University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Ray Coryton Hutchinson:

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

Creator: Hutchinson, Ray Coryton, 1907-1975
Title: Ray Coryton Hutchinson Collection
Dates: 1907-1975
Abstract: The collection consists of the published and unpublished works of this British novelist. Included in the collection are short stories, plays, articles, book reviews, broadcasts, humorous sketches, letters to the editor, obituaries and tributes, speeches, and verse by Hutchinson, as well as the novels published in the last decade of his life.
Extent: 25 Boxes, Oversize Flat File Folder (11.84 Linear Feet)
Repository: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin

Scope and Contents

This collection of published and unpublished works by British novelist R. C. Hutchinson complements an existing cataloged collection held at the HRHRC. Together they form a core of Hutchinson's novels from his earliest, Thou Hast a Devil (1930), to his last, Rising, published posthumously in 1976. Much of Hutchinson's work describes contemporary European historical settings on a grand scale, requiring great narrative skill. His novels were published in the United States and were translated in several languages. Also included are short stories, plays, articles, and other writings reflecting his writing career from 1935-1975.

Four categories are used to describe this collection: Works, Correspondence, Personal, and Works by Others. The first and largest series, Works, is further subdivided to accommodate Hutchinson's breadth as a writer. The subseries include: novels, short stories, plays, articles, book reviews, broadcasts, humorous sketches, letters to the editor, obituaries and tributes, speeches, verse, and other writings. The novels represented here are those published in the last decade of Hutchinson's life from 1964 through 1975, including A Child Possessed, Johanna at Daybreak, Origins of Cathleen, Rising, and an unfinished novel, Franziska. In these works, Hutchinson's creative methodology can be followed from notes and sketches, through holograph and typed drafts, to the final proofs. Similarly, more than one draft is frequently present for his short stories and articles which appeared in periodicals such as The English Review, Punch, The Spectator, and popular British magazines. These are arranged alphabetically by title, as are Hutchinson's plays and radio broadcasts. Numerous periodicals containing Hutchinson's short stories and articles received with this collection were transferred to the HRC book collection.

The subseries Other Writings includes notes and essays from Hutchinson's days at Oriel College and military training at Sandhurst. His military career is further represented by the manuscript and typescript of Paiforce, a history of the Persia and Iraq command, which Hutchinson wrote while serving as General Staff Officer in the War Office.

Concluding the series of Works are numerous book jackets and two promotional displays for A Child Possessed and Image of My Father.

The second series, Correspondence, includes postcards, telegrams, and holograph and typed letters between Hutchinson and his literary agent, Curtis Brown; his publisher, Michael Joseph; the BBC; poet, Martyn Skinner; and colleagues dating from 1941-l974. The correspondence with the Curtis Brown agency documents Hutchinson's writing activity from 1960 through his severance with the firm in 1967, and re-establishment in 1970. Some holograph drafts of letters written by Hutchinson appear in chronological order with other correspondence. Topics include foreign translation agreements, reprints, stage dramatizations, royalties and copyrights, Hutchinson's receipt of the W.H. Smith Annual Literary Award (1966), and the publication of his novels, March the Ninth, A Child Possessed (including work on a film version in 1969-70), Origins of Cathleen, Image of My Father, and Elephant and Castle, among others.

Correspondence related to the publisher Michael Joseph (1968-74) picks up the thread of publishing at the time of Hutchinson's departure from Curtis Brown. These letters from various Michael Joseph representatives discuss the publication of Johanna at Daybreak and Origins of Cathleen.

BBC correspondence dates from 1953-1972 and includes references to Hutchinson's participation in BBC Home Service programs, talks for "The World of Books" series, and interviews for the Contemporary British Writers series. Also included is the typescript for "Nightmare Before Babylon."

Correspondence with Warren Chetham-Strode centers on the dramatization of "The Stepmother" including staging of the play, programs, and opening night telegrams. Also present is Chetham-Strode's typescript adaptation of "The Stepmother" which he titled "The Image."

