University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Rayner Heppenstall:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Heppenstall, Rayner, 1911-1981
Title: Rayner Heppenstall Collection
Dates: 1929-1969, undated
Abstract: Includes manuscripts for several works, numerous radio scripts, and correspondence to and from the British novelist and broadcaster Rayner Heppenstall. Correspondents include Edmund Blunden, Elizabeth Bowen, John Middleton Murry, George Orwell, Ezra Pound, Sir Herbert Read, Stephen Spender, and others.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-1915
Extent: 8 boxes (3.36 linear feet), 3 galley folders (gf)
Language: English, Russian
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center



Open for research

Administrative Information

Processed by:

Joan Sibley and Katherine Noble, 2013


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.

Container List


1.1 Apology for dancing, printed book with handwritten corrections and revisions, 235 pages bound, 1936. Author's personal copy inscribed on title page to Jacob Schwartz. From Hanley II.
1.2 A pattern of French crime I: The Lyons mail, signed carbon typescript / incomplete with emendations and initialed note, 31 pages; signed mimeo, 38 pages; undated.
1.3 A pattern of French crime II: The literate killer, carbon typescript with handwritten emendations, 34 pages; signed mimeo, 34 pages; 3 December 1968, undated.
1.4 A pattern of French crime III: The general's daughter, carbon typescript with handwritten revisions, 32 pages; signed mimeo with handwritten emendations, 38 pages; 4 October 1968, undated.
1.5 The tables speak, or What the tables said, mimeo script with handwritten revisions and signed note, 37 pages, 16 June 1969.
1.6 Vautrin, or The various incarnations of Jacques Collin. A study in four parts of the world of Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850), 4 carbon copy typescripts with handwritten revisions, one signed with handwritten note, 102 pages total, undated.
1.7 Vautrin, or The various incarnations of Jacques Collin. A study in four parts of the world of Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850), 4 signed mimeo scripts and handwritten note on first, 126 pages total, 12-16 June 1969.
1.8 The connecting door, signed typescript with handwritten emendations and signed note and printer's markings, 180 pages bound, 30 October 1961. From Hanley II.
1.9 The connecting door: blurb, carbon copy typescript with handwritten revisions, 1 page, undated. Included with this: printer's plans for introductory pages of book.
2.1-3 The fool's saga: parts 1 and 2, mimeo radio scripts with handwritten director's markings, 94 pages pasted in 2 bound scrapbooks and 2 pages music, 1949. Part 2 titled Hamlet, King of Jutland. Included with this: The rising in the north, mimeo radio script, 45 pages, 1951. From Hanley II.
2.4-3.1 The fourfold tradition, typescript with handwritten emendations and handwritten, typed, and printed sheets for printer's layout, 379 pages, 1960. Included with this: carbon typescript with handwritten revisions / earlier version, 374 pages, 1960. From Hanley II.
gf 1 The fourfold tradition, galley proofs with handwritten corrections, 81 pages, 1961.
3.2 The generations: parts 1 and 2 of a 3-part radio series, composite handwritten and typed manuscript with handwritten revisions, 36 pages, 1961. Included with this: mimeo radio scripts, 49 pages, 1961; mimeo radio script of Professional portrait: A ballerina, 19 pages, 1947. From Hanley II.
3.3 George Orwell, typescript for radio broadcast with extensive handwritten notes, additions, deletions, and emendations, pasted into bound scrapbook, 41 pages and 1 mimeo insert attached, undated. Assembled and produced by Heppenstall. From Hanley II.
The intellectual part:
3.4 Carbon typescript / first draft with handwritten revisions and signed handwritten title page with notes, 375 pages, 1962-1963.
3.5 Signed carbon typescript / second draft with handwritten emendations and note, 363 pages, May 1963.
4.1-2 Signed typescript / second draft with handwritten emendations and note, 373 pages, May 1963. Printer's copy.
gf 2 Signed galley proofs with handwritten note, emendations, and corrections, and carbon copy typescript insert, 69 pages, 1963.
gf 3 Signed galley proofs with handwritten note, emendations, and corrections, and typescript insert, 69 pages, July 1963. Printer's copy.
4.3-4 It is Sunday morning, typed and carbon copy manuscript with handwritten revisions and note, 305 pages, 1965.
4.5 The lesser infortune, proof copy with extensive handwritten revisions, carbon copy typescript paste-ins, and signed handwritten note, 272 pages, undated. Revisions for a new edition: "The original published in 1953 now appears to me to be obsolete."
A little pattern of French crime:
4.6 Carbon copy typescript with handwritten revisions and initialed note by O. M. on page 146, 309 pages, undated.
4.7 Carbon copy typescript with handwritten revisions and notes on title page, 303 pages, undated.
5.1 Signed page proofs with handwritten revisions and dust jacket laid in, ix, 174 pages, August 1969.
5.2 O litus vita mihi dulcius, signed handwritten manuscript, 1 page, undated.
5.3-6 Original contributions and annotated reviews, 4 bound scrapbooks of printed items by, about, and of interest to Heppenstall with handwritten annotations, undated. From Hanley II.
6.1 The palace of subterranean fire: Four Arabian tales by William Beckford, regrouped and adapted by Rayner Heppenstall, 4 mimeo radio scripts with handwritten revisions and notes and director's markings, 139 pages, 1957. Titles: Nouronihar and the Caliph Vathek; Prince Alasi and Firouz-Firouzah; Barkiarokh, son of Ormossouf; Zulkais's story. From Hanley II.
6.2 Reader's report on There goes the middle east by Alfred M. Lilienthal, typescript, 2 pages, undated.
6.3 Saturnine, signed handwritten manuscript with revisions, 269 pages, 1943. From Hanley II.
6.4 Shakespeare's sonnets, 11 of 12 mimeo radio scripts with handwritten director's markings, 1959. Script for second broadcast of series lacking. From Hanley II.
6.5 The woodshed, proof copy, 189 pages, 1962. With ALS to Michel written inside upper cover and on both sides of first leaf.

