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Undergraduate study, Queen Mary, University of London
Ref No (click to see in context)WH
Extent100 boxes
Creator NameWolfgang Held (1933-2016)
DescriptionPapers of writer, translator, artist and musician Wolfgang Held (1933-2016).

Contains personal papers including material relating to Held’s time at school and university, diaries, letters, photographs, slides, magazines, medals, an astrology chart, letters of condolence and address books.

Family papers relating to his father Fritz Held and his ancestry, as well as family photographs, school books, certificates and related documents.

Work papers including notebooks, working notes and texts, research material, unpublished writing, published prose, papers relating to published works, poetry and poetry translations, papers relating to Raven Studio, prizes and awards, files of notes and notebooks relating to his translation work, radio commentaries and piano recitals.

Audio recordings (compact discs and cassette tapes) of Held's literary works and piano recitals for German radio stations.
Admin HistoryWolfgang Held (1933-2016) was a writer, translator, artist and musician, and a key figure in Anglo-German literary relations.

Born in Frieburg, Germany, in 1933. Educated in Karlsruhe, Heidelberg and Freiburg. Completed a PhD on the Austrian poet, Georg Trakl, and subsequently spent four years at the University of Madras. Taught at the University of Ljubljana, in the former Yugoslavia, in the 1960s. Moved to Edinburgh (by 1971) and then to Greenwich University. Retired in 1985, to focus on his own writing.

His translation work includes German translations of Wyndham Lewis, T.S. Eliot, Samuel Beckett, Michael Holroyd's biography on George Bernhard Shaw and the poetry of John Donne and Emily Brontë.

His novels include Die im Glashaus (Those in Glass Houses, 1965), Ein Brief des Jüngeren Plinius (A Letter from Pliny the Younger, 1979), Rabenkind (Raven Child, 1985), Geschichte der Abgeschnittenen Hand (Tale of the Severed Hand, 1994), Traum vom Hungerturm (Dream of the Hunger Tower, 2007) and Schattenfabel (Shadow Tale, 2014). He also wrote a play, Hoffmanns Verbrennung (Hoffmann’s Burning, 1986).

As a pianist Held gave concerts and made recordings and commentaries for German radio. He also published a biography of Robert and Clara Schumann, Manches Geht in Nacht Verloren (Things Go Astray in the Night, 1998), republished as Geliebte Clara (Beloved Clara, 2008).

Held was also a collagist and hosted the Raven Studio in his London home from 1989-1992, exhibiting works by other contemporary artists.

His first wife was Eva (nee Hellmansberger). The pair later divorced. Married his second wife Madeline Mary Held (nee Duff, 1944-2020) in 1971, with whom he had a daughter, Natasha.
Copyright StatementNo material may be published without the prior permission of both the copyright holder and the Library. All applications for publication must be made to the Archivist in the first instance, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user.
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