and less securely anchored to the support pages.

The correspondence in Subseries D. ranges from 1966, with early letters from John Betjeman, ending in December 1994 with Osborne's death. The arrangement is alphabetical by correspondent name or organization. The bulk consists of personal letters and notes addressed to Osborne alone or to John and Helen jointly. Infrequently, there are letters addressed to John and Jill Bennett, his fourth wife. There is a small amount of Osborne's outgoing drafts of letters in the last folder of this subseries and also scattered throughout. An index to the correspondence is found at the end of the finding aid. The index, while comprehensive, is not exhaustive. For example, fan mail from the general public was not usually indexed. Notable correspondents include Lindsay Anderson, Lynn Barber, Jill Bennett, John Betjeman, Dirk Bogarde, Robert Bolt, Peter Bowles, Richard Burton, Noël Coward, Gordon Dickerson, Margaret Drabble, Peter Egan, Richard Eyre, Edward Fox, Robert Fox, Michael Gambon, John Gielgud, Michael Gough, Richard Griffiths, Alec Guiness, David Hare, Neil Hartley, Michael Holroyd, Michael Holt, Pamela Lane, Dominic Lawson, Doris Lessing, Peter Nichols, Laurence Olivier, Peter O'Toole, Tony Palmer, Harold Pinter, Tony Richardson, Jocelyn Rickards, Tony Snowdon, John Tydeman, Arnold Wesker, and Charles Wood.

Subseries E. Business and Financial, 1957-2003 contains a significant amount of financial and publisher correspondence, bank account statements, contracts and agreements, invoices and receipts, royalty statements, and material related to J. O. Productions Ltd., the company Osborne formed in 1961 for his business affairs. Of interest are the original incorporation documents for J. J. Scripts which became J. O. Productions Ltd. and its Combined Register from 1961-1990. The Register lists the few directors and shareholders, chiefly Osborne and his solicitor Oscar Beuselinck with Helen Osborne as secretary, as well as brief minutes of the directors' meetings. Correspondence in this subseries has not been indexed, except for drafts of letters from both Osbornes found throughout. Included are letters from accountants, banks, solicitors, agents, production companies, publishers, television and radio networks, and governmental agencies especially the Inland Revenue. This correspondence chronicles Osborne's financial success as a playwright, as well as his penchant for underestimating his income/debt ratio and his dislike of paying taxes. In later years the financial standing of the Osbornes became increasingly bleak, as years of spending beyond their means, coupled with an escalating tax liability, finally became an insurmountable burden. The debt load was crushing at the time of Osborne's death and Helen spent her remaining years in dialogue with accountants, creditors, banks, and the Inland Revenue in an attempt to float the debt against dwindling income. In 1998, the Arvon Foundation stepped in to secure The Hurst as their fourth writing center, thus providing Helen financial relief and securing The Hurst as her residence for her remaining years.

A wide variety of material is included in Subseries F. Career-Related and Personal, 1929-2002. Leading the group is correspondence related to disputes and legal issues from 1961-2002, arranged in rough chronological order, involving Woodfall Film Productions Ltd., Jill Bennett, The Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Peters Fraser & Dunlop, Nicholas de Jongh and Anthony Creighton, biographer Peter Whitebrook, and ITC Channel 4. Spanning decades, various people and institutions were called to task for a range of reasons, wrangling over personal or professional matters. Some disputes ended in lawsuits, others were mediated by solicitors, and some ran their course in an exchange of heated missives. Also included in this subseries are personal documents such as passports, a 1982 will, as well as birth, death, and wedding certificates. A file titled 'Glory Box' yielded clippings, notes, greeting cards and postcards, photographs, and a diabetes record book. Some of the material may have been pinned up, as the corners bear thumb tack holes. A number of the cards are written by John and Helen to each other for various occasions. One of the photographs captures Osborne holding a young girl, probably his daughter Nolan. The photo mat is covered with a scatter-shot of Osborne's notations, front and back, referencing themes of love and hatred. There are also photographs from the 1980 'Playwrights Mafia Meeting,' two family photos, the Osbornes aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1981, and clippings related to Jill Bennett. The subseries also contains two non-literary notebooks, one titled 'Committees' and the other '1991.' Osborne collected and annotated a considerable number of newspaper articles, clippings, and other publications dating from 1960 through the 1990s ranging in topics of interest to him. Also present is the 12 December 1929, issue of the London Times, the day of Osborne's birth, and a sampling of stationery used by the Osbornes.

The last subseries contains works by others, including material on several biographies of Osborne by Luc Gilleman, John Heilpern, and Peter Whitebrook. There is also a short piece on Strindberg's The Father by Jan Myrdal and Osborne's annotated copy of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. The presence of a single typescript page on comedian Max Miller is likely due to Osborne's interest in Miller in connection with his play The Entertainer.

Series II. Helen Dawson Osborne is arranged into four subseries: A. Writings, 1971-2003; B. Notebooks, circa 1963-2003; C. Correspondence, circa 1941-2003; and D. Personal, 1939-2003.

Reflecting Helen Osborne’s long career as a journalist and arts editor, the bulk of the writings in Subseries A. consists of articles and reviews written for The Observer, 1971-1972, and The Sunday Telegraph from 1988-2003. Material for The Observer consists of a clippings scrapbook of theater reviews. Arranged alphabetically by person or subject, The Sunday Telegraph material contains Osborne's typescripts and corresponding clippings of the published articles when present in the papers. Osborne wrote about and reviewed authors, actors, musicians, and playwrights as well as a column “Books of the Year.” Her piece on widowhood and Denis Thatcher's death drew a large response from her readership as evidenced by letters written to her after the article appeared. Her wit and astute critiques informed her writing which was highly regarded by readers and colleagues alike. Also present in this series is an undated novel-length work Crunch, likely written in the mid-1960s.

