Request Checked Items

Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

email signup
Search Collections

Barry Unsworth:

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

Creator: Unsworth, Barry, 1930-
Title: Barry Unsworth Papers
Dates: 1965-2007
Extent: 13 boxes (5.04 linear feet)
Abstract: The materials in the Barry Unsworth Papers consist of items related to fifteen of the sixteen novels written by the author through 2006, including handwritten drafts, notebooks, typescripts with handwritten corrections, and correspondence. Also present are articles, essays, book introductions, book reviews, short stories, and travel pieces authored by Unsworth, as well as personal correspondence, fan mail, and interviews.
Language: English
Access:

Open for research




Acquisition:

Purchase, 2007 (R 15440)

Processed by:

Stephen Cooper, 2007

Repository:

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


The materials in the Barry Unsworth Papers consist of items related to fifteen of the sixteen novels written by the author through 2006, including handwritten drafts, notebooks, typescripts with handwritten corrections, and correspondence. Also present are articles, essays, book introductions, book reviews, short stories, and travel pieces authored by Unsworth, as well as personal correspondence, fan mail, and interviews. The collection is organized into two series: I. Works, 1965-2006 and II. Correspondence, 1974-2007.

The majority of Series I. is made up of handwritten drafts of Unsworth’s novels, arranged chronologically. The earliest works are written on loose sheets and the later, beginning with Sugar and Rum (1988), are written into notebooks. Only one novel, The Greeks Have a Word for It (1967), is not represented by any materials in the archive. Additional notebooks contain notes, research, and journal entries related to novels Unsworth published in the 1980s and later, as well as notebooks from as early as 1965 with mainly general content not necessarily relating to any of his works. In many of these notebooks is a wide range of research that is reflected in the expansive themes of Unsworth’s historical novels, covering places, topics, and time periods as varied as fourteenth-century England, Renaissance Venice, the eighteenth-century Atlantic slave trade, Constantinople at the turn of the twentieth century, and twentieth-century London. Typescripts with handwritten corrections are included with the materials beginning with After Hannibal (1996), and three folders contain articles, essays, short stories, travel pieces, and book reviews and introductions. Interviews given by Unsworth between 1987 and 1999 for magazines, journals, and one website fill the final folder of this series.

Series II. contains three folders of professional correspondence to and from Unsworth’s publishers and agents, much of it typed, with some handwritten letters and a large number of printed emails and faxes. Perhaps as much as half of the correspondence is from Giles Gordon, Unsworth's longtime literary agent, while the remainder consists of letters to and from editors at the publishing house of Hamish Hamilton, which was later acquired by Penguin. Three additional folders contain correspondence with friends and fans, for the most part related to one or more of his novels. All of the correspondence was in rough chronological order upon arrival, and a small amount of organizing was done to complete this arrangement.