University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Robert Rubens:

An Inventory of His Papers in the Manuscript Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center



Creator: Rubens, Robert, 1937-1998
Title: Robert Rubens Papers
Dates: 1952-1990
Abstract: The papers of Robert Rubens consist of handwritten and typed manuscripts, loose notes and notebooks, printed materials, galley proofs, correspondence, clippings, and photographs.
RLIN Record ID: TXRC03-A3
Extent: 7 boxes, 1 oversize folder, 1 galley folder (2.9 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Biographical Sketch

Robert Rubens was born in 1937 as Robert Gilbert Ruben--adding the 's' to his name later in life. He attended high school at the Quaker-run Friends Select School in Philadelphia, serving on the school's newspaper and the editorial board for the school's literary magazine. He graduated in 1955, then attended Bard College in New York State. After graduating from Bard he worked for a short period in a Philadelphia book store before moving to London in 1961 to pursue a literary career.

In London Rubens worked as a reader for a publishing firm and as an editor on the Transatlantic Review. In 1963 his first short story to appear in print, "Two Weeks beyond Shoreditch," was published in Winters Tale 9. That same year he edited an anthology of short stories entitled Voices and worked to complete his first novel The Operator (1964).

In 1965 Rubens began collaborating with the famed Russian dancer and choreographer Leonide Massine as editor of Massine's autobiography My Life in Ballet (1968). He continued to publish short stories and wrote articles and reviews that appeared in Auction, Contemporary Review, PEN Broadsheet, The Queen Magazine, The Sunday Telegraph, and Vogue.

Rubens' second novel, The Cosway Miniature, did not appear until 1980, but was soon followed by four more novels: A Night at the Odeon (1981), Artist Unknown (1985), A Shadow between Us (1987), and North of the Park (1990).

Rubens died in London of pancreatic cancer in 1998 at the age of 61.


Scope and Contents

The papers of Robert Rubens consist of handwritten and typed manuscripts, loose notes and notebooks, printed materials, galley proofs, correspondence, clippings, and photographs. The papers are organized in two series: I Works, 1952-1990, nd (6 boxes); and II. Other Papers, 1964-1987, nd (1 box). All materials are in English and are generally in good condition.

Series I. Works, 1952-1990, nd

The Works series is divided into two subseries: A. Fiction and B. Non-fiction. The Fiction subseries contains the bulk of the materials in Rubens' papers and includes working notebooks, loose notes, and handwritten and typed manuscripts for five of his six published novels: The Cosway Miniature (1980), A Night at the Odeon (1981), Artist Unknown (1985), A Shadow between Us (1987), and North of the Park (1990). Material for his first published novel, The Operator (1964), consists only of dust jackets and a preliminary leaf. Rubens' first published short story, "Two Weeks beyond Shoreditch" (1963), is documented only with photocopies of two published versions. Also represented are eight other works of varying lengths and two complete but unidentified pieces.

The Non-fiction subseries consists primarily of drafts and proofs of articles and book reviews, many of which were published in Contemporary Review and PEN Broadsheet (later PEN Magazine). Also present are materials relating to My Life in Ballet (1968), an autobiography of the Russian dancer and choreographer Leonide Massine. Rubens collaborated with Massine on the book, and the materials are especially revealing of Rubens' preliminary research. Included are journal entries of Rubens' stay at Massine's home in Naples, Italy, in 1965; letters between Massine and Rubens giving details of Massine's life; and ballet programs, photographs, and newspaper clippings relating to Massine's work. The manuscript for the autobiography is represented by a handwritten draft of only one chapter, although related notes are located in Series II. Other Papers under the heading "Notes and Notebooks." Of particular note in the Massine material is a 1960 choreography script for his Comedia Umana, and Massine's 1952 synopsis and notes for the ballet Donald of the Burthens. These are also the earliest dated materials in Rubens' papers, with the majority of items dating from the mid 1960s to the late 1980s.

