Guide to the Papers of Ric Throssell

MS 8071 et al

National Library of Australia

Collection Summary

Title
Papers of Ric Throssell
Date Range
1937-1998
Collection Number
MS 8071 et al
Extent
5.55 metres (37 boxes)
Language of Materials
English
Repository
National Library of Australia

Introduction

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1567112).

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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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], National Library of Australia, Papers of Ric Throssell, [class number, box number and series and/or file number]'.

See also Katharine Susannah Prichard Papers (MS 6201).

Separated Materials

A small carton of cassettes and reel to reel tapes have been transferred to the Oral History Collection. These include readings by Throssell of Wild weeds and wind flowers (TRC 2660).

Finding Aid Source(s)

Please note: This finding aid may comprise or contain descriptive information provided by donors, researchers and/or volunteers.

Collection Retrieval Advice

Please note: each consignment in this collection has a separate box number sequence (i.e. there may be multiple Box 1s). Please cite the relevant Class number as well as the Box number when requesting retrieval of material from the collection.

Biographical Note

Ric Prichard Throssell was born in Perth in 1922, the son of novelist Katharine Susannah Prichard and Captain Hugo Throssell, V.C. After education at Wesley College he saw war service in New Guinea during World War II. In 1943 he joined the Department of External Affairs and later served in the Australian legations in Moscow and Rio de Janeiro.

Since 1943 he has been associated with the Canberra Repertory Society as an actor, producer and playwright. He has written a large number of plays, some of which have been published. He has published a biography of his mother, Wild weeds and wind flowers (1975) and an autobiography My father's son (1989), and has edited two collections of his mother's writings Straight left (1982) and Tribute: selected stories of Katharine Susannah Prichard (1988).

His career in the diplomatic service was greatly hindered by security classification problems resulting from his mother's membership of the Communist Party. He appeared before the Petrov inquiry in 1954, but no case was established against him. Since his retirement he has devoted a lot of his energies to obtaining classified documents relating to himself and his mother with the aid of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the Freedom of Information Act.

Item Descriptions

Class MS 8071. Original consignment

Comprises playscripts, drafts of autobiography and other writings in addition to correspondence, research material and other documents relating to Ric Throssell's work as a playwright and author. There are also papers relating to Throssell's career and security classification problems in the Department of Foreign Affairs, the life and work of his mother Katharine Susannah Prichard and of his father Hugo Throssell, and to his involvement with the Canberra Repertory Society.

Contained in 31 boxes.

Series 1. Plays and scripts, 1937-88

This series includes about forty play texts, screenplays and scenarios, many of which have been performed and some of which have been published. Most of the work is original, while some is adapted from novels or stories by Katharine Susannah Prichard. There is a wide range of subject matter including domestic drama, comedy, political satire and musical comedy.

File 1. First plays, 1937-41. Includes scripts of "The Island of Omaru" and "Helen: a musical comedy", in addition to programmes for plays that Throssell appeared in in Perth during this time - Box 1
File 2. Appassionata (television play), 1961; Baby wants a bomb (AKA Liability unlimited) - Box 1
File 3-4. Black opal, 1978-80 (screenplay) - Box 1
File 5. By the billabong (outline for television series), 1956; The Contemporary approximation, 1957 - Box 1
File 6-8. Coonardoo, draft screenplay, 1981 - Box 1
File 9. The Creditor, 1967 - Box 2
File 10-12. The day before tomorrow, 1956, revised 1987 - Box 2
File 13-15. The death of Damien Burr, 1958 - Box 2
File 16. Devil wore black, 1954 - Box 2
File 17-21. Dr Homer speaks,: "Oh, Ai-Lar-Tsva, farewell!", 1963 - Box 3
File 22. The Sweet and sad story of Elmo and me (Television version of "Dr Homer speaks"), 1965 - Box 3
File 23. Double feature, c1956 - Box 3
File 24. Eternity limited, 1979 - Box 3
File 25-29. For valor, 1958, revised 1975 - Box 4
File 30-32. The Fourth course, 1963 - Box 4
File 33. Free for all at forty four, c.1960 - Box 5
File 34. Highly confidential - Box 5
File 35. I, said the fly (television play); If thy heart offend; Is anyone there? (screenplay), c1979 Jimble's Xmas - Box 5
File 36. Just for now; A Kiss and a promise, c1956 revised 1969 - Box 5
File 37-40. Legend, 1957 - Box 5
File 41. The Mayor of Beardie Creek; Mourn not the dead, 1944 - Box 6
File 42. My friend Mr Lasseter, c.1957 - Box 6
File 43-44. On the lay-by, 1957-67 - Box 6
File 45. The Ordinary man by Leonid Leonov, translated by Ric Throssell - Box 6
File 46. Paradise harbour (synopsis of television film); Programme 001, 1966-1988; Sailor's girl, 1945 - Box 6
File 47. South sea gold boy, 1965 - Box 6
File 48. Standing room only, 1954; Suburban requeim, 1957 - Box 6
File 49. Success story (television play), 1967; Ten miles to eternity (television serial) - Box 7
File 50. The Thinking people (television play) - Box 7
File 51. Thrice one (three one-act plays): Double feature, Epitaph for the unborn, If thy heart offend - Box 7
File 51. Ulterior motifs, 1956 - Box 7

