University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

John Wain:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Wain, John, 1925-1994
Title: John Wain Collection
Dates: 1953-1975, undated
Abstract: Includes mainly manuscripts of writings and a few letters by the English poet and writer John Wain, who was associated with the literary group known as "The Movement." The manuscripts represent poems, short stories, novels, plays, autobiography, and criticism. The letters by Wain are written to John Lehmann and Pauline Stephens; one letter from T. S. Eliot to Wain is also included.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-4374
Extent: 3 boxes (1.26 linear feet), 1 galley folder (gf), 1 oversize folder (osf)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center



Open for research

Administrative Information

Processed by:

Joan Sibley and Sara Saastamoinen, 2012


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 Answers to a questionnaire re social situation of the poet, signed mimeo questionnaire with Wain's handwritten answers, 2 pages, undated.
Come in, Captain Grindle, handwritten and typed manuscript with handwritten emendations, 25 pages, 1963.
1.2 Commonplace book, signed handwritten manuscript / notes and outlines, 29 pages, 1953-1961. Material for novels.
1.3 Commonplace book, handwritten manuscript / notes for projected items, 44 pages, 1960-1961.
1.1 Elegy for death by machinery and other poems, handwritten manuscript / drafts with revisions, 21 pages, April 1960.
Interior landscape, handwritten manuscript / workings, 20 pages, undated.
King Caliban, signed handwritten and typed manuscript with handwritten emendations and note, 39 pages, December 1962. For The Saturday evening post.
Lolita's guide to Shakespeare, signed typescript with handwritten revisions and note, 36 pages, 1962.
1.4 Manhood, signed typescript with handwritten emendations, 15 pages, 1963.
Mr. Verity, signed typescript with handwritten revisions, insert, and note, 48 pages, 1963. Unpublished.
osf 1 Notes on imagination and judgment, typescript with handwritten emendations, 8 pages; signed proof, 1 page; 26 July 1963. For Times literary supplement.
1.4 Pull down thy vanity: Notes on the novels of William Golding, signed typescript with handwritten revisions and note, 22 pages, 1963.
1.5 Handwritten, typed, and carbon copy manuscript / early draft with revisions, 73 pages, undated.
1.6 Handwritten and typed manuscript / second draft with handwritten revisions, 98 pages, 1962. Partly synopsis.
1.7 Notes bridging versions two and three, handwritten manuscript / notes, 5 pages, 1962. Included with this: typed note by Wain.
1.8 Handwritten, typed and carbon copy manuscript / third draft with handwritten revisions, 79 pages, September-October 1962.
1.9 Handwritten, typed, and carbon copy manuscript with handwritten revisions and initialed note, 116 pages, June 1963. "… a reworking after the play was staged by The Dramatic Society of Reading University… ."
2.1-5 Sprightly running: Part of an autobiography, handwritten and typed manuscript with handwritten revisions and initialed note, 590 pages, 1957-1960. First part handwritten manuscript pages in two notebooks. Some duplicate pages included.
gf 1 Sprightly running: Part of an autobiography / titled My nineteen-thirties, galley proofs, 5 pages, 21 January 1959. First section used as an article in Evergreen review.
2.6-3.1 Strike the father dead, handwritten and typed manuscript with handwritten revisions and note, 419 pages, 1958-1961.
3.2 The take-over bid, signed carbon typescript with handwritten emendations and with typed revisions to be inserted, 90 pages, 1961. Unpublished.
3.3-4 A travelling woman, typescript with handwritten emendations, 268 pages, 1957.
1.4 The valentine generation, handwritten and typed manuscript with handwritten revisions and signed note, 15 pages, 1962.
3.5 A visit at tea-time, signed handwritten manuscript with revisions, 39 pages bound in notebook, 1962 (Geneva-Köln).


3.6 2 ALS, 4 TLS, APCS to Lehmann, John, 1956, undated.
2 TLS to Stephens, Pauline Eleanore, 19 November 1965, 22 September 1975.


3.7 Eliot, Thomas Stearns, 1888-1965. TLS to Wain, 7 June 1961. Was pasted on brown paper, with newspaper review on verso, removed by HRC.

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