Works 1:

6.6-7.2 Radio productions translated from the French and Italian, arranged and introduced by Rayner Heppenstaff, 34 mimeo radio scripts with extensive handwritten producer's markings, deletions, and insertions, 1952-1960. Contents: Mireio; Axel, part one: The world of religion; Axel, fourth part: The world of passion; The plague in Florence; The loyal wife of Genoa; Tancred, Prince of Salerno; Isabella's three brethren; The dream of Andreana; The vision in the woods; Frederigo's falcon; The cloak and the mortar; Baudelaire – Idéal; Baudelaire – spleen; Baudelaire – Le voyage; Baudelaire – Du mal et du bien; French poetry (1); Earlier French verse; French poetry (2) – La Fontaine; French poetry (3) – Hugo to Rimbaud; French poetry (4) – Apollinaire; French poetry (5) – Claudel; French poetry (6) – Valery and Supervielle; French poetry (7) – Eluard and Aragon; French poetry (8) – Cocteau and Michaux; The green bay tree (1); The green bay tree (2); The green bay tree (3); Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918); English poems by Charles d'Orleans; The noble savage; Foscolo and Leopardi; Tristesse d'Olympic; The palace of subterranean fire: introductory narration to the fourth story – Zulkais's story; The palace of subterranean fire: prologue; The palace of subterranean fire: epilogue.


7.3 ALS, 5 TLS, TLI to Calder (John) Limited, 1958-1960, undated.
ALS to Cranfill, Thomas M., 8 February 1962.
2 TccL to Hamilton (Hamish) Ltd., 27 April and 2 May 1969. Included with these: Hamilton's notes on A little pattern of French, typescript, 2 pages; draft for blurb, typescript with handwritten revisions and note by Heppenstall, 1 page; Heppenstall's revisions of Hamilton's blurb, carbon typescript with handwritten note, 1 page.


