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Jean Anouilh manuscripts

Call Number: GEN MSS 459

Scope and Contents

The Jean Anouilh Manuscripts consist of drafts of Anouilh's plays from various times in his career, including many juvenilia. Included are various notebooks and several other non-dramatic pieces. The collection has been organized into one series, Manuscripts , and spans the years 1924-1977.

Manuscripts consists principally of drafts of Anouilh plays, from the early short works, "Mondor et Tabarin" and "Billets de Banque", to his later, better-known works, such as "Cher Antoine". Present in this collection are a number of draft sections, such as those for "L'invitation au château", which differ from the printed versions. Also included are several occasional pieces, such as a group of scenarios intended for cinema commercials for a lotion, "O'cap", and an introduction to a French translation of the Kleist play, "L'ordalie ou la petite Catherine de Heilbronn" [originally "Das Käthchen von Heilbronn"].

Accompanying each manuscript is a folder of "cataloger's notes", which usually also include a transcript. These were prepared for the seller before the material arrived at Yale. They have been retained in the collection because they contain valuable contextual information, but they are not presented as being definitive.


  • 1924 - 1977


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Existence and Location of Copies

Microfilm available.

Conditions Governing Use

The Jean Anouilh Manuscripts are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired by purchase from a private collection, on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 1999.


1.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Manuscripts of several plays by Anouilh, including L'invitation au chateau, along with many examples of juvenilia (short plays and a school essay), a group of scenarios for a cinema commercial, and notebooks.

JEAN ANOUILH (1910-1987)

Jean Anouilh, the French playwright, was born in Bordeaux on June 23, 1910. He came to prominence as early as 1932 with the success of L'hermine at the Théâtre de l'Oeuvre in Paris, and for the next five decades his name was never absent from the French and international stage. He is the author of more than 40 plays, which he has published thematically as Pièces roses, Pièces noires and Nouvelles pièces noires (including "Antigone", one of his most performed works), Pièces brillantes (including "L'invitation au château", rendered in English as "Ring Round the Moon"), Pièces grinçantes (including "La valse des toréadors") and Nouvelles pièces grinçantes, Pièces costumées, Pièces baroques (including "Cher Antoine" and "Ne réveillez pas Madame"), and Pièces secrètes. Anouilh also wrote translations of Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, and Graham Greene, as well as more than a dozen screenplays, several ballets, and television adaptations. He died suddenly in Lausanne, Switzerland, on October 3, 1987.

Guide to the Jean Anouilh Manuscripts
Under Revision
by Timothy Young
January 2000
Description rules
Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.