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Penelope Fitzgerald:

A Preliminary Inventory of an Addition to Her Papers in the Manuscript Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Creator: Fitzgerald, Penelope
Title: Penelope Fitzgerald, Addition to Her Papers
Dates: 1898-2001 (bulk 1990-2001)
Extent: 11 boxes, 1 oversize folder (4.62 linear feet)
Abstract: This addition to the cataloged papers of Penelope Fitzgerald combines accretions received at the Ransom Center from 1996-2002. The bulk of the material dates from the 1990s, with the exception of photographs, early correspondence, and memorabilia for the Edward Burne-Jones, L. P. Hartley, and Knox brothers biographies.
Language: English
Access:

Open for research




Acquisition:

Gift and purchases, 1996-2002 (Gift no. 11546; Reg. nos. 13742, 14806, 15073, 14922)

Processed by:

Liz Murray and Terence Dooley, 2005

Repository:

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center


This addition to the cataloged papers of Penelope Fitzgerald combines accretions received at the Ransom Center from 1996-2002. The bulk of the material dates from the 1990s, with the exception of photographs, early correspondence, and memorabilia for the Edward Burne-Jones, L. P. Hartley, and Knox brothers biographies. Of particular interest in the L. P. Hartley biographical material, even though the biography remains unpublished, is correspondence with Lord David Cecil, Keith Clements, Ursula Codrington, Basil Gray, Francis Henry King, Frank Magro, Anthony Powell, Ralph Ricketts, Reresby Sitwell, and Kathleen Tillotson.

The primary challenge in arranging and listing Fitzgerald's literary papers is due to her method of writing in notebooks on multiple subjects. Because a single notebook can be physically present in only one location, a system of "see" references has been employed to cross-reference the various subject entries to the physical location of the notebook. For example, writings on William Blake, George Moore, Margaret Oliphant, Edward Thomas, David Leavitt, Andrea Levy, and Vladimir Nabokov appear in the same handwritten notebook, but are indexed separately under the book titles where Fitzgerald's material ultimately surfaced in print. Loose sheets of notes are interspersed throughout the notebooks and readers should exert caution in retaining the original order of this material.

The material is organized in three Series: I. Works, 1898-2001; II. Correspondence, 1970-2000; and III. Career-Related Material, 1968-1991.

The Works series contains research, notes, handwritten and typescript drafts, correspondence, production material, publicity and reviews, in some measure, for The Afterlife: Essays and Criticism (2003), The Blue Flower (1996), Charlotte Mew and Her Friends (1984), Edward Burne-Jones (1975), The Gate of Angels (1990), The Golden Child (1977), A House of Air: Selected Writings (2003), Human Voices (1980), The Knox Brothers (1977), and The Means of Escape: Stories (2000). Also present are articles by Fitzgerald, a contract with Collins Publishers for At Freddie's, a playscript of The Beginning of Spring adapted by Michael Pennington, essays and reviews, introductions and afterwords, ideas for novels, and short stories. Two very similar works, The Afterlife and A House of Air, were published almost simultaneously in 2003, and in paperback in 2005. They differ by a couple of articles, for example "Vous Etes Belle," the Meaulnes essay, is only in A House of Air. The paperback edition of A House of Air contains additional editorial material including a biographical essay by Terence Dooley and a critical essay by Dean Flower and Linda Henchey.

Arranged in date order, the correspondence in Series II. contains primarily incoming letters in the categories of business, family, literary, personal, and publishers. In addition, there is considerable incoming correspondence from Raymond Watkinson and J. Howard Woolmer. Personal correspondents include A. L. Barker, Mavis Batey, Nina Bawden, Edward Blishen, Tom Burns, Simon Callow, Christopher Carduff, Sally Cline, Michael Gough, Michael Holroyd, Hans Koning, Mary Lago, Penelope Lively, Candida McWilliam, Sylvia Peck, Harvey Pitcher, Michael Ratcliffe, and A. N. Wilson, among others.

Series III. Career-Related Material includes articles about Fitzgerald, notes for conferences and judging literary prizes, interviews, lectures, and notebooks on a variety of subjects, from 1968-1969 teaching notes to Fitzgerald's 1991 trip to Tasmania for a literary festival.