Alan Bennett donates work to the Bodleian
Whilst running late for work this morning (sorry folks!) I got to listen to the part of Today on Radio 4 where they seem to enjoy spending a bit more time on interviews. The gentle voice of Alan Bennett drifted over the digital airwaves, talking about the "relief" of seeing 100 boxes of his work disappear off in the van, heading to the Bodleian Library. It was announced today that he has donated his literary archive to the Library with papers dating back to the start of his career in 1960. The archive is to be catalogued and will be open to researchers in part by January 2010.
Bennett has shown great generosity in donating his work without charge, seeing it as his way of repaying his free education – "I see this gift as an obligation repaid". This deposit is seen by Dr Sarah Thomas, the Librarian at the Bodleian, as "one of the most
important acquisitions for the library in recent times".
What a wonderful gift to our national treasures from one of our national treasures! Bennett says, "at the Bodleian I shall be rubbing shoulders with Thomas Hardy and Philip Larkin. They might not be all that pleased but I am."