Robert Edric Archive

Scope and Content

The collection contains MSS, TSS and proofs of his short story writing, novels, novellas and screenplays. Pre 1982, most of everything appears to have been lost or destroyed. Edric writes in pencil, he doesn't use a computer and has no delete 'option'. The creative writing process, scribbles and revisions, workings and re-workings have consequently been meticulously preserved in these paper manuscripts.

A few short stories were published. Some metamorphosed into later stories; some found their way into the novels. A considerable number are merely 'pieces' rather than finished stories and some lack titles.

RE cites his first major novel attempted as Kevin/Sharon. Other recorded attempts – false starts – running out of steam – following wrong courses, etc. include parts of novels listed in his notes as Fenland Woman Story & Mental Institute Story. He thinks these may have turned up in the unpublished Conservatory (RE/10/1-2).

RE acknowledges that there seems to be no sign of Kevin/Sharon and the Fenland Woman though the latter may have been regurgitated into the original unpublished Across the Autumn Grass (RE/14/1-3).

Administrative / Biographical History

The archive holds manuscripts of Edric's novels up to 2016 and includes five early unpublished novels. These novels formed the foundation of his writing career in a period when he says he "was learning to work hard".

A Season of Peace (1985) and Across the Autumn Grass (1986) were written under the name of G.E. Armitage. Winter Garden (1985) was Robert Edric's first published novel and winner of the James Tait Black Award.

The trilogy of detective novels: Cradle Song, Siren Song and Swan Song are set in the city of Hull. Two of his novels have been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize: Peacetime (2002) and Gathering the Water (2006).


The first deposit of boxes is numbered 1-53. The second deposit of boxes were numbered 1-47 by the author. We have created a single numbered sequence, 1-100. The bracketed number in the reference codes behind 54-100 indicates the number assigned by the author.

Access Information

Other than where a specific access restriction is noted, the collection is open for consultation in the Archives Department during its advertised opening hours.

Acquisition Information

The Robert Edric Archive was gifted to the University. The initial deposit of 53 box files was made in 2011. A second deposit of 47 box files was made in 2017 however one box RE/83[30] went missing in transit.

Archivist's Note


Conditions Governing Use

Reproductions can be supplied in hard copy or digital format subject to physical condition and the terms of deposit. A charge is made for this service. Copyright restrictions may apply and the advice of the Archives department should be sought for any use of reproductions other than personal research.

Personal Names

Geographical Names