Materials are arranged alphabetically in both subseries. Handwritten notes and manuscripts drafts similar to those in the Works series are also found with the notes and notebooks located in Series II.

Series II. Other Papers, 1964-1987, nd

The majority of Series II is comprised of five notebooks containing handwritten outlines, drafts, and notes related to various Rubens works. Included are materials for unidentified and unpublished pieces. Each notebook is undated and contains writings for more than one work. Several works, such as My Life in Ballet, are represented in more than one notebook.

Also in the series are incoming and a few outgoing letters, mostly related to Ruben's literary works and dating from 1965 to 1987. Rubens' correspondence with Leonide Massine is located in the Works series under My Life in Ballet. Correspondence and other materials related to Rubens' involvement with PEN is filed in Series II under the PEN heading. Arrangement in the series is alphabetical by subject heading.


Restrictions

Access:

Open for research


Administrative Information

Acquisition:

Purchase (R12577), 1992

Processed by:

Rebecca Romanchuk, Patti Wardell, 2000; Stephen Mielke, 2003


Container List

 

Series I. Works, 1952-1990, nd

Subseries A. Fiction, 1963-1990, nd
Artist Unknown (1985) [working title The Blue Mini]
Location
1.1 Handwritten manuscript fragments and notes, nd
Location
1.2-4 Handwritten manuscript, nd
Location
1.5 Typed manuscript with corrections, nd
Location
1.6 Page proofs and layouts, 1984
The Cosway Miniature (1980) [working title Bonnie and Clive]
Location
2.1; of Handwritten manuscript fragments and notes, nd
Location
2.2 Typed manuscript fragments with corrections, nd
Location
2.3 Typed manuscript with corrections, nd
Location
2.4 Typed synopsis with corrections, nd
Page proofs with corrections, nd
"Country Cousin"
Location
2.5; of Handwritten manuscript fragments, nd
Location
2.5 Composite manuscript, nd
Typed manuscript with corrections, nd
Carbon copy manuscript with corrections, nd
"Day of the Wedding"
Location
2.6 Typed manuscript fragment with corrections, nd
"For Those Who Believe"
Location
2.7 Typed manuscript with corrections, nd
Carbon copy with corrections, nd
"Foreign Ground"
Location
2.8 Typed manuscript with corrections, nd
"In the Bush"
Location
2.9 Typed manuscript with corrections, nd
A Night at the Odeon (1981) [working title Blue Movie]
Location
2.10 Handwritten manuscript and notes, nd
Typed manuscript fragments with corrections, nd
Location
2.11 Typed manuscript with corrections, nd
Location
2.12 Dust jacket layout and biographical note, nd
North of the Park (1990)
Location
3.1 Notes and clippings, nd
Location
3.2-3 Handwritten manuscript, nd
Location
3.4-5 Typed manuscript with corrections, nd
The Operator (1964)
Location
3.6 Dust jackets and preliminary leaf, nd
A Shadow between Us (1987)
Location
3.7 Handwritten manuscript fragment and notes, nd
Location
3.8 Handwritten manuscript, nd
Location
3.9 Typed manuscript fragments with corrections, nd
Location
4.1-2 Typed manuscripts with corrections, nd
Location
4.3 Typed and carbon copy manuscript fragments with corrections, nd
Location
4.4 Carbon copy manuscript with corrections, nd
Location
4.5-6; 5.1 Photocopies of typed manuscripts with corrections, nd
Location
5.2 Photocopy of typed manuscript fragment and handwritten corrections list, nd
Location
5.3 Handwritten and typed synopsis, nd
Location
5.4 Page proof fragments, nd
"Stolen Matinees"
Location
5.5 Handwritten notes and manuscript, nd
Location
5.6 Typed manuscript with corrections, nd
Location
5.7 Carbon copies of typed synopsis with corrections, nd
"Tea in a Tooth Mug"
Location
5.8 Composite manuscript fragment with corrections, nd
Location
5.9 Typed and photocopy manuscripts with corrections, nd
"Too Clever by Half"
Location
6.1 Composite and typed manuscripts with corrections, nd
"Two Weeks beyond Shoreditch" (1963)
Location
6.2 Photocopy from Winter's Tale 9, 1963