Series 2. Correspondence regarding Ric Throssell's plays, 1948-82

Mostly letters relating to attempts to sell scripts and screenplays to theatre groups, publishers and broadcasters. (Files 56-59 include letters to the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust, Angus and Robertson and the Australian Broadcasting Commission.)

File 52. 1958-1954 (includes eight letters from Miles Franklin and some job applications) - Box 7
File 53. 1954-1957 - Box 7
File 54. 1958-1959 - Box 7
File 55. 1960-1964, includes 2 notebooks relating to the sale of his plays to small theatre groups, 1959-1978 - Box 7
File 56. 1961-1966 - Box 8
File 57. 1967-1968 - Box 8
File 58. 1969-1970 - Box 8
File 59. 1979-1982 - Box 8
File 60. Day before tomorrow, 1955-1964 - Box 8
File 61. Legend, 1957-1959; My friend Mr Lasseter, 1957-1959; On the lay-by, 1957-1960 - Box 8
File 62. A Kiss and a promise, 1956-1960; The death of Damien Burr, 1959-1960 (includes a long letter from Robin Lovejoy of the AETT); Free for all, 1960; For valor, 1958-1962 - Box 8
File 63. For valor, 1975-1979; Wild oats of Han, 1979-1980 (Tasmanian Film Corporation); Eternity limited, 1979; Black opal, 1975-1979 (unsuccessful efforts to sell screenplay) - Box 8

Series 3. Other writings, 1942-89

Includes poetry, texts of speeches and broadcasts and extensive drafts of, and research notes for, his autobiography My father's son. (Some folders include associated correspondence)

File 64. World War II poetry, including one printed in the first issue of Australian new writing, 1943 - Box 9
File 65-66. Texts of 2CA broadcasts on UNESCO and articles on UNESCO, late 1940s - Box 9
File 67. Play and book reviews, 1956-1977 - Box 9
File 68. "Towards a multicultural society", c1977 written for East-West Centre Symposium. Submission to the A.B.C. Advisory Committee on Freedom of Information and Privacy, c1975 - Box 9
File 69. "Paths towards purpose: the political plays of Katharine Susannah Prichard and Ric Throssell" a paper for the University of New England Conference on Australian Drama, 1920-1950, Armidale, 1984 - Box 9
File 70. "Neutrality: the foreign policy option", address for a 1986 Launceston Adult Education Conference - Box 9
File 71. Drafts and research notes re autobiography My father's son: Research material and correspondence re Hugo Throssell, 1981-1987 - Box 10
File 72-73. Drafts and research notes re autobiography My father's son: Research material re Hugo Throssell - Box 10
File 74. Drafts and research notes re autobiography My father's son: Documents used in My father's son - Box 10
File 75. Drafts and research notes re autobiography My father's son: Planning notes - Box 10
File 76-77. Drafts and research notes re autobiography My father's son: 1st draft (handwritten), chapters 1-10 - Box 10
File 78-81. 1st draft of My father's son, chapters 12-end - Box 11
File 82-84. Corrected word processor draft of My father's son - Box 11
File 85-88. Revised text of My father's son, 1987-1989 - Box 12

