[C.1930–1945 Archive of 35 Typed Manuscripts for Novels and Short Stories by Donald M. Kirkpatrick, Noted Bermuda Artist, and his Wife, Artist Renée D. Kirkpatrick].
Archive of completed and working copy manuscripts of 13 novels and 7 short stories by American architect and artist, Donald Morris Kirkpatrick (1887–1966). Whereas Kirkpatrick is best known as a prize-winning architect turned successful Bermuda watercolorist and printmaker, little appears to be known about his work as a writer. Accompanying Kirkpatrick’s manuscripts are a similar, though smaller group of manuscripts for 15 short stories written by his wife, Renée Despard Kirkpatrick, a fellow artist whom he married in 1920.
Before his marriage, Easton, Pennsylvania-native Donald M. Kirkpatrick graduated from Lafayette College and studied architecture under Paul Cret (1876–1945) at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1912, he won the William Harkness Prize in architecture enabling him to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. After decorated service in the army during WWI, he returned to Philadelphia to carry on his architectural practice and teach architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. He later returned to France and studied etching and watercolor under Edouard Leon. In 1931, Kirkpatrick received an Honorable Mention at that year’s Paris Salon. He and his wife moved to Bermuda in 1934 where he carried on with some architectural work and began a new career as an artist and printmaker and helped found the Bermuda Society of Artists.¹
The manuscripts for Kirkpatrick’s 13 novels are, in alphabetical order: “Appearing for Marianna Pindar”; “Gailey the Courier”; “I Do Not Like You, Mr. Pell”; “Land of Plenty”; “Mind, Bodies and Estate”; “No Easy Road”; “Nor IronBars”; “No. Six Warning”; “The One-Eyed Town”; “Take a Knife for Example”; “The Ultimate Humbug”; “Unfinished Business”; and “Who Once Was Blind.”
All of the manuscripts for the novels are complete; six of them are accompanied by copies or preliminary efforts or by individual chapters or sections. The total number of typed pages for his novels is 5,640. The manuscripts are, with four exceptions, marked with Kirkpatrick’s Bermuda address or the name of the home he designed for himself there, “Landfall,”, suggesting they were mostly written after his regular visits to Bermuda beginning in 1929.² The cover of a bound copy of “The One-Eyed Town” bears the rubber stamp of British literary agents, Pearn, Pollinger & Higham, who began trading in 1935.³
Also present are typed manuscripts for 7 short stories or, possibly, book chapters written by Kirkpatrick, comprising an additional 239 pages. The short titles are: “La Maison Perdue”; “What Price Work”; “Daddy’s Great War”; “Dress Parade”; “The Honor and the Glory”; “Curtain Call” (fragment); and “Experiment in Nobility.”
The typed manuscripts of Renée D. Kirkpatrick appear to be for short stories or, in many instances, short story writing exercises for a home study course she was taking when she and her husband were living in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania; some appear to have been written in Bermuda. Renée D. Kirkpatrick’s 15 short stories are entitled “Winter Afternoon”; “A Wagner Matinee;” “Oh, lay off…” [opening words]; “Why, even a dog…” [opening words]; “The Cafe de l’Univers”; “Dead Sea Fruit”; “The Four Houses” [stamped “Home Study”]; “Where is Thy Victory…?”; “Mrs. Jorgensen”; “Sunlight filtered…” [opening words]; “Interlude”; “Once I Built a Railroad” [in four parts]; “The Clock Strikes Twelve”; “The Embittered Angel Fish”; “The last beams of the setting sun…” [opening words]; and “There’s Sunshine Over Cannes.” In all—including a few copies of individual stories, there are 370 manuscript pages by her.
Well over 6,000 pages in sum, a sizable cache of unpublished fiction, with neither Kirkpatrick recorded in OCLC, that could prove to be an interesting study. At least one manuscript, “No. Six Warning”, has a Bermuda theme.
Description: [C.1930–1945 Archive of 35 Typed Manuscripts for Novels and Short Stories by Donald M. Kirkpatrick, Noted Bermuda Artist, and his Wife, Artist Renée D. Kirkpatrick].
[“Landfall” (House), Crawl and Bailey’s Bay, Bermuda and Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, c1930–1945]. Approx. 6,250pp. Typed original and carbon copy Manuscripts for 13 Novels and 22 Short Stories. Quarto sheets; on rectos only. Some scattered handwritten emendations and corrections. All very good to near fine.
Notes. 1. Donald Morris Kirkpatrick biography —; Bermuda, Caribbean and West Indies Art - The Lusher Gallery LLC New York accessed online. 2. Ibid. 3. History - David Higham Associates accessed online.