National Library of Australia
Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1179894).
Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.
Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Letters and photographs of Patrick White, National Library of Australia, MS 8434, [series/file/item number]'.
The papers were purchased from Mrs Peggy Garland in April 1992.
The collection comprises letters of Patrick White to his cousins Mrs Peggy Garland (nee Withycombe) and Betty Withycombe, postcards sent by White to Garland and a few photographs.
Betty and Peggy Withycombe were two of the three daughters of Jack Withycombe (Ruth White's cousin) and his wife Ellen who in the 1920's were living in Southampton in England. After he went to England at the age of 13, Patrick White became very close to the Withycombes, the only artists in his family. David Marr in his book Patrick White: a life, states that Betty Withycombe was the first person, apart from White's mother, Ruth, to encourage him to write.
Peggy Withycombe later married Tom Garland and for health reasons, they lived in New Zealand for a number of years. Patrick White corresponded regularly with both Betty Withycombe and Peggy Garland. In the late 1950s, White quarrelled with Betty and they exchanged very few letters after that. Nevertheless White continued to write to Peggy Garland until shortly before his death.