Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Radclyffe Hall and Una Troubridge:

A Preliminary Inventory of Their Papers at the Harry Ransom Center

Creators Hall, Radclyffe, 1880-1943, and Troubridge, Una Vincenzo, Lady, 1887-1963
Title Radclyffe Hall and Una Troubridge Papers
Dates: ca. 1900-1962
Extent 36 boxes (15.12 linear feet)
Abstract: This collection includes holograph notebooks and typescript drafts of Hall's works, as well as business papers, photographs, scrapbooks, and piano-vocal scores; and Troubridge's day books and diaries, correspondence, translations, drafts and galleys of her biography of Hall, and photograph and clippings albums.
RLIN Record #
Language English.

Open for research


Reg. No. 13774

Processed by

Liz Murray, 1997


Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin

This manuscript collection of the British novelist Radclyffe Hall and her companion of 28 years, Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge, is added to material previously received at the Ransom Center, including a typescript of Hall's The Sixth Beatitude and letters of Hall and Troubridge to Evguenia Souline, 1934-1942, which are cataloged separately. This accretion includes holograph notebooks and typescript drafts of Hall's works, as well as business papers, photographs, scrapbooks, and piano-vocal scores; and Troubridge's day books and diaries, correspondence, translations, drafts and galleys of her biography of Hall, and photograph and clippings albums. After Hall's death in 1943, this material remained in Troubridge's possession and was bequeathed to her friend Nicola Rossi-Lemeni upon her death in 1963. The collection is organized in two groups, beginning with the works of Radclyffe Hall followed by the papers of Una Troubridge.

Radclyffe Hall

Material for Hall is grouped in two series: Series I. Works, and Series II. Career and Personal Papers. Hall's works are organized in three subseries: the largest is the Novels subseries, which is followed by Short Stories and Sketches, and Other Works. The novels are arranged in alphabetical order by title and include both published and unpublished works. Chief among the published works is Adam's Breed which won the Femina Vie Heureuse prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1927. But Hall is best known for her lesbian novel, The Well of Loneliness, which is well-represented by holograph notebooks and typescripts, along with papers related to the court case banning the book in Britain. Her unfinished and unpublished novels include "The Cunningham Code, ""Emblem Hurlstone," and "Michael West." In addition, holograph notebooks for an untitled work are present in which "Otfried Bergen" is the main character. A small amount of correspondence, usually of a research or business nature, is scattered throughout the works. Many of these letters were written on Hall's behalf by Troubridge.

Hall's published and unpublished short stories and sketches in Subseries B are also arranged alphabetically. Filed before the stories is a holograph notebook "List of stories sent to Miss Heath" referring to Audrey Heath, Hall's agent of many years. The individual titles in Hall's published volume of five short stories, Miss Ogilvy Finds Herself, are present along with sketches for two untitled works. Other works in Subseries C include untitled drafts, lectures, letters to the editor, drafts of her memoirs, and poems. Numerous vocal scores are also present, arranged alphabetically.

Series II contains career and personal papers including biographical material written by Hall, scrapbooks containing clippings covering the Adam's Breed awards and the notoriety of The Well of Loneliness, and publishing contracts for her works. Hall and Troubridge's love of animals and their dog breeding avocation are documented in newspaper clippings of dog shows, kennel registrations, and photographs. In addition, a photograph album belonging to Hall's father and her writing portfolio are also present.

Una Troubridge

Una Troubridge's papers are arranged in four series: Series I. Day Books and Diaries, Series II. Writings, Series III. Personal Papers, and Series IV. Writings of Others. Series I begins with Troubridge's sixty-volume set of day books written from the last days of 1930 to June 21, 1943, just months before Hall's death. These books chronicle the day-to-day activities of Hall and Troubridge, reporting everything from mundane weather reports to details of significant events. Written mostly from their home in Rye, Sussex, they also cover other locations during their travels, especially Italy. Troubridge's diaries, which provided basic information for the more detailed day books, cover the years 1934, 1935, 1941, and 1942.

Troubridge's writing in Series II include holograph notebooks on various topics, drafts and galley proofs of Life and Death of Radclyffe Hall published in 1961, and her translations of works by Colette and Matilde Serao.

Letters between Evguenia Souline and Troubridge, especially 1950-1951, are present in the correspondence found in Series III, Personal Papers. These letters describe Souline's continual requests for financial assistance in addition to her annual annuity. Correspondence between Troubridge and her solicitor, Harold Rubinstein detail Troubridge's monetary outlays to Souline and other financial standings. Of importance is a letter "To the Executors of my Will" written by Troubridge in February 1944 and revised in September 1944 regarding the nature of their relationship with Souline and instructions for the destruction of her diaries. A letter from Home Secretary J. Chuter Ede, written in 1946 in response to Troubridge's request for permission to publish a memorial edition of The Well, states that republishing the book could invite court proceedings. The copy of The Well given to Ede by Troubridge in July 1946 was received with collection and has been transferred to the HRC Library. Also present are two letters from Troubridge's daughter, Andrea Turnbull, written ca. 1950 from Ethiopia.

The remaining material in this Series includes photographs of Una and her husband Ernest Troubridge as children and as newlyweds. Photographs of their daughter Andrea as a child are also present. The history of Una's family, the Taylors, is documented in a scrapbook and the Taylor family tree.

The last Series, Writings of Others, contains a bound holograph manuscript "The Wicked Voice" by Vernon Lee (Violet Paget) from the library of Hugh Walpole.

In addition to the historic copy of The Well of Loneliness mentioned above, which also contains a list of "those who opposed its suppression" written by Hall on the flyleaf, a few published books were also received with the collection, including a book of devotions, The Garden of the Soul, inscribed "J from V April 1912," Colette's Lettres à Marguerite Moreno, and a book of poems, Through Woodland and Meadow. These have been transferred to the HRC Library.

In general, the collection is extensively water damaged, suffering rust and mold deterioration. Two photograph albums are restricted pending conservation treatment: the album of Hall's father (Box 25) and Troubridge's family album (Box 36). Readers are asked to employ caution in using other fragile material in the collection.