Penelope Fitzgerald’s papers acquired by British Library

Curator says documents, which include unpublished diaries and notebooks for the author’s first novel, are ‘a great source to be mined’

The papers of the novelist Penelope Fitzgerald, which document how she went from living on a leaking houseboat to winning the Booker prize in 1979, have been acquired by the British Library.

The library said that Fitzgerald’s archive would be “valuable in elucidating her professional, intellectual and writing life”. Unusually, the acquisition includes the novelist’s personal library, in particular heavily annotated works by Samuel Beckett, John Milton, James Joyce, George Eliot and other writers, which she used teaching English literature.

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