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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 May, 2003, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Laurie Lee letters saved
Laurie Lee
Lee was best known for his novels
Manuscripts, letters and diaries of Cider with Rosie author Laurie Lee are to be saved for the nation .

Papers left by the writer, who died in 1997, have been bought for a "substantial" amount of money by the British Library.

There had been foreign interest, particularly from Yale University in Connecticut, in the United States.

Lee was best known for his prose, such as As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning and its sequel, A Moment of War.

He also wrote volumes of poetry and produced a variety of other works, including filmscripts and plays.

His widow Kathy Lee, who lives in Gloucestershire, said: "Of course I'm thrilled, absolutely thrilled because so many of our writers have been sold off abroad.

"As Laurie was so quintessentially English and described England in his perfect way, it should stay here. I'm very, very pleased."

Enduring picture

Dr Chris Fletcher, curator of modern literary manuscripts at the British Library, said: "We are thrilled to have acquired the papers of Laurie Lee, a writer who occupies such an important place in the nation's literary consciousness.

"In Cider with Rosie, of which we have the complete manuscript together with tin trunk, he gave us the ultimate enduring picture of rural life in a rapidly changing world.

"The Laurie Lee archive makes a perfect addition to the Library's existing holdings of manuscripts by celebrated British twentieth century authors including Evelyn Waugh and Virginia Woolf."

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