Series 4. Papers re Katharine Susannah Prichard, 1969-89

Includes correspondence, drafts and research material relating to his biography of his mother Wild weeds and wind flowers, and to editions of his mother's articles and stories that he has edited, namely Straight left and Tribute. This series also includes correspondence with publishers regarding new editions of KSP's books, newscuttings re KSP, draft screenplay adaptations by other writers of KSP's stories, and papers relating to the KSP Centenary, 1983. (See also folder 155)

File 89. Research material for biography Wild weeds and wind flowers: Correspondence re Dorothy Hewett's article on KSP in Overland, no.43, including correspondence with Stephen Murray-Smith and letters from A.D. Hope and Jack Lindsay, 1970-1972 (this controversy prompted RPT to write a biography of his mother) - Box 12
File 90. Research material for biography Wild weeds and wind flowers: Chronology of events - Box 12
File 90. Research material for biography Wild weeds and wind flowers: Work plan - Box 12
File 91. Research material for biography Wild weeds and wind flowers: National Library research notes, 1972 - Box 12
File 92. Research material and correspondence re Wild weeds and wind flowers: Interview notes and Library research notes, 1972 - Box 13
File 93. Research material and correspondence re Wild weeds and wind flowers: Correspondence re Commonwealth Literacy Fellowship, 1971-1973; Correspondence re biography, 1970-1972 - Box 13
File 94-97. Research material and correspondence re Wild weeds and wind flowers: Correspondence re biography, 1972-1987 - Box 13
File 98. Research material and correspondence re Wild weeds and wind flowers: Notes for lecture re biography, 1979 - Box 13
File 99-103. Drafts of Wild weeds and wind flowers: First draft (corrected typescript) - Box 14
File 104-105. Drafts of Wild weeds and wind flowers: 2nd draft - Box 14
File 106-108. Drafts of Wild weeds and wind flowers: 3rd draft - Box 15
File 109. Drafts of Wild weeds and wind flowers: Draft index (handwritten) - Box 15
File 109. Drafts of Wild weeds and wind flowers: Cuts from text - Box 15
File 109. Drafts of Wild weeds and wind flowers: Two final drafts with photographs, 1972 (bound) - Box 15
File [unnumbered]. Script of ABC radio broadcast of "Wild Weeds and Windflowers" 1975 - Box 16
File [unnumbered]. Reviews of Wild weeds and wind flowers, 1975-77 (mostly cuttings) - Box 16
File [unnumbered]. Letters of condolence on KSP's death, 1969 - Box 16
File [unnumbered]. Papers re KSP's estate, 1969-74 - Box 16
File [unnumbered]. Photographs, news release, promotional material re production of Brumby Innes by the Australian Performing Group, 1972 - Box 16
File [unnumbered]. Introduction to new edition of Brumby Innes, 1973 (Mss and T/S) - Box 16
File [unnumbered]. Papers re production of Bid me to love by Canberra Repertory, 1973 (includes letters re song "Bid Me To Love") - Box 16
File [unnumbered]. "Katharine Susannah Prichard's vision of Australia" by Ric Throssell, 1976 (typescript) - Box 16
File [unnumbered]. "Katharine Susannah Prichard's legacy to children's literature" by Ric Throssell, 1976 (typescript for Children's Book Council Seminar) - Box 16
File 110. Correspondence, etc re Straight left, 1978-1980 (includes Mss and T/S of Foreward) - Box 17
File 111-113. Corrected proofs of Tribute: selected stories of Katharine Susannah Prichard, c1987-1988 - Box 17
File 114. Correspondence re permissions to publish Katharine Susannah Prichard's works, 197?-1979 - Box 17
File 114. Correspondence re proposed film of Working bullocks by Ridge River Films, 1977-1978 - Box 17
File 115-117. Correspondence re new editions of KSP's works, 1969-1979 - Box 17
File 118-121. Correspondence re new editions of KSP's works, 1980-1983 - Box 18
File 122-123. Episodes 1 and 2 of an ABC television adaptation of Intimate strangers by B and J Bell, 1980 - Box 18
File 124. Screenplay of Haxby's circus by Cliff Green, 1982 - Box 18
File 125. Correspondence with Curtis Brown and others re film version of Brumby Innes, 1980-1985 - Box 18
File 125. Screenplay of Brumby Innes by J.B. Smythe, 1982 - Box 18
File 126. 2 screenplays of Brumby Innes by John Smythe, with comments by Ric Throssell, 1981-1982 - Box 19
File 127. Screenplay of Brumby Innes by J.B. Smythe, 1983 - Box 19
File 128. Correspondence re film version of Coonardoo, 1970-1974 - Box 19
File 129. Screenplay of Coonardoo by Richard Lane, 1973 - Box 19
File 129. Correspondence re film of Coonardoo, 1975-1979 - Box 19
File 130. Correspondence with Curtis Brown and others re film of Coonardoo, 1977-1979 - Box 19
File 131. French translation of Coonardoo, by Helene Jaccomard, 1986 (typescript photocopy) - Box 19
File 132-133. Screenplay of Coonardoo by Chris Notsis, 1987. Includes letters to Curtis Brown and Mark Pernell indicating dissatisfaction with the adaptation - Box 19
File 134. Papers re Katharine Susannah Prichard Centenary (1983) and correspondence with KSP Foundation, 1986-1988 - Box 20

