Click here to skip to content

Osborne, John

Following a generous donation by Irwin T. Holtzman, the Library has a self-contained collection of works by and about the major British playwright John Osborne (1929 - 1994). It comprises many fine copies of first editions of Osborne plays, complete with dust wrappers, as well as uncorrected proof copies.

Promotional material associated with Osborne's films, as well as programmes for theatrical performances, are included in the collection, as are a small number of letters, and a working typescript of the early play Personal enemy, with the deletions of the then national censor, the Lord Chamberlain. Personal Enemy (1955) predates the play which made Osborne's name, Look Back in Anger (1957).

Osborne's famous play is itself represented in this Collection by a first edition, an uncorrected proof dated 1956, various American editions, a 1961 novelisation, and a number of promotional texts associated with the film version, which starred Richard Burton and Mary Ure (Osborne's then wife).

Works in the Collection are entered in Explore the British Library and bear the shelfmark prefix 'Osborne' followed by an individual number.

Manuscript Collections: Literary and theatrical collections
British Library Sound Archive

John Osborne Papers, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Centre