Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Christine Brooke-Rose:

An Inventory of Her Papers at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Brooke-Rose, Christine, 1923-2012
Title: Christine Brooke-Rose Papers 1893-2005 (bulk 1957-1992)
Dates: 1893-2005
Extent: 34 boxes, 1 oversize box (osb) (14.28 linear feet), 2 galley folders (gf), 13 computer disks
Abstract: The papers of novelist, poet, and teacher Christine Brooke-Rose provide representative forms of all of her major works including books, essays, and poems, as well as extensive correspondence from agents, editors, friends, and students. Also present is a quantity of personal materials documenting Brooke-Rose's education, wartime service, marriages, and divorces.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-00532
Languages: English, French, and German.
Access: Open for research. Researchers must create an online Research Account and agree to the Materials Use Policy before using archival materials. To request access to electronic files, please email Reference.
Use Policies: Ransom Center collections may contain material with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in the collections without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Ransom Center and The University of Texas at Austin assume no responsibility.
Restrictions on Use: Certain restrictions apply to the use of electronic files. Researchers must agree to the Materials Use Policy for Electronic Files before accessing them. Original computer disks and forensic disk images are restricted. Copying electronic files, including screenshots and printouts, is not permitted. Authorization for publication is given on behalf of the University of Texas as the owner of the collection and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder which must be obtained by the researcher. For more information please see the Ransom Centers' Open Access and Use Policies.



Acquisition Purchase and Gifts, 1992-2005 (R12574, G10692, G11681, G12167, G12465)
Processed by Katherine Mosley, 1993; Liz Murray, 1997, 2000; Grace Hansen, 2017
Repository:

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin


Christine Frances Evelyn Brooke-Rose was born in Geneva, Switzerland, on January 16, 1923. The younger of two daughters of Alfred Northbrook Rose, who was English, and Evelyn Brooke Rose, who was half Swiss and half American, Christine Brooke-Rose was raised in Brussels and educated at Somerville College, Oxford (B.A. 1949, M.A. 1953) and University College, London (Ph.D. 1954). Her parents' marriage dissolved while Brooke-Rose was quite young; her father died in 1934, and her mother later became a Benedictine nun (Mother Anselm).
During World War II, Brooke-Rose served as an intelligence officer in the British Women's Auxiliary Air Force, working at Bletchley Park. She married Rodney Ian Shirley Bax, whom she met through her war work, on May 16, 1944. They were divorced in January, 1948, and the marriage was later annulled. On February 13, 1948, Brooke-Rose married Polish poet and novelist Jerzy Pietrkiewicz (later Peterkiewicz). When her husband became ill in 1956, Brooke-Rose began to write novels after having published Gold (1955), a metaphysical religious poem based upon the anonymous fourteenth-century English poem Pearl. Her first two novels, The Languages of Love (1957) and The Sycamore Tree (1958), were satirical novels of manners. The Dear Deceit (1960), based upon her father's life, and The Middlemen: A Satire (1961) were also conventional novels, although The Dear Deceit used the technique of presenting the story in reverse chronological order.
After her own illness in 1962, Brooke-Rose's fiction changed dramatically; her next novel, Out (1964), discarded the traditional ideals of character and plot and began the play with language and form that has marked her work ever since. From 1956 to 1968, Brooke-Rose worked in London as a freelance literary journalist. In 1968, Brooke-Rose separated from her husband and moved to Paris, beginning a career as a teacher of Anglo-American literature and literary theory at the University of Paris VIII, Vincennes. As a professor, Brooke-Rose was able to work on her fiction only during summer breaks. Such (1966) is the story of the after-death experience of an astronomer, told in terms of astrophysics. Between (1968), centering around the experiences of a professional translator, is a book about language and communication. In 1970, Go When You See the Green Man Walking, a collection of short stories, was published. Brooke-Rose has called her next novel, Thru (1975), a "fiction about the fictionality of fiction."
Nine years elapsed between the publication of Thru and the publication of Amalgamemnon (1984); Brooke-Rose referred to this period as her "traversée du desert."Amalgamemnon and three subsequent novels, Xorandor (1986), Verbivore (1990), and Textermination (1991), form a loose "computer quartet" reflecting on the demise of humanism. Amalgamemnon, written entirely in future and conditional tenses, is about a female professor of literature in a time when the humanities have become irrelevant. Xorandor is a science fiction story about the discovery by two children of a silicon-based civilization that feeds on nuclear radiation. The story is written in the form of dialogue and computer printouts by the children, who use an invented technological slang. The book incorporates areas of physics and was written with the assistance of the author's cousin, Claude Brooke, a physicist to whom Brooke-Rose was briefly married from 1981 to 1982. In Verbivore, a sequel, the now grown children must deal with Xorandor's descendants, whose activities have caused a failure of electronic communications media. Textermination, about the gathering of hundreds of recognizable literary characters at a Convention of Prayer for Being, deals with the advent of a semi-literate popular culture.
As a translator, Brooke-Rose was best known for In the Labyrinth (1968), an English translation of Alain Robbe-Grillet's Dans le labyrinth and winner of the 1969 Arts Council Translation Prize.
As a literary critic, Brooke-Rose was best known for her two studies of Ezra Pound, A ZBC of Ezra Pound (1971) and A Structural Analysis of Pound's Usura Canto: Jakobson's Method Extended and Applied to Free Verse (1976). A Grammar of Metaphor (1958), a critical study of English poets, was an outgrowth of her doctoral work at University College. A Rhetoric of the Unreal (1981) is a collection of essays analyzing narrative techniques in various types of fiction, while Stories, Theories, and Things (1991) contains essays of structural analyses of literary texts and general discussions of issues in literary theory.
In 1992, when the first of her papers were acquired by the Ransom Center, Brooke-Rose was retired from teaching and living in the south of France. Since then, she published Remake (1996), Next (1998), Subscript (1999), Poems, Letters, Drawings (2000), Invisible Author: Last Essays (2002), Life, End of (2006), and Brooke-Rose Omnibus (2006).
Brooke-Rose died March 21, 2012.

