University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Brian Moore:

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

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Moore, Brian, 1921-1999
Title Brian Moore Papers
Dates: 1935-1998
Abstract: The collection consists of typescript drafts, proofs, and contracts for many novels published since 1962.
Extent 35 boxes, 2 galleys (14.7 linear feet)
Language English.
Repository: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin

Scope and Contents

Although Irish-born Canadian novelist Brian Moore lived in California for more than thirty years, he considered himself a Canadian writer and retained his Canadian citizenship. Because his formative years in Northern Ireland had a profound effect on him, many of Moore's works center on Catholicism and Irish themes. The Ransom Center's collection of Moore papers consists of typescript drafts, proofs, and contracts for many of his novels published since 1962 including An Answer from Limbo, Black Robe, Cold Heaven, The Color of Blood, The Doctor's Wife, The Great Victorian Collection, Lies of Silence, The Magician's Wife, The Mangan Inheritance, No Other Life, and The Statement. A brief stay in California in 1965 to write the script for Alfred Hitchcock's "Torn Curtain" led to permanent residence in Malibu where Moore wrote additional screenplays as well as novels. Screenplays well-represented in this collection are "Black Robe," filmed in 1991, "Control,""Gabrielle Chanel," and "Strangers." Moore also wrote articles for newspapers and magazines including Travel and Leisure, House and Garden, and The New York Times among others, as well as book reviews. These are included, as are texts of various talks, readings, and lectures given in academic and literary settings.

Moore's correspondence spans nearly forty years from 1959-1998, particularly the 1980s and 1990s. Some outgoing correspondence is present, but primarily the collection consists of incoming letters from publishers, editors, agents, fans, critics, friends, other writers, movie directors, and actors. This portion of the collection was poorly organized when received, with only a few packets labeled by year which provided evidence of Moore's original order. To preserve that order and facilitate use, the remaining correspondence has also been arranged by year.

Unique to the Ransom Center's collection is a complete set of diaries from 1957-1992 listing Moore's notes to himself, work logs, summaries of correspondence and telephone calls, possible book titles, details of book contracts and royalties, and appointments. The collection also includes personal papers regarding education and employment from 1943-1960 and photographs. Career-related material is represented by awards, contracts, interviews, and participation in public events.

The collection is organized into four series: Series I. Works, with subseries A. Novels, B. Plays, Screenplays, and Adaptations, and C. Other Writings; Series II. Correspondence; Series III. Diaries; and Series IV. Career-Related and Personal. Two books received with the manuscript material have been transferred to the Ransom Center Library. The collection is in good physical condition and is open for research.

This collection was acquired by the Ransom Center through the dealer Ralph Sipper after Moore's death in January 1999. Moore's papers were organized by the dealer prior to sale and bear both Moore's and the dealer's identifications. These have been relied upon in the arrangement and description of the collection. Additional Moore collection material is held in the Special Collections Library of the University of Calgary.



Open for research

Administrative Information


Purchase, 2000 (Reg. no. 14701)

