Attia Hosain Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Photocopies and print outs of some original broadcast materials from BBC radio programmes. Some paper copies of biographical material, including copies of correspondence. Also some original material on the creation of the archive.

Administrative / Biographical History

Attia Hosain was born into an upper-class feudal land owning family in Lucknow, India in 1913. She was educated at La Martinière School and later gained a degree at Isabella Thoburn College, one of only a few women of her background to do so and the first in her family. She married and in 1947 moved with her husband and two children to England. In England she took up broadcast journalism, joining for the BBC Eastern Service in 1949 where she worked on a variety of regional services. Hosain was also involved in a number of popular shows for women and read for several plays. While continuing to work for the BBC she also acted in the West End, and was an active part of the social scene and friend to many theatrical stars.

Hosain is best known for her writing. She first published a collection of short stories, Phoenix Fled in 1953 and then a novel, Sunlight on a Broken Column with Chatto & Windus in 1961. Both draw on experiences from her upbringing and afford insights into the society of India’s landed classes. Her work has influenced many writers of the younger generation.

Attia Hosain died 25th January 1998.


The collection comprises of three numbered folders.

Conditions Governing Access

Available to researchers, by appointment. Please email:, giving at least two working days notice.

Further details about access to our collections are available on our website.

Access to archive material is subject to preservation requirements and must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Acquisition Information

The collection was deposited as part of the SADAA (formerly SALIDAA) archive.

Other Finding Aids

A finding aid is available for the manuscript material on the collection's webpage.

Printed items may be found by searching the library catalogue.

Alternative Form Available

Digitised copies of some of this material are available on VADS (Visual Arts Data Service). The BBC Archive could also contain some original copies of the scripts.

Archivist's Note

Described Joanne McPhie with amendments by Katie Flanagan.

Conditions Governing Use

The material, unless otherwise indicated, is protected by copyright. You are unable to publish, in full or in part, without the permission of the copyright holder. However, you may use the material as permitted under statutory exceptions in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, e.g. quote for purposes of scholarship within the limits of fair dealing.


Collection is complete.