Manuscripts, oral history and pictures catalogue
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  • Title
    Kate Grenville literary papers mainly relating to The Secret River (2005), 1981-2006
  • Creator
  • Call number
    MLMSS 9169
  • Level of description
  • Date

    1981 - 2006
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Physical Description
    3.30 metres of textual records & photographs (22 boxes)

    Kate Grenville was born in Sydney, Australia. Her novel ‘The Idea of Perfection’ (2000) won the Orange Prize, then Britain's most valuable literary award. ‘The Secret River’ (2005) won numerous prizes including the NSW Premier's Literary Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize. It was also shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and Man Booker Prize. In 2006 she published ‘Searching for the Secret River’, a memoir about researching and writing ‘The Secret River’.
  • Scope and Content
    A detailed contents list with additional notes, prepared by Kate Grenville, is located in each box.

    BOX 1
    Drafts of a non-fiction book about Solomon Wiseman. That book was abandoned but much of the material was later used in ‘Searching for the Secret River’.
    Folder 1: Research, fragments of writing, timeline.
    [Folder 2: First draft writing notes arranged in 18 bundles. This folder was not included in the accession.]
    Folders 3-6: Expanded and revised versions of these bundles.
    Folder 7: Fragments of first draft fiction writing.

    BOX 2
    Handwritten exercise book ‘Wiseman Book 2’, 2001
    Handwritten exercise book ‘Solomon Wiseman Book 3’, 2001-02
    ‘Wiseman Book 4’, undated.
    ‘Solomon Wiseman Book 5’, 2002
    Folder 1: ‘London Draft 1’.
    Folder 2: ‘Novel Draft 2’, 2001

    BOX 3
    Folder 3: ‘January 2002’, draft with lists of scenes.
    Folder 4: Version 14/3.02, separated “Whites’ Story”.
    Folder 5: April 02, separated “Abs’ Story”.
    Folder 6: Revised version of “Abs’ Story”, 8.4.02.
    Folder 7: Recombined “Whites’ Story” and “Abs’ Story”.

    BOX 4
    Envelope of index cards, each with a scene from the novel.
    Folder 1: Violent scenes with comments by GP on the anatomival likelihood of what’s been written, probably 2003.
    Folder 2: Second recombined draft, 7/5/02.
    Folder 3: Revised draft plus list of scenes, 12.5.02.
    Folder 4: Revised draft plus list of scenes, 19.6.02.
    Folder 6: “Fringe Draft”, 13.9.02.
    Folder 7: Printout of this new rearrangement, with handwritten revisions.

    BOX 5
    Folder 1: Draft with some handwritten revisions, 2.10.02.
    Folder 2: Draft with some handwritten revisions, 31.10.02.
    Folder 3: London material arranged in to three long flashbacks, extensive handwritten revisions, 14.11.02.
    Folder 4: Flashbacks put together again, 22.11.02.
    Folder 5: Draft with restructuring and rewriting.

    BOX 6
    Folder 1: Draft, 17.2.03
    Folder 2: Draft with notes by Glenda Adams, 2.3.03.
    Folder 3: Draft with handwritten changes, 28.6.03.
    Folder 4: Draft with notes re future plans, 7.8.03.

    BOX 7
    Folder 1: Clean printout of previous draft, 1.9.03.
    Folder 2: Draft with notes by Paula Hamilton (UTS), draft preface and note to her, 3.11.03.
    Folder 3: Draft with handwritten changes, 10.1.04.
    Folder 4: Clean printout of one section of these changes.

    BOX 8
    Folder 1: Draft with comments by Barbara Mobbs and Drusilla Modjeska, 6.3.04.
    Folder 2: A shorter version of the Prologue, March-June, 2004.
    Folder 3: Fragments from a draft, early 2004.
    Folder4: Michael Heyward’s “broad brush edit”, with notes by Kate Grenville.
    Folder5: Same draft sent to Melissa Lucashenko, with her comments, ca. August 2004.

    BOX 9
    Folder 1: Michael Heyward’s “fine mesh” edit, with notes by Kate Grenville, Jan/Feb 2005.
    Folder 2: Proofs with notes by Kate Grenville, 2.3.05
    Folder 3: Foreword, Afterword, Readers’ notes and notes for a film.

    BOX 10
    Folder 1: Research into late 18th century vernacular.
    Folder 2: Correspondence and petitions by Percy Simpson.
    Folder 3: Notes on convicts in general.
    Folder 4: References from the ‘Sydney Gazette’ mostly re Aboriginal People
    Folder 6: “Oral history” notes on Wiseman/Wiseman’s Ferry.
    Folder 7: Assorted notes including notes on Robert Browning recording.
    Folder 8: Wiseman’s London.
    Folder 9: Information about lightermen.
    Folder 10: Reference to Wiseman in the Mitchell Library.
    Folder 11: Research on the Old Bailey, Newgate etc.
    Folder 12: Tim Bowden’s transcripts.
    Folder 13: Notes on research still to be done, places to visit etc.
    Folder 14: Copy of unpublished study of Hawkesbury Aboriginal sites by Patricia Vinnicombe, archaeologist.

    BOX 11
    Folder 1: Booklets about watermen, Southwark, Bermondsey etc. bought in London ca. 2000.
    Folder 2: Bundles of notes taken while writing – a record of the process (later used for ‘Searching for the Secret River), 2000-04, undated.
    Folder 3: Seven small notebooks used during research, plus a rough guide to their contents, 2000-04.
    Folder 4: Maps used during research – early London

    BOX 12
    Folder 5: Photographs taken during research – London and Hawkesbury.

