• This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 1840 RW/14/06/04
  • Dates of Creation
  • Physical Description
      178 ff.

Scope and Content

Correspondence written by Westall, mostly concerning business matters and addressed to several of his principle correspondents. After acquiring a fax machine in early 1992 Westall conducted a substantial part of his correspondence via fax, from that time until his death. Faxes are addressed variously to Laura Cecil, Laura Cecil's assistant, Miriam Hodgson, Mary Tapissier, Fenella Hunt, Philippa Milnes Smith, Clarissa Cridland, Wes Anderson and Rei Uemura. This correspondence was frequently sent via Laura Cecil or addressed to Laura Cecil and another party.

Correspondence concerns editorial and pre publication processes, the development of short story collections and anthologies, publicity and awards, national and international sales and rights management. It is also frequently more discursive. Westall discusses the development, editorial and pre publication process for 'The Wheatstone Pond', 'Gulf', 'Falling into Glory', 'A Place for Me', Cat's Whispers and Tales' (referred to as 'the cat anthology'); 'The Witness' (ff. 95) and 'A Time of Fire' (in particular, one letter discussing alternate titles at ff. 127). This series also covers the production of American editions of several books, in particular 'Stormsearch', 'The Stones of Muncaster Cathedral', 'In Camera' (American name for 'The Fearful Lovers'), and American editions of 'Ghost Stories' and 'The Promise' produced by either FSG or Scholastic America. Correspondence addressed to Wes Anderson also concerns the selection of stories for 'Demons and Shadows: The ghostly best of Robert Westall', which was first published in America. Correspondence also concerns reprints by Penguin of other titles including 'The Machine Gunners' 'The Wind Eye', 'The Watch House', 'The Haunting of Chas Macgill' and 'Children of the Blitz'.

Although principally concerned with business matters arising from the publication of his work, the series also contains correspondence on other subjects. These include a letter to 'The Independent' concerning a study into the reading habits of teenage girls (12/01/93, ff. 116-7) and a letter written to Laura Cecil's assistant, discussing his son and the origin of 'The Night Out' (ff. 14-16). The series mostly contains manuscript material, typescripts with occasional manuscript additions, and some faxed material. Occasionally, faxes were written on the reverse of draft work, for example, f. 34v contains a fragment of a typescript draft for 'Gulf'.