Although Irish-born Canadian novelist Brian Moore lived in California
for more than thirty years, he considered himself a Canadian writer and
retained his Canadian citizenship. Because his formative years in Northern
Ireland had a profound effect on him, many of Moore's works center on
Catholicism and Irish themes. The Ransom Center's collection of Moore papers
consists of typescript drafts, proofs, and contracts for many of his novels
published since 1962 including
An Answer from Limbo,
The Color of Blood,
The Doctor's Wife,
The Great Victorian Collection,
Lies of Silence,
The Magician's Wife,
The Mangan Inheritance,
No Other Life, and
The Statement. A brief stay in California in
1965 to write the script for Alfred Hitchcock's
"Torn Curtain" led to permanent residence in
Malibu where Moore wrote additional screenplays as well as novels. Screenplays
well-represented in this collection are
"Black Robe," filmed in 1991,
"Gabrielle Chanel," and
"Strangers." Moore also wrote articles for
newspapers and magazines including
Travel and Leisure,
House and Garden, and
The New York Times among others, as well as
book reviews. These are included, as are texts of various talks, readings, and
lectures given in academic and literary settings.
Moore's correspondence spans nearly forty years from 1959-1998,
particularly the 1980s and 1990s. Some outgoing correspondence is present, but
primarily the collection consists of incoming letters from publishers, editors,
agents, fans, critics, friends, other writers, movie directors, and actors.
This portion of the collection was poorly organized when received, with only a
few packets labeled by year which provided evidence of Moore's original order.
To preserve that order and facilitate use, the remaining correspondence has
also been arranged by year.
Unique to the Ransom Center's collection is a complete set of diaries
from 1957-1992 listing Moore's notes to himself, work logs, summaries of
correspondence and telephone calls, possible book titles, details of book
contracts and royalties, and appointments. The collection also includes
personal papers regarding education and employment from 1943-1960 and
photographs. Career-related material is represented by awards, contracts,
interviews, and participation in public events.
The collection is organized into four series: Series I. Works, with
subseries A. Novels, B. Plays, Screenplays, and Adaptations, and C. Other
Writings; Series II. Correspondence; Series III. Diaries; and Series IV.
Career-Related and Personal. Two books received with the manuscript material
have been transferred to the Ransom Center Library. The collection is in good
physical condition and is open for research.
This collection was acquired by the Ransom Center through the dealer
Ralph Sipper after Moore's death in January 1999. Moore's papers were organized
by the dealer prior to sale and bear both Moore's and the dealer's
identifications. These have been relied upon in the arrangement and description
of the collection. Additional Moore collection material is held in the Special
Collections Library of the University of Calgary.