Subseries B. Notebooks, circa 1963-2003, spans Osborne’s entire professional life and references her journalism, although many of the notebooks pertain to her personal life with John.

The correspondence in Subseries C. ranges from early Dawson family letters from before World War II to 2003, with the bulk of the letters from the 1960s through 2003. Many of the names are familiar from the letters written to both Osbornes found in Series I., as friends and associates continued their correspondence after his death. Likewise, there is much correspondence written to Helen Dawson before she married in 1978. There are two folders of greeting cards, notes, postcards, and letters that John Osborne wrote to Helen over the years and large runs of letters from her parents and Richard Findlater. Other correspondents include friends from her college days as well as Eileen Atkins, Michael Attenborough, Margaret Aynsley, Alan Bates, Arnold Beck, Prue Bellak, Jill Bennett, Sir Robin Chichester-Clark, David Hare, Dominic Lawson, Penny Mortimer, Peter Nichols, Tony Richardson, Kevin Spacey, David Storey, Peter Stenson, Joseph Strick, and Olga Wilkinson. This correspondence is indexed at the end of the finding aid.

Subseries D. Personal, 1939-2003 includes academic records from high school and college; address, birthday, and daybooks; material for John Osborne's memorial service, personal documents, and a clippings scrapbook. There is also a folder of material on the Arvon Foundation, containing several newsletters and Helen Osborne's planning notes for a 1998 celebration announcing The John Osborne Centre at the Hurst. The scrapbook for 1959-1961 contains clippings related to her Rotary Foundation scholarship and involvement with the dramatic society while at Durham College. After graduating from Durham, she spent a year abroad on a Rotary Foundation scholarship attending Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island for the academic year 1960-1961.



Open for research

Separated Material

The following item has been removed from the collection and housed with the Center's Personal Effects holdings: Helen Osborne's leather writing case with the initials H. D. embossed on top of case.

Administrative Information


Purchase (2008-11-009-P), 2008

Processed by:

