Academic Articles and Chapters

Anon. ‘A Novelist on His Own,’ Times Literary Supplement. April 6, 1962, p. 232. Reprinted in T.L.S. 1962. London: Oxford University Press, 1963. Essay-review of The Barbary Light; also includes trenchant survey of all of Newby’s fiction.

Bufkin, E. C. ‘Quest in the Novels of P. H. Newby,’ Critique. VIII (Fall. 1965], 51-62. Discussion of the quest theme in three novels.

Colby, Vineta. ‘P. H. Newby,’ Wilson Library Bulletin, March. 1953. p. 484. Reprinted In Current Biography 1953. pp. 456-457. Contains biographical information.

Dickerson, Lucia. ‘Portrait of the Artist as a Jung Man,’ Kenyon Review, XXI (Winter, 1959). 58-83. Important discussion of Jungian concepts as both the basis of Newby’s noveis and the source of their obscurity, as shown in complicated and recondite analyses of The Snow Pasture and The Young May Moon.

Karl, Frederick R. The Contemporary English Novel. New York: Farrar. Straus & Cudahy, 1962. Republished Syracuse University Press, 2001. Discusses Newby along with William Golding, Iris Murdoch, and Rex Warner in a chapter on the novel as moral allegory. Generally depreciative: says that, despite his high reputation. ‘Newby’s is a small talent’ and that his novels lack ‘vitali­ty and intensity.’

Mc Cormick, John. Catastrophe and Imagination: An Interpretation of the Recent English and American Novel. London: Longmans, Green, 1957. Contains several short but perceptive and enthusiastic passages about Newby’s work, which ‘characterizes the best that has occurred in post-World War II English fiction.’

Mathews, F. X.  ‘Newby on the Nile: The Comic Trilogy,’ Twentieth Century Literature. XIV (April, 1968], 3-16. Excellent, thorough critical analysis of the Egyptian trilogy.

—————. ‘Witness to Violence: The War Novels of P. H. Newby,’ Texas Studies in Literature and Language. XII (Spring, 1970], 121-135. Skillful study of A Step to Silence and The Retreat.

Poss, Stanley. ‘Manners and Myths in the Novels of P. H. Newby,’ Critique, XII (1970). 5-19. Analyses of A Journey to the Interior and A Season in England that illustrate ‘the variety of (Newby’s], fictional strategies as well as the essential unity of his vision.’ Asserts that New-by’s best novels rank collectively ‘as one of the most substantial achievements in English fiction during the last two decades.’ Contains a comment on Jung quoted from a letter from Newby.

Quinton, Anthony, et al. ‘The New Novelists: An Enquiry,’ London Magazine. V (Nov., 1958], 13-31. Symposium by four distinguished critics: Newby often mentioned and work evaluated with that of other postwar English novelists. Contains interesting comparison of Newby and Francis King. Twentieth Century Authors. First Supplement. Ed. Stanley 3. Kunitz. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1955. Contains biographical information.

Strongman, Luke. ‘Crisis of Commonwealth: P.H. Newby’s Something to Answer For (1969),’ ‘The English Abroad’, in The Booker Prize and the Legacy of Empire. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2002, p. 180-6, ch. 6.

Watts, Harold H. ‘P. H. Newby: Experience as Farce.’ Perspective. X (Summer-Autumn, 1958). 106-117. Interesting consideration of Newby’s novels, comical or tragical, as depicting the farcical in­consequence of experience within character and without.

Archival Papers

Newby’s papers are held at the Booker Prize Archive, Oxford Brookes University where they are available to researchers.

Biographical Entries

Contemporary Literary Criticism, Detroit: Gale, Vol 2, 1974; Volume 13, 1980

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 15: British Novelists, 1930-1959, Gale, 1983

Nicholas, Siân. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004.


E. C. Bufkin, P. H. Newby. Boston: Twayne, 1975.

Fraser, G. S., Writers & Their Work: P.H. Newby. Harlow: Longman, 1974.

Interviews – Literary

‘Prizewinner,’ Listener, April 24. 1969. p. 567. Important as a transcript of some remarks by Newby on Something to Answer For.

Balakian, Nona. ‘Talk with P. H. Newby.’ New York Times Book Review. April 19, 1953- p. 18. Comments by Newby on personal at­titudes and literary influences.

