National Library of Australia
Manuscript and typescript drafts of prose; notes, background material and jottings relating to Stead's literary output; correspondence with Philip Harvey, Norman Rosten, Ettore Rella, William Blake, Cyrilly Abels, Stanley Burnshaw and others; diaries, reviews, photographs and other papers. The collection also includes literary drafts of other writers including Ettore Rella, Mary Sarton, George Baxt, John Bright, Oliver Stallybrass, E. Louise Mally, Jorge Ibarguengoitia, Elaine Kraf, Norman Rosten and Stanley Burnshaw.
Available for research.
The Stead Papers were acquired in ten consignments between 1975 and 1999, mainly from Stead's literary executor, Professor Ron Geering.
Correspondence and other papers relating to Christina Stead are also held other Manuscript Collection including MS 802 (H.C. Coombs, box 49, folder 377); MS 7168 (Jack Lindsay), MS 7228 (Ettore Rella), MS 7306, MS 7570 (W.H. Pearson), MS 7666, MS 7840 (Donald A. Cameron), MS 8317, MS 8477, MS 8548 (Laurence Pollinger), MS 8617, MS 8645, MS 9244 (Hazel Rowley), MS 9351 (R.G. Geering) and MS 9405 (Edith Anderson).
Christina Ellen Stead was born in Sydney on 17 July 1902, the daughter of the naturalist David Stead. She was educated at Bexley Public School, St. George High School (Kogarah), Sydney Girls' School and Sydney Teachers' College, where she graduated in 1921. Stead worked as a teacher until 1924 and in office work until her departure from Australia in 1928. Stead lived most of her life abroad, mainly in London (1928-1929 and 1953-1968) and Paris (1929-1933), where she worked as a secretary and translator and in the United States of America, (1935-1947).
During the 1930s Stead began writing novels. The Salzburg tales and Seven poor men of Sydney were published in 1934 and her highly praised novel The man who loved children appeared in 1940. Despite critical acclaim she did not win a more general following in Australia until the mid 1960s. After the death of her partner William Blake, Stead returned briefly to Australia in 1969 as writer-in-residence at the Australian National University. In 1974 she returned permanently to Australia, receiving the inaugural Patrick White Award in the same year.
Stead died in Sydney on 31 March 1983.
Notes and jottings
Fragments from early versions
Novella, early version
Notes and fragments from early versions
Story topics and fragments
Early versions, fragments : "Branch line: the northern engineer"
Notes and parts of early version : "Brother and sister"
Corrected typescript (early), slightly different final paragraph from that in the book
A more recent corrected typescript with changed ending
Notes and fragments of early versions
Notes, background material; sketches and other television projects
Memoirs, 1959-60 (?). See also Folder 22a in Box 16.
Rough version and suggestions for a T.V. series
Women's Movement letters, notes
Notes for a nouvelle
Notes, sketches, fragments of a nouvelle
Parts of an early nouvelle
Dialogue, notes and sketches
Fragments of stories and notes
Early fragments, "The Wraith and the Wanderer", Verse, "Under Capricorn"
"Caged in an Animal's Mind"
"The Hero of Silence"
"Uriel Da Costa"
"American Portifolio" With comments
(i) "Smiley the Guru" With comments : (ii) "The Real Imitation"
"The Leopard Land". "The Curse of the Golem". Original story and screenplay, 1958
City of Angels
"I. 2 Track Mind". "The Hunter of Kentucky"
"The Dead Girls"
"The House of Madelaine"
"The Paper World"
This addition described by Marlene Bonny, 13 March 1987.
Includes poems by Rosten sent to Stead.
Added 23 June 1975
Correspondents include Eldon Branda, Richard Kopely, Aida Kotlarsky, Nadine Mendelson, W.H. Pearson, Norman Rosten, Eva Schumann, Catherine Stead, Gilbert Stead, Philip Van Doren Stern, Neil Stewart, Gwen Walker-Smith, Hyren and Judah Waten and Asa Zatz.
This addition consists mainly of correspondence with Christina Stead and her husband, William Blake, and a folder of portrait photographs 1930-82.
Correspondents include Dymphna Cusack, A.D. Hope, Hal Porter and Patrick White.
Correspondents include H. Grossman, Dymphna Cusack, Tella Friedmann, Stanley Burnshaw and Oliver Stallybrass.
The first was taken at a family welcome home in 1919 for Stead's cousin Sidney Stead, and includes both Stead and her father. The second is of Stead's half siblings, taken on the waterfront at 'Boongarre' in 1919.