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Date Range of Records: 1970-2014
- Greer, Professor Germaine [29 January 1939-]
The Greer Archive has been made available because of its historical and research importance. Statements which form part of the collection are not made on behalf of the University and do not represent the University's views. It contains material that some researchers might find confronting. This includes: explicit language and images that reflect either the attitudes of the era in which the material was originally published or the views of the creators of the material but may not be considered appropriate today; names, images and voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in published and unpublished printed material, audio recordings and photographs; discussion and descriptions of sexual violence, medical conditions and treatment. This series comprises 7 boxes of correspondence concerning commissioning, editing, publication, promotion and sales of Germaine Greer’s books, from The Female Eunuch (1970) to Lysistrata -the Sex Strike: After Aristophanes (2011). The series spans the years 1970 to 2014 and includes correspondence on later editions, foreign rights and translations. This series provides a well ordered and comprehensive set of records of Greer’s interactions with publishers and publishing contracts. For additional records relating to Greer’s published works refer also to Series 2014.0045: Major Works and Series 2014.0056: Publications by, with contributions by, or about Greer. Series 2014.0052 does not contain correspondence about Greer’s latest work, White Beech: The Rainforest Years (2013), for which refer Series 2014.0045: Major Works. The earliest items contain correspondence on publication of The Female Eunuch by McGraw-Hill and the latest concern translations, ebook licences and royalties. The series also contains correspondence on commissioning Greer contributions to other publications, including an introduction to Harper Collin’s Complete Works of William Shakespeare: the Alexander Text (1994), her essays for DNB (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography), and about unrealised projects such as an approach to write a Chatto and Windus ‘Counterblast’ on Margaret Thatcher, which was subsequently written by Jonathan Raban. The series also includes some correspondence with publishers on topics other than Greer’s books, including Random House seeking Greer’s expert opinion on whether the novel Sarah Miles was written by Charlotte Bronte, not Mary Taylor (Item 2014.0052.00074), and from Carmen Cahill, who in 1978 requested Greer’s opinion on Helen Garner’s Monkey Grip which Virago proposed to publish (Item 2014.0052.00050). The Virago folder also contains circulars to Greer as a member of the Virago Advisory Group c.1978-1983. The physical collection consists of 155 folders contained in 7 boxes. Folders are arranged as they were in Greer’s record keeping system. The series contains five sequences of folders arranged by country or geographical regions: United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Europe and Asia (one sequence) and Australia, within each of which publishers are ordered alphabetically by name. The sequence of European and Asian publishers comprises just over half the items in this series (81). These folders are arranged alphabetically by country (Brazil, Bulgaria, China etc., ending with Turkey). The correspondence primarily concerns negotiation of sale of foreign rights for translations of Greer works; some include correspondence on editing and titling, arrangements for post publication publicity, and reviews. This sequence shows the extent of translation of Greer’s best known works in most western European countries, and in other countries including India, Korea and China. It contains records of translation of The Female Eunuch into 18 languages (Series 2014.0053 Permissions contains correspondence on its translation into Arabic), The Whole Woman into 17 languages and The Change into 12 languages and also shows the take up of translation and republishing of Greer’s other books. Items include correspondence concerning translations of The Boy (4), Sex and Destiny (3), Shakespeare’s Wife (3), Daddy, We Hardly Knew You (2, translated in Holland and Germany), Shakespeare (2, translated in China and Taiwan), The Revolting Garden (translated in Germany) and The Obstacle Race (translated in Spain). Some letters record Greer’s involvement in the translations, and editing matters, including her “cry for help” circular to University of Warwick colleagues for assistance in translating “obsolete forms and indecorous expressions” for the 1971 French translation of The Female Eunuch (Item 2014.0052.00097) and her opinion on the "saga of the German title" for The Change, which was eventually published as Wechseljahre (Item 2014.0052.00103). Greer’s engagement with the editing and design of her works is evident throughout the series, in items such as her correspondence with Hamish Hamilton about a proposed glossary in The Change (1991) and their treatment of the Paula Rego artwork of a strix (half-women half-bird) which Greer had commissioned for the cover (Item 2014.0052.00014). Records in this series include Greer’s copies of publishing contracts for various works, usually titled Memorandum of Agreement, many signed and fully executed. Publishing contracts, publication and publicity matters were generally negotiated on Greer’s behalf by her literary agents. The series contains correspondence with Greer’s first literary agents, Diana Crawfurd and Peter Grose, including arrangements for Greer’s promotional tours of the USA and Canada in 1971 following publication of The Female Eunuch. Another early correspondent is Robert Sussman Stewart, Greer's first editor at McGraw-Hill. The most extended correspondence is with her long standing literary agent, Gillon Aitken and the many Gillon Aitken staff responsible for managing Greer’s affairs. Gillon Aitken founded his agency in 1976 and chaired it, through a number of name changes, until his death in 2016, by which time it had become Aitken Alexander Associates. Correspondents from Gillon Aitken are entered in the item description associated with the name of the agency as it was at the time of their correspondence. The series ends with four folders of correspondence with Australian publishers. These comprise Allen & Unwin’s Australian publicity for Shakespeare’s Wife (2007), including its entry in the inaugural Prime Minister’s Literary Award 2008, for which it was short listed, and Melbourne University Publishing’s commissioning, publication and promotion of On Rage (2008).
7 Units (1.19m)
Collection Category: Culture and the Arts, individuals
Access Conditions: Access: Restricted
Finding Aids: Yes listed ONLINE
Online ListingGREER, Professor Germaine - Correspondence With Publishers 2014~0052
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