University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department


Robert Brennan
and Maeve Brennan
Papers

1935 - 1967

Manuscript Collection Number: 243
Accessioned: 1987, purchased.
Extent: 1 linear ft. (ca. 170 items)
Content: Manuscripts, correspondence, galley proofs, documents, maps, photographs, sketches, broadsides, magazines, ephemera.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: 1991 by Timothy D. Murray

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Table of Contents


Biographical Note

Robert Brennan was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1881. Brennan was trained as a surveyor and was employed in the early part of his career as a surveyor with the Wexford County Council. He subsequently became a journalist and joined the staff of the Enniscorthy Echo.

Brennan was active in local and national politics. He helped organize militia volunteers in Wexford and was quartermaster of the local Brigade. He participated in the 1916 Rising and was sentenced to death; the sentence was commuted, however, and Brennan was imprisoned briefly in Dartmoor Prison. Following his release from prison, Brennan continued his political activity, which resulted in a second imprisonment in Cork Jail in 1917.

By 1918 Brennan was active with organizers for Sinn Fein and was Director of Elections in the 1918 General Election. Brennan was arrested and imprisoned once more in 1920, but his political career continued to flourish. Following service as Irish Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, he became director of publicity for the Republican Forces during the Irish Civil War.

Brennan helped found The Irish Press and served as general manager from 1930 until 1934, when he was appointed Secretary to the Irish Legation in Washington. In 1938 Brennan was appointed Charge d'Affaires and in August of that year became Irish Minister in Washington. In 1947 Brennan returned to Ireland to assume the position of Director of Broadcasting at Radio Eirann. Brennan retired from that position in 1948.

Following his retirement Brennan wrote extensively and produced fiction, including novels, short stories, and mysteries, plays, and essays. Brennan's best-known works include the novel The Man Who Walked Like a Dancer (1951), and the play Good Night Mr. O'Donnell (1951). Brennan's autobiography Allegiance, was published in 1950. Much of Brennan's writing remains unpublished. Robert Brennan died in Ireland in 1964.

Maeve Brennan was born in Dublin, Ireland, on January 6, 1917. She moved to the United States when her father, Robert Brennan, was appointed Secretary to the Irish Legation in 1934. During the 1940s Brennan worked for Harper's Bazaar and subsequently joined the staff of The New Yorker. She was married to her fellow New Yorker writer St. Clair McKelway, but the marriage ended in divorce.

Brennan wrote a substantial number of stories, essays, and short casual pieces which were published in The New Yorker, often under the pen name "The Long-Winded Lady." Brennan had several collections of her writing published, including In and Out of Never-Never Land (1969), The Long-Winded Lady (1969), and Christmas Eve (1974). Maeve Brennan died in New York City in 1993.


Scope and Content Note

The Brennan papers consist of manuscripts and papers of the author and diplomat, Robert Brennan, and of his daughter, the author, Maeve Brennan. The papers are arranged in three main series:

Related sources:

Mss 103 John Malcolm Brinnin Papers

Contents List

Box -- Folder -- Contents


           Series I.  Robert Brennan Manuscripts

1         Where Are the Crown Jewels? A Dublin Castle Mystery / retold by Robert
          Brennan [novel]  
          Ts. [carbon], 245 pp., with 6 additional preliminary pages
     F1   pp. 1a - 114
     F2   pp. 115 - 245

          Where Are the Crown Jewels? A Dublin Castle Mystery / retold by Robert
          Brennan [novel]
          Ts. [carbon], 239 pp., lacking postscript
     F3   pp. 1 - 114
     F4   pp. 115 - 239

          The Man Who Walked Like a Dancer / by Robert Brennan [novel]
          Accompanied by six additional pages of autograph and typescript corrections and
          a letter from Robert Brennan to Maeve Brennan (1948 Jun 21, ALS, 5 pp.)
          Ts. [carbon], 282 pp.
     F5   Chpt. 1 - 11, pp. 1 - 161
     F6   Chpt. 12 - 20, pp. 162 - 282

2
          Autobiography
          Robert Brennan's autobiography, Allegiance (Dublin: Browne and Nolan,
          Limited) was published in 1950.  The material described below consists of early
          drafts of the book which bear the title "Autobiography" and which contain a
          substantial amount of material not included in the published text.

