Guide to the Papers of Patrick White


MS 9982

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2007

Online Items

Series 2. Literary notebooks, 1930s-1970s

Over the course of his writing career, White kept a series of notebooks in which he recorded literary references and research notes which he used as background material for his writings. Several of the notebooks also include draft writings, including dialogues and character studies for White's literary works. Material relating to at least 11 of White's 12 novels (The tree of man (1955) appears to be the exception), 2 of White's dozen produced dramatic works and several short stories is contained in these notebooks.

Notebook with handwritten French poems, c.1932-1935 (Item 1) - box 4

Notebook, probably compiled while White was studying at the University of Cambridge, containing poems by Moreau, Hugo and other French writers, and handcopied into the volume by White in pen

Notebook, including material for Happy Valley (1939), The living and the dead (1941), The aunt's story (1948) and Voss (1957), c.1939-1941 (Item 2) - box 4

Small quarto, upper cover missing, in pencil and ink. Begins as a commonplace book with quotes from Butler, Lawrence, Proust, La Rochefoucauld, Samuel Johnson, Webster, Rene [Crevel?], William James, Tagore, Cervantes, Thomas Browne, Gandhi, Schwietzer, Picasso, Malraux, Montaigne, Katherine Mansfield, Berkeley, Pirandello, Thoreau...

War journal, including material for The aunt's story (1948), c.1941 (Item 3) - box 4

Exercise book (56pp), ruled, handwritten in ink and pencil. Begins with war journal entries (January-May 1941), then notes relating to: 'The woman who knew best'; 'Three poems from the desert'; a list of the titles of nine stories, including 'The twitching colonel' (published 1937), 'Cocotte', 'Diddy Dumpkins', 'The book makers', 'Ridley's here', 'The hyena', 'There's nothing like chintz', 'Road's end' and 'Chambers'; 2 war lyrics; 'Sudan blues'; reference to the 'jardin exotique' in The aunt's story; Theadora Goodman; short story 'The Hoxton rose'; quotes from Olive Schreiner at end of volume.

Notebook, including material for Voss (1957), Riders in the chariot (1961) and A fringe of leaves (1976), c.1947-1976 (Item 4) - box 4

St George brand exercise book, handwritten in pencil and blue ink. Contains research and preparation for Voss - Leichhardt, diction, terms, phrases, details for follow-up, prospective names and parts; dialogue (notes evolving into a novel), comprising exchanges in draft developing key themes and character dispositions...

Notebook containing research for Voss (1957), c.1955-1957 (Item 5) - box 4

Small exercise book with 'Groβe Fugel In B Flat Opus 133' [Beethoven] written on cover in White's hand; largely in pencil, some blue ink towards end of volume. Comprising research notes for Voss, principally relating to Leichhardt's 1846 expedition, including: timeline, 1846-1847; weather notes; copied map of Sydney, 1842; details of expedition supplies; notes on fashion; events; buildings; society; manners. Also includes bibliographic references and sources; 'Paddy O'Cock'; addresses and phone numbers in Athens and Alexandria.

Notebook, including material for The solid mandala (1966), The vivisector (1970), Memoirs of many in one (1986), The eye of the storm (1973) and other works, c.1964-1976 (Item 6) - box 4

Medium-sized notebook with faux marbled cover; entries by White, principally in pen. Includes: notes for The solid mandala; timeline, 1892-1964; 'Death of Waldo'; 'Points to develop in Arthur's story'; corrections to a presumed advanced draft; dialogue for Mrs Poulter; 'The cockatoos' (published 1974); miscellaneous quotes; 'A woman's hand'; 'Dolly Formosa and the happy few'; The vivisector, with references to an advanced draft; 'Memoirs of one in many' [sic] (published as Memoirs of many in one); military notes relating to 'AFC' (Australian Flying Corps), 1915-1919; 'Hunger? or The full belly?'; 'The vivisectionists' [sic]; timeline, names of characters, possible epigraphs; notes on The eye of the storm; 'Within the eye' characters; cyclones; short dialogue between a King, a Queen and a Prime Minister.

Notebook, including material for A fringe of leaves (1976), 'For binoculars - Helen Nell', The Twyborn affair (1979), Netherwood (1983), Big toys (1977) and other works, c.1976-1983 (Item 7) - box 4

Swain's brand small exercise book; in characteristic broad nib, blue ink and pencil; also ballpoint in red and blue. Comprising: notes relating to A fringe of leaves, including description of Fraser Island and other Queensland locations; character notes on Ellen Roxburgh; 'For binoculars - Helen Nell'; '1836'; 'Barbara Thompson'; 'Brisbane in the thirties'; The Twyborn affair; Netherwood; Big toys; 'The faëry kingdom'; 'The monkey puzzle' (written c.1977), draft dialogue; notes on the history of Babylon; Netherwood, long dialogue; 'The empty chair', brief list of characters. Also a transcribed recipe for raw fish; with bibliographical references and Mitchell Library call slip (26 August 1981) included as inserts at end of volume.

Notebook, containing draft material, 1970s-1980s (Item 8) - box 5

Spriax brand, foolscap. Comprising: first draft [?] handwritten manuscript in blue ballpoint with revision in red ballpoint of 'The last long weekend' radio play; family tree for 'Sir Benedict Moneypenny (Tug), Eleanor Clifton'; drafts of 'Four love songs', 'The park', 'The cat', 'The nun'; draft of 'III. My big American' radio play; notes beginning 'My memories of last Palm Sunday march...'.

Notebook, containing draft material, 1970s-1980s (Item 9) - box 5

Foolscap torn-out sheets, 14pp, 14pp, 7pp. Comprising: 'Three [strikethrough] 2 love songs: The park, The cat, The nun [strikethrough]'; 'Memorial park'; 'I. The park'.

Notebook, containing draft material, 1970s-1980s (Item 10) - box 5

Spirax brand, foolscap. Comprising 'Four [strikethrough] three (or four) love songs: The cat'.

Series 4. Novels and novellas, c.1965-1986

Drafts and draft material for novels and a novella by Patrick White. There are manuscripts drafts of his unpublished and apparently unfinished works: 'The binoculars and Helen Nell'; 'Dolly Formosa and the happy few' (later mentioned in Memoirs of many in one), and 'The hanging garden'. There are also typescript drafts and page proofs for his published novels The vivisector (1970), A fringe of leaves (1976) and Memoirs of many in one (1986).

Subseries 4.2. 'Dolly Formosa and the happy few' [unpublished novella], c.1965

'Dolly Formosa and the happy few' manuscript draft (File 3) - box 7

Handwritten in foolscap sections numbered I-II (46pp + 27pp); blue ink with some pencil annotations; progress of composition evident.

Subseries 4.5. Memoirs of many in one [novel] (1986)

Memoirs of many in one typescript draft photocopy (1) (File 6) - box 8
Memoirs of many in one typescript draft photocopy (3pp + 132pp) (Item)

Subseries 4.6. 'The hanging garden' [unpublished novel], n.d.

'The hanging garden' manuscript draft (File 10) - box 8
The hanging garden manuscript draft (Item)

Handwritten foolscap sections numbered I-V (189pp in total); blue ballpoint; numerous annotations and corrections in red ballpoint.

Series 21. Realia

3 objects belonging to Patrick White - a beanie, a beret and a pair of spectacles. The beanie and the beret are inseparable from the image of the public figure that emerged after the Moore Park protest.

Spectacles (File 3) - box 27