Gilbert Cannan: Writings and Biographical Correspondence

Scope and Content

Novels, essays, memoir, and biographical correspondence.

[1] Novel Annette and Bennett (1922): autograph MS in two notebooks.

[2] Unpublished novel, untitled, preface and 14 chapters, 247ff.

[3] Short play Mary's wedding: autograph MS, 17pp.

[4] Drama Inquest on Pierrot: a fantasy in three acts: typescript, 109pp, with a few revisions, in three folders.

[5-12] MS essays, possibly book chapters, apparently unpublished: (5) Definitions; (6) Humanity; (7) The social contract; (8) Patriarchalism; (9) Marriage; (10) Women as citizens; (11) Science and art; and (12) Social structure.

[13-22] Essays, apparently unpublished: (13) Meaning and development of civilization. Art. Religion. Science...birth and dominion of ideas; (14) Race and geography: growth and interpretation of nations; (15) Politics, press and poverty; (16) The persistence of barbaric conceptions; (17) Imperialism. The use of untutored egoism in binding communities...; (18) Marriage. The hub and centre of society; (19) The family and the social unit; (20) The school. Its function in society; (21) The marketplace and the need for the restoration of order in it; and (22) Love and freedom. Democracy and the world society of the future.

[23] MS memoir of childhood and adolescence, 46pp.

[24-77] Letters to Diana Farr from (24-36) Kathleen Lee, and (37-77) Margaret Jennedy Rideout (Cannan's sisters).

[78-191] Letters to Diana Farr, the correspondents including (78-81) Anthony Alpers, (82-84) Sir Felix Aylmer, (85-87) Carl Baron, (91-92) Dorothy Brett, (94-97) Noel Carrington, (98-99) Edward Craig, (103-108) Janet Dunbar, (109-112) David Garnett, (114) Sir Robert Hall, (115-122) Michael Holroyd, (123-124) Elspeth Huxley, (125-127) Lord Kennet, (128) Sir Geoffrey Keynes, (129-131) Marjorie Kostenz, (133) Sir Robert Lusty (Hutchinsons), (135-145) Gwen, Lady Melchett, (146) Sir Francis Meynell, (147) Harry T. Moore, (150) Cathleen Nesbitt, (154) J.B. Priestley, (155-156) Oleg Polunin, (158-168) Martin Secker, (169-173) Sylvia Secker, (175-176) Frank Swinnerton, (177-178) Diana Uhlman, (179-182) Julian Vinogradoff, (183) Marjorie Watts, (184-185) Alec Waugh, (186) Montague Weekley, (187-188) John Woodeson, and (189) Jon M. Wynne-Tyson (Centaur Press).

[192-209] Postcards from Cannan (1910 and 1923); photographs by Swaine, c.1920: James and Mary Cannan, Francis Arbuthnot and Martha Wright (grandparents), David Cannan (great uncle), Charles Cannan, Violet Cannan (mother), Gilbert Cannan as a boy, Felix Cannan, Kathleen Lee, Margaret Rideout (brother and sisters), and Mary Barrie; copy certificate, Cannan's medical history and cause of death; and sleeves of Cannan's novels The house of prophecy and Noel.

Administrative / Biographical History

Gilbert Cannan (1884-1955), writer, had his career curtailed by mental illness in 1924; he spent 31 years in institutions. Diana Farr published Gilbert Cannan: a Georgian prodigy in 1978.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Purchased 1996.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Summary Catalogue.