Coleman, Terry. ‘The Summer of the Seventeenth Novel.’ Man­chester Guardian Weekly, May I, 1969, p. 16. Reported interview im­portant for Newby’s comments.

Le Franc, Bolivar. Interview with P. H. Newby, Books and Bookmen, XIV (July, 1969). 30-32 Extremely valuable comments on background and some of the novels.

Pegram, Lorna. Release, BBC Two, 19 April, 1969. An interview with Newby a week before he was announced as the winner of the 1969 Booker Prize.

Interviews – BBC

Part of the BBC Oral History Collection. Recorded in 1990.

Gillard, Frank. Howard Newby talks about the Third Programme, 49 seconds.

—————. Howard Newby on Reithianism in The Third Programme, 1 minute 17 seconds.

—————. Howard Newby on David Rudkin’s radio play ‘Cries from Casement as His Bones are Brought to Dublin’, based on the life of Sir Roger Casement, 4 minutes 21 seconds.

—————. Howard Newby on an early technique to edit discussion for radio, 1 minute 46 seconds.

—————. Howard Newby on the tone and format of The Third Programme pre tape-recorder, 49 seconds.

—————. Howard Newby on Sir William Glock and music in The Third Programme, 3 minutes 53 seconds.


Guest, Katy. Booker winner who shunned the celebrity circuitThe Indepedent, February 24, 2008.

Jordinson, Sam. Looking Back at the Booker: P.H. Newby, The Guardian, November 21, 2007.

Thwaite, Anthony. Obituary: P. H. Newby, The Independent, September 8, 1997.

Coleman, Terry Something to Celebrate, The Guardian, 1969.


Correspondence between P. H. Newby and members of staff of the BBC – 1946-1962. Reading, BBC Written Archives Centre. Radio Contributors. Scriptwriters, file 1 & Talks, file 1.

5 letters from P. H. Newby to Alex Comfort. — 1949-1951 London, University College, London Library. Alex Comfort Papers.

Correspondence of P. H. Newby. – 1952. Includes 4 letters (signed TS & autograph) from Newby. Reading, University of Reading Library. In Jonathan Cape General files.

3 letters from P. H. Newby to E. M. Forster. — [ca. 1955-1956] Cambridge, King’s College (Cambridge). Library. In Forster papers.

4 letters from P. H. Newby in the files of the Royal Society of Literature – 1959-1963 Signed TS. London, Royal Society of Literature.

2 letters from P. H. Newby. – 1977-1980. Leeds, Brotherton Library, Brotherton Collection. In London Magazine Archive Access.

Letter from P. H. Newby to Frank Hardie, 1964. Oxford, Bodleian Library. MS.Eng.lett.c.460,fol.26. – [Jan 1985].

Letter from P. H. Newby in the records of the Northampton Arts Association (Literature Group), 1966. Northampton, Northamptonshire Record Office. ZB/365/8/43. [Jan 1986].

Letters in William Plomer’s Collected in-mail. Durham, University of Durham Library.

Letter from P. H. Newby to Ian Fletcher. Reading. University of Reading Library.

Personal letter collection, P.H. Newby literary estate. Contact us for more information.


Allen, Walter. The Modern Novel in Britain and the United States. New York: Dutton, 1964; London: Phoenix House, 1964, under the ti­tle Tradition and Dream. Contains a brief commentary on the two related novels about Oliver Knight through which ‘Newby is probably best approached.’

Burgess, Anthony. The Novel Now: A Guide to Contemporary Fic­tion. New York: Norton, 1967. Passing attention to Newby in a chapter entitled ‘Good and Evil.’ Sees his best novels as about a ‘fundamen­tal bewilderment – that of man himself, lost in a desert without a compass.’

Carpenter, Humphrey. The Envy of the World: Fifty Years of the BBC Third Programme and Radio 3 1946-1996. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1996. Newby mentioned throughout in relation to his work at BBC radio.

Fraser, G. S. The Modern Writer and His World. 3rd ed. Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1964. Brief discussion of The Picnic at Sakkara and A Guest and Ills Going, which ‘deserve to be minor classics.’ Says New­by ‘is hard to match among his contemporaries’ for ‘sheer professionalism’ and ‘competent and patient attention to the novel as an economical art.’

West, Paul, The Modern Novel. London: Hutchinson, 1963. No ex­tended attention devoted to Newby, but he is grouped with such novelists as Anthony Burgess. Rex Warner, Rayner Heppenstall, Gabriel Fielding, and William Sansom who deal with ‘the poetic, the subjective and the metaphysical’ as opposed to the writers of ‘class-picaresque.’