Of particular interest in this series are photocopies of correspondence with poet Martyn Skinner, the compilation of which was published in 1979 as Two Men of Letters: Correspondence Between R. C. Hutchinson, Novelist, and Martyn Skinner, Poet, 1957-1974. The originals of these letters reside in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Also included is related correspondence between Hutchinson's wife Margaret, Martyn Skinner, and Rupert Hart-Davis, editor, regarding the publication of these letters. One holograph letter from Skinner to Hutchinson dated October 24, 1961 is present.

The personal material in Series III includes early schoolboy diaries (1922-23) as well as date books from 1971-1975. A record of Hutchinson's literary earnings is found in four notebooks dating from 1928-1963.

The last series, Works by Others, is notable for its inclusion of two adaptations of Hutchinson's works, Stephan's Child by Guy Green based on A Child Possessed and March the Ninth adapted by Elizabeth Lincoln.



Open for research

Administrative Information


Reg. No. 13402

Processed by:

Liz Murray, 1995

Ray Coryton Hutchinson Papers--Folder List

I. Works

A. Novels
A Child Possessed
Box Folder
1 1-2 Holograph notes, rough workings, spoilt pages
3-6 Holograph ms., first draft
Box Folder
2 1-6 Holograph ms.
7-8 Corrected typescript
Box Folder
3 1-2 Setting copy, typescript
Franziska [unfinished novel]
Box Folder
3 3 Holograph ms., first draft
4 Typescript, first draft
Johanna At Daybreak
Box Folder
4 1 Holograph notes, rough workings, spoilt pages
2-6 Holograph ms, first draft
Box Folder
5 1-2 Holograph ms. (sent to typist)
3-4 Corrected typescript
5-6 Setting copy
Box Folder
6 1 Corrected proofs
Origins of Cathleen
Box Folder
6 2-7 Holograph ms., first draft
Box Folder
7 1-4 Holograph ms. (sent to typist)
5-6 Corrected typescript
Box Folder
8 1-5 Setting copy
6 Corrected proofs
Box Folder
9 1-4 Holograph notes
5 Holograph notebook
6 Holograph notebook
7 Information from RCH's notes by Franklyn-Robbins and Gray
Box Folder
10 1-5 Holograph ms., first draft
Box Folder
11 1-4 Holograph ms., fair copy
5-6 Corrected typescript
Box Folder
12 1 Corrected typescript
2-5 Corrected typescript, top copy
6 Notes for projected novels
B. Short Stories
Box Folder
13 1 Lists of short stories
2 Adventurer Unsaluted
3 All in the Day
4 The Anniversary
5 An Artist by Testament
6 At Grips with Morpheus
7 Black or White?
8* A Common Tongue [*oversize material removed to Oversize Flat File]
9 The Conquest of Calpurnia
10 Crossroads
11 Elosindi's Christmas
12 Epilogue by the Stage Manager
13* Every Twenty Years [*oversize material removed to Oversize Flat File]
14 Everything Settled
15 Excursion to Norway
16 Exhibit `A'
17 Fog Off Flushing
18 The Go-Between
19 Going Begging
20 How I Rose to be an Australian Shoeshine Boy
21 An Informal Call
22 James Returns
23 The Journey Begins
24 Judas Iscariot
* Last Voyage [*removed to Oversize Flat File]
25 Mens Sana
* Mr. Hartop Rings the Bell [*removed to Oversize Flat File and Oversize Box 25]
26 My Biggest Thrill
27 No Wine for the Regular Guest
28 November 29th
29* Old English Customs [*oversize material removed to Oversize Flat File]
30 Outsiders
Box Folder
14 1 A Peculiar Engagement
2 A Photograph of Mrs. Austin
3* A Question of Value [*Oversize material removed to Oversize Flat File]
4* A Rendezvous for Mr. Hopkins [*Oversize material removed to Oversize Flat File and Oversize Box 25]
5 A Scientist Dines
6 Selected Short Stories
* The Tramp with a Visiting Card [*removed to Oversize Box 25]
7 The Uneconomic Man
8 The Wall Not Made with Hands
9 The War Books and My Nephew
10 The Way of Kindness
11* A Woman of Simplicity, holograph ms. [Oversize material removed to Oversize Box 25]
12 A Woman of Simplicity, corrected typescript
13 The Wynforth Case
C. Plays
Box Folder
14 14 The Barrier
15 The Chair
Box Folder
15 1-8 The Daughters of Dr. Humboldt
Box Folder
16 1-5 Dona Luisa
6 Experiment with Madame de Chauvel
7 Happy Return
8 Last Train South
Box Folder
17 1 Mount Hercules
2-3 Northern Star
4-6 A Pattern of Daughters
7 The Rest of Hake
8 Secret Bastion
Box Folder
18 1-2 A Voyage in Twilight
D. Articles, Book Reviews, Broadcasts, Humorous Sketches, Letters to the Editor, Obits and Tributes, Speeches, and Verse
Box Folder
18 3 Aliens at Bow Street
4 Apostasy
5 Bag and Bowler Hat
6 The Case of the Stranded Clergyman
7 Crying in the Wilderness
8 8th Battalion Officers' Dinner
9 Epic Flight
10 Excursion to Norway
11 Guidance for Maidens
12 Home of Lost Corpses
13 In Defence of Grub Street
14 It's a Way They Have in America
15 A Little Out of Line
16 More Science
17 Motorists: Read This and Stop Worrying
18 Old Monktonian Dinner
19 Our Business
20 Records for 1930
21 Source of a Novel
* A Trip to Oslo [*removed to Oversize Flat File]
22 Voice in the Wilderness
23 Untitled articles
24 Book Reviews
Box Folder
18 25 Freedom to Spend
26 My First Novel
27 Nightmare Before Babylon
28 On Useless Souvenirs
29 The Pace for Living
30 A Photograph of Mrs. Austin
31 Postscript
32 Siesta
33 Unfinished Novel
34 The Vehicle and the Book
35 War Office Calling the Army
36 The World of Books
Box Folder
19 1 Humorous Sketches
2 Letters to the Editor
3 Obituaries and Tributes
4-5 Speeches
6 Verse
E. Other Writings
Box Folder
19 7 Greek History Notes
8 Oriel College Essays, October 1924
9 Sandhurst -- Staff College Papers, 1943
Paiforce: The Official Story of The Persia and Iraq Command 1941-46
Box Folder
20 1* Holograph notes and notebook [*oversize holograph map removed to Oversize Flat File]
2-3* Typescript [*oversize newspaper article removed to Oversize Flat File]
F. Miscellaneous
Box Folder
20 4 Book Displays A Child Possessed and Image of My Father
5-6 Book Jackets

