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Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

Radclyffe Hall and Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge:

An Inventory of Their Papers at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Hall, Radclyffe, 1880-1943 and Troubridge, Una Vincenzo, Lady, 1887-1963
Title: Radclyffe Hall and Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge Papers
Dates: 1806-1962 (bulk 1912-1951), undated
Extent: 50 document boxes, 2 oversize boxes (osb) (27.98 linear feet), 1 galley folder (gf)
Abstract: The papers of British novelist Radclyffe Hall and long-time partner British sculptor and translator Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge, contain Hall's manuscript works, including The Well of Loneliness (1928), the classic lesbian novel for which Hall is best known; Troubridge's voluminous diaries (131 volumes, 1930-1951); and correspondence with Evguenia Souline, the Russian nurse émigrée with whom Hall had a lengthy affair
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-01793
Language: English
Access: Open for research. Researchers must create an online Research Account and agree to the Materials Use Policy before using archival materials. Some materials are extensively water damaged, suffering rust and mold deterioration. Readers are asked to employ caution in using fragile material in the collection. Three items that suffered mold damage were vacuum treated, but mold may still be present. For health reasons, patrons may consider wearing gloves and a dust/mist respirator while handling these items.
The Radclyffe Hall and Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge Papers are being digitized during a CLIR-funded project now in progress through May 2021. While the project is underway, the papers will be sent in groups for digitization. While in the Digitization Lab, each group of papers will be temporarily unavailable to researchers. Please contact Ransom Center staff for questions about availability.
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: 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 Center's Open Access and Use Policies.


Administrative Information


Preferred Citation Radclyffe Hall and Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge Papers (Manuscript Collection MS-01793). Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
Acquisition: Purchases, 1960-1999 (R242, R2467, R13774, R14474)
Processed by: Liz Murray, 1977; Dale Sauter and Liz Murray, 1999; Apryl Voskamp and Joan Sibley, 2015; three earlier finding aids combined and revised, Joan Sibley, 2019
Repository:

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch


Radclyffe Hall (1880-1943)
Marguerite Antonia Radclyffe-Hall was born on 12 August 1880 to Radclyffe Radclyffe-Hall (1846-1898) and Mary Jane Sager née Diehl (1854-1945); her parents soon separated and later divorced. Hall's mother married Alberto Visetti in 1890, and her father died when Hall was eighteen years old. Hall inherited the family fortune when she turned twenty-one.
After a period of travel and education, Hall published five books of poetry between 1906 and 1915. Self-identifying as a sexual "invert," Hall adopted a masculine appearance and the name John. Her first book of poems was published under the name Marguerite Radclyffe-Hall; the other four were attributed to Radclyffe-Hall. Her first novel, The Forge (1924), was published using the pseudonym of Radclyffe Hall, in which the surname hyphen was dropped. Her next novels included The Unlit Lamp (1924), A Saturday Life (1925), and the highly lauded Adam's Breed (1926). Hall became best known for her next novel, The Well of Loneliness (1928), a serious treatment of lesbianism that created great controversy and was banned in England until 1949. Her subsequent published works were The Master of the House (1932), a collection of short stories, Miss Ogilvy Finds Herself (1934), and The Sixth Beatitude (1936).
Hall's first lover, singer and society beauty Mabel Veronica Batten (1856-1916), introduced her into a circle of artistic and intellectual women, many of them lesbians. Batten's cousin, the sculptor and translator Una Troubridge (1887-1963), met Hall in 1915 and the two soon became lifelong partners. During the last nine years of her life, Hall had an affair with a Russian nurse named Evguenia Souline (1904-1958?), tolerated by Troubridge despite the unhappiness it caused her. Hall's literary output declined along with her faltering health in the early 1940s and she died on 7 October 1943 at the age of sixty-three.
Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge (1887-1963)
Born on 8 March 1887, Margot Elena Gertrude Taylor, generally known as Una Vincenzo, was one of two daughters of Captain Harry Ashworth Taylor (1855-1907) and Minna Gordon Handcock (1861-1947). Una was a talented artist and studied at the Royal College of Art, after which she set up a sculpture studio, and famously sculpted a bust of ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky in his role as the faun (1912). She married naval officer Sir Ernest Troubridge (1862-1926) in 1908, soon after the death of her father. The Troubridges had one daughter, Andrea, in 1910, but were separated by 1919 because of Una's relationship with Radclyffe Hall.
Una Troubridge was well-known for her numerous translations of works from French, Italian, and Russian into English, most notably introducing the French author Colette to an English audience. She also authored the biography The Life and Death of Radclyffe Hall (1961). After Radclyffe Hall's death, Una moved to Italy in 1949, where she became close friends with opera singer Nicola Rossi-Lemeni and his wife Virginia, and godmother to their son Alessandro. She died in Rome on 24 September 1963 aged seventy-six.
The brief biographical sketches above are intended to provide context for the names and works represented in these papers. Much more detailed information on the lives and works of Hall and Troubridge is available in the following sources.

