Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)MB
TitlePapers of Martin Booth
Extent7 boxes
DescriptionThe catalogued papers relate to Martin Booth's literary work from his earliest attempts as a teenager up to 1973. The collection is comprised as follows:

Bound volumes, 1963-1973, consisting of diaries, typescripts and proof copies of his works, printed material and verse draft books;

Looseleaf verse, c 1958-1973, including manuscripts, altered typescripts and marked copies of poems, fragments and translations;

Prose, including essays, lecture notes, drafts of reviews, short stories and introductions to books, plays and film scripts and autobiographical information;

Correspondence, 1970-1972, relating to his Sceptre Press business and personal correspondence;

Miscellanea including printed materials, photographs, paintings and drawings, magazines and ephemera.

Uncatalogued additions to this literary collection, consisting of approximately 40 manuscript boxes, comprise manuscripts of unpublished novels, manuscripts, drafts and proofs of published works, proofs of scripts of television and radio work, published and unpublished poetry, notebooks, diaries and travelling books, research materials, and other manuscripts of journalism, books reviews, letters, and literary ephemera, late 1970s-1997.

1. Bound Volumes

MB/1/1 Diaries, appointment diaries etc.

MB/1/2-6 Diaries of work submission

MB/1/3 Typescripts

MB/1/4 Proof copies

MB/1/5 Printed material

MB/1/6 Verse draft books

2. Looseleaf Verse

MB/2/1 Poems by Martin Booth. (MSS, altered typescripts, xerox copies marked up for poetry reading etc. in one alphabetical sequence)

MB/2/2 Unidentified fragments

MB/2/3 Translations

MB/2/4 Collected works

MB/2/5 Poems and translations by others

3. Prose

MB/3/1 Essays on his own verse

MB/3/2 Essay/lecture notes on verse in general

MB/3/3 Drafts of reviews

MB/3/4 Short stories (drafts)

MB/3/5 Drafts for introductions to books

MB/3/6 Play/film scripts

MB/3/7 Autobiographical information

4. Letters

MB/4/1 Relating to Sceptre Press Business

MB/4/2 Personal letters

5. Miscellanea

MB/5/1 Various printed material relating to poems, poetry readings etc.

MB/5/2 Photographs

MB/5/3 Paintings and drawings

MB/5/4 Pictures, newspaper cuttings etc. relating to poems

MB/5/5 College magazines

MB/5/6 Ephemera
Access ConditionsAccess to all registered researchers. However, access restrictions apply to some of the papers, principally Booth's personal correspondence (restricted until 2024); please apply to the University Archivist for further information
Finding AidsA catalogue of this collection is available on the online archive catalogue. Click on the Finding Number to display the summary contents list of the catalogue and to view the full catalogue. A paper copy is also available in the Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections Department.
Access StatusOpen, but subject to some access restrictions
Administrative HistoryMartin Booth was born in Lancashire in 1944. He was awarded a Certificate in Education from the University of London in 1968 and was a Fellow Commoner at St Peter's College, Oxford, 1971-72. His writing and literary career has been extensive and varied. He has been poetry critic for Tribune, London and literary critic for The Tablet and British Book News and has also worked as a travel journalist and a television and film screenwriter. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1980.

His publications include both adult and children's fiction and non-fiction. His adult fiction titles include The Carrier (1978); The Bad Track (1980); Hiroshima Joe (1985); The Jade Pavilion (1987); Black Chameleon (1988); Dreaming of Samerkand (1989); A Very Private Gentleman (1991); The Humble Disciple (1992); The Iron Tree (1993); Toys of Glass (1995); Adrift in the Oceans of Mercy (1996); and The Industry of Souls (1998). Children's fiction titles include: War Dog (1996); Music on the Bamboo Radio (1997); Panther (1999); and POW (2000). His non-fiction titles include Carpet Sahib: A Life of Jim Corbett (1986); The Triads (1990); Rhino Road: the Natural History and Conservation of African Rhinos (1992); The Dragon and the Pearl: A Hong Kong Notebook (1994); Opium: A History (1996); The Doctor, The Detective and Arthur Conan Doyle: A Biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1997); The Dragon Syndicates (1999); and A Magick Life: A Biography of Aleister Crowley (2000). He has also published verse, criticism, screenplays and adult fiction under a pseudonym. His work as a television and screenwriter include the following films and documentaries: Man-Eaters of Kumaon; People of the Forest (Emmy Award); Itaye and the Fig Tree Troop; Cheetahs and Cubs.

References: International Authors and Writers Who's Who 2000-2001; The Writers Directory 1999
AcquisitionThe first acquisition of papers was made in 1973. A number of subsequent deposits, not yet catalogued, have been received between 1997 and 2005.
Related MaterialUniversity of Birmingham Information Services, Special Collections also holds the papers of the Sceptre Press (a press which published modern poetry by British and American poets and which was owned by Martin Booth) (GB 0150 SCEP). A signed copy of 'Devil's Wine: poems by Martin Booth' (1980) which was presented to Cadbury Research Library in February 2016 by the publisher, Colin Smythe Ltd, Gerrards Cross, is held in the Cadbury Research Library book collections.

The Department also holds a number of other 20th century literary collections which include the David Tipton Collection (GB 0150 TIP) and the papers of David Lodge (GB 0150 DL)


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