Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

email signup
Search Collections

Ray Coryton Hutchinson:

A Preliminary Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Creator: Hutchinson, Ray Coryton, 1907-1975
Title: Ray Coryton Hutchinson Collection
Dates: 1907-1975
Extent: 25 Boxes, Oversize Flat File Folder (11.84 Linear Feet)
Abstract: The collection consists of the published and unpublished works of this British novelist. Included in the collection are short stories, plays, articles, book reviews, broadcasts, humorous sketches, letters to the editor, obituaries and tributes, speeches, and verse by Hutchinson, as well as the novels published in the last decade of his life.
Access:

Open for research




Acquisition:

Reg. No. 13402

Processed by:

Liz Murray, 1995

Repository:

Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin


This collection of published and unpublished works by British novelist R. C. Hutchinson complements an existing cataloged collection held at the HRHRC. Together they form a core of Hutchinson's novels from his earliest, Thou Hast a Devil (1930), to his last, Rising, published posthumously in 1976. Much of Hutchinson's work describes contemporary European historical settings on a grand scale, requiring great narrative skill. His novels were published in the United States and were translated in several languages. Also included are short stories, plays, articles, and other writings reflecting his writing career from 1935-1975.

Four categories are used to describe this collection: Works, Correspondence, Personal, and Works by Others. The first and largest series, Works, is further subdivided to accommodate Hutchinson's breadth as a writer. The subseries include: novels, short stories, plays, articles, book reviews, broadcasts, humorous sketches, letters to the editor, obituaries and tributes, speeches, verse, and other writings. The novels represented here are those published in the last decade of Hutchinson's life from 1964 through 1975, including A Child Possessed, Johanna at Daybreak, Origins of Cathleen, Rising, and an unfinished novel, Franziska. In these works, Hutchinson's creative methodology can be followed from notes and sketches, through holograph and typed drafts, to the final proofs. Similarly, more than one draft is frequently present for his short stories and articles which appeared in periodicals such as The English Review, Punch, The Spectator, and popular British magazines. These are arranged alphabetically by title, as are Hutchinson's plays and radio broadcasts. Numerous periodicals containing Hutchinson's short stories and articles received with this collection were transferred to the HRC book collection.

The subseries Other Writings includes notes and essays from Hutchinson's days at Oriel College and military training at Sandhurst. His military career is further represented by the manuscript and typescript of Paiforce, a history of the Persia and Iraq command, which Hutchinson wrote while serving as General Staff Officer in the War Office.

Concluding the series of Works are numerous book jackets and two promotional displays for A Child Possessed and Image of My Father .

The second series, Correspondence, includes postcards, telegrams, and holograph and typed letters between Hutchinson and his literary agent, Curtis Brown; his publisher, Michael Joseph; the BBC; poet, Martyn Skinner; and colleagues dating from 1941-l974. The correspondence with the Curtis Brown agency documents Hutchinson's writing activity from 1960 through his severance with the firm in 1967, and re-establishment in 1970. Some holograph drafts of letters written by Hutchinson appear in chronological order with other correspondence. Topics include foreign translation agreements, reprints, stage dramatizations, royalties and copyrights, Hutchinson's receipt of the W.H. Smith Annual Literary Award (1966), and the publication of his novels, March the Ninth, A Child Possessed (including work on a film version in 1969-70), Origins of Cathleen, Image of My Father, and Elephant and Castle, among others.

Correspondence related to the publisher Michael Joseph (1968-74) picks up the thread of publishing at the time of Hutchinson's departure from Curtis Brown. These letters from various Michael Joseph representatives discuss the publication of Johanna at Daybreak and Origins of Cathleen .

BBC correspondence dates from 1953-1972 and includes references to Hutchinson's participation in BBC Home Service programs, talks for "The World of Books" series, and interviews for the Contemporary British Writers series. Also included is the typescript for "Nightmare Before Babylon."

Correspondence with Warren Chetham-Strode centers on the dramatization of ""The Stepmother"" including staging of the play, programs, and opening night telegrams. Also present is Chetham-Strode's typescript adaptation of The Stepmother which he titled "The Image."

Of particular interest in this series are photocopies of correspondence with poet Martyn Skinner, the compilation of which was published in 1979 as Two Men of Letters: Correspondence Between R. C. Hutchinson, Novelist, and Martyn Skinner, Poet, 1957-1974. The originals of these letters reside in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Also included is related correspondence between Hutchinson's wife Margaret, Martyn Skinner, and Rupert Hart-Davis, editor, regarding the publication of these letters. One holograph letter from Skinner to Hutchinson dated October 24, 1961 is present.

The personal material in Series III includes early schoolboy diaries (1922-23) as well as date books from 1971-1975. A record of Hutchinson's literary earnings is found in four notebooks dating from 1928-1963.

The last series, Works by Others, is notable for its inclusion of two adaptations of Hutchinson's works, Stephan's Child by Guy Green based on A Child Possessed and March the Ninth adapted by Elizabeth Lincoln.