          Autobiography.  Ts., Ts. [carbon], 296 pp.  
          Accompanied by two letters from literary agent Mavis McIntosh to Maeve
          Brennan regarding her father's autobiography.  
     F7   pp. 1 - 147
     F8   pp. 148 - 296

     F9   Chapter XXVI.  Ts. [carbon], 166 pp., numbered 574-760







          Series I.  Robert Brennan Manuscripts (cont'd)
3
          The Adventures of Oscar van Duyden [collection of stories]  
          Ts. [carbon]
          Drafts for 25 stories gathered together under this title, all featuring the detective
          protagonist, Oscar van Duyden.  Brennan has assigned individual numbers and
          titles to each story.  The stories are arranged in numerical order as listed below:

     F10  No. 1.  La Belle Ferroniere
          No. 2.  The Falcon's Egg
          No. 3.  Telephone Call
          No. 4.  The Dorchester Claimant
          No. 5.  The Disappearance of Marie Morin

     F11  No. 6.  The Wreck of the Silver Spray
          No. 7.  The Mystery of the Cr‚dit Marsellais
          No. 8.  The Changeling
          No. 9.  The Head of Alexander
          No. 10. The Crimson Narcissus

     F12  No. 11. The Queen's Coronet
          No. 12. The Blind Man of the Carrousel
          No. 13. The Crooked Star
          No. 14. The Highwayman
          No. 15. The Little Angels

     F13  No. 16. A Thousand Pounds Reward
          No. 17. The Deauville Mystery
          No. 18. The Second Mysterious Marauder
          No. 19. The Drawn Sword
          No. 20. The Pearl Thief

     F14  No. 21. Who Killed Jules Brentano?
          No. 22. Gaspard the Vulture
          No. 23. The Brown Boots
          No. 24. The Marathon Runner
          No. 25. The Book of Mananaan Mac Lir

          Series I.  Robert Brennan Manuscripts (cont'd)
3
     F15  [Stories] "by Patrick Allen"  [ca. 1953]  
          Ts. [carbon], 58 pp.  
          Drafts of 12 stories with accompanying letter from Robert Brennan to Maeve
          Brennan (1953 Jan 5, TLS, 1 p).  Individual titles are listed below:

          The Telephone
          The Widow Byrne's Prize Cow
          The Donkey
          The House on the Green Rath
          The Cotton Bonnet
          The Seaman's Card
          The Bishop
          Woman of Three Cows
          American Legacy
          Boy Bandit
          Old Man's Darling

     F16  [Stories],  n.d. 
          Ts. [carbon], 61 pp.  
          Drafts of 7 stories.  Individual titles listed below:

          Death of a Spy
          The Lost Tribes of Bangkok
          The Murder of Asterfold
          A Visit to Margaret's House
          Hagio
          The House of the Rath
          And So They Were Married
     
     F17  The Start of the Irish Press [essay], n.d.
          Ts. [carbon], 9 pp.  
          Possibly a section of Brennan's autobiography; focuses upon the founding of The
          Irish Press, a newspaper, in 1931.

     F18  Miscellaneous unidentified manuscripts, presumably by Robert Brennan. 
          Autograph and typescript, 32 leaves. 4 items.  




          Series II. Maeve Brennan Papers
          Consists of a small group of correspondence and a collection of manuscripts and
          galley proofs of work by Maeve Brennan.
4
          Series II. 1. Correspondence.  
     F19  Includes several of Maeve Brennan's letters to her father written when she was a
          child, letters from other family members, and letters from three of her New Yorker
          colleagues, R. Hawley Truax, Howard Moss, and William Maxwell.  12 items.

          Series II. 2.  Herbert's Retreat [novel]  
          Two typescript drafts and partial galleys for this unpublished novel.  They are
          both unnumbered and have been retained in the order in which they were
          received.  