Sources:


Baker, Michael. "Hall, Marguerite Antonia Radclyffe-[pseud. Radclyffe Hall], novelist," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 18 June 2019.
Baker, Michael. Our Three Selves: The Life of Radclyffe Hall. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1985.
Cline, Sally. Radclyffe Hall: A Woman Called John. London: J. Murray, 1997.
Dellamora, Richard. Radclyffe Hall: A Life in the Writing. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.
Dickson, Lovat. Radclyffe Hall at the Well of Loneliness: A Sapphic Chronicle. London: Collins, 1975.
Funke, Jana, editor. The World and Other Unpublished Works of Radclyffe Hall. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2016.
Glasgow, Joanne, editor. Your John: The Love Letters of Radclyffe Hall, New York: New York University Press, 1997.
March, Kathy. "Radclyffe Hall," Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 191, 1998.
Ormrod, Richard. Una Troubridge: The Friend of Radclyffe Hall. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1985.
Souhami, Diana. The Trials of Radclyffe Hall. New York: Doubleday, 1999.
Troubridge, Una Vincenzo, Lady. The Life and Death of Radclyffe Hall. London: Hammond, Hammond, 1961.

Scope and Contents


The papers of British novelist Radclyffe Hall and long-time partner British sculptor and translator Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge, contain Hall's works in manuscript, including The Well of Loneliness (1928), the classic lesbian novel for which Hall is best known; Troubridge's voluminous diaries (131 volumes, 1930-1951); and correspondence with Evguenia Souline, the Russian nurse émigrée with whom Hall had a lengthy affair. Their combined papers include numerous handwritten and typed manuscripts, notebooks, biographical information, business correspondence, clippings, contracts, diaries, genealogical information, medical reports, photographs, piano-vocal scores, scrapbooks, and translations. The papers are arranged in four series: I. Radclyffe Hall, 1912-1939, undated (26 boxes); II. Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge, 1930-1962, undated (12 boxes); III. Additional Troubridge Diaries, 1943-1951 (8 boxes); IV. Additional Hall and Troubridge Papers, 1806, 1919-1944 (6 boxes).
These papers were purchased between 1960 and 1999: R242 (1960), R2467 (1965), R13774 (1996), and R14474 (1999). The largest group of papers was acquired in 1996. After Hall's death in 1943, this material remained in Troubridge's possession and was bequeathed to close friend Nicola Rossi-Lemeni when Troubridge died in 1963. These Hall and Troubridge papers now form Series I. and Series II. Additional Troubridge diaries acquired in 1999 make up Series III., while Series IV. comprises the earliest Hall and Troubridge papers acquired by the Ransom Center in 1960 and 1965.
The Hall and Troubridge Papers were previously described in three separate finding aids. The finding aids were created in 1997 (for R13774), 1999 (for R14474), and 2015 (converted card catalog descriptions for R242 and R2467). These descriptions have now been combined into this single finding aid. When present, pagination and dates for works have been added to the earlier descriptions, although the manuscripts written in notebooks are often unpaginated and undated. The approximate dates now given for some undated manuscripts were obtained from information by Sally Cline or Jana Funke.
With the exception of one item, the materials in Series I. and II. remain as originally numbered in boxes 1-37. The "Untitled handwritten and typescript drafts" located in folder 22.1 were treated for mold contamination and are now separately housed as folders 51.1-4. Series III. now occupies boxes 38-45 (previously numbered 1-8), and Series IV. now occupies boxes 46-50 and 52 (previously numbered 1-6).
