Ambler, Eric (1909-1998)
The Eric Ambler collection includes manuscripts, notes, correspondence, photographs, legal material, financial material, research material, printed material, memorabilia, and scrapbooks.

Manuscripts in the collection include novels and other book-length works, screenplays and teleplays, short stories, speeches, and other miscellaneous manuscripts.

Full-length manuscripts of Ambler’s novels include Judgment on Deltchev (Knopf, 1951), The Light of Day (Heinemann, 1962; published as Topkapi, Bantam, 1964), A Kind of Anger (Atheneum, 1964), Dirty Story: A Further Account of the Life and Adventures of Arthur Abdel Simpson (Atheneum, 1967), The Intercom Conspiracy (Atheneum, 1969), The Levanter (Atheneum, 1972), Doctor Frigo (Atheneum, 1974), The Siege of the Villa Lipp (Random House, 1977; published as Send No More Roses, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1977), and The Care of Time (Farrar, Straus, 1981). Also present is the manuscript for Ambler’s autobiography, Here Lies Eric Ambler (Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1985; Farrar, Straus, 1986) as well as a book of essays, The Ability to Kill and Other Pieces (Bodley Head, 1963). Manuscripts of unpublished novels include Gentleman From Abroad (1966, unfinished). In addition, the collection includes the introduction to the British hardcover edition of Epitaph for a Spy (Hodder and Stoughton, 1938), the introduction to the British edition of the omnibus volume Intrigue (Knopf, 1943), the introduction to the anthology To Catch a Spy (Bantam, 1966), the introduction to the short story collection Scotland Yard, Past and Present (1977), and introductions to different sections of The Story So Far.

Manuscripts of screenplays include Signpost to Murder (later called Time to Kill, 1962-1963); Doll, The Eye of Truth, Nightrunners of Bengal (1955-1968), and Love, Hate, Love (American Broadcasting Co., 1970), as well as notes for Ambler’s adaptation of Nicholas Monsairat’s novel The Cruel Sea (ca. 1951). Teleplays include Venus With Arms and the pilot script for a proposed series, Journey in Fear.

Shorter manuscripts include various articles, talks and speeches, reviews, blurbs, and other miscellaneous pieces; included are seventeen pages of holograph notes labeled “Guadeloupe, Martinique, Nov. 1973,” as well as a “provisional bibliography” of Ambler’s work by Mortimer Chambers.

Correspondence in the collection is a mixture of personal and professional. Most of the professional letters concern the editing and publication of Ambler’s work. Notable correspondents include Julian Blaustein, Anthony Boucher, Bennett Cerf, Jules Dassin, Dorothy Salisbury Davis, Ian Fleming, Theodore Kollek, Michael Korda, Oscar Levant, Laurence Olivier, Terence Rattigan, Leonard Spigelgass, Ann Todd, Kenneth Tynan, Peter Ustinov, Rebecca West, Jon Manchip White, Robin W. Winks, and Darryl F. Zanuck.

Also of note are a group of 30 letters from Ambler to his first wife, Louise Crombie Ambler, written while Ambler was serving overseas in the British Army Artillery during World War II. They date from 1940 to 1941, and provide a weekly diary of Ambler’s activities and thoughts during that period.

The collection includes seven scrapbooks of printed items regarding various Ambler novels, including Topkapi, The Light of Day, A Kind of Anger, Dirty Story, To Catch a Spy, and Epitaph for a Spy.

The research material consists of approximately 50 newspaper clippings from various international news sources concerning terrorism, accompanied by Ambler’s handwritten notes. Other miscellaneous research items are filed with the manuscripts, including a newspaper clipping that inspired the plot for Judgment on Deltchev.

Part of the printed material in the collection consists of copies of reviews of Ambler’s novels, including The Mask of Dimitrios (the French translation), The Light of Day (1962), A Kind of Anger (1964), The Intriguers (1965), Dirty Story, The Intercom Conspiracy (1969-1971), The Levanter (1972-1973), Doctor Frigo (1974-1976), The Siege of Villa Lipp (1977) and Send No More Roses (1977).

There are also many articles pertaining to Ambler (including numerous items in German), as well as several articles and fictions written by Ambler himself.

Ambler’s memorabilia includes various miscellaneous items, including an honorary Doctorate of Letters for Ambler from the City University in London, and Ambler’s death certificate, issued by the city of Westminster, Oct. 23, 1998.

Financial and legal items in the collection include various bills, receipts invoices, appraisals, passports, and a driver’s license. Some royalty statements and other financial reports are filed with the professional correspondence.
Notable Figures
1. Ambler, Eric, 1909-1998
Associated Subjects
1. Mystery and Suspense Fiction Subject Guide
2. Literary Collections Subject Guide
3. World War, 1939-1945 – Personal narratives
4. English literature – 20th century
5. Authors, English
6. Scrapbooks
7. Photographs