Document ReferenceCC
TitlePapers of Catherine Carswell (1879-1946), novelist, journalist and biographer
Extent3 boxes
AbstractThe collection contains items collected by Catherine Carswell, a journalist, writer and friend of D.H. Lawrence. Included are typescript essays by Catherine Carswell, correspondence with Frieda Lawrence and others and a copy of Carswell's biography of Lawrence, as well as newscuttings, journal articles and several items given to Carswell by Lawrence.
Access ConditionsAccessible to all readers. Readers are asked to use surrogate copies of some materials.
Admin HistoryCatherine Carswell (1879-1946), was born Catherine Roxburgh MacFarlane, in Glasgow on 27 March 1879. She attended Glasgow University, reading English and spent two years, 1896-1898, studying music in Frankfurt. On her return to Glasgow she became an art lecturer and in 1903 married Herbert P.M. Jackson, a marriage which was later annulled when Jackson was declared insane. In 1907 she became a reviewer for the Glasgow Herald, being subsequently sacked for reviewing ''The Rainbow, D.H. Lawrence's banned novel. She then moved to London where she became a drama critic for The Observer and in 1915 married fellow journalist Donald Carswell.

After her move to London Catherine Carswell met and became friends with D.H. Lawrence. They remained in regular correspondence from 1914 until the year before Lawrence's death. It was Lawrence who encouraged the writing of her first novel 'Open the Door!' (1920). After completing her second novel, 'The Camomile' (1922), she wrote no more fiction, concentrating on journalism and, later, biographies. In 1930, she produced the groundbreaking biography 'Life of Robert Burns', following this with 'The Savage Pilgrimage' (1932), her memoir on D.H. Lawrence, and 'The Tranquil Heart' (1937), a biography of the 14th-century Italian writer Boccaccio.

Catherine Carswell died on 19 March 1946 and her papers and autobiographical writings were edited by her son, John Carswell, and published posthumously as 'Lying Awake' (1950).
Custodial HistoryCatherine Carwell's Lawrence papers and books were given to Nottingham University Library after the death of her son, John Carswell.
DescriptionThe collection consists of books and papers belonging to Catherine Carswell and associated with D.H. Lawrence. It includes correspondence from D.H. and Frieda Lawrence to Catherine and Donald Carswell, and to Gordon MacFarlane, Catherine Carswell's brother, including typewritten copies of Lawrence letters which Carswell subsequently sold. A copy of her controversial biography 'The Savage Pilgrimage' is present, together with related correspondence from John Middleton Murry. There are several typescript essays about Lawrence by Carswell, and newscuttings and articles of literary criticism. Personal memorabilia includes property given by D.H. Lawrence to Catherine Carswell, consisting of his recorder, and a number of works from his library.
MgtGroupPersonal papers
Literary and cultural records
MgtSubGroupPrivate papers
D H Lawrence
ArrangementThe papers are arranged into the groups by type of material: Correspondence, Literary Works and Miscellaneous. They are further sub-divided within these groups and listed chronologically.
TermEnglish literature - 20th century - History and criticism
FindingAidsCopyright in all finding aids belongs to The University of Nottingham. In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus: Typescript catalogue, 74 pp Online: Catalogue accessible from the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue
ReprodnNoteReprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.
Related MaterialThe D.H. Lawrence Collection at The University of Nottingham (La)
Yale University: Original copies of letters from D.H. Lawrence to Catherine Carswell.
Other collections listed through The National Archives Discovery catalogue; the National Union Catalogue of Manuscript Collections, and the Location Register of Twentieth Century English Literary Manuscripts and Letters.
Related RecordLa

Click the links below to view related name indexes

CodePersonNameDates of existence
NA166Carswell; Catherine Roxburgh (1879-1946); née MacFarlane; novelist and journalist1879-1946
NA166Carswell; Catherine Roxburgh (1879-1946); née MacFarlane; novelist and journalist1879-1946
NA167Carswell; Donald (1882-1904); married Catherine Carswell 1915; journalist and barrister1882-1904
NA168Carswell; John Patrick (1918-1997); son of Catherine Carswell; civil servant and writer1918-1997
NA42Lawrence; D.H. (1885-1930); David Herbert; writer1885-1930
NA169Lawrence; Frieda (1879-1956); née von Richthofen; married Ernest Weekley 1899 D.H. Lawrence 1914 Antonio Ravagli 19501879-1956
NA170MacFarlane; George Gordon (1885-1949); brother of Catherine Carswell; architect and writer1885-1949
NA171Murry; John Middleton (1889-1957); editor, author and critic1889-1957
NA75773Carswell; family
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