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Manuscripts of Works by Fred Urquhart

This page lists highlights of Edinburgh University Library's collection of literary manuscripts by Fred Urquhart.

These include over 100 short stories, together with novels, plays, poems, essays, works edited by Urquhart, diaries, book reports and reviews, and other miscellaneous writings. Much of this material is unpublished. For a fuller listing, see Related Links at the foot of the page.

1. Short Stories

The Urquhart Papers contain manuscripts of the following individual short stories:

  • ‘11933!: A Magnifying Glass Held up to the Future, with a Lens Cast on the Present Day’ (1933) (MS 2803)
  • ‘The Actress and the Ambulance’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Admission by Card Only' [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘The Adventures of Big Bertha. No. 8, The Spoilt Child’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Adventures of Leila the Lift-Girl. Number One, The Pickpockets’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Adventures of Leila the Lift-Girl. Number Two, Popeye the Sailor’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Adventures of Leila the Lift-Girl. Number Four, The Charlady’s Children’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Alice and Rin Tin Tin’s Rustlers’ (1983) (MS 2811)
  • ‘Alice and the Christmas Prowlers’ (1981) (MS 2811)
  • ‘Alice and the Jogging Plumber’ (1984) (MS 2811)
  • 'Alice and the Muggers’ (1982) (MS 2811)
  • ‘Alice and the Order of the Boot’ (1983) (MS 2811)
  • ‘Alice Buchan Abroad’ (1982) (MS 2811)
  • ‘Alice Buchan and the Milk of Human Kindness’ (1982) (MS 2811)
  • ‘Alice Buchan, Babysitter’ (1981) (MS 2811)
  • ‘Alice Buchan’s Bel Ami’ (1982) (MS 2811)
  • ‘Alice Buchan’s Castle in the Balkans’ (1982-83) (MS 2811)
  • ‘Alice, the Baby and Bonnie Dundee’ [198-] (MS 2811)
  • ‘Allow the Lodger’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Always a Bridesmaid’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Always Go Straight To Bed’ (1931) (MS 2803)
  • ‘Anything Might Happen’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Auld Mother Claus’ (1976) (MS 2807)
  • ‘Babysitters Sponsored Walk’ (1982) (MS 2811)
  • ‘Being a Bohemian’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Bett Beattie’s Tink’ (1983) (MS 2807)
  • ‘Blackout’ (1939) (MS 2803)
  • ‘The Boys’ Brothel’ (1934) (MS 2803)
  • ‘Camp Follower’ (1977) (MS 2805)
  • ‘The Christ Child: A Tale’[193-?], incomplete (MS 2827)
  • ‘A Christmas in the Alps [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Claire Crawford and her Cousins’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Clap Handies, Clap Handies’ (1981) (MS 2811)
  • ‘Cleopatra Had Nothing on’ [193-?], incomplete (MS 2827)
  • ‘The Cottage’ [193-?], incomplete (MS 2827)
  • 'Curtains and Kippers’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘The Daft Woman in No. 7’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Mr Dean’s Dictaphone’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘The Disappearance of Monty’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘A Diver in China Seas’ (1976) (MS 2806)
  • ‘The Doctor’ (1935) (MS 2827)
  • ‘Dust Fills Helen’s Eyes’ [198-?] (MS 2807)
  • ‘Dusty Springtime’ (1974) (MS 2806)
  • ‘The End of an Old Song’ [1976?] (MS 2807)
  • ‘The Frown’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Going To -- ?’ [193-?: incomplete] (MS 2827)
  • ‘A Gone Woman’ [197-?] (MS 2805)
  • ‘The Gulls’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘The Heretic: A Short Story’ (1934) (MS 2827)
  • ‘How I Spent my Summer Holiday: The Cyclist and the Rabbit’ (1933) (MS 2826)
