Robert Nye Manuscripts

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection includes, largely: working notes; drafts; typescripts; correspondence; source material; and, publishing house material. The collection, received at various points since the 1990s, is formed by the following components:

MSS 2881-2916 (35 archive boxes), containing material relating to:

MSS 2938-2940 (3 archive boxes), which contain:

  • - correspondence (1992-1996)

MSS 3122-3123 (2 archive boxes), containing material relating to:

E99.39 (10 archive boxes), containing material relating to:

E2004.1 (1 folder/envelope), containing:

  • - correspondence between Robert Graecen and Robert Nye (1970s) and relating to items (poetry) for publishing, and relating to the reviewing of poetry

E2005.30 (13 archive boxes), containing:

E2008.46 (6 archive boxes), containing:

  • - drafts of poems 2005-2008
  • - copies of outgoing correspondence, October 2005-July 2008
  • - some poems by Clere Parsons, Thomas Chatterton, and Ernest Dowson
  • - holograph and corrected typescripts of critical pieces for the  Scotsman, the  London Magazine, and the  Tablet
  • - incoming correspondence

Administrative / Biographical History

The writer Robert Nye was born 15 March 1939 in London. He attended Southend High School, a traditional grammar school, and began writing when he was thirteen. Between leaving school in 1955 and starting to write full-time in 1961, he held a variety of jobs including newspaper reporter, milkman, labourer in a market-garden, and ward orderly in a sanatorium. These jobs supported him in his poetry writing. In 1961, Nye moved to North Wales to absorb himself in full-time writing. Later on he settled in Edinburgh where he lived until 1977, then he moved to Ireland. In 1961, he published his first collection of poems,  Juvenilia 1, and a second volume  Juvenilia 2 was published in 1963. Around this time he became successful as a reviewer, becoming poetry editor for  The Scotsman in 1967 and poetry critic for the  Times in 1971. In addition to criticism and poetry, writing for children provided an outlet,  Taliesin (1966) and  March has horse's ears (1966) being his first books for children. These were based on a re-telling of Welsh tales. Other works for children, poetry, and short stories followed. Nye has written novels too,  Doubtfire (1967), then  Falstaff (1976),  Merlin (1978) and  Faust (1980). In 2008, Nye was still living in Ireland.

Conditions Governing Access

Some material closed, otherwise generally open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance of visit.

Other Finding Aids

Handlist, H54. Within handlist is an index of correspondents and box content relevant to the following parts: MSS 2881-2916; MSS 2938-2940; MSS 3122-3123; E99.39; E2004.1; and, E2005.30

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections.

Related Material

Within the Special Collections, Edinburgh University Library, and noted in the paper-format Index to Manuscripts, there are letters to Robert Nye from C.M.Grieve (Hugh MacDiarmid) 1969-1975, and a letter from Mrs.Grieve, at shelfmark Gen. 1930/16/1-7.

Personal Names