Liz Murray, 2010

Container List

Series I. John Osborne

Subseries A. Published Works, 1966-2000
A Better Class of Person (Faber and Faber, 1981)
1.1 Informally bound typescript with handwritten corrections, October 1980; rejected titles crossed out. 'J. O. Master Copy, March 21st' handwritten on title page
1.2 BBC radio scripts. Typescripts of ten titled episodes with handwritten changes
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)
1.3 Screenplay by J. O., production script, informally bound uncorrected photocopy, 21 November 1966
1.4 Radio script, first draft, undated, uncorrected; broadcast by BBC Radio 4 in 2002
1.5-7, 2.1-2 Déjàvu (Faber and Faber, 1991), J. O.'s handwritten notes on notepads and loose pages
England, My England (1995)
2.3 Correspondence, 1992-1995
2.4 Marked copy of J. A. Westrup's Purcell (1968) inscribed to J. O. and H. O. by Tony Palmer, Christmas 1992; note card in J. O.'s hand inserted in volume
2.5 Marked copy of Tony Palmer's Charles II: Portrait of An Age (1979), inscribed to J. O. and H. O. by Palmer, Christmas 1992
2.6 Handwritten and corrected typescript drafts by J. O. on Purcell and Charles II, undated
Film script outlines, “Purcell” by J. O.
2.7 Corrected typescript, undated
2.8 Uncorrected typescript, undated; includes note: 'This is what went off to Ch 4, with your invoice! T. P.' [Tony Palmer]
Film script drafts, “Henry Purcell” by J. O.
3.1 Draft, undated
3.2 Draft, 22 April 1994, spiral bound
3.3 Draft, undated; includes musical repertoire (as of 4 September 1994)
Final script, “England, My England,” by J. O. and Charles Wood, directed by Palmer
3.4 Unbound, uncorrected copy together with 29 July 1995 letter from Palmer to H. O., with draft of her response
3.5 Bound presentation copy inscribed to H. O. by Palmer, 11 November 1995
Four Plays (Oberon Books, 2000), uncorrected page proofs
3.6 “A Sense of Detachment,” with correspondence March-April 2000
3.7 “The End of Me Old Cigar”
3.8 “Jill and Jack”
3.9 “A Place Calling Itself Rome”
3.10 Handel undated, uncorrected filmscript in presentation binding inscribed [to J. O.] by Palmer, 5 February 1985
4.1 Hedda Gabler (Oberon Books, 2003), translated by J. O.; uncorrected page proofs; includes undated corrected proofs of another version
4.2-3 John Osborne: Plays Two and Plays Three (Faber and Faber, 1998), uncorrected page proofs with correspondence, 1995-1997
Looking Back (Faber and Faber, 1999)
4.4 'Typescript of some of notebooks,' various dates, 1969-1974 and undated
4.5 Handwritten and typed notes
4.6 Handwritten notebook, August 1993
4.7-8, 5.1-2 Corrected page proofs, December 1998
5.3 Plays for England and Watch It Come Down (Oberon Books, 1999), uncorrected page proofs, 13 August 1999
Subseries B. Notes and Notebooks, 1952-1994 and Undated
5.4-8 Journalism notes, handwritten, undated
6.1-4 'Scribbles,' handwritten notes on loose sheets and fragments from lined pads
Notebooks, handwritten
6.5 1952, lists of words; 1953, for "The King Is Dead"
6.6 June 1969 through 30 October 1970; with undated letter from Jill Bennett to J. O.
6.7 [1970s?]; on first page: 'A Place to Put Your Head'; back page contains list of J. O.'s works through “Tom Jones
7.1 'June 1971 Notebook Cont: Vol. II'; includes J. O.'s inserted note of 24 June 1972 'For my executors. Not to be destroyed or suppressed.' Dated entries continue through 4 April 1974
7.2 '1974(?) (No, later: 77?/78?)' on cover; spiral notebook with pages torn out
7.3 October 1980 on first page; front and back covers heavily annotated; 'Spectacle of Empire' on back cover; dated entries through 7 February 1983
7.4 [1983?] 'Patriot. Chichester' on cover; first page noted 'Chichester May 6th'; notes re years 1956-1966
7.5 19 February 1983 through 14 June 1984
7.6 [1984-1985?]
7.7 March 1985 through 14 October 1985; reverse side noted 'JEHSON. EMPIRE,' undated
8.1 'May 1985 onwards' on cover; entry dates are not sequential
8.2 8 January 1986 through 4 September 1987; numbered pages through p. 241
8.3 'Portscatho Feb March 86 Part 4'; includes play notes and drafts of letters
8.4 'Oct 1987-Oct 1988'
8.5 'Notebook--J. O.--October '88-September '91'; numbered pages through p.184
8.6 July 1988-November 1988; front pages torn out; notes on Vol. II of autobiography
8.7 [1989?] Undated; references to Déjàvu; includes draft of letter to Richard [Eyre]
9.1 'July 25, 1991' on cover; first pages torn out; dated through 9 April 1992
9.2 'Notebook--J. O.--Sept. 10th 1991 (from last Vol.:--October '88-Sept. '91)'; numbered pages to p.131; pages at end torn out; last dated entry January 1994
9.3 'Vol II 1991'
9.4 'October 1993'
9.5 'Dec. 93'
9.6 [1993-1994?]; inside front cover 'Tame I Am Not'
9.7 '1994'; contains 10 undated pages
9.8 [1994?]; includes article on Kenneth Clarke dated 8 December 1994, drafts of letters and Spectator articles, notes on the Prince of Wales; reference to June 1994 nosebleed
10.1 [1994]; includes drafts of letters and clipping dated October 1994
10.2 [Late 1994?]; reference to Spectator diary piece and 65th birthday
10.3-4 Loose material from notebooks, 1966-1994 and undated; includes card from Jill Bennett
Subseries C. Clippings, 1957-2003
Numbered scrapbooks, 1957-1988
osb 36 No. 3, October 1957-October 1960
osb 37 No. 6, October 1964-November 1966
osb 38 No. 7, November 1966-November 1968
osb 39 No. 8, November 1968-October 1970
osb 40 No. 9, October 1970-November 1972
osb 41 No. 10, November 1972-November 1974
osb 42 No. 11, November 1974-December 1977