  • ‘The Interview’ [193-?: incomplete] (MS 2827)
  • ‘The Key is Turned on our Uncertainty’ (1974-75) (MS 2806)
  • ‘Kinderspiel’ (1983) (MS 2810)
  • ‘He Knew his Onions’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘I Died Young’ (1937) (MS 2803)
  • ‘I Fell for a Sailor’ [193-?: incomplete] (MS 2827)
  • ‘Is First Love Always Best?’ [192-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Jenny Wren’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Just What You’d Term a Simple Country Lass’ (1981) (MS 2807)
  • ‘The Lady of Sweetheart Abbey’ (1976) (MS 2805)
  • ‘Laughing at Life with Lizzie. No. 2. A Black Lookout!’ (1939) (MS 2803)
  • ‘Laura the Land Girl’ [194-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘The Life and Death of Aberdeen Jock’ (1972) (MS 2807)
  • ‘Like Arrows in the Hands of a Giant’ (1960) (MS 2807)
  • ‘The Lime-Kiln’ (1934) (MS 2803 and MS 2804)
  • ‘London’ [192-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Lost to All but Heaven’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Love Holds the Key’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Luke’s Lucky Dip’ (1981) (MS 2807)
  • ‘Miracles Do Happen’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Miss Hogg and Miss Cairns’ (1984) (MS 2807)
  • ‘Mother’s Ashes’ [198-?] (MS 2810)
  • ‘Mrs Henderson’s Unwelcome Visitor’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘The Mysterious Refugees’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • 'Next Stop, Sailor', Xerox TS
  • ‘Nice Work’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘No Fields of Amaranth' [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Old Mother Mustard’ [1981?] (MS 2811)
  • ‘Piano Accompaniment’ (1934) (MS 2803 and MS 2827)
  • ‘Pilgrimages to the Old Manse’ (1974) (MS 2805)
  • ‘The Pool of Prejudice’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Pretty Prickly English Rose’ (1975) (MS 2805)
  • 'Princess McDougall' (1969) (MS 2804)
  • ‘Private War’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Proud Lady in a Cage’ (1975) (MS 2806)
  • ‘The Rest Home’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Santa Shuggie and the Good Fairy’ (1981) (MS 2811)
  • ‘The Saracen’s Stick’ [1980?] (MS 2807)
  • ‘A Second Chance’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘The Secretest Man of Blood’ (1983) (MS 2807)
  • ‘Sergeant Sleeves and the Twin Tommies. Number One, The Dancing Twins’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Seven Ghosts in Search’ (1979-81) (MS 2807)
  • ‘Shuggie Buchan, Student’ (1981) (MS 2811)
  • ‘Skirl of an Auld Wife with a Gley-Eye’ [198-?] (MS 2807)
  • 'The Staig’s Boy William’ (1975) (MS 2805)
  • ‘Sweat’ (1934) (MS 2803)
  • ‘The Sugar Pear Tree’ (1973-84) (MS 2806)
  • ‘Tall White Foxgloves’ [1981?] (MS 2807)
  • ‘This Servant Problem’ [193-?: incomplete] (MS 2827)
  • ‘Tiger McGilp, Refuse Official’ (1981) (MS 2811)
  • ‘A Very Perfect Gentle Knight’ (1931) (MS 2803)
  • ‘Vilma the Vamp’ [192-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘The Waiting Woman’ (1935) (MS 2803)
  • ‘Week-End Camp’ [1937?] (MS 2803 and MS 2804)
  • ‘What’s a Few More Deaths between Friends?’ [197-?] (MS 2806)
  • ‘Witch’s Kitten’ (1978) (MS 2807)
  • ‘The Wolf’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘The Young Policeman’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • 'Your Grave is my Only Landmark’ (1974) (MS 2805)
  • ‘You’re Not Franchot Tone?’ [193-?] (MS 2803)

In addition, there are corrected proofs of the following short story collections:

  • A Diver in China Seas (1980) (MS 2806)
  • Proud Lady in a Cage (1980) (MS 2806)
  • Seven Ghosts in Search (1983) (MS 2807)

