Jesus of Nazareth, and Man of Nazareth

Scope and Content

This series contains a set and location list, outlines for various episodes, and drafts of the screenplay for the English and Italian version of the television series. It also includes fragments of drafts of the novel Man of Nazareth and a brief music score.

Administrative / Biographical History

Following the success of Moses the Lawgiver, Lew Grade (later Lord Grade) was keen to commission further projects with a biblical theme. The result was a television miniseries, Jesus of Nazareth / Gesu' di Nazareth, a British-Italian joint venture financed by Lew Grade and Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI), with Vincenzo Labella as executive producer, Franco Zeffirelli as director and Burgess sharing scriptwriting credit with Zeffirelli and Suso Cecchi d'Amico. David Butler is also thought to have contributed scripts to the series. Maurice Jarre composed a musical score to accompany the television series, which premiered in Europe in April 1977 and was broadcast the following year in the US. A collection of photographs from the series, with text by William Barclay, was published in conjunction with the television broadcast, and titled Jesus of Nazareth.

Burgess wrote a full length novel of his script for the Zeffirelli production, titled Man of Nazareth. Man of Nazareth first appeared in print in French, as L'Homme de Nazareth (1976), translated by Georges Belmont and Hortense Chabrier, and then in Italian as L'Uomo di Nazareth (1978), translated by Liana Burgess. The English original, first published in 1979, makes no reference to the film.


Burgess's original arrangement of these records (if any existed) had been disrupted over time, which had resulted in various different drafts of the screenplay and episode outlines becoming intermingled. While cataloguing records within this series, an attempt has been made to restore the original order by identifying similarities in paper and typeface. Where such similarities exist, records have been grouped together. Where possible, a cross-reference to "earlier" or "later" drafts has been given in the Description field, but such references are suggestions only: more detailed research into records in this series is needed to fully determine connections between records.

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