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2014.0045 [MAJOR WORKS]
Date Range of Records: 1969-2014
Creator(s):
- 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appropriate today; names, images and voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in published and unpublished printed material, audio recordings and photographs; discussion and descriptions of sexual violence, medical conditions and treatment. The Major Works series comprises 54 boxes holding over 600 folders relating to the commissioning, researching, writing, editing and publication of Germaine Greer's ”major works”, subsequent to The Female Eunuch (for records of which see Series 2014.0039:The Female Eunuch Index Cards and 2014.0044: Early Years). In addition to published works, this series includes records of unrealised publications and projects, some journalism, records pertaining to teaching, business and personal matters, letters, diaries and ephemera. The series comprises records created by Greer from c.1969 to 2014 (most from mid 1970s on) but some research materials gathered by Greer were published much earlier. Major works contained in this series are: The Obstacle Race: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work (1979); Sex and Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility (1984); The Mad Woman's Underclothes (1986); Shakespeare (Past Masters series, reissued as Shakespeare: A Very Short Introduction 2002) (1986); Daddy, We Hardly Knew You (1989); The Change: Women, Ageing and the Menopause (1991); Slip-Shod Sibyls: Recognition, Rejection and the Woman Poet. (1995); The Whole Woman (1999); John Wilmot: Earl of Rochester (2000); (2002); Poems for Gardeners (2003); The Boy (2003); Whitefella Jump Up: The Shortest Way to Nationhood (2004; first published 2003 in Quarterly Essay); Shakespeare's Wife (2007); and White Beech: The Rainforest Years (2013). This final publication concerns Greer's continuing interest in environmental conservation which culminated in the purchase of the freehold of a property at Cave Creek in the Brisbane hinterland in December 2001, and the establishment of the Cave Creek Rainforest Rehabilitation Scheme (CCRRS) to ensure the conservation of the property's rainforest setting. The series also contains papers on some works edited, co-edited or co-written by Greer, including Kissing the Rod: An Anthology of Seventeenth Century Women's Verse (1988); Lysistrata (Greer and Phil Willmott collaborated on the dialogue and first staging of the adaption from Aristophanes at Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) in July 1999); 101 Poems by 101 Women (2001). The series is generally linear, in order of major work publication date but as the series has been catalogued in its received order i.e. the order in which these files were kept at Greer's property as part of her working papers (with some very light rearrangement of obvious estrays, generally misfiled documents, to aid researchers) all files on individual major works may not be physically grouped together. Works can be searched for using the consistent subject headings tagged to each folder, which in this series include the title of the work. Items have been rehoused into acid free folders where required and Greer's original folder labels retained and secured to the new folders. Any interpolations or corrections to item titles made by the archivist are in square brackets. The types of records documenting published major works include research materials, research notes, typescript drafts, corrected drafts, proofs, correspondence with publishers and editors, post publication reviews, articles, and publicity. Researchers should note that the records for major works vary in comprehensiveness and other series in the Greer Archive also contain pertinent material. Series 2014.0052: Correspondence with Publishers in particular relates to the Major Works series. Records of unrealised publications and projects include treatments, budgets and correspondence for a television series The Story of Human Reproduction: An Idea for Television by Germaine Greer ”that would do for the human species what David Attenborough has done for spiders and mandrills” (Item 2014.0045.00603), for which Greer sought funding from, among other sources, the Australian government during International Women's Year (IWY) 1975; a collection of responses from correspondents for a proposed ”thinking woman's book of lists” commissioned by Hamlyn as ”Germaine Greer's Women's Book of Lists” in 1981; draft synopsis and research notes for Fortune's Maggot, originally titled Election '88, a book on Thatcherism and the state of the British Labour Party, including notes of her observations at the Bournemouth Labour Party Conference 1985; a 1988 proposal for English Gardeners, prefaced with: ”Now that the Daddy-book is all but finished, I would like to retreat from the spiritual clifftop over which I seem to have been beetling for the last two years. I'd like to write about gardening.” (Item 2014.0045.00616); extensive research files for Women and Medicine, one title of four books commissioned by Viking/Non-Fiction in 1992, the others being Women and Literature; Shakespeare and The Mills. Women and Literature was published by Penguin as Slip-Shod Sibyls and Women and Medicine formed the basis of The Whole Woman. The series begins with records concerning The Obstacle Race: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work (1979), Greer's ”first full-length book since The Female Eunuch made her famous”, (Item 2014.0045.000005: The Bookseller 11 October 1975), commissioned in 1975 by Secker & Warburg. The Obstacle Race papers include Greer's ”holograph” (Greer's preferred term for handwritten) research notebooks on women artists, some including her own sketches of paintings viewed during Greer's extensive research throughout Europe, her holograph book proposal, typescript and carbon drafts with her elegant ”emendations” in green or black ink, correspondence with research institutions, editors, publishers and publicists. These records provide an insight into Greer's dedication to research and the scholarship resulting in this publication, and her capacity to hone her writing to appeal to a general audience without compromising her intellectual rigour. The Obstacle Race was extensively reviewed worldwide (as are all Greer works) and the series includes files of press coverage, including profiles of its author. Reviews of publications and press coverage of Greer appear throughout the series, often sent to Greer by her publishers using commercial clipping services and some by friends and acquaintances (e.g. Bruce Ruxton, a former President of the Returned Services League (RSL) Victoria, kept Greer apprised of Australian commentary about her after they met while she was researching her father's war service for Daddy, We Hardly Knew You). The major works documented in this series continue with Sex and Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility (1984) originally commissioned