Fowles, John, 1926-2005

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English novelist, translator of French plays, screenplay writer, essayist, local historian, and museum curator.

From the description of Papers, 1926-1992 (bulk 1953-1991). (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122492232

John Robert Fowles was born in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on 31 March 1926. He was educated at Bedford School, 1940-1944, and spent a year at Edinburgh University before entering military service with the Royal Marines, 1945-1946. He went on to read French at New College, Oxford, receiving his degree in 1950. In 1954 John Fowles married Elizabeth Whitton, who died in 1990. He married his second wife, Sarah Smith, in 1998. In the 1950s and early 1960s, John Fowles worked first as a university lecturer in English in France, and later as a school teacher in Greece and London. His international reputation as a novelist was assured early with the publication in 1963 of 'The Collector', the success of which was followed by 'The Magus' (1965), 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' (1969), 'Daniel Martin' (1977), and 'The Maggot' (1985). In 1981, Harold Pinter's screenplay of 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' was filmed with Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep in the lead roles. John Fowles also published poetry, criticism, and wrote on historical and topological subjects, mainly about the South West of England. He received a number of literary awards and honours, including an honorary degree from the University of Exeter in 1983. John Fowles lived at Lyme Regis, on the Devon-Dorset border and died in 2005.

From the guide to the Items from John Fowles Library, 1916; 1957, (Special Collections Archives, University of Exeter (GB0029))

John Robert Fowles was born March 31, 1926, at Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, the son of Robert and Gladys Richards Fowles. He was educated at Alleyn Court School (1934-1939) and Bedford School (1939-1944), excelling in both scholarship and sports. When his family was evacuated from the London suburbs during World War II, Fowles lived in and became acquainted with the Devon countryside. He served two years military service in the Royal Marines (1945-1947) after receiving training at the University of Edinburgh (1944-1945), but did not see any combat duty. In 1947, he entered New College, Oxford, to read French and German languages and literature, graduating in 1950.

Upon completion of his education, Fowles taught at the University of Poitiers in France (1950-1951) and at the Anargyrios College (1951-1953) on the Greek island of Spetsai. It was here that he met his future wife, Elizabeth Whitton, to whom he was married April 2, 1954. Upon his return to London, teaching remained his profession at Ashridge College (1953-1954) and at St. Godric's College (1954-1963), until one of several writing projects bore fruit. The publication and immense success of his novel The Collector (1963) enabled Fowles to concentrate his energies upon a career as a writer.

Fowles's major works include The Aristos (1964), The Magus (1965), The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969), Poems (1973), The Ebony Tower (1974), Daniel Martin (1977), Mantissa (1982), and A Maggot (1985). From these, three major motion pictures have been produced to date: The Collector (1965), The Magus (1968), and The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981). In addition to his novels, short stories, poems, philosophical writings, and screenplays, Fowles was also the translator of several plays from the French for the National Theatre ( Don Juan, Lorenzaccio, The Lottery of Love, and Martine ) and of other French works, such as Cinderella and Ourika . Nonfiction books to his credit include Shipwreck, Islands, Land, The Tree, and The Enigma of Stonehenge, and reflect such interests as antiquarianism, conservation and ecology, local history, and the appreciation of nature. His articles appeared in a variety of journals and he contributed numerous forewords and introductions to works by others.

In 1966, Fowles and his wife Elizabeth left London for Dorset, living first at Underhill Farm, then moving to Lyme Regis in 1968, where he resided until his death on November 5, 2005. In 1978, he was appointed joint honorary curator of the Lyme Regis (Philpot) Museum, and served from 1979-1988 as the sole honorary curator.

The bulk of this collection was acquired from Mr. Fowles in 1991, though separate smaller acquisitions were made 1968-1989 for materials relating to The Aristos, Don Juan, and The French Lieutenant's Woman . Additional items were received, 1982-1993, as gifts from Robert Huffaker and Charlotte Rhodes, and in 1999. Mr. Fowles died in 2005 at the age of 79.