7.4 Blunden, Edmund Charles, 1896- . ALS to Heppenstall, Rayner, 20 January 1936. From Hanley II.
Bowen, Elizabeth Dorothea Cole, 1899- . 2 ALS to Heppenstall, Rayner, 2 October 1943, 14 May 1945. From Hanley II.
Calder (John) Limited. 5 TccL to Heppenstall, Rayner, 1958-1961.
Compton-Burnett, Ivy. ALS to Heppenstall, Rayner, 2 February 1947. From Hanley II.
De la Mare, Walter John, 1873-1956. TLS to Heppenstall, Rayner, 6 November 1935. From Hanley II.
Hanley, James, 1901- . 4 ALS, ALI to Heppenstall, Rayner, 1936, undated. Some signed with pseudonym Seumas. From Hanley II.
Kokoschka, Oskar, 1886- . ALS to Heppenstall, Rayner, 12 February 1941. From Hanley II.
7.5 Murry, John Middleton, 1889-1957. 13 ALS, 7 ALI, 4 TLS, APCS, APCI to Heppenstall, Rayner, 1933-1945, undated. Included with this: ALS to Dear Madam, 24 October 1929; ALS to Margaret Heppenstall, undated. From Hanley II.
7.4 O'Faoláin, Séan, 1900- . TLS to Heppenstall, Rayner, 18 February 1942.
7.6 Orwell, George, 1903-1950. 3 ALS, 14 TLS to Heppenstall, Rayner, 1935-1946, undated. Before 1944 signed Eric; from 1944 forward, some signed Eric, some as George Orwell. Letterhead from 1944 forward: The tribune. From Hanley II.
7.4 Pound, Ezra Loomis, 1885- . TPCI to Heppenstall, Rayner, 29 March 1935. Attached to this: clipping from TL by Pound to New English weekly re Heppenstall and ANS by Heppenstall as explanation of it and the postcard. From Hanley II.
Powys, John Cowper, 1872-1963. ALS to Heppenstall, Rayner, 3 July 1936. From Hanley II.
7.7 Read, Herbert, Sir, 1893-1968. 37 ALS, 2 ALI, 10 TLS, 5 TLI, 6 APCS, 13 APCI, 1935-1947, undated. From Hanley II.
7.4 S_____, W. ALS to Heppenstall, Rayner, undated. From Hanley II.
Spender, Stephen, 1909- . 2 ALS to Heppenstall, Rayner, 5 January no year, undated.


8.1 Unidentified author. List of schools of ballet dancing, Paris, handwritten manuscript, 1 page, 1936. Handwritten note in Russian at bottom. Letterhead: Nicolas Legat School of Ballet Dancing.
Unidentified author. Cover for Pattern of French Crime. Included with this: handwritten list, illegible and crossed out.
8.2 Lee, Laurie. The voyage of Magellan, mimeo radio script with handwritten producer's marks, notes, deletions, and emendations pasted in bound scrapbook, 47 pages, October 1946. Produced by Rayner Heppenstall. From Hanley II.

Miscellaneous 1:

8.3-4 Radio scripts on Shakespearian subjects by Michael Innes (pseudonym), mimeo radio scripts with handwritten producer's marks, notes, and deletions, 1948-1959. Produced by Rayner Heppenstall. Contents: The hawk and the handsaw; The descent from Parnassus; Discoveries in Shakespeare I – A visitor to Dorset Garden; Discoveries in Shakespeare IV – The trial of ancient Iago; The road to Dunsinane: part two; A discovery of the Bermudas. From Hanley II.

Explanatory Note Concerning Manuscript Collections Cataloged in the Card Catalog

Prior to 1990 when archival cataloging procedures were adopted at the Ransom Center, all manuscript collections were described in a card catalog.

Organization of Collections:

Manuscripts for each author collection were organized into four categories:

  • Works: manuscripts by the author, arranged alphabetically by title;
  • Letters: the author's outgoing correspondence, arranged alphabetically by recipient name;
  • Recipient: the author's incoming correspondence, arranged alphabetically by the author of the letter; and
  • Miscellaneous: all other manuscripts and correspondence, arranged alphabetically by creator.

Materials that did not fit into these categories, such as art, photographs, books, and near-print materials such as newspaper clippings, were dispersed to other Ransom Center collections for cataloging and storage.

Abbreviations Used in Descriptions:

The symbols below were used in combinations. For example ALS means autograph letter signed; Tccms means typed carbon copy manuscript, etc.

  • A = autograph (i.e., handwritten)
  • T = typed
  • S = signed
  • I = initialed
  • Ms = manuscript
  • Mss = manuscripts
  • L = letter
  • FL = form letter
  • N = note
  • D = document
  • C = card
  • PC = post card
  • cc = carbon copy
  • p = page
  • pp = pages
  • l = leaf
  • ll = leaves
  • nd = no date
  • inc d = incomplete date