Wesley, Mary (1912-2002)
The Mary Wesley collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, professional material, printed material, photographs, audio recordings, and other material.
Manuscripts for books by Wesley in the collection include Haphazard House (Dent, 1983 / Overlook, 1993); Jumping the Queue (Macmillan, 1983 / Penguin, 1988); The Camomile Lawn (Macmillan, 1984 / Penguin, 1990); Harnessing Peacocks (Macmillan, 1985); The Vacillations of Poppy Carew (Macmillan, 1986 / Penguin, 1988); Not That Sort of Girl (Macmillan, 1987 / Penguin, 1988); Second Fiddle (Macmillan, 1988 / Penguin, 1989); A Sensible Life (Bantam, 1990); A Dubious Legacy (Viking, 1992); An Imaginative Experience (Bantam, 1995);and Part of the Furniture (Penguin, 1998).
Manuscripts for adaptations of Wesley’s books include Wesley’s teleplays for The Camomile Lawn (1990-1991); Bill Taylor’s teleplays for Haphazard House (1997); Andrew Davies’ screenplay for Harnessing Peacocks; and Betty Davies’ radio play for The Vacillations of Poppy Carew.
Other manuscripts in the collection include several short stories by Wesley, and “Edward Is Back,” a stage play by Wesley consisting of an adaptation and translation into English of “Y’Avait Un Prisonnier,” a play by Jean Anouilh.
Many of the above manuscripts are accompanied by letters from editors, publishers, and others regarding the various works. Additional correspondence includes various personal and professional letters, fan mail, and invitations, all dating primarily from 1980 to 1997. Notable correspondents include Beryl Bainbridge, Sister Wendy Beckett, Robert Bolt, Camilla Parker Bowles, Martha Gellhorn, Rosamunde Pilcher, Nicholas Shakespeare, and Antonia White.
Professional material in the collection includes publicity and promotional items regarding Wesley and her work (1990s); versions of book covers from various Wesley novels; itineraries and guest lists from various book tours; a cast list and shooting schedule from the television adaptation of The Camomile Lawn; and an interview with Wesley conducted by Jill Christie (1992).
Printed material in the collection includes proofs of Wesley’s novels Speaking Terms (1969); A Dubious Legacy (1981); and Harnessing Peacocks (no date). Also present are various programs, catalogs, magazines, newspapers, and newspaper clippings.
Photographs in the collection consist of several color and black and white prints of Wesley and her family. A few photos pertain to the television adaptation of The Camomile Lawn. There are also some publicity photos.
Audio recordings in the collection primarily consist of cassette recordings of readings of Wesley’s novels. Also present are a recording of Wesley’s appearance on the radio show The John Dunn Programme (1990), and Sue MacGregor’s radio interview with Wesley on the show Conversation Piece.