Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Hughes, R. mss., 1777-1981, consist of the papers of novelist, poet, playwright Richard Arthur Warren Hughes, 1900-1976. Probably Hughes's most well-known novel was The Innocent Voyage (Harper, 1929) later published as A High Wind in Jamaica. His historical novel series "The Human Predicament" also brought him acclaim, the third volume of which he was writing at the time of his death. In addition, Hughes published volumes of poetry and short stories as well as children's literature. As a playwright he was credited with having written the world's first radio play Danger which was broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corp. on Jan. 15, 1924. He also wrote many stage plays and from the middle of the 1940s to 1955 he wrote film scripts for Ealing Studios.

The collection is organized into the following series: I. Correspondence; II. Writings; III. Miscellaneous; IV. Photographs; V. Clippings.

The correspondence is with Hughes's publishers, agents and the British Broadcasting Corp. as well as with colleagues, friends and family. Correspondents include: George Charles Henry Victor Paget, Marquis of Anglesey, Iris Barry, Pamela Bianco, Joseph Hillyer Brewer, David Garnett, Caroline Glyn, Charles Johnson, Margaret Moore Kennedy, John Masefield, Cedric Morris, Nancy Nicholson, Peter Quennell, Lancelot de Giberne Sieveking, Sir John Collings Squire, Lady Amabel Williams-Ellis, Sir Bertram Clough Williams-Ellis and Elizabeth Wiskemann.

Writings include articles, novels, plays, broadcast scripts, screenplays, and short stories as well as poetry, speeches and lectures, interviews, introductions for other authors' books, and reviews of books and plays. The miscellaneous section contains biographical materials, family papers, financial documents, materials relating to renovations of his various residences, royalty statements and contracts with publishers, papers associated with Richard Hughes (Books) Inc., materials reflecting his membership or participation in various organizations, and numerous calendars. Photographs depict Hughes, his family and friends, scenery, and travels. Clippings written by Hughes or about his works complete the collection.

Purchase. 1972, 1973, 1983

Collection size: 40,295 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.