‘The Art of Remaining Human’ Two Cheers for Democracy, by E. M. Forster, Listener, Nov. 1, 1951, p. 749.

‘Book Reviews’ [Roman Tales, by Alberto Moravia; The Presence of Grace, by J. F. Powers; et al.], London Magazine, IV (May [1957]), 79-­87.

‘Book Reviews’ [Collected Short Stories, by Aldous Huxley; et al.], Lon­don Magazine, IV (Sept., 1957), 65-69.

‘Book Reviews’ [Black Midas. by Jan Carew; The Suffrage of Elvira, by V. S. Naipaul; Ways of Sunlight. by Samuel Schott], London Magazine. V (Nov.. 1958). 82-84.

‘Book Reviews’ [Our Man in Havana. by Graham Greene], London Magazine. V (Dec., 1958). 65-67.

‘Indian Children’ [And Gazelles Leaping. by Sudhin N. Chose], New Statesman and Nation. March 19, 1949, pp. 283-284.

‘An Intellectual Wobble’ [Rut to What Purpose, by E. I.. Grant Watson], New Statesman and Nation. March 29, 1947, pp. 218-219.

‘New Novels’ [Manservant and Maidservant. by I. Compton-Burnett; Teresa, by Sean O’Faolain; et al.], New Statesman and Nation, March 15. 1947, p. 182.

‘New Novels’ [Eustace and Hilda. by I.. P. Hartley; Innocents, by A. L. Barker; et al.], Listener. Aug. 7. 1947, p. 232.

‘New Novels’ [Insh’allah. by H. M. Webb; et al.], Listener. Sept. 4. 1947. p. 404.

‘New Novels’ [A View of the Harbour, by Elizabeth Taylor; The Museum of Cheats, by Sylvia Townsend Warner; et al.], Listener, Oct. 16. 1947, p. 693.

‘New Novels’ [Cefald, by Lawrence Durrell; The Bulwark, by Theodore Dreiser; et al.], New Statesman and Nation, March 6, 1948, pp. 197­-198.

‘New Novels’ [Growing Up. by Olivia Manning; Never Again, by Francis King; et al.], New Statesman and Nation. May 29, 1948. pp. 440-441.

‘New Novels’ [Bernard Clayre, by James T. Farrell; et al.], New Statesman and Nation. July 17, 1948, p. 57.

‘New Novels’ [Doctor Faustus, by Thomas Mann; The City and the Pillar, by Gore Vidal; et al], Listener. May 5, 1949, p. 774.

‘New Novels’ [The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer; The Body by William Sansom; et al.], Listener, May 19, 1949, p. 862.

‘New Novels’ [All Things Betray Thee], by Gwyn Thomas; et al.], Listener. June 2, 1949, p. 949

‘New Novels’ [Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell; Conversation in Italy, by Elio Vittorini; Hunting the Fairies, by Compton Mackenzie], Listener. June 16, 1949. p. 1036.

‘New Novels’ [Two Worlds and Their Ways, by I. Compton-Bumett; et al.], Listener. July 7, 1949, p. 36.

‘New Novels’ The Woman of Rome, by Alberto Moravia; The Grand Design, by John Das Passoa; et al.], Listener, July 14. 1949, p. 80.

‘New Novels’ [The River Line, by Charles Morgan; et al.], Listener, July 28, 1949, p. 162.

‘New Short Stories’ [Creatures of Circumstance], by W. Somerset.


Mathews, F. X. ‘The Fiction of P. H. Newby.’ Unpublished PhD thesis. University of Wisconsin, 1964. Very resourceful, enlightening study. Includes passages from two letters from Newby and from an un­published essay by him, ‘Catching Time by the Tail.’

St. Leger, Mona Geadah, ‘The Search for Identity in Four Novels of P.H. Newby.’ MA dissertation. American University of Beirut, 1969.

The above list is an updated version of the one provided by E. C. Bufkin in P. H. Newby (Twayne, 1975).

P.H. Newby. Photograpgh by Mark Gerson.Photograph by Mark Gerson.

P.H. Newby, CBE: novelist, historian, and managing director of BBC Radio. First winner of the Booker Prize in 1969.

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Detail from The Picnic at Sakkara cover design, Davies Bailey, 1955.