Title: Hugh MacDiarmid, autograph manuscript of 'A drunk man looks at the thistle', together with other literary papers and some letters.
Classmark: BC MS 20c MacDiarmid
Creator(s): MacDiarmid, Hugh (1892-1978)
Main language: English
Size and medium: 2 vols and 1 envelope, all held in 1 box; manuscript, typescript, a photograph, and printed material.
Collection group(s): English Literature
Comprises: (1) Autograph manuscript of MacDiarmid's poem 'A drunk man looks at the thistle', including title with epigraph, dedication, and foreword, with, also pasted in, a photograph by Benno Schotz of his bronze head of the author, 1960, 4 autograph manuscript letters from the author to Mrs D.U. McGrigor Phillips, dated 4-30 October 1960, concerning the acquisition of the manuscript, and the author's certificate sent with the first letter and stating that the manuscript is now the only extant autograph copy, the other copy having been soiled by the printers and destroyed; probably therefore it is to be dated not later than 1925; (2) 6 galley proofs of an issue of MacDiarmid's periodical 'Voice of Scotland', with many autograph corrections and revisions, and accompanied in the same custom-made case by 3 letters exchanged between the printers in Edinburgh and MacDiarmid (here signed as 'C.M. Grieve') dated 10 November 1958 - 8 January 1959 and concerning editorial and proofreading matters; (3) Autograph typescript of MacDiarmid's poem 'The Chinese genius wakes up', extending to 4 ff., and possibly to be dated ca. 1958.
The autograph manuscript is written in a volume containing 92 numbered folios and 5 letters each mounted on the remaining folios, the volume being finely bound in blue crushed morocco with compartments on the spine and gilt lettering as follows: 'A/ drunk man/ looks/ at the/ thistle/ Hugh/ MacDiarmid'. There is blue marbling on both inside covers and endpapers. It is held in a custom-made slip-case covered in blue cloth. The galley proofs of the 'Voice of Scotland' are held in a thin custom-made case with three folding cardboard flaps, all blue with blue marbling on all their sides, the case being covered in blue cloth and bearing on its spine gilt lettering as follows: 'The Voice of Scotland Corrected proofs Vol.IX No.3 edited by Hugh MacDiarmid'.
Additional papers, 1972-2008.
Additional item listed October 2017:
A letter from MacDiarmid to the editor of 'The Bulletin' regarding the Scottish term for raspberries [8 Jun 1948].
A letter from MacDiarmid [signed Grieve] to Mrs D.U. McGrigor Phillips [30 Jan 1965] thanking her for a copy of the Brotherton report, and commenting upon poetry, politics, a forthcoming lecture series, and the weather.
Christopher Murray Grieve (1892-1978), the Scots poet and prose writer, who used the pseudonym Hugh MacDiarmid. He wrote his poem 'A drunk man looks at the thistle' in 1926. For fuller details of his life and achievements see the Dictionary of National Biography.
Letter to editor of 'The Bulletin' [8 Jun 1948] donated by Mr K.D.Duval in Feb/Mar 1964. Accessions Register no. B7139
Letter to Mrs McGrigor Phillips [30 Jan 1965] donated by Dorothy Una McGrigor Phillips in Feb 1965. Accessions Register no. B7691
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