Series I. Radclyffe Hall, 1912-1939, undated (boxes 1-25, 51)
Material for Radclyffe Hall is arranged in two subseries: A. Works, and B. Career and Personal Papers.
Works by Hall are arranged into three groups: Novels, followed by Short Stories and Sketches, and Other Works. The novels are arranged in alphabetical order by title and include both published and unpublished works. Chief among the published works is Adam's Breed (1926), which won the Femina Vie Heureuse prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1927. Hall's best known work, The Well of Loneliness (1928), is well represented by notebooks and typescripts, along with papers related to the court case banning the book in Britain. Other published novels represented include The Forge (1924), The Master of the House (1932), A Saturday Life (1925), The Sixth Beatitude (1936), and The Unlit Lamp (1924). Unfinished and unpublished novels include The Cunningham Code, Emblem Hurlstone, Michael West, and an untitled work in which "Otfried Bergen" is the main character. A small amount of correspondence, usually of a research or business nature, is scattered throughout the works. Many of these letters were written on Hall's behalf by Troubridge.
Hall's published and unpublished Short Stories and Sketches are also arranged alphabetically. Several previously unpublished works in this group were published in 2016 (see The World and Other Unpublished Works of Radclyffe Hall, edited by Jana Funke). Filed before the stories is a notebook "List of stories sent to Miss Heath" referring to Audrey Heath, Hall's agent of many years. The individual titles in Hall's published volume of five short stories, Miss Ogilvy Finds Herself, are present along with sketches for two untitled works. Other works include untitled drafts, lectures, letters to the editor, drafts of memoirs, and poems. Several vocal scores are also present, arranged alphabetically.
Hall's Career and Personal Papers in Subseries B. include biographical material written by Hall, scrapbooks containing clippings covering the Adam's Breed awards and the notoriety of The Well of Loneliness, and contracts for published works with related correspondence. Hall and Troubridge's love of animals and their dog breeding avocation are documented in newspaper clippings of dog shows, kennel registrations, and photographs. In addition, a photograph album belonging to Hall's father and Hall's writing portfolio are also present.
Series II. Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge, 1930-1962, undated (boxes 26-37)
Una Troubridge's papers are arranged in two subseries: A. Works and B. Other Papers. The Works subseries is arranged in three groups, as Diaries, Daybooks, and Writings. Materials in Subseries B. Other Papers include correspondence, a photo album and other photographs, a scrapbook, a family tree, and a manuscript by Vernon Lee.
The works are dominated by Troubridge's 60-volume set of diaries written from the last days of 1930 to June 21, 1943, just months before Hall's death. Troubridge writes in the first entry "I have determined, after many years of intermission, to keep a diary of sorts in order to supplement the daybooks that I have kept regularly for sixteen years. In these I can and do state merely the facts of our daily engagements, John's and mine, and there is no room for any detail such as might later be amusing to re-read and remember." These books chronicle the day-to-day activities of Hall and Troubridge, documenting everything from mundane weather reports to details of significant events. Written mostly from their home in Rye, Sussex, they also cover other locations during their travels, especially Italy. The diaries are supplemented by four of Troubridge's daybooks for the years 1934, 1935, 1941, and 1942 that provide the briefer daily information Troubridge entered in a printed yearly desk- or appointment-type diary. Troubridge's writings in this series include handwritten notebooks on various topics, drafts and galley proofs of The Life and Death of Radclyffe Hall published in 1961, and translations of works by Colette and Matilde Serao.