          Ts., ca. 560 leaves  
          Contains numerous corrections, annotations, and inserted text.
     F20  44 leaves
     F21  86 leaves
     F22  93 leaves
     F23  63 leaves
     F24  96 leaves
     F25  77 leaves
5
          Ts., ca. 430 leaves
          Contains numerous corrections, annotations, and inserted text.  This draft was
          originally housed in pink file folders each of which was labeled "Herbert's Retreat
          Unfinished"
     F26  60 leaves
     F27  101 leaves
     F28  39 leaves
     F29  108 leaves
     F30  120 leaves

     F31  "The Servant's Dance"
          Galleys, 52 loose leaves, numbered 1-52, 1954  
          A set of galleys for a portion of this novel. 
          Series II. Maeve Brennan Papers (cont'd)
 6
          Series II.3.  The New Yorker galleys.  
          Loose galley proofs of stories and other pieces Maeve Brennan wrote for The New
          Yorker, ca. 1953-1966.  Arranged chronologically by date printed on individual
          galleys.  23 items.

     F32  The Devil in Us.  1953 April 9.  6 leaves

     F33  The Lie.  1953 May 4.  3 leaves

     F34  The Old Man of the Sea.  1953 June 15.  5 leaves

     F35  The Barrel of Rumors.  1953 July 23.  5 leaves

     F36  The Beginning of a Long Story.  1960 June 28.  13 leaves
          Accompanied by a memo (TL, 1960: October 31) to William Maxwell containing
          queries from William Shawn concerning this piece.

     F37  An Attack of Hunger.  1960 October 19.  17 leaves

     F38  An Attack of Hunger.  1960 October 19.  17 leaves
          This draft contains autograph corrections.

     F39  An Attack of Hunger.  1960 October 19.  16 leaves
          This draft contains extensive autograph corrections, as well as a pasted-in change.

     F40  A Young Girl Can Spoil Her Chances.  1961 March 15.  24 leaves

     F41  The Drowned Man.  1961 October 24.  12 leaves

     F42  A Free Choice.  1961 December 28.  19 leaves

     F43  A Free Choice.  1962 January 26.  20 leaves

     F44  Lessons and Lessons and Then More Lessons.  3 leaves

     F45  The Bohemians.  1962 February 7.  8 leaves

     F46  The Children Are Very Quiet When They Are Away.  1962 March 13.  2 leaves

     F47  Family Walls.  1962 December 3.  19 leaves

          Series II. Maeve Brennan Papers (cont'd)
 6
     F48  Family Walls.  1962 December 3.  19 leaves
          Contains minor autograph corrections.

     F49  The Drowned Man.  1963 July 27.  8 leaves
          Printed heading "Proof of Editorial or Makeup."  Contains autograph corrections
          and proofs of illustrations.

     F50  [Untitled].  1963 October 17.  2 leaves

     F51  The Talk of the Town.  1964 April 25.  5 leaves.
          Proof of the "Talk of the Town" column with printed heading "Proof of Editorial
          or Makeup."

     F52  The Twelfth Wedding Anniversary.  1965 July 28.  13 leaves

     F53  A Snowy Night on West Forty-Ninth Street.  1966 March 7.  15 leaves

     F54  Stories of Africa.  1966 April 12.  21 leaves

     F55  The Talk of the Town.  1967 July 22.  6 leaves
          Proof of the "Talk of the Town" column with autograph note at the top "Brennan
          to Miss Rogers."

7
          Series III.  Miscellaneous Papers

          Series III.1.  Manuscripts by others.

     F56  Isherwood, Christopher 
          Prater Violet [autobiographical sketch],  n.d.
          Ts. [carbon], 98 pp.
          Originally bound into a grey clip binder on which "Harper's Bazaar" is printed. 
          Title is typed onto cover, as is the number "3" in the top right corner, possibly
          indicating that this is a third copy of the manuscript.  Title page bears Isherwood's
          typed address "1946 Ivar Avenue / Hollywood 28, Calif."

     F57  Lucey, Michael
          The Boy and the Sensible Clown [story], n.d. 
          Galley proof, 3 pp.

          Series III.  Miscellaneous Papers (cont'd)
          Series III.1.  Manuscripts by others (cont'd)
7
     F58  Martz, Charles
          Typescript drafts of two stories which Martz apparently submitted to Brennan in
          her editorial capacity at The New Yorker.  Accompanied by mailing envelope
          postmarked 1964 April 28; return address "Dorsoduro 73 / Venice, Italy"

          Kentucky Justice [story], ca. 1964.  Ts., 12 pp.
          Milly [story], ca. 1964.  Ts., 9 pp.