From the guide to the John Fowles Papers TXRC93-A76., ca. 1926-1992, (Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Buhr, Glenn, 1954-. The ebony tower : for saxophone, piano and string bass / G.A. Buhr. University of Manitoba Libraries
creatorOf Fowles, John, 1926-2005. Keepsakes, video, and publicity from the Associates of Stanford University Libraries event, 1996 May 2. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn David Gascoyne papers, 1822-2010, n.d. British Library: Western Manuscripts
creatorOf Items from John Fowles Library, 1916; 1957 Special Collections Archives, University of Exeter (GB0029)
referencedIn Fowles, John, 1926-2005. John Fowles papers, 1963-1978. The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library
creatorOf Hawkins, John R. John R. Hawkins '56 literary manuscript collection, 1972-80. Haverford College Library
referencedIn Eleanor M. Tilton Papers, 1770-1991 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Yordon, Judy. The French lieutenant's woman / by John Fowles ; adapted for chamber theatre by Judy Yordon. Ball State University Library, Bracken Library
creatorOf Fowles, John, 1926-2005. [Letter to William Kemp] / John Fowles. University of Mary Washington, Simpson Library
creatorOf Fowles, John, 1926-2005. Autograph. Boston Athenaeum
referencedIn Harper's Magazine Records, 1847-1983, (bulk 1940-1983) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Bradbury, M. mss. II, 1949-1993 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly
creatorOf Richard Rose Collection. Lorenzaccio / [Alfred de Musset ; adapted by John Fowles] - script. University of Guelph
creatorOf John Fowles Papers TXRC93-A76., ca. 1926-1992 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Fowles, John, 1926-2005. Papers, 1926-1992 (bulk 1953-1991). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Sierra Club. Loma Prieta Chapter. Basic mountaineering course : typescript, 1971. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Tilton, Eleanor M. (Eleanor Marguerite), 1913-. Papers, 1770-1991. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Schaefler, Sam, 1920-,. Historical and Literary Letters and Documents, 1674-197-. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Yordon, Judy. The French lieutenant's woman / by John Fowles ; adapted for chamber theatre by Judy Yordon. Ball State University Library, Bracken Library
creatorOf Fowles, John, 1926-2005. John Fowles papers, 1963-1978. The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library
creatorOf Byrne, Evelyn B. Collection of correspondence, of which part was used to create the book "Attacks of Taste," 1966-1971. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
referencedIn Taylor, Peter, 1917-1994. Papers of Peter Hillsman Taylor, 1939-1977 [manuscript]. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Delbanco, Nicholas. Nicholas Delbanco papers, 1956-<2010>, bulk 1966-2000. University of Michigan
referencedIn Harper's magazine records, 1847-1983 (bulk 1940-1983). Library of Congress
creatorOf Gowrie, Xandra. Survey of novelists' responses to their reviews, 1977, July 13. Boston Athenaeum
referencedIn Gore Vidal papers, 1875-2004 (inclusive), 1936-2000 (bulk). Houghton Library.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Aitken, Gillon person
associatedWith Associates of Stanford University Libraries. corporateBody
associatedWith Bach, Julian. person
associatedWith Bach, Julian. person
associatedWith Baker, James R. person
associatedWith Bellow, Saul. person
associatedWith Bellow, Saul. person
associatedWith Bogdanov, Michael. person
associatedWith Bogdanov, Michael. person
associatedWith Bradbury, Malcolm, 1932-2000 person
associatedWith Brown, John Russell. person
associatedWith Buhr, Glenn, 1954- person
associatedWith Byrne, Evelyn B. person
associatedWith Delbanco, Nicholas. person
associatedWith Fowles, John, 1926- person
associatedWith Fraser, Antonia, 1932- person
associatedWith Gascoyne, David Emery, 1916-2001 person
associatedWith Gill, Peter, 1939- person
associatedWith Godwin, Fay. person
associatedWith Godwin, Fay. person
associatedWith Hall, Peter, 1930- person
associatedWith Hall, Peter, Sir, 1930- person
associatedWith Harper's Magazine corporateBody
associatedWith Hawkins, John R. person
associatedWith Holt, Patricia. person
associatedWith Johnson, Aaron, person
associatedWith Jonathan Cape, Ltd. corporateBody
associatedWith Kemp, William, 1942- person
associatedWith Little, Brown and Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Lyme Regis Museum. corporateBody
associatedWith Mary Washington College. Distinguished Writer in Residence. corporateBody
associatedWith Maschler, Tom, 1934- person
associatedWith Muggeridge, Malcolm, 1903- person
associatedWith National Theatre (Great Britain). corporateBody
associatedWith Pinter, Harold, 1930- person
associatedWith Potter, Dennis. person
associatedWith Potter, Dennis. person
associatedWith Reisz, Karel. person
associatedWith Reisz, Karel. person
associatedWith Richard Rose Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Roberts, Ray A. person
associatedWith Roberts, Ray A. person
associatedWith Rudkin, David, 1936- person
associatedWith Schaefer, George, 1920- person
associatedWith Schaefler, Sam, 1920-, person
associatedWith Sheil, Anthony. person
associatedWith Sheil, Anthony. person
associatedWith Sierra Club. Loma Prieta Chapter. corporateBody
associatedWith Taylor, Peter, 1917-1994. person
associatedWith Tilton, Eleanor M. (Eleanor Marguerite), 1913- person
correspondedWith Van Thal, Herbert, 1904-1983 person
associatedWith Vidal, Gore, 1925- person
associatedWith Vipond, Dianne. person
associatedWith Yolla Bolly Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Yordon, Judy. person
associatedWith Zinnemann, Fred, 1907- person
associatedWith Zinnemann, Fred, 1907-1997. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Lyme Regis (England)
Great Britain
Lyme Regis (England)
England--Antiquities
Great Britain
California
England
Dorset (England)
England
Dorset (England)
Subject
Bird watching--Great Britain
English literature--20th century
Authors, English--20th century--Manuscripts
Nature study
Botany--England
Authors, English--20th century
Archaeology--Great Britain
Archaeology
Photography--Landscapes
French drama--Translations into English
Printing
Bird watching
Private presses
Plants--Identification
Historic sites
Nature
Authors, English--20th century--Correspondence
Botany
Historic sites--England
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1926-03-31

Death 2005-11-05

Britons

English,

French

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