Original Acquisition (R12574)
The Christine Brooke-Rose Papers consist of original and carbon copy typescripts, holograph manuscripts, computer printouts, notebooks, correspondence, clippings, galley proofs, original and photocopy page proofs, offprints, documents, printed genealogies, publishing contracts, royalty statements, family papers, electronic files, and digital images, ranging in date from 1893 to 2005 (bulk 1957-1992). The material is arranged in five series: I. Works, 1897-1997; II. Reviews, 1955-1992; III. Correspondence, 1956-1999; and IV. Personal/Family, 1893-2005. The Works series is arranged in three subseries: Books, Essays, and Poetry. The Reviews series is divided into two subseries: Reviews by Christine Brooke-Rose and Reviews of Works by Christine Brooke-Rose. The Correspondence series has two subseries: Business Correspondence and Personal Correspondence.
All of Brooke-Rose's major works up to 1992 are represented in some form. Many early versions of works are present, and these often reveal original titles. In the folder list, the discarded titles of works are indicated with quotation marks, and the final titles are italicized. Where Brooke-Rose had labeled varying versions of manuscripts, those labels are retained and indicated in the folder list with single quotation marks. In keeping with Brooke-Rose's tendency toward chronological order, works and personal/family papers have also been arranged in chronological order. Reviews and correspondence remain in the chronological order established by Brooke-Rose.
Most of the correspondence is incoming correspondence from publishers, agents, editors, friends, colleagues, and students. Among the correspondents are Brigid Brophy, Frank Kermode, Peter du Sautoy, Muriel Spark, Raleigh Trevelyan, and Michael Westlake. All correspondents are included in the Index of Correspondents.
Among the personal and family materials in the collection are documents and correspondence relating to Brooke-Rose's education, career, wartime service, marriages, and divorces.
Atari computer disks that were received with the collection have been reformatted to Macintosh's operating system. The texts of the files were compared with manuscripts already present in the collection; when the texts differed, the computer files were printed. These printouts are grouped together by computer disk. Due to the computer reformatting, margins, fonts, and some diacritics are not the way they appeared on Brooke-Rose's original disks.
Brooke-Rose's personal copies of her books, anthologies containing her work, offprints, and periodicals containing her work have been withdrawn from the collection and cataloged with the Center's book holdings. Some copies are signed or annotated by Brooke-Rose.
1997 Addition (G10692)
This addition to the Ransom Center’s cataloged Christine Brooke-Rose Papers consists of handwritten manuscripts and typescripts of her works, offprints, tearsheet, correspondence, publishing contracts, royalty statements, interviews, and works about Brooke-Rose, from 1947 to 1997 (bulk 1990-1997). The material is organized in three series: I. Works, II. Correspondence, and III. About Brooke-Rose, reflecting the organization of her original gift. The Works series is arranged in three subseries: A. Novels, B. Articles and Lectures, and C. Reviews. The Correspondence series is divided into two subseries: A. Business and B. Personal. All material in this collection is in the original order, usually chronological, arranged by Brooke-Rose.
The Works series largely consists of material for Brookes-Rose’s autobiographical novel Remake (1996). Included are holograph manuscripts and typescripts, and a first edition paperback version, all with holograph revisions. Her novel Next is also represented with holograph manuscript as well as a series of three "print outs." The articles subseries contains Brooke-Rose's first published piece, on Gerard Manley Hopkins (1947), as well as later writings. Reviews by and about Brooks-Rose’s novels complete the Works series.
Business correspondence includes contracts and royalty statements, as well as communication with publishers and editors. Personal correspondence is arranged in chronological order from 1990 to 1996. Family letters and university correspondence regarding the University of Paris, posts offered, and invitations to speak are also present.
The final series contains diverse material about Brooke-Rose, including plans for Richard Martin's book of essays on her.
2000 Addition (G11681)
This addition to the Christine Brooke-Rose Papers includes typescript drafts of Next and Subscript, research notes for Subscript, a French translation of a passage of Thru, reviews, articles and information about Brooke-Rose, as well as correspondence (1996-1999) with editors and publishers, university invitations, and personal correspondence. The addition is organized in two Series: I. Works and Associated Material, and II. Correspondence, 1996-1999.
Folder titles are taken from Ms. Brooke-Rose's contents descriptions.