2. Novels

The Papers contain complete manuscripts of the following novels:

  • I Defy You, Stars (1939) (MS 2804)
  • Ladies from Hell [1969?] (MS 2804)
  • Palace of Green Days (1979) (MS 2811-12)
  • Polish your Brass [193-?] (MS 2808, MS 2826, and MS 2827)

Of these, only Palace of Green Days (for which we also hold corrected proofs) was published. There are also fragments of the following unfinished novels

  • Enter the Duchess [192-?], first chapter (MS 2803)
  • Hyphen [193-?], fragment (MS 2826)
  • Personal Column: A Novel (1933), fragment (MS 2826)
  • Lilies That Fester [193-?], fragment (MS 2827)
  • Those Virtuous Vandals [192-?], first chapter (MS 2803)

3. Plays

The Papers include complete manuscripts of the following stage or radio plays:

  • Curtains and Kippers: A Short Radio Play [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • The Moth, or, Crime the Candle: A Play in IV Acts [1931?] (MS 2803)
  • Personal Column: A Play in One Act [1931?] (MS 2803)
  • Sketch for Broadcasting [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • Supper Squall: A Domestic Comedy in One Act (1935) (MS 2803 and MS 2827)

There are also incomplete manuscripts of the following plays:

  • Illusions Farewell [193-?] (MS 2827)
  • Silence Beats his Drum [193-?] (MS 2827)

4. Poetry

The Papers include manuscripts of the following individual poems:

  • ‘Enigma’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘The Eyes of the Sun’ (1931) (MS 2803)
  • ‘Flame of Fame: The Famous Beauty’s Prayer’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • 'Green Wheat' (1931?) (MS 2803)
  • ‘Literary Lights o’ Love’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Matthew in Church’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘My Garden of Passion’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Neither Hell, Heaven nor Earth’ (1931?) (MS 2803)
  • 'Neptune is Nude’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • 'Passion Flower’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘The Stranded Swallows’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Thoughts’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘The Woman Laughed’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘We’ll Never Be Young Again: To G. H.’ [193-?] (MS 2837)

5. Essays

The Papers include complete manuscripts of the following essays, which include 'Let us Endure an Hour', an account of Urquhart's appearance before a Conscientious Objection Tribunal:

  • ‘Are Booklovers Good Booksellers?’ (1931) (MS 2803)
  • ‘Books and the People Who Buy Them: Confessions of a Bookseller’s Assistant’ (1930) (MS 2803)
  • ‘Flickers on Films’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘The Genius of H.E. Bates’ (1933) (MS 2803)
  • ‘H. E. Bates’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Highlanders’ [193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Let Us Endure an Hour’ [1939?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Modern Scottish Poetry’[193-?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘My Many-Splendoured Pavilion: Memories of Childhood & Youth’ (1978) (MS 2806)
  • ‘Naomi Mitchison: A Study’ (1933) (MS 2826)
  • ‘The Open Door: An Autobiographical Excursion’ (1978) (MS 2806)
  • ‘Public Libraries’ (1933) (MS 2826)
  • ‘Sex and Some School Novels’ (1931) (MS 2803)
  • ‘Vain Weathervane: A Study of a Character’ [1931?] (MS 2803)
  • ‘Walking on in Back to Methuselah’ [1931?] (MS 2803)

There are also incomplete manuscripts of the following:

  • ‘H. E. Bates: A Critical Appreciation’ (1933: incomplete) (MS 2826)
  • ‘H. E. Bates: A Study’ (1933: incomplete) (MS 2826)

6. Edited Works

There are materials relating to the following volumes edited by Urquhart:

