Literary papers of Wole Soyinka, with a letter and a few related items

Scope and Content

Comprises: (1) Literary papers of Wole Soyinka, including (a) Galley proofs of his play A Dance of the Forests (1963), with autograph manuscript annotations, (b) Duplicated typescript of his play The Road (1965), with many autograph manuscript revisions, together with printer's proofs of the work with similar revisions, (c) Duplicated typescript of his screenplay Kongi's harvest' (ca. 1967), (d) Duplicated typescript of his play Madmen and specialists (ca. 1970-1971) with his autograph emendations, (e) Typescript of his play The Bacchae of Euripides (1973) with a few autograph emendations, being not Soyinka's original script, but the script that the National Theatre decided to use for their production of 2 August 1973, (f) Three autograph manuscript poems, entitled 'Flowers for my Land', 'Live burial' (so-called 'Prisonettes') and 'Hamlet', the latter said to be 'not for publication', and (g) A typescript article on Margaret Thatcher with autograph corrections, later published in The Guardian Weekly (Nigeria) in 1987, signed by the author; (2) Autograph manuscript letter from Soyinka to Rex Collings, undated, but probably ca. 1968-1969, concerning the publication of his 'Prisonette' poems; and (3) Two related printed items, namely, (a) A press cutting from the Daily Sketch, 2 November 1967, concerning Soyinka's failed attempt to escape from Lagos Prison, where he was being held as a political prisoner, and (b) A copy of Soyinka's Poems from prison, published in London in 1969 by Rex Collings Ltd.

Administrative / Biographical History

Wole (Oluwole Akinwande) Soyinka, the Nigerian writer, was born in Ijebu Isara, Nigeria, on 13 July 1934 and educated at Abeokuta Grammar School and Government College, Ibadan; then at University College, Ibadan (1952-1954) and Leeds University (1954-1957), where he graduated in English. In 1986 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. For fuller details of his life and achievements see Who's who.

Access Information

Access is unrestricted.

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Quaritch/Sotheby's and Bloomsbury Book Auctions between 15 December 1983 and 31 July 1991.


In English.