10.5 No. 12, January-November 1978
10.6 No. 13, January 1979-November 1980
10.7 No. 14, February-July 1981
10.8 [No. 15], October-December 1981, “A Better Class of Person”
10.9 No. 15a, September 1981-July 1983, “A Better Class of Person” continued
10.10 No. 16, November 1981-April 1983
10.11 No. 17, April-July 1983, “A Patriot For Me”
11.1 No. 18, August 1983-June 1985
11.2 No. 19, June 1985-June 1986
11.3 No. 20, June 1986-December 1987
11.4 No. 21, 1988
Loose clippings, 1989-2003
11.5 1989
11.6 1990
11.7 1991, January-October
osb 43 1991, October; “Almost A Gentleman”
11.8 1991, November-December
12.1 1992, January-June
12.2 1992, June-December
12.3 1993
12.4 1994
12.5, osb 44 1994, December 26-31, re J. O.'s death
12.6 1995, January
12.7 1995, February-September
13.1 1995, October-December 1996
13.2 1997
13.3 1998
13.4 1999
13.5 2000-2001
13.6 2002
13.7 2003
Subseries D. Correspondence, 1966-1994 and Undated
14.1 A
14.2 B
14.3 C-E
14.4 F-G
14.5 H-K
14.6 L
14.7 M-O
15.1 P-R
15.2 Rickards, Jocelyn
15.3 S-T
15.4 W
Unidentified, alphabetical by first names
15.5 A-K
15.6 M-Z
15.7 Unidentified correspondents
15.8 Outgoing correspondence
Subseries E. Business and Financial, 1957-2003
Bank account statements, J. O. and H. O. personal
16.1-3 Barclay's Ludlow branch, January 1987- June 2002; with check stubs
16.4 Leek United Building Society, April 1996- April 2002; bank books, March 1995- August 2001
17.1-5 H. O., business account, 1995-2003
18.1-2 Contracts, agreements, and correspondence re performances of J. O.'s plays, 1981-2003
18.3 [1957-1969] to 1987
18.4 1988-1989
18.5 1990
18.6 1991
18.7 1992-1994
19.1-2 1994-2003, H. O., tax and estate issues
Invoices and receipts
19.3 Charge receipts, 1983; travel receipts, Italy trip
19.4 Estimates for renovations at The Hurst from The Interior Shop, 1987-1988
19.5-7, 20.1-2 Invoices paid, 1995-1996, June 1998-May 1999
20.3 J. O. medical and dental bills; insurance correspondence, 1992-1993
J. & J. Scripts and J. O. Productions Ltd.
20.4-7 Barclay's account statements, checks, and check stubs, 1986-1989, 1993-1998
Cash books
osb 45 January 1988-August 1995
21.1 March 1992-June 1994
21.2-3 “Combined Register,” 1961-1990; includes organization and member information, minutes, incorporation and name change documents
21.4-5 Financial statements prepared by chartered accountants, 1981, 1983, 1988-1994
21.6 Share certificates; 50 shares each to O. A. Beuselinck and Harry Pinsker
21.7 Miscellaneous financial records, various years 1981-2003
22.1-2 Publishers' correspondence, 1980-2003
Royalty statements
22.3 1995
22.4 1996
22.5 1998, May-December
22.6 1999, January-May
Subseries F. Career-Related and Personal, 1929-2002
Correspondence related to disputes and legal issues
23.1 Woodfall Film Productions Ltd., 1961-2000; includes handwritten drafts of letters from J. O. to Tony Richardson
23.2 J. O. and Jill Bennett disputes, 1979-1986
23.3 The Sunday Times dispute re J. O. article, 1984
23.4 Daily Mail and Daily Express legal issues, Cooke Matheson, Solicitors, 1991-1993
23.5 Peters Fraser & Dunlop, 1991
23.6 Nicholas de Jongh and Anthony Creighton re publishing Osborne's letters to Creighton, 1995
Whitebrook, Peter. John Osborne (1998) see Subseries G. Works of Others
23.7 ITC Channel 4 broadcast of “John Osborne-- Angry Man,” 2002
23.8-9 'Glory Box' containing cards, postcards, notes, clippings, photographs, diabetes book
23.10 Inadmissible Evidence, program drafts, 1993
23.11 Invitation to evening reception at Buckingham Palace 20 June 1994
23.12 Memorial service programs for Harry Andrews, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Frank Cvitanovich, Ted Hughes, John Wells, and Roy Williams
24.1 Notebooks: 'Committees'; '1991' with loose notes; undated, with one page of notes and a clipping of J. O. book recommendations for The Spectator dated 26 November 1994
24.2 Personal documents including birth (1929), death (1994), wedding certificate (1978), will (1982), vaccination records, and passports
Printed material
osb 46 Articles, clippings, and other publications, 1960-1995, re J. O., including Anthony Creighton's allegations of J. O. homosexuality, 1995
osb 47-48 Articles and publications of interest to J. O., bulk 1970s-1990s; issue of The Times [London] for 12 December 1929, the day of J. O.'s birth and a reprint of the 4 January 1941 issue of Picture Post containing “A Plan for Britain”
24.3 Various publications, including John Napper exhibition catalogs; Christmas Place real estate brochure; program for the 1911 Coronation Gala Performance at His Majesty's Theatre
24.4 Stationery; notecards and letterhead bearing The Hurst address
24.5 Theater ticket stubs
Subseries G. Works of Others
osb 46 Drawings (two photocopies) of characters from Look Back in Anger, unidentified artist
Lithographs of "Offa at the Hurst" by Jonathan Heale
24.6 Myrdal, Jan. Typescript of short piece on Strindberg's The Father annotated by J. O.
24.7 Gilleman, Luc. John Osborne, Vituperative Artist: A Reading of His Life and Work (2001), page proofs and correspondence
24.8 Heilpern, John. John Osborne (2007), correspondence, 1997-1999; includes J. O. financial information from chartered accountant
24.9 Typescript page [page 2] of unidentified work on the entertainer Max Miller (born Thomas Henry Sargent)
Whitebrook, Peter. John Osborne (1998)
24.10 Correspondence, 1995-1998
25.1-2 Typescript with edits
25.3 Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1931). Bound volume, heavily annotated by J. O.