  • The Best of O. Henry and More O. Henry [1964?], introduction to unpublished anthologies (MS 2805)
  • The Book of Horses (1981), corrected galley proofs (MS 2807)
  • Great True Escape Stories (1958), author biographies (MS 2805)
  • Great True War Adventures: Thirty-Five Twentieth-Century Wartime Episodes (1957), introduction and author biographies (MS 2805)
  • Men at War: The Best War Stories of All Time (1960) (MS 2805)
  • Modern Scottish Short Stories (1978), co-edited with Giles Gordon, corrected proof (JA 3935)
  • Scottish Signposts [1943 or 1944?], introduction to unpublished anthology, co-authored with Maurice Lindsay (MS 2805)

7. Diaries

The Papers contain detailed diaries for the years 1932-39 (MS 2826), 1940-48 (MS 2827), and 1964-70 (MS 2827). Following a police raid on his friend Mary Litchfield's house in Cupar in summer 1940, Urquhart excised some pages from the earlier diaries which referred to (then illegal) homosexual relationships. There are also desk diaries with much briefer entries for the years 1958-63, 1967, and 1972-73 (MS 2827). The Papers also include a Diary of Cinema Visits for 1927-29 (MS 2827) and a Television and Household Events Diary for 1978-83 (MS 2826). At MS 2827, there are also journals listing submissions to literary journals for 1952-58 and 1961-63, and earnings for 1953-55 and 1958-72.

8. Book Reports and Reviews

The Papers include book reports for the followings publishers and agents:

  • Abelard-Schuman, 1960-65 (MS 2820, MS 2824)
  • Bodley Head, 1958-59 (MS 2825)
  • Cassell & Co., 1954-74 (MS 2813-MS 2816, MS 2818)
  • Evans Brothers Ltd, 1961 (MS 2825)
  • Hamish Hamilton Ltd, 1956-63 (MS 2820)
  • Hodder and Stoughton, 1965-67 (MS 2819)
  • Hutchinson & Co., 1959-67 (MS 2821)
  • J. M. Dent & Co., 1967-71 (MS 2817)
  • Laurence Pollinger Ltd, 1963-70 (MS 2818-MS 2819)
  • MacDonald & Co., 1956-66 (MS 2820, MS 2824)
  • Michael Joseph Ltd, 1962-65 (MS 2824-MS 2825)
  • Neville Spearman Ltd, 1964 (MS 2825)
  • Pearn, Pollinger & Higham, 1958 (MS 2825)
  • Pelham Books, 1965-66 (MS 2824)
  • Putnam Publishing Company, 1955-63 (MS 2819)
  • Trinity Press, 1960-69 (MS 2825)

They also include book reports prepared by Urquhart while working as a script-scout for the following film companies:

  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1951-66 (MS 2824)
  • Walt Disney Productions, 1959-60 (MS 2824)

There are also manuscripts of book reviews published in the following journals:

  • Books of the Month, 1959-64 (MS 2825)
  • Oxford Mail, 1963-77 (MS 2822-MS2823)
  • Scottish Review, 1976-77 (MS 2822)
  • Time and Tide, 1957-59 (MS 2825)
  • Times Educational Supplement, 1972-84 (MS 2823)
  • Times Literary Supplement, 1963 (MS 2825)

9. Miscellaneous

The Papers also include the following miscellaneous materials

  • Dictionary of Fictional Characters (1973), MSS of new entries in Urquhart's revision of a work originally compiled by William Freeman (MS 2809-10)
  • Hereward the Wake: A Film Treatment [1959-60?] (MS 2824)
  • Sir Compton Mackenzie: A Literary Biography [unpublished, ca. 1959] (MS 2806)
  • 'Parading Princes Street: Scenario for Film of Edinburgh' (1931) (entry for Edinburgh Film Guild competition) (MS 2803)
  • Synopsis and notes for proposed book on Bells (1971?) (MS 2805)
  • Synopsis of a proposed literary guide to Scotland  (MS 2810)

Further Details

The above are highlights of Edinburgh University Library's extensive collection of Urquhart manuscripts. For a fuller listing, see the Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue and Handlist H49.