Subseries B. contains correspondence between Evguenia Souline and Troubridge, primarily dating between 1950 and 1951. These letters describe Souline's continual requests for financial assistance in addition to an annual annuity. Correspondence between Troubridge and solicitor Harold Rubinstein detail Troubridge's monetary outlays to Souline and other financial standings. Of importance is a letter "To the Executors of my Will" written by Troubridge in February 1944 and revised in September 1944 regarding the nature of Troubridge and Hall's relationship with Souline and instructions for the destruction of Troubridge's diaries. A letter from Home Secretary J. Chuter Ede, written in 1946 in response to Troubridge's request for permission to publish a memorial edition of The Well of Loneliness, states that republishing the book could invite court proceedings. Also present are two letters from Troubridge's daughter, Andrea Turnbull, written in approximately 1950 from Ethiopia.
The remainder of this subseries includes photographs of Una and husband Ernest Troubridge as children and as newlyweds, and of their daughter Andrea as a child. The history of Una's family, the Taylors, is documented in a scrapbook and a Taylor family tree. Also present is a bound handwritten manuscript "The Wicked Voice" by Vernon Lee (pseudonym of Violet Paget) from the library of Hugh Walpole.
Series III. Additional Troubridge Diaries, 1943-1951 (boxes 38-45, formerly numbered 1-8)
This series contains 71 diaries that date from 1943 to 1951, a continuation of the earlier Troubridge diaries located in Series II. Beginning on December 11, 1943 and ending on January 21, 1951, Troubridge wrote these diary entries in the form of letters to Radclyffe Hall, who had died on October 7, 1943. The diaries cover the events surrounding Hall's death, Hall's will, Troubridge's unsuccessful attempt to get The Well of Loneliness published in Britain in 1946, move to Italy, and friendship there with Romaine Brooks. Volume numbers 1, 2, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 51, and 53 were not acquired and are known to be missing.
Series IV. Additional Hall and Troubridge Papers, 1806, 1919-1944 (boxes 46-50, 52, formerly numbered 1-6)
This material represents the Ransom Center's earliest Hall and Troubridge acquisitions, which were previously cataloged in a card catalog. Please see the explanatory note at the end of this finding aid for information regarding the arrangement of the manuscripts as well as the abbreviations commonly used in descriptions. The papers are divided into three subseries: A. Works, B. Letters, and C. Miscellaneous. Hall's works include one poem and two typescripts for The Sixth Beatitude. A small number of letters to Jane Caruth and Winifred Macy join over 500 letters Hall wrote to Evguenia Souline from 1934 to 1942 during the course of their long affair. Also present are more than 60 letters from Troubridge to Souline, 1934-1942, two medical reports for Hall, and an 1806 genealogy of the Radclyffe family.
Condition
Some materials in Series I. and II. are extensively water damaged, suffering rust and mold deterioration. Readers are asked to employ caution in using fragile material in the collection. Three items that suffered mold damage were vacuum treated, but mold may still be present. For health reasons, patrons may consider wearing gloves and a dust/mist respirator while handling these items (folders 14.4-15.1, 33.4, and 51.1-4).

