Nicholas Osborne Hagger (born 22 May 1939), is a British poet, literary author, man of letters, cultural historian and philosopher who has lectured in English Literature at universities abroad. He purchased and restored Otley Hall in Suffolk and has created a private-school system at four locations in England.
He has written over 40 books. His literary works include nearly 1,700 collected lyrical and reflective poems, over 300 classical odes, 2 poetic epics (of 41,000 and 26,000 lines), 5 verse plays and more than 1,200 collected short stories. Some of these addressed historical and philosophical questions about the laws of history and the universe. Moving outside literature, he stated the Law of History in a Grand Unified Theory of history and religion, a pattern of rising and falling civilisations that will pass into a worldwide civilisation for a while. His comprehensive philosophy, Universalism, challenges modern philosophy by readmitting the universe, reveals a Law of Order and approaches a Theory of Everything.
Nicholas Hagger studied English Literature at Oxford under Christopher Ricks, discussed his first poetic epic with Ezra Pound and received letters from Ted Hughes. Kathleen Raine and David Gascoyne spoke at the launch of his first book of poems, Asa Briggs spoke on his first history book and he led a dozen Universalist philosophers at regular meetings in the early 1990s. He has tried to reflect the Age in his work from seven angles, including literary, philosophical, scientific and historical perspectives, so each of his works interacts with other works he has written. Each work is like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle that presents a whole picture. He anticipated the fall of Soviet Communism and the rise of a European superstate with its own legal personality. He has proclaimed the need for a new World State. Lady Astor, mistress of Cliveden at the time of the Profumo Affair, said of his work, “He is two decades ahead of his time.” Also see his website, www.nicholashagger.co.uk.
All this is reflected in his archive. This first tranche consists of papers relating to Nicholas Hagger’s published works. It will be followed by a second tranche consisting of personal/biographical papers relating to his life (including letters). A third tranche will include computer material (versions of books and related email correspondence). A fourth tranche on his death will include his page-a-day diaries, 1963 to date.
This archive is contained in a sequence of boxes labelled ‘Works’. These will be added to in tranche 2, when there will be another sequence of boxes labelled ‘Biographical’.
This is the first tranche of an Archive of Works, not a Biographical Archive. The archive files reflect the creative process from manuscript stage via successive corrected print-outs to final proofs. The principle is that when a work consists of more than one box the manuscripts are on the top left of Box 1 and the proofs are to the right of the last box. In between are various corrected stages of print-outs from early to late.
This Archive of Works covers all Nicholas Hagger’s published writings to date. The boxes are grouped within three main categories (literature, history, philosophy) and are numbered consecutively Works 1–54. Of these boxes, four are being retained until the end of 2016 as they will be affected by works being published in the course of 2016. Boxes marked R will be retained by the author until the works are completed, and in due course they can be slotted into the numbered sequence. Future works will be added from 55 onwards.
In due course there will be boxes of Biographical material, including letters and papers relating to educational and journalistic work. Boxes in the biographical archive will be grouped under new categories, beginning with Biographical Box 1.
Diaries from 1963 to date and other material will join the archive on Nicholas Hagger’s death.
The completed archive will provide comprehensive coverage of Nicholas Hagger’s works and life. It will offer possibilities that include scholarly annotation of changes to words in poetic lines and critical insights into the creative process of the works and of their handling of source material. It will combine breadth of range across seven disciplines, meticulous ordering of poems and stories in contents order, and extensive cataloguing. It will be a treasure trove for researchers willing to explore innovatory works that reflect the Age and offer a new Universalist vision for a coming Age.
The following will provide a brief overview of the contents of each box, with a number of digitized notes and pages. These digital images have been chosen in such a way as to reflect the full spectrum of the Nicholas Hagger Archive, in topic, form, and stages of composition. A detailed inventory of each box can be found in the full catalogue (see the download link at the top). Please note that the boxes contain hand-written notes, draft versions, full versions, the volume(s) to which the materials are related, as well as audio-files and other materials used in the composition process.
This section consists of (1) Poems, boxes 1–19, (2) Verse Plays, boxes 20–22, (3) Stories, boxes 23–26, (4) Autobiographical, boxes 27–32, and (5) Literary Investigation , box 33.