Photocopy from later reprint, nd
Location
6.3 Unidentified, typed manuscripts with corrections for two short stories, nd
Subseries B. Non-fiction, 1952-1983, nd
Location
6.4 "Ann Jellicoe and Donald McWhinnie," The Transatlantic Review, photocopy, nd
"The Archduke Louis Salvatore in Majorca," Contemporary Review, v. 233, no.1352, handwritten, typed, and carbon copy manuscript drafts, 1978
"The Backward Glance--A Contemporary Taste for Nostalgia," Contemporary Review , v. 239, no. 1388, photocopy typescript and galley proof, 1981
"Edith Wharton, a Biography by R. W. B. Lewis," PEN Broadsheet, no. 2, handwritten, typed, and carbon copy manuscripts with corrections, 1976
"Emerson and Literary Change by David Porter," PEN Broadsheet, no. 2, carbon copy manuscript, 1979
"Enquiry: Is the 'Writers in Residence' Scheme Succeeding?" PEN Broadsheet, no. 3
Location
6.4 Handwritten, typed, and carbon copy manuscripts with corrections, 1977
Photocopy page proof, 1977
Research materials, 1975-1976, nd
"The King We Lost: Edward VIII by Frances Donaldson," handwritten and carbon copy manuscripts with corrections, nd
"A Little Order by Evelyn Waugh," PEN Broadsheet, no. 5, carbon copy manuscript, 1978
My Life in Ballet (1968)
Location
6.5 "Chapter XX: The 1960s," carbon copy manuscript fragment with corrections, nd
Choreography script for Comedia Umana, 1960
Synopses and notes for Donald of the Burthens, 1952
Notes, clippings, and ballet programs
Location
6.6 Photographs (10), nd
Correspondence, 1965-1968, nd
Location
6.7 "Old words, new meanings," typed manuscript with corrections, nd
"The Pope's Visit to Spain," Contemporary Review, v. 242, no. 1406, 1983
Location
6.7 Handwritten, typed, and photocopy manuscripts with corrections, nd
Location
gf Galley proof, 1983
Location
6.7 "Power and order: Henry Adams and the Naturalist Tradition in American Fiction by Harold Kaplan," photocopies of typed manuscript with corrections, nd
"A Prince of Our Disorder: The Life of T. E. Lawrence by John E. Mack," PEN Broadsheet, no. 3, 1977
Location
6.7 Typed and carbon copy manuscripts with corrections, nd
Photocopy page proof, nd
"Profile: Denton Welch (1915-1948)," PEN Broadsheet, no. 4, 1977
Location
6.7 Eric Oliver interview typescript, 1977
Handwritten notes and manuscript, 1977
Typed and carbon copy manuscript with corrections, 1977
"Profile: Elizabeth Bowen," PEN Broadsheet, no. 2, handwritten, typed and carbon copy manuscripts with corrections, 1976
"Ronald Firbank, Memoirs and Critiques edited by Mervyn Horder," PEN Broadsheet, no. 4, typed and carbon copy manuscripts with corrections, 1977
"Sherlock Holmes revisited," Contemporary Review, v. 235, no. 1362, 1979
Location
6.7 Handwritten, typed and carbon copy manuscripts with corrections, 1979
Location
gf Galley proof, 1979
Location
6.7 "The Soul's Gymnasium and Other Stories by Harold Action," PEN Broadsheet, no.13, photocopy typed manuscript, 1982
"Stephen Spender speaks to PEN," PEN Broadsheet, no. 2, handwritten and carbon copy manuscript with corrections, 1976
"A Taste of Broadway," The Sunday Telegraph, clipping, 1962
"Television in the 1980's--The Medium in Maturity," Contemporary Review, v. 211, no. 1402, photocopy typed manuscript with corrections, 1982
"Theatres in Hammersmith," Contemporary Review, v. 235, no. 1367, 1979
Location
6.7 Carbon copy manuscript with corrections, 1979
Location
gf Galley proof, 1979
"T. S. Eliot's The Family Reunion--Forty years later," Contemporary Review
Location
6.8 Handwritten, carbon copy and photocopy typed manuscripts with corrections, nd
Location
gf Galley proof, nd
The Unknown Majorca
Location
6.8 Handwritten notes, nd
Typed synopsis and book proposals, nd
"The Young Writers' Festival at the Royal Court Theatre," Contemporary Review, v. 234, no. 1361, 1979
Location
7.1 Research materials and notes, 1979, nd
Handwritten, typed, and carbon copy manuscripts with corrections, nd
Location
gf Galley proof, 1979
Location
7.2 Unidentified, typed manuscript with annotations, nd