in 1979 as Politics of Fertility by McGraw-Hill and published in 1984 by Secker & Warburg (London) and Harper & Row (New York) after Greer extricated herself from her contract with McGraw-Hill. The papers relating to Sex and Destiny again document Greer's assiduous research, and include her ”Bombay notebook” of notes made in India on a research visit to investigate first-hand the effects of western population policies. This notebook and other research material for Sex and Destiny are typical of Greer research records throughout this series; they include handwritten precis of academic sources, records of interviews with experts on the ground in rural health services etc., press clippings, often stuck to ”pink flimsies” (Greer's term for pink carbon paper) and labelled by subject, photocopies of book extracts and scholarly articles, and correspondence. Greer's practice of conducting extensive research has produced collections of research material for each of the major works represented in this series, which sit beside the manuscripts and drafts. As these files are often voluminous, an indication of date range and subject matter is given but sub items within files have generally not been listed individually. Some research files are more fully listed, as for example the individuals and research institutions Greer contacted in her attempt to solve the riddle of her father's family by writing to ”Greers” all over the world and tracking Reg Greer's enigmatic life and Greer genealogy through public records and archives in her research for her intensely personal book, Daddy, We Hardly Knew You (1989). The research files are of interest both for the subject matter contained within, often a distillation of contemporary thinking, both popular and academic, on a topic, and for the insight they give into changing research sources and methods. Greer research methods can be followed through the neat handwritten lined blue index cards and notebooks, creased newsprint articles torn from the daily press, and shiny photocopies prevalent in earlier research files to printouts of downloaded web pages (unfortunately from a conservation viewpoint via a period of using thermal facsimile paper), as Greer adopted new tools and technologies to aid her research. The many drafts contained within this series provide an insight into drafting and editing, some drafts showing substantial changes to the structure and content of the initial proposal and first drafts, others minor changes and corrections made throughout the rewriting and editing process. The series includes examples of copy editors' and publishers' comments for some works, and Greer responses. The drafts also progress through changing technologies in production of drafts. The earliest typescripts are unique items, hand or typewritten pages are ”cut and pasted… with holograph emendations”, carbon copies (”pink flimsies”) providing their only backup. Later drafts become photocopied typescripts and later still are laser printed. Files for later works often contain many iterations or copies of undated drafts, when production of multiple laser printed or photocopied drafts became common. Letters in square brackets [A] B] C] etc. for sub items have been imposed by the archivist to aid researchers to differentiate drafts. Researchers should note that while every attempt has been made to determine sequential order of drafts this has not possible in all cases and the letter order therefore does not necessarily indicate date order While this series is mainly arranged in order of major work publication date, it also shows that Greer's concurrent work and ongoing interests and concerns constantly cross and recross. Greer was continually writing columns, teaching, presenting lectures, giving media appearances, involved in public debate etc. while working on the next publication. For example, records of her years at the University of Tulsa (1979-1983) are here, showing Greer navigating university politics and staff as the often beleaguered Founder/Director of the University of Tulsa Center for the Study of Women's Literature, including embarking on the American Speakers' Circuit in an attempt to secure adequate funding for the Tulsa Bursary and Fellowship Scheme, all while still preoccupied with completing Sex and Destiny. The series also contains records from Greer's return to The University of Warwick as Professor of English and Comparative Studies (1998-2003), including course materials for her challenging 'The Body in Feminism' lecture series and other lectures. Works including John Wilmot: Earl of Rochester (2000); 101 Poems by 101 Women (2001); Shakespeare: A Very Short Introduction (2002); Poems for Gardeners (2003); The Boy (2003) were completed during this period. The series is interspersed with examples of Greer's journalism (for the main journalism series see 2014.0046: Print) and also includes two rare forays into fiction. Some print journalism logically appears in this series in relation to preparation of the anthology, The Mad Woman's Underclothes: Essays and Occasional Writings (1986). More unexpected items include a ”silvine red exercise book” containing handwritten review notes of thirteen London restaurants, written in 1978 for James Sherwood's Discriminating Guide to London; clippings and a published consolidation of Greer's column 'The Revolting Garden' which appeared in Private Eye under the pseudonym Rose Blight in 1978 and 1979; other (more straight faced) articles on gardening, some written for a proposed Observer Gardening Anthology, 1980; and Greer's article on women in Cuba written for Women: a World Report, New Internationalist Publications, 1985. The series also includes diary notes and typescript drafts of articles about resettlement in Ethiopia, written in 1985 when Greer visited Ethiopia at the time of the famine. A typescript chapter titled ”Thriller – first draft, 1981 begins, ”It was the hands he noticed first…”; ”Minty” is a short story written c. 1970s, about the effects of workplace sexual harassment on a young woman. While the bulk of personal correspondence is contained in Series 2014.0042, the Major Works series also contains some correspondence, including personal, business and academic, and notes and letters about Greer properties including Pianelli, Greer's property at Cortona, Italy, (owned from 1973 to 1994), The Mills, Essex and Cave Creek, Queensland. Social engagements and summaries of activities are often noted in annual diaries (1979 to 1996, with gaps) which are scattered throughout this series, under the subject heading Germaine Greer---Diaries. Researchers are advised to search the Item list to locate all items relevant to their research - and to anticipate (and enjoy) some unexpected juxtapositions and inclusions.
54 Units (9.18m)
Collection Category: University, individuals
Access Conditions: Access: Restricted
Finding Aids: Yes listed ONLINE
Online ListingGREER, Professor Germaine - Major Works 2014~0045
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