Universalist poems in all genres, reconciling natural landscapes, physical beauty, historical roots, personal aspirations, social relationships, political ideals and illusions, spiritual glimpses and metaphysical awareness within a unified universe.
There are 19 boxes of poems and related material. The first five cover Collected Poems, three cover Classical Odes, three cover Overlord and seven cover Armageddon.
These five boxes are organised in accordance with the following principles:
Box 1 Manuscripts of all poems from 1958 to 2005, covering the 30 volumes within Collected Poems and including a green book of manuscript handwriting covering volumes 7 and 9.
Box 2 Print-outs of these poems, some with corrections, some without corrections, including volumes 1–17 (poems from 1958 to 1976/1977), which gathered definitive texts into print-outs at the level of tidy housekeeping.
Box 3 Print-outs of a selection of poems, Selected Poems, A Metaphysical’s Way of Fire, published in 1991, a selection from the poems in Box 1 up to 1990.
Box 4 Print-outs of a collection of poems, Collected Poems, A White Radiance, 1958–1993, published in 1994, which collected all the poems in Box 1 up to 1993; and proofs. This box shows each stage of the appearance of A White Radiance.
Box 5 Print-outs of a new collection of poems, Collected Poems, 1958–2005, published in 2006, which collected all the poems in Box 1 up to 2005.The organisation of the boxes reflects the cumulative use of the manuscript poems. The same poems have been focused on at different times for selections/collections, most notably in 1976/1977, 1991, 1994 and 2006. There have been print-outs of the same works at different times to accommodate these different groupings. Many print-outs contain corrections and some have manuscript insertions interleaved. Sometimes poems have been reworked, most notably the early elegies of A Pilgrim in the Garden, changed versions of some of which appear in The Fire-Flower.
A collection of 1,478 poems by Nicholas Hagger bringing together volumes 1–30 of his poetic work (excluding his 318 classical odes, two poetic epics, Overlord and Armageddon, his 5 verse plays and masque). Collected Poems, 1958–2005 includes the poems in Selected Poems: A Metaphysical’s Way of Fire (1991) and Collected Poems: A White Radiance (1994). Page numbers refer to pages in Collected Poems.
First selection of Nicholas Hagger’s poems, not to be confused with the second selection, Selected Poems: Quest for the One (2015, see Box 19). These poems were dictated to a PA and so there are print-outs rather than manuscripts. The dictation was based on manuscripts in volumes 1–24, which are in Box 1.
First collection of Nicholas Hagger’s poems, not to be confused with the second collection, Collected Poems 1958–2005 (2006), see Box 1. These poems were dictated to a PA and so there are print-outs rather than manuscripts. The dictation was based on manuscripts in volumes 1–27, which are in Box 1, and on print-outs (see Box 2 and below).
Second collection of Nicholas Hagger’s poems, not to be confused with the first collection, Collected Poems: A White Radiance (1994), see Box 4. These poems were dictated to a PA/copied from the first collection, and so there are print-outs rather than manuscripts. The dictation/copying was based on manuscripts in volumes 1–27, which are in Box 1, and the new manuscripts for volumes 28–30 are also in Box 1, and on print-outs (see Box 2 and below).
318 poems, ‘classical odes’ which explore the English historical tradition in relation to the UK’s membership of the European Union. Poems on England’s roots that catch the British transition from nation-state to membership of a regional federal Union. The first sequence of four books of classical odes since Horace. Box 6 contains manuscripts and early print-outs; Box 7 contains print-outs; Box 8 contains proofs. All images below come from Box 6. Page numbers refer to pages in Classical Odes.
Nicholas Hagger’s first classical poetic epic on the Second World War. Eisenhower hunts down Hitler from D-Day to the Fall of Berlin, watched over by Christ and Satan. As the hero is an American this can be regarded as an American as well as a British epic poem. The first poetic epic in English since Paradise Lost. Overlord first appeared in 4 volumes between 1995 and 1997 (books 1–2, books 3–6, books 7–9, books 10–12) and as a one-volume edition in 2006. (In 1970 Nicholas Hagger discussed with Ezra Pound the epic he saw ahead, which became Overlord.) Box 9 contains manuscripts and early print-outs; Box 10 contains print-outs; Box 11 contains proofs. The images below are taken from Box 9. Page numbers refer to the pages in the one-volume Overlord.