Series II. Helen Dawson Osborne

Subseries A. Writings, 1971-2003 and Undated
25.4 The Observer, 1971-1972, “Theatre” column
The Sunday Telegraph, 1988-2003, typescripts and clippings of articles and reviews
25.5 Albee, Edward, 2000
Anderson, Lindsay
Ashcroft, Peggy, 1997
Bailey, Paul, 2003
Barker, Pat
Bennett, Alan, 2001
Bolt, Robert, 1998
Booth, Tony, 2002
Brook, Peter, 1998
Callow, Simon
Clark, Colin, 1997 and 2000
Dench, Judi and Felicity Kendal, 1998
Duff, Charles
Eyre, Richard
Farndale, Nigel
Farrow, Mia
Frisby, Terence, 1988
25.6 G-L
Gielgud, John, 2001
Gray, Simon, 1997
Grenfell, Joyce, 1997
Guiness, Alec, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2003
Harrison, Rex
Hawn, Goldie, 1999
Jackson, Glenda
Keeler, Christine, 2001
[Lawson], Twiggy see Twiggy
Lee-Potter, Lynda
Liberace, 2000
Linklater, Andro, 2000
25.7 M-S
MacLaine, Shirley, 2000
Madonna, 2001
Marvin, Lee, 1997
Mole, Adrian
Monroe, Marilyn, 1998
Napper, John
Nichols, Peter, 2000
Niven, David, 2003
Olivier, Laurence, 1996
O'Toole, Peter
Pascarl-Gillespie, Jacqueline (“Princess”)
Phillips, Siân, 2001
Ramsay, Peggy
Rantzen, Esther, 2001
Scofield, Paul, 2002
Sheldrake, Rupert, 1999
Sherwin, David
Sinatra, Frank, 1997
Sitwell, Edith
Spiegel, Sam
Stewart, James, 1997
Stoppard, Tom, 2002
Storey, David, 1998
26.1 T-W
Tennant, Emma, 1999
Thomas Ellis, Alice
Thomson, David
Twiggy [Lawson], 1997
Tynan, Ken, 2001
Ustinov, Peter, 2002
Waugh, Auberon, 1997
West, Timothy, 2001
Williamson, Nicol
Various subjects
26.2 “Books of the Year” column and other reviews
26.3 On widowhood and Denis Thatcher's death, 2003; with handwritten notes and letters from readers
26.4 Short pieces, 1993-1999
26.5 Unidentified typescript draft of a program on Shropshire and Clun; extracts from works by A. E. Housman, E. M. Forster, D. H. Laurence, and Mary Webb [edited by H. O.?]
26.6-7 Crunch, novel-length corrected typescript, undated
Subseries B. Notebooks, circa 1963-2003
26.8 28 January 1963, on first page
26.9 1970s
27.1 1970s, includes notes on walking tour in the French Pyrenees
27.2 1975
27.3 1976-1994, includes synopsis of J. O.'s diaries and notes on widowhood
27.4 1996
27.5-7 1997-1998 and undated; brief entries re loss of J. O. from folder marked 'Nobody's Business'
28.1-2 2000
28.3 2000-2003; first two pages in J. O.'s hand
28.4 2001; research on The Hurst at Shropshire Records and Research Centre
28.5 Undated; refers to articles and reviews by date and publication
28.6 Loose notes
Subseries C. Correspondence, circa 1941-2003
28.7 Outgoing, 1992, 1994-1995
28.8 A-B
28.9 Atkins, Eileen
29.1 C-D
29.2 Dawson family correspondence, 3rd party, circa 1941; Aunt Edith and Uncle Syd, 1960, 1976
Dawson, Mr. and Mrs. George W.
29.3 1960
29.4 January-March
29.5 April-June
29.6 July-August
29.7 1965-1967, 1976-2002
30.1 E-F
Findlater, Richard
30.2 1964-1965
30.3 1966
30.4 1967
30.5 1968-1972
30.6 1976-1978
30.7 Undated
30.8 G
31.1 H-K
31.2 L-P
31.3 'The Observer/National Theatre,' 1966-1976
Osborne, John (to H. O.)
31.4 Greeting cards
31.5 Notes, postcards, letters
31.6 R-T
31.7 Richardson, Tony
31.8 Stenson, Peter
32.1 Strick, Joseph
32.2 U-W
Unidentified, alphabetical by first names
32.3 A-I
32.4 J-N
32.5 P-V
32.6 Unidentified correspondents
Subseries D. Personal, 1939-2003
Academic records
32.7 Certificates of completion, 1952-1961
32.8 High school and college graduation group photographs
Grade reports
32.9 1944-1945 and undated
32.10 1950-1952
32.11 1952-1957, Hunmanby Hall
33.1 Address book, notes and correspondence interleaved
33.2 Arvon Foundation, 1998-2003
33.3 Baby book “Cat's Cradle”
33.4 Birthday book
33.5 1957-1959
33.6 1960-1962
33.7 1963-1965
33.8 1966-1968
33.9 1969-1970, 1972-1973
34.1-2 Blank daybooks
34.3 Dividend share certificates, 1967, 1975; post office savings bank book, 1939-1967
34.4 Invoices for art works, 1966, 1968, 1975
34.5 Jellicoe, Ann. “The Sport of My Mad Mother,” play script; H. O. played lead at Durham College, 1959
Osborne, John; memorial service and correspondence
34.6-7 Condolence cards
34.8-35.1 Condolence letters
35.2 Memorial service planning and program; typescript tribute by Dominic Lawson (?)
35.3 Article on J. O.'s memorial service in Vanity Fair, November 1995
35.4 Personal documents including birth certificate, driving license passport and identity card, national insurance and medical cards, and 1979 National Union of Journalists Membership card
35.5 Photograph of the Clun Valley from The Hurst, 23 March 1997, by Helen Osborne?
35.6 Scrapbooks, clippings, 1959-1961
35.7 Unidentified poems