Other manuscripts relating to Christine Brooke-Rose held at the Ransom Center are located in the Alec Craig, John Lehmann, London Magazine, and Compton Mackenzie collections.

Original Acquisition (R12574): Brooke-Rose's personal copies of her books, anthologies containing her work, offprints, and periodicals containing her work were trannsferred to the Ransom Center Library and cataloged with the Center's book holdings. Some copies are signed or annotated by Brooke-Rose.
1997 Addition (G10692): Books and journals received with the manuscript material were transferred to the Ransom Center Library. Included are Between (with unique dust jacket) and Amalgamemnon (erroneously bound in covers belonging to another book); Baconian Myths by Brooke-Rose’s great-grandmother, Mary Rose, an early curator of Shakespeare's house in Stratford; and Friedman and Martin's Utterly Other Discourse.
Three VHS video cassettes were transferred to the Center’s Moving Image Collection: 1) BBC "Bookmark" program on Brook-Rose, 1987; 2) "States of the Nation--Program 4," Lorna Sage interview with Brooke-Rose at East Anglia University, 1990; and 3) a documentary on Bletchley Park with Brooke-Rose interview, 1991
2000 Addition (G11681): Paperback copies of Next and Subscript received with the manuscript material were transferred to the Ransom Center Library.

Correspondents

Aldiss, BrianWilson, 1925- .
Anson, Peter Frederick, 1889- .
Barth, John.
Bax, Rodney.
Belben, Rosalind, 1941- .
Birch, Sarah.
Brophy, Brigid, 1929- .
Bunting, Basil, 1900- .
Burgess, Anthony, 1917- .
Byatt, A. S. (Antonia Susan), 1936- .
Cohen, Ralph, 1917- .
Davie, Donald.
Dick, Kay.
Du Sautoy, Peter.
Freeman, Michael, 1938- .
Gordon, Giles, 1940- .
Gordon-Forbes, Dorothy.
Hesse, Eva.
Hoepffner, Bernard.
Howard, Jean Alington.
Josipovici, Gabriel, 1940- .
Kermode, Frank, 1919- .
Kilmartin, Terence.
Laughlin, James, 1914- .
Lerner, Laurence david, 1925- .
Lodge, David, 1935- .
Martin, Richard, 1934- .
Mitchell, Lee Clark, 1947- .
Nash, Cristopher.
Peterkiewicz, Jerzy, 1916- .
Rabaté, Jean-Michel, 1949- .
Rachewiltz, Mary de.
Rimmon-Kenan, Shlomith.
Scherer, Olga.
Schmidt, Michael, 1947- .
Spark, Muriel.
Steiner, George, 1929- .
Suleiman, Susan Rubin, 1939- .
Taylor, Telford.
Temple, Ruth Zabriskie.
Trevelyan, Raleigh.
Trypanis, C. A. (Constantine Athanasius), 1909- .
Westlake, Michael.
Wilson, Angus.

Organizations

Cambridge University Press.
Carcanet (Firm).

Subjects

Authors and publishers.
Divorce--Religious aspects--Catholic Church.
Experimental fiction.
Linguists.
Marriage--Annulment.
Science fiction--women authors.
World War, 1939-1945--Female participants.
World War, 1939-1945--Military intelligence.

Document Types

Birth certificates.
Contracts.
Death certificates.
Divorce records.
Digital images.
Electronic documents.
Family histories.
Floppy disks.
Galley proofs.
Genealogies.
Legal documents.
Marriage certificates.
Postcards.