||The papers of Compton Mackenzie (1883-1972) provide detailed documentation of the
writer's entire professional and personal life as evidenced through manuscripts for
numerous writings, his extensive correspondence files, and personal and family papers.
Included are address books, appointment books, autographs, certificates, clippings,
strips, contracts, correspondence, diaries, financial records, galley proofs, journals,
manuscripts, menus, notebooks, passports, photographs, play scripts, printed material,
prompt books, radio scripts, scrapbooks, screenplays, sheet music, and theater programs.
Besides Mackenzie's literary career, his papers reflect the Compton family of actors
their activities in the theater; several locales, including Capri, Greece, and Scotland;
World War I and British Intelligence service; Scottish history and nationalism; and
Mackenzie's personal interests, such as cats, music, and sports.
||The bulk of Mackenzie's papers arrived at the Ransom Center between 1961 and 1973,
they were described in a card catalog and arranged into four series: I. Works, 1900-1970,
undated (88 boxes); II. Letters, 1904-1959, undated (3 boxes); III. Recipient, 1908-1969,
undated (64 boxes); and IV. Miscellaneous, 1816-1962, undated (44 boxes). Descriptions
the following Container List were derived from the card catalog; titles of Mackenzie
and names of his correspondents are listed in the following Index of Works, Index
Letters, and Index of Recipients. The subsequent Index of Miscellaneous chiefly lists
third-party works and letters by others.
||The Works series includes manuscripts for novels, plays, poems, short stories, biography,
histories, autobiography, essays, articles, broadcasts, and reviews. Major titles
Aegean Memories (1932), Carnival
(1912), Extraordinary Women (1928), Greek
Memories (1932), The Lunatic Republic (1959), The Monarch of the Glen (1941) My Life and
Times (1963-1971), Sinister Street (1914), Thin Ice (1956), Vestal Fire (1927),
and Whiskey Galore (1947). Many of the manuscripts in the Works
series are accompanied by correspondence, most often with the publisher of the item
question; this correspondence was not indexed.
||Some of the novels written during and after World War I, when paper was in short supply,
were typed on the versos of earlier manuscripts. Thus the first draft of Sylvia Scarlett ended up on the same sheets with Guy and Pauline, and parts of The Vanity
Girl were typed on the versos of the manuscripts of Sylvia
Scarlett, Poor Relations, and Sylvia and Michael. These manuscripts are arranged as they were left by Mackenzie,
and cross references have been added to the corresponding descriptions.
||The manuscript for Aegean Memories includes inserted originals
and copies of letters and documents that Mackenzie cited or reproduced in the text.
detailed description of these letters and documents, including their exact locations
manuscript, can be found in Eugene Edge, An Analytical and Descriptive
Catalogue of the Sir Compton Mackenzie Manuscript Collection at the University of
Austin: A Dissertation, Austin, TX, 1967, pp. 172-181. Copies of the relevant pages
from the dissertation description have been inserted into the beginning of each folder
this manuscript to assist researchers with locating material that is indexed in this
only by folder number.
||The Letters series contains Mackenzie's outgoing letters and the Recipient series
his incoming correspondence. Correspondents include writers, stage and screen personalities,
politicians, members of the English nobility, family members, friends, and others.
in the Recipient files are many letters from notable fellow writers, including H.
Doolittle), F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, D. H. Lawrence, T. E. Lawrence, Rosamond
Lehmann, Sinclair Lewis, Dame Rose Macaulay, Somerset Maugham, Naomi Mitchison, Dorothy
Richardson, C. K. Scott-Moncrieff, Edith Sitwell, Evelyn Waugh, Edmund Wilson, and
Wodehouse. Many of the Recipient files also include copies of Mackenzie's replies.
A few of
these replies are indexed in the Letters series index, but many more are not. There
files for the year 1928 among the incoming letters from J. B. Pinker & Son, Mackenzie's
literary agent. Mackenzie's letters to his first wife, Faith Compton Mackenzie, were
arranged (probably by Mackenzie, who outlived his wife) in rough chronological order,
undated letters interfiled in their presumably appropriate positions. This arrangement
not precisely chronological, but has been retained.
||The Miscellaneous series includes, in addition to assorted items from Mackenzie's
papers created or collected by Mackenzie's parents, actors Edward Compton and Virginia
Bateman Compton; his maternal grandmother, actor Sidney Frances Cowell Bateman; his
writer Faith Compton Mackenzie; and his friend, writer Norman Douglas. Because the
the Compton Mackenzie Papers was acquired directly from the author in the 1960s before
current archival standards and procedures were adopted by the Ransom Center, such
third-party works and correspondence were arranged by creator name in a single alphabetical
arrangement. The searchable Index of Miscellaneous now makes it easier for researchers
locate related materials because recipient names as well as creator names are present
index. Throughout the Miscellaneous series, copies of replies are sometimes included
letters; replies were not indexed. Collections of correspondence on specific topics
(military career, the Windsor family, etc.) were also not indexed.
||The papers of Mackenzie's father, Edward Compton (1854-1918), comprise incoming
correspondence primarily concerned with the running of his theatrical troupe, Compton's
Comedy Company. Also included is a scrapbook of highlights from his career and a diary
contains an autobiographical sketch. Edward's wife, Virginia Bateman Compton (1853-1940),
represented mainly by incoming correspondence from family members and others involved
theater. Virginia's mother, Sidney Frances Cowell Bateman (1823-1881), also an actor,
record book (see 160.1) which contains autographs and letters from persons prominent
theater. Searching the Index of Miscellaneous for 160.1 will locate entries detailing
contents of this volume.
||Holdings for Mackenzie's wife, Faith Compton Mackenzie (1905-1960), comprise diaries,
extensive correspondence, and manuscripts of her writings, both fiction and nonfiction.
||The papers of Norman Douglas (1868-1952) consist primarily of correspondence from
dealers and librarians regarding the history of Capri (where both he and Mackenzie
their homes for a period), sought perhaps in preparation for his book, Capri: Materials for a description of the island (1930). The wrapper that
originally enclosed the Douglas materials (see 159.3) bears Mackenzie's explanatory
about them, but does not make clear why Douglas left the papers in Mackenzie's care.
||Also located in the Miscellaneous series are letters from members of a group called
Order of the Crown of Stuart. These letters are dispersed by creator name throughout
series, but can be located by searching the index for the name of the recipient, Carmen
Pedro Murray Carrington.
||Substantial additional Compton Mackenzie holdings at the Ransom Center are located in the Art Collection; the Library (approximately 15,000 volumes previously owned by Mackenzie, searchable in the online University of Texas Library Catalog); Personal Effects Collections; Photography
Collection; and the Vertical File Collection.