In 2013 the University of Reading acquired the hand-written manuscript for Murphy, Samuel Beckett’s first published novel and the first major expression of the central themes that would occupy much of his later work. This has been added to the Beckett Collection. The manuscript, described by Sotheby’s as the ‘most important manuscript of a complete novel by a modern British or Irish writer to appear at auction for many decades’, had been in private hands for the last half century. The manuscript fills six notebooks and provides a text that is substantially different from the final printed edition in 1938. Further details may be found in our earlier blog post.
Beckett’s Murphy notebooks will be on public display on 11 June 2014, from 12.30 to 7pm at the Museum of English Rural Life, as part of Universities Week 2014. This will be as part of the Research showcase on the creative industries. The event will showcase how the University of Reading’s world-leading research feeds into the UK’s creative economy, with emphasis on theatre and film. For more details, please visit our Universities Week 2014 pages.