Also includes corrected typescript draft of "Delos of a Sun God's race or Mammon's Desmesne: Katharine Susannah Prichard's Australia", a paper by Ric Throssell for the Australian Literature Seminar at the University of Stirling, 1983

File 135. Correspondence with Fellowship of Australian Writers and other papers about the KSP Centenary and associated events, 1983-1984. Includes lecture by RPT: "Katharine Susannah Prichard the flowering", 1984 - Box 20
File 136. Newscuttings re KSP, 1981-1985 - Box 20
File 136. "Katharine Susannah Prichard: of an end a new beginning" by Kay iseman, Arena, no. 54, 1979 - Box 20
File 136. "Katharine Susannah Prichard: writer of conscience published in Japanese journal The New English classroom, 1987 - Box 20
File 136. Contents and introduction for Tribute: the short stories of Katharine Susannah Prichard, 1984 - Box 20
File 137. Correspondence with Curtis Brown and UQP, and reviews re Tribute, 1984-1989. Includes some marked-up texts of articles - Box 20

Series 5. Career in Foreign Affairs and Security Classification Problems, 1949-98

The story of Throssell's career is told in his autobiography My Father's son. The material in this series is extensive, and offers more detail than appears in the book. It includes a large number of letters, memoranda and documents relating to himself. Many of these are photocopies of documents he has obtained, with great difficulty, from the Australian Archives and relate to himself as a security risk.

File 138. Correspondence with Christian Jollie Smith re the Petrov Inquiry hearings, 1955; Letter from his barrister Frank Lovat praising his appearance before the Petrov tribunal; Job applications, 1955-1959 (for jobs outside the Department of External Affairs); References, 1957-1969 - Box 20
File 139. Newscuttings re the Petrov Inquiry, 1955 - Box 20
File 140. Papers re promotion appeals in Department of External Affairs, 1955-1957 (includes a memo from Arthur Tange) - Box 20
File 141. Correspondence, minutes and other papers re security classification problems, 1965-1975 - Box 20
File 142. Promotions and appeals, 1949-1974 - Box 21
File 142. Application for job as Administrator of Norfolk Island, 1975 - Box 21
File 143-144. Papers re career in External Affairs, 1956-1969. (Includes job applications and appeals) - Box 21
File 145. Personnel and salary matters, 1968-1970 - Box 21
File 146. Papers re career in Foreign Affairs, 1969-1978. (Includes job applications and appeals) - Box 21
File 147. Papers re career in Foreign Affairs, 1974-1980 - Box 21
File 148. Papers re official visit to Europe, 1980 - Box 21
File 149. Papers re appointment as Director of the Commonwealth Foundation, London, 1979-1981 (includes correspondence and cablegrams) - Box 21
File 150. Commonwealth Foundation, 1980-1983 - Box 22
File 151. Commonwealth Foundation - list of contacts, 1979-1982 - Box 22
File 152. Commonwealth Foundation, 1980-1985 (includes papers re plans for retirement following a period of illness) - Box 22
File 153. Correspondence with Peter Bayne (ANU) and others re proposed appeal to Security Appeals Tribunal, 1986 - Box 22
File 153. Newscuttings re Freedom of Information, 1986-1988 - Box 22
File 154. Australian Archives photocopying requests and application forms, 1985-1986 - Box 22
File 155. Copies of Archives security papers re Katharine Susannah Prichard (1919-1954) - Box 22
File 156. Copies of Archives security documents re RPT, 1949-1955 - Box 22
File 157. Copies of Archives security documents re RPT, 1956-1979 - Box 22
File 158. Papers re the Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security, 1974-1977 (includes a transcript of his evidence before Mr Justice Hope, August 1975) - Box 23
File 159-161. Papers re application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for release by the Archives of papers relating to himself and KSP, 1986 (includes released documents, 1953-1972, such as letters from Arthur Tange to Brigadier Spry, 1955 and copies of ASIO interview transcripts) - Box 23
File 162. Papers re requests under the Freedom of Information Act for the release of various documents, 1986 - Box 23

