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MS 678

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MS 678


Robert McCrum archive



Administrative / Biographical history

Robert McCrum (born 7 July 1953) is an English writer and editor. He was educated at Sherborne School, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and the University of Pennsylvania as a Thouron Scholar. He worked as editorial director at Faber & Faber between 1979 and 1989, and was editor-in-chief there from 1990 to 1996. He served as literary editor of The Observer for more than ten years, and was appointed associate editor of The Observer in May 2008. McCrum is the co-author of The Story of English with William Cran and Robert MacNeil, and wrote P.G. Wodehouse: A Life. He is also the author of a number of novels. In 1995, McCrum suffered a serious stroke. He chronicled this experience and recovery in My Year Off: Recovering Life After A Stroke.



Extent & medium

30 boxes and 3 volumes

Content description

The archive consists largely of working papers, typescripts and manuscripts of Robert McCrum's publications including a number of his novels, The Story of English and travel articles written in his capacity as a journalist. Some of the works may be unpublished. The archive also holds a selection of McCrum's personal papers, such as a commonplace book kept during the 1970s and a selection of diaries kept between 1980 and 1989. Some of these diaries have preliminary ideas for his fictional works. Finally the archive also features some typescripts by other authors that McCrum worked with in his publishing capacity. These include the typescript of what was ultimately published as The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, The English Patient by Michael Ontdaatje and Harold Pinter's Ashes to Ashes amongst others. In addition to his literary papers the collection includes McCrum’s selected personal copies of his published works including: - Acquired in 2000 as part of the 1st tranche of papers o ‘Jubilee’ o ‘Mainland’ o ‘The Fabulous Englishman’ o ‘Loss of Heart’ - Acquired in 2016 as part of the 2nd tranche of papers o ‘Wodehouse’ [Hardback] o ‘Wodehouse’ [Paperback] [Detailed catalogue entries for these have been recorded in the main library catalogue]


The collection was created and accumulated by McCrum during the course of his life and literary career.

Associated material

In addition to the copies of his work given by McCrum along with his literary papers, the Library has acquired copies of the rest of his published books and catalogued seperately

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