Related Material


Additional Hall and Troubridge manuscripts are located in several other Ransom Center collections:
  • Alec Craig Collection: 2 ALS Troubridge, Una to Craig, 1936. Written on behalf of Radclyffe Hall. (folder 1.10)
  • Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Records: 2 TLS Hall, Radclyffe to Knopf, Alfred A., 1928 (folder 501.6); 2 ALS Hall, Radclyffe to Knopf, Blanche, 1928 (folder 691.8)
  • British Sexological Society Records: ALS Hall, Radclyffe to British Sexological Society, 1933 (folder 6.14); 5 ALS, 2 TLS Hall, Radclyffe to Ives, George, 1928-1931. 4 written and signed by Una Troubridge, plus one clipping re Well of Loneliness. (folder 22.8)
  • Golden Cockerel Press Collection: TccL to Hall, Radclyffe, 1934. Included with this: ALS Una Troubridge to Owen Rutter. (folder 1.2)
  • Havelock Ellis Collection: 9 ALS, 3 TLS Hall, Radclyffe to Ellis, Havelock, 1928-1930. Included with this: mimeo LS / copy from Director of Public Prosecution to Rubinstein Nash Solicitors; ANS Radclyffe Hall written on copy. (folder 7.6)
  • J. L. (James Louis) Garvin Papers: ALS Hall, Radclyffe to Garvin, J. L., 1928 (folder 52.7)
  • John Lane Company Records: ALS Hall, Radclyffe to John Lane, illegible year (folder 19.1)
  • Morris Leopold Ernst Papers: Hall, Radclyffe. TmsS statement, 6 pages, 10 September 1930. Concerns dramatization of Well of Loneliness by Dorothea Fassett of the London Play Company. Each page is signed by Radclyffe Hall. (folder 235.6)
  • PEN (Organization) Records: 3 ALS Hall, Radclyffe to PEN, 1928-1931 (folder 22.3); ALS Troubridge, Una to PEN (C. A. Dawson Scott), 1927 (folder 70.6)
  • Rupert Croft-Cooke Collection (no online finding aid): ALS Troubridge, Una to Croft-Cooke, Rupert, 1960 (folder Recipient Ti-Tz)
  • William A. Bradley Literary Agency Records: TLS Hall, Radclyffe to Bradley, William, 1929 (folder 30.7); ANI Troubridge, Una to unidentified recipient, undated (folder 62.5)
Substantial Hall and Troubridge holdings are located in the Lovat Dickson fonds at Library and Archives Canada; the materials have been microfilmed and a digital version of the microfilm is available online. Other known Hall and/or Troubridge holdings are located in various collections at these repositories:

Separated Material


The Ransom Center Library holds 29 books formerly owned by Radclyffe Hall and or Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge. A copy of The Well of Loneliness given to Home Secretary J. Chuter Ede by Troubridge in July 1946 also contains a list of "those who opposed its suppression" written by Hall on the flyleaf. A copy of The Unlit Lamp contains handwritten revisions to Chapter 29. A 1929 letter to Radclyffe Hall from English gynecologist and surgeon Mary Scharlieb is tipped into a copy of Yet a More Excellent Way. Several copies of Hall's works are inscribed to Evguenia Souline.
The Radclyffe Hall Literary File in the Photography Collection consists of 35 photographic prints (27 loose prints and 8 prints in an album), including portraits of Hall and views of Hall's home.
The Vertical File Collection contains three folders for Radclyffe Hall: Criticism, Biographical information, and Miscellaneous.

Index Terms


People

Hall, Radclyffe.
Souline, Evguenia, 1904-1958?
Troubridge, Una Vincenzo, Lady, 1887-1963.

Subjects

Authors, English -- 20th century.
Censorship -- Great Britain -- History -- 20th century.
English fiction -- 20th century.
Feminism in literature.
Gender identity.
Gender-nonconforming people.
Lesbianism in literature.
Lesbians -- Great Britain -- History -- 20th century.
Lesbians' writings, English.
Prohibited books.
Sexual orientation.
Transgender people.
Women and literature -- England -- History -- 20th century.
Women authors, English -- 20th century.

Document Types

Contracts.
Correspondence.
Diaries.
Love letters.
Manuscripts (documents).
Photograph albums.
Photographs.
Scores (documents for music).
Scrapbooks.
Translations (documents).

Container List


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