    BOX 13
    Folder1: Screenplay of ‘The Idea of Perfection’ by Alison Tilson 94 drafts) plus correspondence.
    Folder 2: Rough notes & images, 1994-2000.
    Folder 3: “Tough Women” notes.
    Folder 4: “Engineer” notes.
    Folder 5: “Control” notes.
    Folder 6: Fillets of unused scenes turned into short stories.
    Folder 7: Readers’ letters

    BOX 14
    Folder 1: Letters from readers (mostly 2006) with replies from Kate Grenville.
    Folder 2: More letters from readers, 2001-06; includes emails, interviews & reading group notes.
    Folder 3: see Box 16
    Folder 4: Correspondence with Text Publishing about ‘The Secret River’, 2005-06.

    BOX 15
    Folder 1: Correspondence with Barbara Mobbs , literary agent, 2005.
    Folder 2: General writing business - interviews, requests etc., 2002-06.
    Folder 3: Correspondence with Australian Literary Management, 1998-2000.
    Folders 4-9: see Boxes 16-17.
    Folder 10: Correspondence with David Godwin, 2001-04.
    Folder 11: Correspondence with Barbara Mobbs, 2001-04.
    Folder 12: Correspondence with US publisher and agent, 2001-02.
    Folder 13: ‘The “Alice” Award and thesis report done for MA student at UTS.
    Folder 14: Readers’ letters about ‘Bearded Ladies’, 1997-2003.
    Folder 15: Readers’ letters about ‘The Idea of Perfection’ and ’Lilian’s Story’, 2001-06.

    A series of letters sent & received marked 'Personal'. Correspondents include Helen Garner, Drusilla Modjeska, Sue Woolfe, Clem Gorman, Gillian Mears, Peter Porter, Gerard Windsor, Glenda Adams, Murray Bail, Hilary McPhee, Susan Hampton, Susan Wyndham and John Tranter.
    BOX 16
    Folder 3: Personal letters relating to the writing of the Wiseman book, 2000-04 (extracted from Box 14).
    Folder 4: Personal correspondence, 1981-95 (extracted from Box 15).
    Folder 5: Personal correspondence, 1996-2000 (extracted from Box 15).
    Folder 6: Personal correspondence, 2001 (extracted from Box 15).

    BOX 17
    Folder 7: Personal correspondence, 2002 (extracted from Box 15).
    Folder 8: Personal correspondence, 2003 (extracted from Box 15).
    Folder 9: Personal correspondence, 2004 (extracted from Box 15).

    BOX 18
    Folder 1: Fillets of ‘The Secret River’ turned into stories. 2005-06.
    Folder 2: Drafts and notes for stories, ‘Expressway’ and ‘Look on my Works’.
    Folder 3: Drafts and notes for stories, ‘Dropping Dance’ and ‘Great Moments in History’, 1985.
    Folders 4-10: Royalty statements: Louis Braille Audio; Penguin US, 2005-06; Allen & Unwin, 1988-2006; University of Queensland Press, 1986-2006, Macmillan Australia, 1994-2006; Other overseas publishers; Macmillan UK, 2001-06.
    Folder 11: Education Lending Right and Public Lending Right payments, 1986-2005.

    BOX 19
    Folder 1: Talks, and some published pieces, ca. 1988-ca. 1995.
    Folder 2: Talks & notes for talks arranged by topics: ‘The Secret River’; Book & Exhibition Launches; ‘Dark Places’; ‘Dreamhouse’; ‘Lilian’s Story’; Teaching Talks; ‘The Idea of Perfection’; Book club notes about ‘The Idea of Perfection’; 'Writing from Start to Finis'.
    Folders 3 & 4: Gigs & other literary business, 2002-05. Correspondence, ephemera & schedules for literary appearances.

    Include news cuttings, photocopies, internet printouts and some emails.
    BOX 20
    Folder 1: Australian reviews etc. of ‘The Idea of Perfection’, 1999-2001.
    Folder 2: Overseas reviews etc. of ‘The Idea of Perfection’, 2000-02.
    Folder 3: Reviews & news stories about the Orange Prize, 2001.
    Folder 4: Overseas reviews of ‘Dark Places’, 1994-96.
    Folder 5: Australian reviews of ‘Dark Places’, 1994-95.

    BOX 21
    Folder 6: Reviews etc. of ‘Bearded Ladies’, 1983-2003.
    Folder 7: Reviews etc. of ‘Dreamhouse’, 1986-94.
    Folder 8: Reviews etc. of ‘Lilian’s Story’, 1985-96.
    Folder 9: Reviews etc. of ‘The Writing Book’, 1993.
    Folder 10: Reviews etc. of ‘Making Stories’, 1985-96.
    Folder 11: Reviews etc. of ‘Joan makes History’, 1987-93.
    Folder 12: Reviews etc. of ‘Writing from Start to Finish’, 2001.

    BOX 22
    Folder 1: Papers about DCA – proposal, progress reports, correspondence with supervisors, 2002-06.
    Folder 2: ‘Searching for Sol’. First draft of exegesis, 2004
    Folder 3: Notes for exegesis, 2004.
    Folder4: Exegesis, later draft with re-writings and notes by supervisor Paula Hamilton.
  • Source
    Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Kate Grenville, May 2007
  • Access Conditions
    Restricted: - -
  • Access Conditions

    This material is held offsite and can take up to four days to retrieve.
  • Copying Conditions
    Copyright status:: In copyright - This collection has multiple rights owners.
    Approval for reproduction required:
    Please acknowledge: : Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales & Courtesy copyright owners
  • Description source

    Information updated as part of the Unprocessed Manuscripts eRecords Project 2013-2014
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