Processed by

Liz Murray, 2001

Brian Moore Papers--Folder List

Series I. Works

Subseries A. Novels
box folder
1 1-2 An Answer from Limbo, carbon typescript
Black Robe
3 Corrected photocopy
4 Setting copy (Dutton, 1985)
box folder
2 1 Cold Heaven, corrected photocopy
The Color of Blood
2 Research material and notes
3 Original typescript to p. 128, heavily corrected
4 Rejected pages for first draft
5 Part II, corrected typescript
6 Photocopy of original typescript to p.260 with additional corrections
box folder
3 1 Photocopy, cont'd
2 Final draft sent to typist, October 1986
3-4 Final typescript, original copy
5 Final typescript, photocopy
box folder
4 1 Correspondence and contracts, 1986-1993
The Doctor's Wife
2 Sheet used to try out titles, February 1976
3-4 Final edited typescript
5-6 Setting copy (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1976)
box folder
5 1 Proofs, June 8, 1976
2 Proofs, June 21, 1976
3-6 Ganae, various drafts
The Great Victorian Collection
box folder
6 1 Uncorrected typescript, photocopy
[removed to galley files]
Lies of Silence
2 Uncorrected typescript, photocopy
3 Correspondence and contracts, 1989-1994
The Magician's Wife
4 Uncorrected typescript
box folder
7 1-2 Typesetter's copy
3 Correspondence, 1997-1998
4-5 The Mangan Inheritance, corrected typescript, October 10, 1977
No Other Life
6 Corrected typescript
box folder
8 1 Corrected typescript, January 1992
2-3 Second last draft before N. Scotia final draft
4-5 Uncorrected typescript
6 Typeset copy with correspondence, 1992
box folder
9 1-2 Correspondence
The Statement
3-4 First draft, August 19, 1994-March 25, 1998
5-6 First draft of first part
7 Setting copy (Dutton, 1996)
box folder
10 1 Setting copy, cont'd
2 Correspondence, 1995-1997
3 Publicity and articles
4 Untitled novel with character "Nora O'Neill"
Subseries B. Plays, Screenplays, and Adaptations
5 The Apartment Hunter, screenplay by Jack Weinstein and Robert Resnikoff adapted from BM's short story
Black Robe, screenplay
6 Film notes
7 Original first draft, July 13, 1985
box folder
11 1 Draft, July 15, 1985
2 Third draft, October 1985
3 Feature version, February 1986
4 Feature version, second draft, April 4, 1986
5-6 Drafts, December 1986
7 Sixth draft, January 1987
box folder
12 1 Sixth draft, January 1987,
2 Draft, April 1987
3 Draft, August 23, 1990
4 Draft, nd
5 Draft segments used for cut and paste editing
6 Preliminary press package, draft, Oct. 18, 1990
7 French translation
box folder
13 1 Black Robe, TV script with paddlers scene missing, second draft, September 1985
Catholics, play
2 Script, heavily revised
3 Script, revised November 1, 1981
4 The Closing Ritual, photocopy playscript with notes and correspondence, March 1979
5 The Color of Blood, screenplay, first rough draft, April 1988
7 Notes
8 Draft, April 2, 1986
box folder
14 1 Second rewrite, June 1986
2 Third rewrite, July 15, 1986
3 Draft, Sept. 25, 1986
4 Final edited version, October 1986
Gabrielle Chanel, screenplay
5 Photocopy of "Chanel" by Edmonde Charles-Roux from which adaptation was made
6 First draft, BM's copy
box folder
15 1 First draft, associated material
2 Second draft, BM's copy
3 Second draft with notes
4-5 Third draft, February 1988
6 Fourth draft, March 1, 1988
box folder
16 1 Fourth draft, revised
2 First French version
3 French version, draft segments
4-5 Pages from several drafts
Interview, screenplay
6 Draft, first version
box folder
17 1 Draft, nd
2-3 Drafts, revised January 1985
4 "Eye of the Spider," first draft revised January 7, 1987
5 A Moment of Love, screenplay by Derek Mahon based on BM's "The Feast of Lupercal,"March 1984
No Other Life
6 Screenplay, first draft, January 14, 1994
7 Film collaboration with Constantin Costa Gavras, 1994-1995
8 Film proposal for documentary on BM
9 Old Money, screen treatment, Jane Fonda project, 1985
The Sight, screenplay
box folder
18 1 First draft
2 Drafts, with contract and correspondence
3 Mankiewicz's notes
4 The Slave, uncorrected photocopy screenplay, from novel by Isaac B. Singer
Strangers, screenplay
5 Edited typescript photocopy of novel by Rosie Thomas
6 First draft
7 Draft, with corrections
box folder
19 1-2 Drafts, December 1986
3 Revision, December 15, 1986
4 Revision, January 1986
[also marked 1987]
5 Draft, April 1987
6 Revision, May 1987
7 Uncle T, screenplay by Gerald Wexler based on short story by BM, with Moore's corrections
8 Untitled screenplay based on BM's novel The Great Victorian Collection, with corrections
box folder
20 1 Untitled, unfilmed screenplay by Brian Friel based on BM's "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne" with Moore's notes
2 Untitled film script based on BM's novel "The Revolution Script," revised second draft, July 1972
Subseries C. Other Writings
Articles and contributions
3 Notebook containing early article drafts plus original holograph draft of story which became "Judith Hearne,"ca. 1946
4 "Roman Holiday,"ca. 1946
5 "A Drive up Highway 1,"Travel and Leisure, drafts, correspondence, and associated material, December 1984
6 "County Cork,"Travel and Leisure, July 1985
7 "Point Zero,"House and Garden, 1985
8 Ventana wilderness article, July 1986
9 "The Sophisticated Traveller,"The New York Times, October 1987
10 Piece on Donegal for "32 Counties," a collection of photographs by Donovan Wylie, December 1988
11 Piece for the Adam International Review, Nov. 1989
(written while in Dublin hospital in August 1977)
12 "A vocation," short story contribution for the Verbal Arts Centre project, 1998
13 Piece for Montreal Magazine about BM's arrival in Canada, nd.
14-16 Book reviews
box folder
21 1 For play, "Maam Cross"
2 On "A Mother" from "Dubliners"
3 "Touvier"
4 On trip to Ireland, nd
(holograph notebook)
5 Reading from "The Magician's Wife"
6 Speeches
7 Stories, unpublished: "A Bed in America" later used in Hitchcock film "Torn Curtain," and "A Matter of Faith"
8 At University of Michigan, nd.
9 "Imagination and Experience," draft for Edinburgh Book Festival, 1991, and published as a chapbook of the Harbourfront Reading Series, Toronto, 1997
10 "The Writer as Exile," with notes and fragments, with "The Novelists Voice"
11 On subject of becoming a writer
12 Unidentified fragments and notes

Series II. Correspondence, 1959-1998

box folder
21 13 File of notable literary correspondents [compiled by dealer?]
14 1959-1979
box folder
22 1 1980-1984
2-3 1985
4-5 1986
box folder
23 1-2 1987
3-5 1988
box folder
24 1 1989
2-3 1990
4-5 1991
box folder
25 1 1991 cont'd
2-3 1992
4 1993
5 1994
6 1995-1998

Series III. Diaries, 1957-1992

box folder
26 1-5 1957-1961
box folder
27 1-5 1962-1966
box folder
28 1-5 1967-1971
box folder
29 1-5 1972-1976
box folder
30 1-4 1977-1980
box folder
31 1-4 1981-1984
box folder
32 1-4 1985-1988
box folder
33 1-4 1989-1992

Series IV. Career-Related and Personal

box folder
34 1 Holograph "Commonplace Album" with calligraphed notation of aphorisms and quotations from celebrated authors
2 Awards and grants, including first prize in verse speaking (1935) and best screenplay for "Black Robe" in 1991 and 1992
3 Collection contents written in brief form on paper bag
4-6 Contracts, various titles
7 Contracts, Cold Heaven
8 Contracts, Cold Heaven, Marshall Productions, 1984-1989
9 Instructional material for readings course on BM, Joan Lingard, and Seamus Heaney
box folder
35 1 Interviews
2 Minutes of the Tenth General Assembly of Aosdána on April 20, 1989
3 Personal papers, regarding education and employment, 1943-1960
4 Photographs
5 Public events, 1997-1999
6 Travel receipts for trip to Ireland, September 1985