Index of Correspondents

  • Addison, Jock--33.1 (to J. O.)
  • Alther, Dr. Peter--33.1 (to J. O.)
  • Amory, Mark? (Macmillan Press Reference Books)--14.1 (to J. O.)
  • Anderson, Lindsay--14.1, 23.8, 28.8 (to both)
  • Arden, John--28.8 (to H. O.)
  • Armstrong-Jones, Anthony (Tony Snowdon)--14.1, 28.8 (to both)
  • Ashby, Julian?--14.1 (to J. O.)
  • Astbury, Anthony--28.8 (to H. O.)
  • Astor, David (The Observer)--31.3 (to H. O.)
  • Atkins, Eileen--28.8 (to H. O.)
  • Attard, Anthony--14.1 (to J. O.)
  • Attenborough, Michael (Royal Shakespeare Company)--28.8 (to H. O.)
  • Ayenger, N. S. R. (to J. O.)--14.1
  • Aynsley, Margaret--28.8 (to H. O.)
  • BBC in the Midlands (Barry Hanson)--14.5 (to both)
  • BBC Radio - Drama (Glyn Dearman)--1.2, 14.2, 18.2 (to both)
  • Ball, John--28.8 (to H. O.)
  • Ball, Michael--28.8 (to H. O.)
  • Ballantine, Sheila? --14.2 (to J. O.)
  • Barber, Lynn--14.2 (to both)
  • Bartrun, Joan--28.8 (to H. O.)
  • Bates, Alan--28.8 (to H. O.)
  • Beauman, Nicola--28.8 (to H. O.)
  • Beaumond, Richard O. (County High School, Shropshire)--14.2 (to J. O.)
  • Beck, Arnold--28.8 (to H. O.)
  • Bellak, Prue--28.8 (to H. O.)
  • Bennett, Alan--28.8 (to H. O.)
  • Bennett, Jill --6.6, 10.3, 14.2, 28.8 (to both)
  • Bennett, Reverend Guy (Parish of Oxted, Surrey)--14.2 (to J. O.)
  • Bernard, Jeffrey--14.2, 28.8 (to both)
  • Best, Hubert (Biddle)--28.8 (to H. O.)
  • Betjeman, John--14.2 (to J. O. and Jill Bennett)
  • Betts, Torben (Oberon Books), 3.6 (to H. O.)
  • Beuselinck, Oscar A.--14.2, 23.2-3 (to J. O.)
  • Beuselinck, Oscar A., 3rd party--23.1, 23.2-3
  • Biber, Stephanie--14.2, 28.8 (to both)
  • Bilbow, Tony--14.2 (to J. O.)
  • Bill Kenwright Ltd.,--14.2 (to J. O.)
  • Billington, Michael--14.2 (to J. O.)
  • Binding, Paul--28.8 (to H. O.)
  • Bland, Sir Simon--14.2 (to J. O.)
  • Bogarde, Dirk--14.2, 28.8 (to both)
  • Bolt, Robert--14.2 (to J. O.)
  • Bowles, Peter--14.2 (to J. O.)
  • Bowles, Susan (Suz?)--14.2, 23.8, 28.8 (to both)
  • Boyd, Tom--14.2 (to J. O.)
  • Brackstone, Lee (Faber and Faber)--4.2 (to H. O.)
  • Bragg, Melvyn--14.2 (to both)
  • Brien, Alan--14.2 (to J. O.)
  • Bryden, Bill--28.8 (to H. O.)
  • Burton, Richard--14.2 (to J. O.)
  • Butcher, Peggy (Faber and Faber)--24,10 (to H. O.)
  • Cash, William--14.3 (to J. O.)
  • Cavendish, Elizabeth--14.2 (to J. O. and Jill Bennett) see Betjeman, John
  • Cecil, Jonathan (Jonathan Hugh Gascoyne-Cecil)--14.3 (to J. O.)
  • Challis, Carol--29.1 (to H. O.)
  • Challis, John--29.1 (to H. O.)
  • Chaloner, Helen (The Arvon Foundation)--29.1 (to H. O.)
  • Chambers, Colin--24.10 (to H. O.)
  • Chambers, Peter--29.1 (to H. O.)
  • Charles-Jones, Hugh--14.3 (to J. O.)
  • Charteris, Martin (Provost, Eton College) (3rd party)--14.2 (to J. O.)
  • Chichester-Clark, Sir Robin (The Arvon Foundation)--29.1 (to H. O.)
  • Cohen, Richard--24.10 (to H. O.)
  • Coldstream, John (The Daily Telegraph)--14.3, 29.1 (to both)
  • Coldwell, Justin--29.1 (to H. O.)
  • Connor, Angela--14.3 (to J. O.)
  • Copley, John--14.3 (to J. O.)
  • Cottam (Gottam?), Eve--29.1 (to H. O.)
  • Coward, Noël--14.3 (to J. O.)
  • Cox, Jennifer--29.1 (to H. O.)
  • Cranbrook, Caroline (The Viscountess Windsor)--29.1 (to H. O.)
  • Crouch, Tim--14.3 (to J. O.)
  • The Cunard Steam-Ship Company Limited--29.1 (to H. O.)
  • Cvitanovich, Frank--14.3 (to J. O.)
  • Daldry, Stephen (Royal Court Theatre)--18.2, 29.1 (to H. O.)
  • Dawson Family--29.2 (to H. O.)
  • Dawson Family, 3rd party--29.2
  • Dawson, Mr. and Mrs. George--29.3-7 (to H. O.)
  • Dean, Isabel--14.3 (to J. O.)
  • Dench, Judi?--14.3, 29.1 (to both)
  • Dennis, Peter--14.3 (to J. O.)
  • Dickerson, Gordon, 2.3, 14.3, 18.1-2, 29.1 (to both)
  • Dickerson, Gordon, 3rd party, 2.3
  • Dickerson, Gordon (Peters Fraser & Dunlop)--23.5 (to both)
  • Dobtcheff, Vernon--14.3 (to both)
  • Donner, Clive--29.1 (to H. O.)
  • Dougall, Robert--14.3 (to J. O.)
  • Drabble, Margaret--14.3 (to both)
  • Egan, Peter--14.3 (to both)
  • Evans, Matthew, 3rd party--14.5
  • Ewing, Kenneth--14.3, 30.1 (to both)
  • Eyre, Richard--14.3, 30.1 (to both)
  • Faber and Faber (Butcher, Peggy)--4.2 (to H. O.)
  • Fallowell, Duncan--14.4 (to J. O.)
  • Findlater, Richard--30.2-7 (to H. O.)
  • Flintoff, Ian--14.4 (to J. O.)