     F59  Martz, Charles  
          Typescript drafts of stories and a poem which Martz apparently submitted to
          Brennan in her editorial capacity at The New Yorker.  Accompanied by mailing
          envelope postmarked 1964 April 10; return address "Dorsoduro 73 / Venezia,
          Italia"

          Energies [story], ca. 1964.  Ts., 9 pp.
          Clamdigger's Haul [story],  ca. 1964.  Ts., 19 pp.
          The Villa [story], ca. 1964.  Ts., 12 pp.
          Lyrics After Eichendorff [poem], ca. 1964.  Ts., 2 pp.

     F60  Series III. 2.  Personal Miscellany.  
          Brennan family documents, including Maeve Brennan's elementary school grade
          reports and birth registration, maps, and photographs.  15 items.

     F61  Series III. 3.  Printed ephemera.  
          Consists of a variety of printed ephemera and artwork.  Includes a pamphlet (in
          Irish) regarding Eamon De Valera; two watercolor sketches, apparently for Cuala
          Press broadsides; tearsheets of illustrations of members of the Yeats family; an
          offprint from Harper's Bazaar; and two programs for the Dublin Gate Theatre.
          9 items.
          Series III.  Miscellaneous Papers (cont'd)
7
          Series III. 4.  Cuala Press broadsides.
          Two groups of A Broadside, published by the Cuala Press.  11 items.

     F62  A Broadside (New Series), 1935
          Edited by W.B. Yeats and F.R. Higgins; Musical editor: Arthur Duff.  Published
          monthly at the Cuala Press, Lower Baggot Street, Dublin
          No. 1     January 
          No. 2     February
          No. 3     March 
          No. 8     August
          No. 9     September 
          No. 11    November 

     F63  A Broadside (New Series), 1937
          Editors: Dorothy Wellesley and W.B. Yeats.  Published monthly at the Cuala
          Press, One Hundred and Thirty Three Lower Baggot Street, Dublin
          No. 4     April
          No. 6     June
          No. 10    October
          No. 11    November 
          No. 12    December
          Series III.  Miscellaneous Papers (cont'd)

          Series III. 5.  Pamphlets and magazines.  
          Includes a small group of books, pamphlets, Cuala Press broadsides, and
          periodicals.  Books and pamphlets have been transferred to the Special
          Collections printed collection.  Following is a list of items in this series.  Items
          not cataloged for Special Collections printed collection are housed in Box 7.

 Apocalypse. Monkstown, Dublin : Runa press, 1944.  Anthology.  Quarto No. 5.  March, 1944
     Cataloged for the Special Collections printed collection:  Spec    PR1175 .A66x 1944      

The Lady of the House [magazine].  Dublin.  2 issues.
     Extra Christmas (1909) Number.
     Extra Christmas (1919) Number.

MacDonagh, Donagh.  The Ballad of Jane Shore.   Dublin, Ireland : Dolmen Press, 1954.     "75
     special copies printed for the friends of Donagh & Nuala MacDonagh"--Colophon. 
     Inscribed by the author.  Cataloged for the Special Collections printed collection:  Spec
     PR6025 .A218 B35 1954 

Magasinet (Copenhagen) No. 12 (23 March 1957).  Danish tabloid magazine.  This issue
     includes "En Endelse for Fugle," a translation of an essay by St. Clair McKelway, who
     was Maeve Brennan's husband.

Marriott, Ernest.  Jack B. Yeats: His Pictorial and Dramatic Art.  London: Elkin Mathews,
     [1911].  Cataloged for the Special Collections printed collection:  Spec  PR6047 .E3
     Z767 1911

Moss, Howard.  The Magic lantern of Marcel Proust. London : Faber & Faber, 1963.   Author's
     autograph presentation copy inscribed for Maeve, dated September 27, 1963.  Cataloged
     for the Special Collections printed collection:  Spec  PQ2631 .R63 A84 1963

The New Yorker [magazine] 2 November l963.  Cover marked "Rough Copy."

Yeats, W. B.  The pity of love.  Dundrum, Dublin : Cuala Press, <1908?>  [broadside]. 
     Cataloged for the Special Collections printed collection:  Spec folio  PR5904 .P43 1908 

Yeats, W. B.  Plays for an Irish theatre; with designs by Gordon Craig.  London ;
     Statford-upon-Avon : A. H. Bullen, 1911.  Cataloged for the Special Collections printed
     collection:  Spec  PR5904.P5 1911


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