II. Correspondence

Box Folder
21 1-6 Photocopies of correspondence between RCH and Martyn Skinner, 1957-75. Some used in book Two Men of Letters (M. Joseph, 1979)
Box Folder
22 1 BBC
2 Byng Kenrick Grammar School
3 Chetham-Strode, Warren
Curtis Brown Ltd.
Box Folder
22 4 1961-69
5 1970-75
6 Re: Hutchinson-Skinner correspondence in Bodleian
7 Michael Joseph Ltd.
8 Miscellaneous

III. Personal

Box Folder
23 1-2 Account books, literary earnings notebooks, 1928-63
3 Schoolboy diaries, 1922-23
4 Date books, 1971-75 and n.d.
5 British passport
6 Miscellaneous: catalogs, brochures, invitations

IV. Works by Others

Box Folder
24 1 Anouilh, Jean. Le Voyageur Sans Bagage (scene III translated by RCH)
2 Green, Guy. Stephan's Child. Screenplay from RCH novel A Child Possessed.
3 Harries, The Rev. Richard, "Thought for the Day--4th July 1986." Sermon.
4 Lincoln, Elizabeth. March the Ninth. Television play from novel by RCH.
4 Post, Patricia. "The Caravan of Culture." Typescript of unpublished novel. [not foldered]
25 Oversize Material