  • Foot, Michael--14.4 (to J. O.)
  • Fox, Edward, --14.4, 30.1 (to both)
  • Fox, Robert--14.4 (to J. O.)
  • Fox, Robert, 3rd party--14.4
  • Fox, William--30.1 (to H. O.)
  • Fraser, Antonia, 3rd party--31.2
  • Frears, Stephen--14.4 (to J. O.)
  • Frisby, Terrence (Terry)--30.1 (to H. O.)
  • Frost, David--14.4 (to J. O.)
  • Gambon, Michael--14.4 (to J. O.)
  • Gane, Paul (The Royal Theatrical Fund)--30.8 (to H. O.)
  • Garland, Patrick--14.4 (to J. O.)
  • Gaskill, William (Bill)--14.4, 30.8 (to both)
  • Gaynor, Carol--30.8 (to H. O.)
  • Gielgud, John--14.4, 30.8 (to both)
  • Gill, Peter--30.8 (to H. O.)
  • Gilleman, Luc--24.7 (to H. O.)
  • Gilleman, Luc, 3rd party, 24.7
  • Gilliatt, Penelope?--31.2 (to H. O.)
  • Glass, Charles--14.4 (to J. O.)
  • Goetschius, George W.--14.4 (to J. O.)
  • Goldsmith, N. M.--14.4 (to J. O.)
  • Gordon, Eva (Oberon Books)--4.1 (to H. O.)
  • Gordon, Samuel (Sammy)--14.4 (to both)
  • Gorham, Caz--14.4 (to both)
  • Goring, Edward--30.8 (to H. O.)
  • Gough, Henrietta--14.4, 23.8 (to both)
  • Gough, Michael--14.4 (to both)
  • Graham, I. E.--30.8 (to H. O.)
  • Graham-Jones, Sebastian--14.4, 30.8 (to both)
  • Grant, Rosalind--30.8 (to H. O.)
  • Green, Candida Lycett--14.4 (to J. O.)
  • Greene, Richard Allen--30.8 (to H. O.)
  • Griffiths, Richard--14.4, 30.8 (to both)
  • Griffiths, Trevor--30.8 (to H. O.)
  • Gross, Miriam (Sunday Telegraph)--30.8 (to H. O.)
  • Grove, Jack--14.4 (to J. O.)
  • Grove, Valerie--14.4 (to J. O.)
  • Guinness, Alec--14.4, 30.8 (to J. O.)
  • Haigh, Kenneth--14.5 (to J. O.)
  • Hampton, Janie--31.1 (to H. O.)
  • Hanson, Barry--14.5, 31.1 (to both)
  • Hare, David--14.5, 31.1 (to both)
  • Hare, David, 3rd party--14.5
  • Hartley, Neil--23.1, 31.1 (to both)
  • Hartley, Neil, 3rd party--23.1
  • Harwood, Ronald--14.5 (to J. O.)
  • Hawtree, Christopher--14.5 (to J. O.)
  • Heale, Jonathan--31.1 (to H. O.)
  • Heath, Duncan (International Creative Management Ltd.)--33.1 (to J. O.)
  • Heilpern, John--31.1 (to H. O.)
  • Herrington, Paul R.--31.1 (to H. O.)
  • Hersov, Gregory (The Royal Exchange Theatre Company)--31.1 (to H. O.)
  • Heseltine, Anne--31.1 (to H. O.)
  • Hilliard, Carolyn--14.5 (to J. O.)
  • Holroyd, Michael--14.5 (to J. O.)
  • Holt, Michael--14.5, 31.1 (to both)
  • Hunter?, Elsa--31.1 (to H. O.)
  • Iambic Productions Limited (Caz Gorham)--14.4 (to J. O.)
  • Ingrams, Richard? (The Oldie)--14.5 (to J. O.)
  • James, Hazel--31.1 (to H. O.)
  • Jellicoe, Ann--31.1 (to H. O.)
  • Johnson, Sir John--14.5 (to J. O.)
  • Jones, Dedwydd--14.5 (to J. O.)
  • Kalman, Andrew (Crane Kalman Gallery Ltd.)--31.1 (to H. O.)
  • Kielsmeier, Nicole--14.5 (to J. O.)
  • King, Kimball--14.5 (to J. O.)
  • King, Sid D.--31.1 (to H. O.)
  • Knight Bruce, Belinda--31.1 (to H. O.)
  • Knight Bruce, Rory--14.5 (to J. O.)
  • Korn, Jacqueline (David Higham Associates)--31.1 (to H. O.)
  • Lane, Pamela--14.6, 31.2 (to both)
  • Lawson, Dominic (The Sunday Telegraph, The Spectator)--14.6, 31.2 (to both)
  • Lee-Potter, Lynda (Daily Mail)--14.6 (to J. O.)
  • Lemmon, Jack--14.6 (to J. O.)
  • Lessing, Doris--14.6 (to J. O.)
  • Lessing, Doris, 3rd party--24.10
  • Leveaux, David (National Theatre)--14.6 (to J. O.)
  • Lewenstein, Oscar--14.6 (to J. O.)
  • Mackle, Joanna--31.2 (to H. O.)
  • MacMillan, Kenneth--14.7 (to J. O.)
  • Marriott, Raymond--14.4 (to J. O.)
  • Mason, The Venerable R. J.--14.7, 31.2 (to both)
  • Matheson, Eve--14.7 (to J. O.)
  • Maw, Dr. D. S. J. (Jonathan)--14.7, 31.2 (to both)
  • McCullough, Rohan?--31.2 (to H. O.)
  • McKenna, T. P.--14.7 (to J. O.)
  • Metropolitan Opera Association (John Copley)--14.3
  • Miles, Sir Bernard (Mermaid Theatre)--31.2 (to H. O.)
  • Montagu, Helen--14.7 (to J. O.)
  • Moray, Stella--31.2 (to H. O.)
  • Mortimer, John--14.7, 31.2 (to both)
  • Mortimer, Penny--31.2 (to H. O.)
  • Mott, Joy--14.7 (to J. O.)
  • Mullen, Peter--14.7 (to J. O.)
  • Murphy, Clive--14.7 (to J. O.)
  • National Theatre (David Leveaux)--14.6 (to J. O.)
  • National Theatre (various correspondents)--31.3 (to H. O.)
  • Neil, Andrew (The Sunday Times), 3rd party--23.3
  • New Era Productions (Marc Samuelson)--14.7 (to J. O.)
  • Newman, Valerie (Val)--31.2 (to H. O.)
  • Newton, Nicholas--31.2 (to H. O.)
  • Nichols, Peter--14.7, 31.2 (to both)
