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MS 708

Reference code

MS 708


John Julius Norwich archive



Administrative / Biographical history

Norwich, John Julius (1929-2018)

John Julius Cooper, 2nd Viscount Norwich, known as John Julius Norwich, was an author, historian and broadcaster. He was born on 15 September 1929, the son of Conservative politician and diplomat Alfred Duff Cooper (1st Viscount) and the Lady Diana Cooper.

He was educated at Upper Canada College, Toronto, at Eton from 1942, at the University of Strasbourg and on the lower deck of the Royal Navy before taking a degree in French and Russian at New College, Oxford.

He then spent twelve years in H.M. Foreign Service, with posts at the Embassies in Belgrade and Beirut and at the Disarmament Conference in Geneva. In 1954 he inherited the title Viscount Norwich.

In 1964 he resigned to become a writer.As well as producing numerous histories, he also presented many television documentaries and hosted the gameshow My Word! on the BBC. Norwich was the editor of Christmas Crackers, an annual anthology of notable aphorisms, anecdotes and word games which began as a gift to his friends and became a highly sought-after book collectors' favourite.

Norwich died aged 88 in 2018.


20th century - 21st century

Extent & medium

5 boxes

Content description

A collection of manuscripts and typescripts of John Julius Norwich's non-fiction works and television documentaries. The non-fiction works are dominated by Norwich's studies of the Normans, Venice and Byzantium, and often include Norwich's early notes that either preceded or accompanied his manuscript drafts.


Bequeathed to College Library by the author.

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