Notebook / diary

Scope and Content

The entries in this notebook/diary have mostly been made by Burgess, with the exception of a brief entry opposite page 2 by his first wife Lynne Wilson (nee Llewela Jones).

The contents includes:

1) incomplete chapter 3 (titled The Tragicall History) of Burgess's undergraduate dissertation about Dr. Faustus for his BA degree in English at the University of Manchester (submitted 1940);

2) notes towards a lecture on “Cultural Reconstruction”, delivered by Burgess while working for the Royal Army Education Corps in Gibraltar between May 1943 and December 1946;

3) two brief sections of an untitled story about life in the army, drafted between 1943 and 1945; first line "I am the Barracks." and "Regimental Sergeant Major Creswell A.E. sat with nothing to do in his office by the guardroom." (These two short fragments subsequently became Burgess's novel, A Vision of Battlements.)

4) calligraphic exercises in Jawi, the Arabic form of Malay, and calculations in Straits dollars, presumably written while Burgess was living in colonial Malaya in the mid-1950s

Access Information


Available to researchers in consultation with the Archivist due to the condition of the item.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Very fragile binding. Pages torn from the centre of the book.


Extracts from the notebook are quoted and discussed in A Vision of Battlements by Anthony Burgess (Manchester University Press, 2017), edited by Andrew Biswell.