Guide to the Papers of Robin Lucas


MS 9346

National Library of Australia

Collection Summary

Robin Lucas
Papers of Robin Lucas
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 9346
0.84 metres (6 boxes)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


Scope and Contents

The papers comprise correspondence, photographs and papers relating to Lucas' journalism (including the 'Foreword' column for the Weekend Australian and the 'New paperbacks' column for the Sydney Morning Herald) and writings (including reviews of The Allen & Unwin good reading guide and the Wilder shores).

The correspondents include Archie and Milly Colquhoun, Emma Baulch, Rhyll McMaster, Chris Henning, Margaret Jones, Shirley Hazzard, Alister Kershaw, Russel Ward and Lyn Tranter.

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (

Conditions Governing Use

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Robin Lucas, National Library of Australia, MS 9346, [box number and series and/or file number]'.


The collection was purchased from Robin Lucas by the National Library in 1995.

Biographical Note

The journalist, editor and author Robin Lucas was born on 3 January 1947. She has written book reviews for the Weekend Australian (the 'Foreword' column, under the pseudonym Elizabeth Swanson), the Sydney Morning Herald (the 'New paperbacks' column), Voices, The Bulletin, Brisbane Review and the Courier Mail.

Her published works include The Allen & Unwin good reading guide (1990), the Wilder shores: women's travel stories of Australia and beyond (1992) and Balancing act: being a stepmother (1996).

Lucas married Geoffrey Dutton in April 1985.

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Correspondence, 1968-95

The series includes letters of Archie and Milly Colquhoun, Emma Baulch (daughter of Lucas, some of the letters were written in Indonesia), Rhyll McMaster, Chris Henning, Ian Hicks, Kate Grenville, Mirka Mora, Bob Brissenden, Lyn Tranter, Helen Garner, Margaret Jones, Roger McDonald, Shirley Hazzard, Alister Kershaw, Russel Ward and Yasmine Gooneratne. Many of them relate to the 'New paperbacks' column in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Letters of Archie and Milly Colquhoun, 1968 (File 1) - Box 1

Correspondence, 1983-88 (File 2) - Box 1

Correspondence with Chris Henning, 1988-92 (File 3) - Box 1

Letters of Emma Baulch, 1988-95 (File 4) - Box 6

Letters of Rhyll McMaster, 1989-95 (File 5) - Box 6

Correspondence, 1989 (File 6) - Box 1

Correspondence, 1990-91 (File 7) - Box 1

Correspondence, 1992 (File 8) - Box 2

Correspondence, 1993 (File 9) - Box 2

Correspondence regarding Geoffrey Dutton's book Out in the open, 1994 (File 10) - Box 2

Correspondence, 1994-95 (File 11)

Series 2. 'Foreword' column, Weekend Australian, 1987-88

Lucas wrote the 'Foreword' column in the Weekend Australian under the pseudonym 'Elizabeth Swanson'.

The series comprises correspondence, cuttings and typescripts of the reviews. The correspondents include members of the public (with comments on the reviews), Mary Wright (Fremantle Arts Centre Press), Peter Fuller (The Canberra Times), Michelle Anderson (Hill of Content Publishing), Rod Usher (The Age), Michael Heyward and Peter Craven (Scripsi) and David Brooks.

The papers had been kept in files and the Library has been preserved this arrangement.

Elizabeth Swanson correspondence, 1987 (File 1) - Box 2

Elizabeth Swanson correspondence, 1988 (File 2) - Box 2

Cuttings of 'Foreword' column, 1987-88 (File 3) - Box 2

Typescripts for 'Foreword' column, 1987-88 (File 4-6) - Box 2, 3

Series 3. 'New paperbacks' column, Sydney Morning Herald, 1987-90

Lucas wrote the reviews of new paperbacks for the Sydney Morning Herald between 1987 and 1990. The small series comprises cuttings, arranged in chronological order, of the articles.

Newspaper cuttings (File 1-4) - Box 3

Series 4. Other journalism, 1982-94

Lucas reviewed books for the Sydney Morning Herald, Voices, The Bulletin, Brisbane Review and the Courier Mail. The small series contains cuttings of the articles.

Newspaper cuttings (File 1-3) - Box 3

Series 5. Writings, 1981-93

The series includes drafts and cuttings relating to Lucas' writings, including The Allen & Unwin good reading guide (1990) and Wilder shores: Australian women's travel stories (1992).

Published short stories and poems, 1981-82 (File 1) - Box 4

Reviews of The Allen Unwin good reading guide, 1990 (File 2) - Box 4

Reviews of The Allen Unwin good reading guide, 1992-93 (File 3) - Box 4

Series 6. Photographs, 1982-94

The small series comprises about 38 photographs of Lucas' wedding to Geoffrey Dutton (April 1985), an album containing photographs of friends (including Peter Carey, Arthur Boyd, Barry Humphries, Robert Hughes and Yevgeny Yevtushenko) and a small album containing pictures taken at the launch of Wilder shores (1992).

Photographs (File 1-3) - Box 4

Series 7. Other papers, 1988

The series comprises correspondence (1984-86) relating to Robin Lucas (Baulch) divorce proceedings, a small quantity of photocopies of articles, cuttings (mostly of book reviews) and printed material.

Miscellaneous papers (File 1-7) - Box 4, 5

Includes articles entitled 'White's short stories' by Andrew Taylor (Overland, Aug. 1965), 'The short stories of John Morrison' by A.A. Phillips (Overland, Winter 1974) and 'Notes on Frank Moorhouse' (Overland, Spring 1973). The printed material includes a folder on the Melbourne Spoleto Writers Festival 1988, a copy of the 1988 'Occasional Newsletter of the Australian Literary Management' and Fontana Book News, August 1988.