  • Nichols, Thelma--31.2 (to H. O.)
  • Nightingale, Bendict--14.7 (to J. O.)
  • Nissen, Jane?--31.2 (to H. O.)
  • Norman, Philip--14.7 (to J. O.)
  • The Observer (David Astor and others)--31.3 (to H. O.)
  • Olivier, Laurence--14.7 (to J. O.)
  • Oman, Dr. Julia Trevelyan (Oman Productions Ltd.) --31.2 (to H. O.)
  • Osborne, Helen (outgoing)--18.2, 18.4-7, 19.1, 20.3, 22.1-2, 23.5-7, 24.7-8, 24.10, 28.7-8, 30.1, 35.6
  • Osborne, John (outgoing)--14.2-3, 14.5-7, 15.1, 15.4-5, 15.8, 18.3-5, 22.1-2, 23.1-3, 23.5, 23.8, 31.4-5
  • Osborne, Nolan?--31.2 (to H. O.)
  • O’Toole, Peter--14.7 (to J. O.)
  • Page, Anthony--15.1, 31.2 (to both)
  • Palmer, Tony, 2.3, 2.8, 3.4, 15.1, 31.2 (to both)
  • Palmer, Tony, 3rd party, 2.3
  • Pasco, Richard (Dickie)--15.1 (to J. O.)
  • Pennington, Michael--18.2 (to H. O.)
  • Perry, David (Perryscope Productions)--31.2 (to H. O.)
  • Peter, John (The Sunday Times)--15.1 (to J. O.)
  • Peters Fraser & Dunlop Ltd. (Kenneth Ewing)--14.3, 23.3, 23.5 (to both)
  • Peters Fraser & Dunlop Ltd. (Kenneth Ewing), 3rd party--14.4
  • Pinter, Harold--15.1, 31.2 (to both)
  • Pinter, Harold, 3rd party--31.2
  • Plater, Alan--15.1 (to both)
  • Pointon, Michael--15.1 (to J. O.)
  • Poke, Greville--15.1 (to J. O.)
  • Procktor, Patrick?--31.2 (to H. O.)
  • Raison, Simon--15.1 (to J. O.)
  • Reade, Jr., Walter--31.6 (to H. O.)
  • Redgrave, Vanessa--31.6 (to H. O.)
  • Reynolds, Nigel (The Daily Telegraph)--15.1 (to J. O.)
  • Richardson, Natasha--15.1, 23.1 (to both)
  • Richardson, Tony--23.1, 31.7 (to both)
  • Richardson, Tony, 3rd party--23.1
  • Rickards, Jocelyn--15.2 (to J. O.)
  • Rickards, Jocelyn, 3rd party--24.10
  • Robert Fox Limited--14.4 (to both)
  • Rodgers, Anton--15.1 (to J. O.)
  • Roose-Evans, James--15.1 (to J. O.)
  • Rosenthal, T. G. (Andre Deutsch Ltd.)--31.6 (to H. O.)
  • Ross, Victor--15.1 (to J. O.)
  • Rotary International, District No. 103--31.6 (to H. O.)
  • The Royal Literary Fund (Fiona M. Clark)--15.1 (to J. O.)
  • Roye, Anthony--15.1 (to J. O.)
  • Running, E. A. (Arnold)--15.1 (to J. O.)
  • S. Fischer Verlag (Arnulf Conradi)--15.3 (to J. O.)
  • Scott, Judith--31.6 (to H. O.)
  • Scott, Lily--31.6 (to H. O.)
  • Selby, Nicholas--15.3 (to J. O.)
  • Sharrocks, Denys--31.6 (to H. O.)
  • Sidey, Paul (Hutchinson)--31.6 (to H. O.)
  • Simeon, David--15.3 (to J. O.)
  • Snowdon, Tony see Armstrong-Jones, Anthony
  • The South Bank Show (Rima Neave)--15.3 (to J. O.)
  • Spacey, Kevin--31.6 (to H. O.)
  • Stafford-Clark, Max--15.3 (to J. O.)
  • Standing, John--31.6 (to H. O.)
  • Starr, Nick (National Theatre)--15.3 (to J. O.)
  • Stenson, Peter--31.8 (to H. O.)
  • Stephens, Robert--15.3 (to J. O.)
  • Stevenson, J. V.--15.3 (to J. O.)
  • Stoppard, Miriam--15.3 (to J. O.)
  • Stoppard, Tom--33.1 (to H. O.)
  • Storey, David--31.6 (to H. O.)
  • Strick, Joseph--32.1 (to H. O.)
  • The South Bank Show (Rosie Alison)--14.1, 15.3 (to J. O.)
  • Sutherland, Alan--31.6 (to H. O.)
  • Syms, Sylvia--15.3, 31.6 (to both)
  • Targett, Su--31.6 (to H. O.)
  • Taylor, Malcolm (Topaz Productions Limited)--15.3 (to J. O.)
  • Thompson, Emma--15.3 (to both)
  • Tomalin, Claire--31.6 (to H. O.)
  • Toms, Carl--15.3, 31.6 (to both)
  • Tribune (Michael Foot) --14.4 (to J. O.)
  • Tydeman, John--15.3, 31.6 (to both)
  • University of Durham--32.2 (to H. O.)
  • Wade, Valerie--32.2 (to H. O.)
  • Walden, Ben--15.4 (to J. O.)
  • Wallace, William V.--32.2 (to H. O.)
  • Waterhouse, Keith--15.4, 32.2 (to both)
  • Waugh, Auberon (Bron)--15.4, 32.2 (to both)
  • Wesker, Arnold--15.4, 23.8, 32.2 (to both)
  • Whitebrook, Peter--24.10 (to H. O.)
  • Whitebrook, Peter, 3rd party--24.10
  • Whittam Smith, Andreas (The Independent)--15.4 (to J. O.)
  • Wilkinson, Martin--32.2 (to H. O.)
  • Wilkinson, Olga--32.2 (to H. O.)
  • Willes, Peter--15.4 (to J. O.)
  • Williams, Heathcote--32.2 (to H. O.)
  • Wilson, Andrew (Evening Standard and Literary Review)--15.4 (to J. O.)
  • Wood, Charles--15.4, 32.2 (to both)
  • Wood, Charles, 3rd party, 2.3
  • Woodcock, Patrick--15.4, 32.2 (to both)
  • Woodword, Peter--15.4 (to J. O.)
  • Woodthorpe, Peter--32.2 (to H. O.)
  • Wright, Nicholas (National Theatre)--15.4 (to J. O.)
  • The Writers' Guild of Great Britain (Alan Plater)--15.1 (to J. O.)