Series 6. Correspondence, 1948-88

Mostly personal correspondence and correspondence files relating to matters not covered in Series 2-4.

File 163. Personal correspondence, 1948-1961 (includes correspondence with Peter Heydon, Alan Renouf and others) - Box 23
File 163. Correspondence re Commonwealth Literacy Fellowship, 1957-1958 - Box 23
File 164. Correspondence, 1969-1975 - Box 23
File 165. Correspondence, 1972-1973 - Box 23
File 166. Correspondence, 1974-1977 - Box 24
File 167. Correspondence, 1976-1986 - Box 24
File 168. Correspondence, 1979-1986 - Box 24
File 169. Correspondence, 1980-1983 - Box 24
File 170. Correspondence, 1984-1986 - Box 24
File 171. Correspondence, 1986-1987 - Box 24
File 172. Correspondence re support for the ALP in the 1975 election campaign - Box 24
File 172. Family insurance valuations, 1980 - Box 24
File 173. Letters to the ABC complaining about publicity for a production of Intimate Strangers, 1980-1982 - Box 24
File 174. Correspondence re Wesley College Hugo Throssell Memorial Peach Prize, 1982-1983 - Box 25
File 174. Correspondence and clippings re presentation of Hugo's Victoria Cross to the People for Nuclear Disarmament, 1984 - Box 25
File 175-179. Correspondence and other papers re the working of Martha Ansara's nuclear protest film 'The Pursuit of happiness', and the production of his daughter Karen Throssell's book of the same title, 1985-1988 - Box 25

Series 7. Letters from Katharine Susannah Prichard, 1943-69

Over one thousand letters, mostly written weekly.

File 180. Subject index to letters from KSP, 1943-69; Letters from KSP, 1943 - Box 25
File 181. Letters from KSP, 1944 - Box 25
File 182-189. Letters from KSP, 1945-54 - Box 26
File 190-197. Letters from KSP, 1955-63 - Box 27
File 198-203. Letters from KSP, 1964-69 - Box 28

Series 8. Canberra Repertory Society, 1953-80

Includes newscuttings, programmes, newsletters, scripts and production notes reflecting Throssell's involvement in Canberra Repertory.

File 204. Various papers including copies of newsletters, 1953-1956 - Box 28
File 205. Newspaper cuttings, 1954-1967 - Box 28

Series 8. Canberra Repertory Society, 1953-80

Includes newscuttings, programmes, newsletters, scripts and production notes reflecting Throssell's involvement in Canberra Repertory.

File 206-207. Assorted theatre programmes, 1953-1980 - Box 29
File 208. Script and production notes for 'Bid me to love', 1973 - Box 29
File 209. Scripts of assorted productions - Box 29
File 210. Scripts of assorted productions, including production notes for 'J.B.', n.d - Box 29
File 211. Papers re production of 'Childermas' by Thomas Keneally, 1969 - Box 29
File 212. Papers re the Committee of Enquiry into drama in the ACT, 1979-1980 (Ric Throssell was a member of this Committee) - Box 29

Series 9. Photographs and Negatives

File [unnumbered]. Unsorted family snapshots - Box 30-31

Class Acc00.222. Consignment added 2000

Comprises correspondence, drafts, reviews, articles, talks, notebooks and cuttings relating to Throssell's works My father's son and Breaking the codes, and a screenplay of his mother's Black opal. Also included are files on Throssell's involvement with Writers Against Nuclear Arms (WANA).

Contained in 6 boxes.