Request Checked Items

Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

email signup Blog Video Facebook Twitter Instagram

Peter Quennell:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Quennell, Peter, 1905-1993
Title: Peter Quennell Collection
Dates: 1925-1973
Extent: 10 boxes (4.2 linear feet), 1 galley folder (gf)
Abstract: The collection of British writer and editor Peter Quennell consists primarily of manuscripts of 16 of his works.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-03361
Language: English
Access: Open for research. Researchers must create an online Research Account and agree to the Materials Use Policy before using archival materials.
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.

Preferred Citation Peter Quennell Collection (Manuscript Collection MS-03361). Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
Acquisition: Purchases, 1967 (R3533, R3795); 1969 (R4786); 1973 (R5195); and 1977 (R7575, R7749)
Processed by: Jonathan Reynolds, 2006; Joan Sibley and Richard Workman, 2018 Note: Part of this finding aid replicates and replaces information previously available only 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 University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

Peter Quennell was an English biographer, critic, and literary historian born in Bickley, South East Greater London, England in March of 1905. Son of social historians and authors Marjorie and Charles Henry Bourne Quennell, Peter was introduced to the world of scholarship early in his life. He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford and taught English in Japan for a year at the Tokyo University of Science and Literature. Married five times, Quennell had two children: Sarah with his third wife and Alexander with his fifth.
Quennell published his first book, Masques & Poems, in 1922. He went on to publish several more volumes of poetry. Later, he distinguished himself as a biographer of 18th and 19th century authors including Alexander Pope, William Hogarth, and Samuel Johnson, and was considered an authority on Lord Byron. As a journalist, Quennell was editor of Cornhill Magazine from 1944 to 1951 and was the founder and editor of History Today from 1951 to 1979.
A prolific author, Peter Quennell edited and contributed to numerous literary histories in his final years, including his works The Last Edwardians and An Illustrated Companion to World Literature. He also published a two-volume autobiography: The Marble Foot covers his life up to 1938, and Wanton Chase picks up from 1939. He was knighted in 1992 at the age of eighty-seven, shortly before his death in 1993.

“Peter Quennell.” Contemporary Authors Online (accessed 7 September 2006).

This collection is composed of manuscripts for 17 published and unpublished works by Peter Quennell, along with 3 letters and a small number of miscellaneous items. The first seven boxes contain materials previously described only in the Ransom Center's card catalog. The final three boxes contain materials for four additional works, acquired and described separately at a later date.

Sir Peter Quennell appears elsewhere in the Ransom Center in the collections of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., Richard Church, Nancy Cunard, Constantine FitzGibbon, Graham Greene, John Haffenden, Gerald Hamilton, Allanah Harper, Kenneth Hopkins, John Lehmann, Philip Lindsay, London Magazine, Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes, Compton Mackenzie, Lady Ottoline Morrell, Derek Patmore, PEN, and John Symonds.