Nicholas Hagger’s second classical poetic epic on the War on Terror from 11 September 2001 to the inauguration of Obama in 2009. George W. Bush hunts down bin Laden and al-Qaeda until the end of his Presidency, fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, urged on by the élite, watched over by Christ and Satan. Box 12 contains manuscripts and early print-outs; Box 13 contains source material; Box 14 contains source material and cuttings related to Afghanistan and Iraq; Box 15 contains source material and cuttings related to Iraq; Boxes 16-18 contain further source material and cuttings. The images below are taken from Box 12. Page numbers refer to pages in Armageddon.
Selected Poems: Quest for the One A selection of Nicholas Hagger’s poetic works, including his poems, classical odes, two poetic epics and five verse plays, presented in two parts ‘Quest for the One’ and ‘Follies and Vices’ (the two aspects of the fundamental theme of world literature outlined in his A New Philosophy of Literature). The poems were copied from previous publications and so there are no manuscripts. The original manuscripts can be found in Boxes 1, 6, 9, 12, 20 and 21.
The Dream of Europa A masque in the tradition of Ben Jonson’s 17th-century masques, celebrating 70 years of European unity from 1945 to 2015. Zeus asks Europa to sort out the chaos and disorder caused by the Second World War, and Europa presides over a growing unification of 28 states with 22 more expected to join.
Life Cycle and Other New Poems 2006-2016, volumes 31–34.Two hundred and ten poems by Nicholas Hagger, continuing Collected Poems 1958-2005, which contained volumes 1–30 (see Boxes 1 and 5), including ‘Life Cycle’, poems that reflect harmony with the universe, poems involving international politics and statecraft, poems on adventures in interesting countries
Nicholas Hagger’s revival of verse drama in the 1990s: studies of world government during the Second World War (The Warlords, Parts One and Two) , in Cromwell’s time through the funding of the New Model Army from Holland (The Rise of Oliver Cromwell), in Augustus’s time (Ovid Banished) and in our time (The Tragedy of Prince Tudor). Collected Verse Plays (2007) includes The Warlords Parts One and Two (1995, and in the Appendix an abridged version of the two parts, later called Montgomery, 2007); The Tragedy of Prince Tudor (1999), Ovid Banished (2007) and The Rise of Oliver Cromwell (2007).
All the verse plays materials can be found in boxes 20-22. Page numbers refer to pages in Collected Verse Plays.
A verse play in two parts with 234 characters, describing Montgomery’s pursuit of the Nazis from D-Day to the fall of Berlin. This appeared in 1995 and is contained within Collected Verse Plays (2007).
The Rise of Oliver Cromwell: This verse play puts the entire English Civil War on stage and therefore has an epic scope. It follows Oliver Cromwell from 1627 to 1660, and includes the beheading of Charles I.
Ovid Banished: This verse play tells the story of Ovid from 2/1BC to his death. It covers his banishment by Augustus to Tomis on the Black Sea beyond the frontier of the Roman imperium, where he died.
The Tragedy of Prince Tudor: A Nightmare: This verse play is set in the future. It describes the fate of the British Crown Prince at the hands of a hostile world government, and explores the difficulties of a nation-state under world rule.
This book contains five verse plays by Nicholas Hagger (counting The Warlords Parts 1 and 2 as two verse plays): The Warlords Parts 1 and 2, The Tragedy of Prince Tudor, Ovid Banished and The Rise of Oliver Cromwell; and in an Appendix The Warlords abridged version, for performance in one evening. The Warlords Parts 1 and 2 and The Tragedy of Prince Tudor had appeared in 1995 and 1999 respectively, and were copied from previous publications. The Tragedy of Prince Tudor, Ovid Banished and The Rise of Oliver Cromwell and The Warlords abridged version first appeared in 2007. The manuscripts of The Warlords are in Box 20. The abridgement was taken from a CD of the 1995 edition. The manuscripts of the other verse plays are in Box 21. The items in this box relate to print-outs and accessories of Collected Verse Plays.
A thousand and one very short stories following the fortunes of Philip Rawley over five decades. They show his quest for the One and the follies and vices of some of the many people he encounters. These stories echo The Thousand and One Nights, or Arabian Nights, and reflect the Age. The stories appeared in four volumes, two in 1995 and two in 1999, and Collected Stories (2007) included a fifth volume.
Boxes 23-25 contain manuscript materials relating to the five volumes of Collected Stories. Box 26 contains materials relating to two later volumes, Selected Stories: Follies and Vices of the Elizabethan Age (2015) and Collected Stories, volume 6: The First Dazzling Chill of Winter (2016). Page numbers refer to pages in Collected Stories.
Eighty-six very short stories selected from volumes 1–5 of Collected Stories, grouped in two parts: ‘Follies and Vices’ and ‘Quest for the One’. They follow the fortunes of Philip Rawley over five decades. They refer to 150 vices, which are listed in a Preface, and present moments in which the universe is perceived as a unity.
201 short stories about Philip Rawley over a sixth decade.
Early spiritual autobiography showing Nicholas Hagger’s development along the Mystic Way to universal consciousness, and how his poems reflect this development.
Early diary entries covering Nicholas Hagger’s experience of illumination and early poems. Background to the early poems, catches Nicholas Hagger’s development while he was living in Japan.
An introduction to the Epping Forest villages Nicholas Hagger grew up in, evoking the spirit of the Forest through its best loved places and wildlife, drawing on local history and his personal experience. Epping Forest is the background to many of his poems and stories, and an Appendix offers a selection of his poems that reflect the Forest. It includes sections on three of his Oak-Tree Group of Schools.
An account of Nicholas Hagger’s life from 1939 to 1973, including his early development as a poet and writer during his years in Iraq, Japan and Libya, and his four years as a British intelligence agent at the height of the Cold War. This role tore into his personal life and during his inner turmoil he had experiences of the metaphysical Light and came to see the universe as a unity.
An account of Nicholas Hagger’s life from 1973 to 2014, during which he acquired three schools, renovated a historic house, developed the new philosophy of Universalism and from his growing vision of unity wrote 2,000 poems, two poetic epics, five verse plays and 1,200 short stories. He had more than 40 books published. There are many lively portraits and he reveals the pattern behind the episodes in his life.
Proofs and indexing.
The Universalist tradition in literature and how it is being revived in our time. The book sets out the fundamental theme of world literature which since 2600BC has had alternating metaphysical and secular aspects: a quest for Reality, and condemnation of social vices. The interplay between these two traditions is tracked from classical times to the present. From time to time Universalists reconcile the two antithetical traditions, as does Nicholas Hagger in his works.
The tradition of the metaphysical Light over 5,000 years and how it inspired each of 25 civilizations, which all have 61 parallel stages. Nicholas Hagger presents a statement of historical Universalism in the tradition of Gibbon, Toynbee and Spengler, and offers a Law of History in which civilizations go through rising-and-falling stages. The vision that inspired the civilizations also inspired the beginning of all religions, which are crucial to the development of civilizations, and so the book is also a statement of religious Universalism.
The book began as The Secret Light (1976), then became a trilogy: A River of Light (1978), Oceans of Light and Towards a Globe of Light. It then became The Superman and the Light (later in 1979), then became The Metaman and the Metaphysical Revolution. It then became Journey into Light (1980), then The Sun-Hawk (1981), then The Seeker and the Light (May 1981), then The Inner Light and World Culture (1987), then briefly The Light of the World (1987), before finally becoming The Fire and the Stones (by 1989).
A full checklist of the 12 early/previous versions of The Fire and the Stones is as follows:
There is no sequential manuscript for The Fire and the Stones as the text emerged from the above predecessors, each stage being progressively reused in the next stage. Some of the early versions were typed from notes. Because of the evolutionary nature of the project, typed scripts replaced typed scripts and following revisions A to X a more final version of The Fire and the Stones was produced. Box 34 contains early/previous manuscript/typed versions under different titles; Box 35 contains early typed versions; Box 36 contains revisions, with many corrections and manuscript insertions interleaved; Box 37 contains print-outs; and Box 38 contains proofs.
A reworking of Part One of The Fire and the Stones, stating the tradition of the Light over 5,000 years. A statement of religious Universalism: all world religions seen in terms of the Light.
Nicholas Hagger’s grand unified theory of history and religion treated from a purely historical perspective. A statement of historical Universalism. A reworking and updating of Part Two of The Fire and the Stones. The original title was The Endless Rise and Fall of Civilizations. For the origin of the title, see The Universe and the Light (Box 51), “PF, print-out and manuscript of Appendix 1 on ‘The Rise and Fall of Civilizations’”.
The Secret History of the West is a study of all the revolutions in the West from 1453 to the Russian Revolution, and of how secret organisations have influenced Western history. Includes an innovatory four-part dynamic of revolutions.
A view of élites’ attempts to intrigue a self-interested world government to the detriment of humankind. The book covers from 1900 to 2004.
The Secret History of the West was first known as Revolutions, then as Revolution. It eventually became The Secret History of the West, volume 1, Utopias and Massacres: Paradise through Revolution from the Renaissance to the Russian Revolution; volume 2, World Peace through War: The Pax Americana and the New World Order – Globalisation through Revolution. It was later known as Revolutions: A Secret History of the West’s Utopias, Revolutions and Massacres; and then as The Secret History of the West: Revolutions and Massacres, 1450–2000. Volume 2 was eventually hived off as The New World Order and Revolution, and was retitled September 11 and the New World Order. Volume 2 became The Secret History of Revolution and was subsequently retitled The Syndicate. What is now The Syndicate was therefore originally conceived as the last part of what is now The Secret History of the West.
Box 41 contains an early version of The Secret History of the West; Box 42 contains print-outs and proofs; Box 43 contains mostly source materials for The Secret History of the West and The Syndicate; Box 44 and 45 contain respectively pre-edited and post-edited versions of The Syndicate. The images below are taken from Box 41.
An account of the Christian and Freemasonic roles in the founding of America and its federal government, and their presence today. Written for the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown Settlement. (For seven years Nicholas Hagger owned Otley Hall, where the Jamestown Settlement is thought to have been planned.) An Appendix contains the US constitutional documents.
A philosophical call for a partially supranational world authority above the UN with legal power to abolish war (and control the Syndicate). The structure of a benevolent world government to implement the vision in Kant’s Perpetual Peace. A philosophical statement of historical Universalism that reflects the long tradition of world government as an idea.
An examination of the seven bouts of expansion in American history, and of a possible eighth bout: the creation of a World State that can abolish war, poverty and disease and spread the American Dream to all humankind. Evidence from Obama’s speeches in his first two years that such a US role is in prospect.
The conflict in world culture between the metaphysical and social, reductionist and atheist approaches. How these conflicting approaches in seven disciplines can be reconciled by Universalism to make possible a coming World State, a democratic federal world government.
Nicholas Hagger’s experience of the Gaddafi Revolution, of which he was an eyewitness, and an analysis of 40 years of the Libyan Revolution. Written for the 40th anniversary of the 1969 Revolution. An Appendix includes the newspaper articles on Libya he wrote while living in Tripoli.
Nicholas Hagger’s travelogue on his visit to Iran in early 2007, aiming to get inside the soul of Iran while researching for Armageddon It was a fraught time internationally, and there were days when he seemed to be the only tourist in Iran. The book reflects Iran’s history and cultural heritage with a poet’s eye.
Essays on the Light in all disciplines (based on Nicholas Hagger’s lecture in Winchester), Universalism, and reductionism and holism. The book argues against the materialist view of human life. An Appendix offers a possible television treatment of Nicholas Hagger’s view of the rise and fall of civilizations.
Essays on Universalism and the Metaphysical Revolution, based on articles in magazines and addresses. ‘The One’ refers to metaphysical Reality and ‘the Many’ to the forms within the universe. Nicholas Hagger’s call in this book for a revolution in thought and culture is based on his Aldeburgh lecture.
A challenge to modern philosophy. Nicholas Hagger presents a scientific approach to the universe, a new metaphysical vision and a new Universalist view of humankind. He reconnects philosophy with Nature and presents a Law of Order that counterbalances a Law of Randomness. The book presents a statement of philosophical Universalism.
This box contains equipment (e.g. machines) useful to a researcher.
Soon to follow.