- -2000 (accumulated -2000) / (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.302 cubic metres (27 boxes); 7 large boxes (June 2005 accrual)
Name of creator
Michael Holroyd is a well-known biographer and writer. He was born 27 August 1935 in London to Basil Holroyd and his Swedish wife Ulla (née Hall). He received his education at Eton College and Maidenhead Public Library. In 1982 he married the writer Margaret Drabble and they live in London and Somerset. He was Chairman of the Society of Authors, 1973-1974, President of English PEN from 1985 to 1988, and Chairman of the Strachey Trust between 1990 and 1995. In 1988 he was awarded the Irish Life Arts Award and the CBE in 1989 for services to literature. A former member of the Arts Council he lectures around the world on behalf of the British Council and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. The universities of Ulster, Sheffield, Warwick, East Anglia and the London School of Economics have presented him with honorary degrees.
Michael Holroyd is the biographer of Hugh Kingsmill, Lytton Strachey, Augustus John and Bernard Shaw, and in 2002 a selection of his writings relating to biography and autobiography was published under the title Works on Paper: The Craft of Biography and Autobiography. The film 'Carrington' is based on Lytton Strachey and won awards at Cannes. His novel A Dog's Life was published in the USA in 1969 and in 1973 his volume of essays Unreceived Opinions was published. Michael Holroyd has also written various radio and television scripts. In 1999 his autobiography Basil Street Blues was published.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Purchased from Bernard Quaritch Ltd (acting on behalf of Michael Holroyd) in July 2000 and June 2005. A consignment of papers and other material were also donated June 2005.; B2000/20, 0200505841
Content and structure area
Scope and content
The fonds comprises the research papers of Michael Holroyd mainly relating to his biography of Augustus John originally published in 1974-1975, other editions and the revised edition published in 1996. These include letters from the John family, researchers, British and foreign repositories, photocopies of letters from Augustus John to his family, letters to fellow artists, his writer friends and members of the Gypsy Lore Society; reminiscences of friends and family; press cuttings relating to his works; papers relating to Augustus John's autobiography Chiaroscuro published in 1952, including publishing contracts; photocopies of writings by Augustus John; publishing agreements and book reviews of the biography. Also included are exhibition addresses on the artist by Michael Holroyd; scripts written about him and Gwen John by others, papers relating to the book co-written by Michael Holroyd and Malcolm Easton, The art of Augustus John (London, 1974), together with some research papers relating to Gwen John and to other projects.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
Action: All the papers purchased by NLW have been kept..
Accruals are expected.
System of arrangement
Arranged at NLW into twelve series: John family letters; research letters; photocopies and transcripts of letters from Augustus John to members of his family; other letters; extracts from Augustus John letters, exhibitions and articles about him; reminiscences and press cuttings; The art of Augustus John, Chiaroscuro and other writings by Augustus John; Augustus John: a biography; exhibitions; lectures and articles; scripts; and Gwen John; and six files: John family obituaries, George Bernard Shaw, Hugh Kingsmill, Sir William Rothenstein, Michael Holroyd: notebook, and miscellaneous papers.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.
Conditions governing reproduction
Usual copyright laws apply. Queries regarding Michael Holroyd copyright should be directed to Caradoc King, A. P. Watt Ltd, 20 John Street, London, WC1N 2DR (information from the WATCH file (Writers, Artists and their Copyright Holders), http: tyler.hrc.utexas.edu, March 2004). Permission to reproduce photocopies of letters obtained by Michael Holroyd from various repositories should be sought from the relevant institutions (see file level descriptions).
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
English unless otherwise specified.
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
A hard copy of this list is available at NLW and at the Tate Archive, Millbank, London.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
See file level descriptions for information regarding the location of original documents.
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Virtua system control number
GEAC system control number
Subject access points
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Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH.
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Compiled by Ann Francis Evans.
The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Who's who 1897-1996 on CD-Rom; Holroyd, Michael, Augustus John. The new biography (London, 1996); BBC and Contemporary Writers in the UK websites, December 2003.