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Literary papers of James Elroy Flecker


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Flecker's literary papers, including unpublished verse and prose, and drafts of Hassan. Flecker worked on various drafts of Hassanbetween June 1911 and his death in January 1915 - see MSS. Eng. misc. poet. c. 82/1-2, d. 253-254. For a discussion of the genesis of Hassan see J.C. Squire’s introduction to the limited edition (London, 1923) and Sherwood, pp. 139, 156, 164, 183 and passim. The evolution of the play from a one act farce into a five act tragedy can be divided into five stages:

  1. The Corfu material, Jun-Aug 1911. This included a translation of a Turkish farce with Flecker’s own one act play based on it. The first act of a projected three act farce was completed in August and was circulated in London during July 1912 under the title The Golden Journey to Samarkand.
  2. The First Version, Jul-Dec 1912. A two act version of the farce, the second act written between July and December.
  3. The Leysin Version, Jun-Aug 1913. A five act version of the play using an extensively cut and revised typescript of the First Version, with three acts added in manscript. Now MS. Eng. poet. c. 82/1-2. Act I, scene 2, which was discarded from the First Version during rewriting, is preserved in a typescript at the University of Texas.
  4. The Davos Version, Jun 1914. A typescript of the Leysin Version, cut and amended by Flecker. It forms the basis of the 1922 reading version of Hassan, though it includes several amendments that are not incorporated into this edition. Now MS. Don. d. 30.
  5. The Last Version, autumn, 1914. A version received by Basil Dean, c.1918, containing cuts and amendments in the first acts of the play only; see Dean’s introduction to the acting edition of Hassan (London, 1951), p. xviii.


  • Creation: 1898-1915


1.85 Linear metres (19 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Eng. misc. d. 1275, fols. 1-2].

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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Eng. misc. d. 1275; Eng. poet. c. 81-82, d. 243-254, e. 185-186, f. 42

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 13662


Literary papers of James Elroy Flecker

Biographical / Historical

(Herman) James Elroy Flecker (1884-1915) was a poet and dramatist. His principal works are: The Best Man (Oxford, 1906); The Bridge of Fire (London, 1907); The Last Generation (London, 1908); Thirty-six Poems (London, 1910); The Grecians (London, 1910); Forty-two Poems (London, 1911); The Scholar's Italian Book (London, 1911); The Golden Journey to Samarkand (London, 1913) and The King of Alsander (London, 1914). The Old Ships (London, 1915), Hassan (London, 1922, 1923, 1951) and Don Juan (London, 1925) were published posthumously. Further details are given in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were given to the Library in 1984 by the poet's nephew, John Sherwood.


John Sherwood used the papers extensively in his biography of Flecker, No Golden Journey (London, 1973), referred to in the catalogue as Sherwood.
Literary papers of James Elroy Flecker
Original catalogue by Emily Tarrant; EAD version 2022 by C. McIlwaine
EAD version 2022
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom