Malcolm Muggeridge Papers, 1920-1990
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Brief Description:

The collection of papers traces the pilgrimage of this individual from his roots in socialism through his long search for meaning in life, until he finally embraced Christianity. Throughout his life he took a strong stand on various issues of ethics in government, sanctity of life and moral conduct. He prophesied concerning the woes due a civilization that would not take heed to the decay he described.

The collection includes correspondence, manuscripts by Malcolm, over 940 photographs, scripts and media presentations, published works, memorabilia and a large section of secondary material about Malcolm and the causes he championed.

The correspondence he received is the largest part of the collection, about 47 linear feet. Nearly 1/3 of this (15 linear feet) is classified as Business and Personal, much of it arranged alphabetically by name or topic by Malcolm himself. A dual classification runs through his Business and Personal correspondence, the first section for each letter of the alphabet listing folders that contain several pieces of correspondence all from one source, the second section grouping correspondence of only one or two pieces from each correspondent.

Both lists may need to be consulted to locate a specific correspondent. The largest part of his correspondence (32 linear feet) is from people he briefly met or did not know at all, who just wrote to express thanks for his work or less often to disagree with his position on some topic. This General and Fan correspondence is arranged chronologically from 1935 to 1990.

Since Malcolm often did not keep copies of his letters, his Correspondence Sent occupies only a few inches.

The various manuscript sections of the collection include drafts of books, articles, poems, scripts and speeches. Some of these were never published. The manuscripts are in holograph form, typed or galley proofs.

Muggeridge's published items include books, articles, interviews, scripts and book reviews.

An extensive secondary section includes clippings about Malcolm and his work, clippings about topics that interested him, and manuscripts others wrote and sent for him to critique.

There are several linear inches of material concerning Russia, including both Malcolm's writings and his collection of research material. Several more inches contain a section of material about Mother Teresa and her work among the poor.

Memorabilia includes awards and honors given to Malcolm.

Held at:
Special Collections, Buswell Library
501 College Ave.
Wheaton, IL 60187 5593
Phone: 630-752-5705
Email: special.collections [at]
Record Series Number: SC/004
Created by: Muggeridge, Malcolm (1903-1990)
Volume: 326.0 Boxes
Acquired: 00/00/1985.
More information is available at
Arrangement: The collection is arranged by series with folder level control.
Biographical Note for Muggeridge, Malcolm (1903-1990) :

Born in 1903, Malcolm Muggeridge has become one of the notable figures of the twentieth century. He is well-known as an author, journalist, media personality, and in his later years, a leading spokesman for Christianity. Malcolm Muggeridge experienced a life of tension and seeking. Beginning with his socialist upbringing, his father was involved in politics and served as a member of Parliament, his search for satisfaction and justice continued until it culminated in his finally embracing Christianity.

Following his graduation from Cambridge University in 1924, Malcolm taught in India for a few years. This time was formative for him as he experienced India's caste system, likely influencing his iconoclastic nature exhibited so often in later years. After leaving India, he returned to England, married Katherine (Kitty) Dobbs and the couple settled in Egypt for a time. Here Malcolm began his journalism career, fulfilling his one ambition in life by writing pieces for the Manchester Guardian, Calcutta Statesman, Evening Standard, Daily Telegraph and other newspapers.

Malcolm and Kitty moved again, this time to Moscow (1932-1933) to become a part of what they considered the perfect society. Both Malcolm and Kitty had been raised in socialist ideology and longed for a government that truly met the needs of the people. However, while reporting from there for the Manchester Guardian, Malcolm quickly became disillusioned with the Soviet system. He saw first-hand how the peasant population was subjected to starvation and ill treatment by Stalin's regime. Malcolm's reports were rejected; both by leaders in Moscow and also by Western journalists who chose to believe Soviet propaganda.

During his career Malcolm spent many years away from his family, some of these as he became deeply involved in the Second World War that he had predicted. Though his children missed him, his son Leonard said Malcolm's spy involvement gave him opportunity to say with pride, "My Dad's in hush-hush work abroad!"

Muggeridge's wit and style endeared him to many as he became a popular (and controversial) figure on radio and television. From 1953-57 he served as editor of the British humor magazine Punch. During the 1960s this former Socialist and vocal agnostic gradually modified his positions on religion and became a Christian. This journey is recorded in his book Jesus Rediscovered. Attesting to the spiritual changes that had occurred in his life, Muggeridge emerged a strong voice for moral and ethical issues, following his earlier life of indulging in sensual pleasures. Malcolm used the printed word, television and invitations to address attentive groups to oppose abortion and euthanasia, support the rights of the mentally and physically handicapped or boldly disagree with governments and society. Public reaction to the controversial Malcolm Muggeridge was strong, though not always favorable. In spite of this, those close to Malcolm knew him for seeing the humor in life, even in the serious and solemn things.

Malcolm's journey to faith encompassed much of his life. In spite of his concern about the drift of the Christian church via liberalism and permissive morality into moral chaos, he eventually joined the Catholic Church because of their strong stand against abortion and birth control. The dedication and compassion of Mother Teresa and Fr. Paul Bidone were instrumental in Malcolm joining the Church. In 1983 Malcolm and Kitty Muggeridge became members of the Roman Catholic Church.

Malcolm's one relaxation was walking--alone, with Kitty, with family--walking and conversing. And at home he was always ready for visitors. He would break his routine willingly to entertain people from all over the world, from different walks of life--invited or not. And Kitty would serve tea. Malcolm's myriad letters from those who had been guests confirm that they felt greatly honored. Malcolm and Kitty had a way of making everyone feel they were special friends.

Malcolm was first and foremost a writer and thinker, who contributed greatly to the literature and thought of the twentieth century. As Canon David Winter stated, the true value of having Malcolm's papers at Wheaton College comes through being able to preserve "the voice of a craftsman of the English language--and a Christian voice which speaks with all the more splendor because it was born from a seed that was full of doubt, cynicism and self-promotion."

Malcolm Muggeridge, after a fruitful life of constant interaction and tension with life, entered eternal rest November 14, 1990.

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this collection.
Subject Index
Abortion - Religious aspects - Christianity.
Amis, Kingsley.
Authors, English. - 20th century - Biography.
Authors, English. - 20th century - Diaries.
Broadcasters. - Great Britain - Biography.
Buckley, William F., Jr., 1925-2008.
Capital punishment - Moral and ethical aspects.
Catholic converts. - Great Britain - Biography.
Christian biography - England.
Christianity - 20th century.
Conversion - Biography.
Conversion - Christianity.
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor, 1821-1881
Editors - Great Britain - Biography.
Euthanasia - Moral and ethical aspects.
Euthanasia. - Moral and ethical aspects.
Jesus Christ - Art.
Journalists - Great Britain - Biography.
Kierkegaard, Søren, 1813-1855
Kingsmill, Hugh, 1889-1949
Marriage - Religious aspects - Catholic Church.
Missionaries of Charity - Biography.
Muggeridge, Kitty
Muggeridge, Kitty - Manuscripts.
Muggeridge, Malcolm, 1903-1990
Muggeridge, Malcolm, 1903-1990 - Biography - Pictorial works.
Muggeridge, Malcolm, 1903-1990 - Diaries.
Muggeridge, Malcolm, 1903-1990 - Drama.
Muggeridge, Malcolm, 1903-1990 - Friends and associates.
Muggeridge, Malcolm, 1903-1990 - Interviews.
Muggeridge, Malcolm, 1903-1990 - Manuscripts.
Muggeridge, Malcolm, 1903-1990 - Portraits.
Orwell, George, 1903-1950
Orwell, George, 1903-1950 - Manuscripts.
Pascal, Blaise, 1623-1662.
Pearson, Hesketh, 1887-1964
Philosophers - Denmark - Biography.
Social ethics.
Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Isaevich, 1918-
Soviet Union - History - 1925-1953.
Teresa, Mother, 1910
Teresa, Mother, 1910 - Manuscripts.
Vidler, Alexander Roper, 1899-1991
Genres/Forms of Material
Clippings Files
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Duplication may be restricted if copying could cause damage to items.
Acquisition Notes: Gift  Malcolm Muggeridge chose Wheaton College Special Collections to be the repository for his papers in 1985. The first shipment was received in 1988. Additional papers and memorabilia have been received until the collection has come to its present size of 130 linear feet.
PreferredCitation: Malcolm Muggeridge Papers (SC-4), Wheaton College Special Collections, Wheaton, Illinois.