British Library Acquires Pinter Papers

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Harold Pinter’s literary archive has been “saved for the nation,” the British Library announced yesterday. In a statement, the library said it had paid slightly more than $2.25-million for the collection, which contains some 150 boxes of “manuscripts, scrapbooks, letters, photographs, programmes, and e-mails” from Mr. Pinter’s storied career as a playwright, screenwriter, and poet. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2005.

Highlights of the archive include “an exceedingly perceptive and enormously affectionate run of letters from Samuel Beckett,” the library said, as well as “a charming and highly amusing exchange of letters with Philip Larkin, and a draft of Pinter’s unpublished autobiographical memoir of his youth, ‘The Queen of All the Fairies.’”

“It is thrilling for the British Library to have acquired the archive of our greatest living playwright,” Jamie Andrews, head of the library’s division of modern literary manuscripts, said in the statement.

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