 

Series II. Other Papers, 1964-1987, nd

Correspondence
Location
7.3 Incoming literary correspondence, 1973-1987
Outgoing literary correspondence, 1977
Incoming personal correspondence, 1965-1978, nd
Outgoing personal correspondence, nd
Notes and notebooks
Location
7.4 Handwritten notes on various subjects, nd
Location
7.5 [Notebook 1], includes drafts for A Night at the Odeon, a review of Mervyn Horder's Ronald Firbank: Memoirs and Critiques, and a listing of Rubens' short stories, nd
Location
7.6 [Notebook 2], includes drafts for a review of Donat Gallagher's A Little Order: A Selection from His Journalism / Evelyn Waugh and The Unknown Majorca, nd
Location
7.7 [Notebook 3], includes drafts for "Old Words, New Meanings" and a review of Mervyn Horder's Ronald Firbank: Memoirs and Critiques, nd
Location
7.8 [Notebook 4], includes notes for My Life in Ballet, a biography of Antoine Watteau, and a draft for a review of Giorgio Bassani's The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, nd
Location
7.9 [Notebook 5], include drafts for A Shadow between Us, a review of Muriel Spark's Mandelbaum Gate, a review of Iris Murdoch's The Red and the Green, an unidentified short story and several unidentified reviews, and notes for My Life in Ballet and a biography of Antoine Watteau, nd
Location
7.10 [Notebook 6], includes notes for My Life in Ballet, Gerard de Nerval, and "Mr. F," nd
Subject files
Location
7.11 Clippings, 1964-1978, nd
PEN
Location
7.11 Correspondence, 1976-1978
Brochures and clippings, 1976-1977
Postcard and receipt, 1977, nd



 Index of Correspondents 

Names in bold appear in the RLIN record.

  • Able, Betty--7.10
  • Anderson & Shepard--6.5
  • Bachman & Turner--7.10
  • Boas, Pamela--7.10
  • B.T. Batsford Ltd.--7.10
  • Chevalier, Jean-Louis--7.10
  • Clancier, Georges Emmanuel, 1914- --7.11
  • Collins?, Norman--7.10
  • Contemporary Review--7.10
  • Cooper, Lettice Ashley--7.10
  • David Higham Associates--7.10
  • "Donald"--6.5
  • Elstob, Peter, 1916- --7.11
  • Encounter--7.10
  • English Centre of International PEN--7.11
  • Farmer, David--7.10
  • Friends Select School (Philadelphia, Pa.)--7.10
  • Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center--7.10
  • MacLean, A. D.--7.10
  • Macmillan & Co.--7.10
  • Massine, Leonide, 1896- --6.5
  • McN__--7.10
  • Middletune Graphics--7.10
  • National Assoc. of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies--7.10
  • Oliver, Eric--7.10
  • PEN Club Français--7.11
  • Paterson, Elizabeth--7.11
  • Pullein-Thompson, Josephine--7.11
  • Szgnowski?, David--7.10
  • Tatton-Brown, Anthea--7.10
  • Tavernier, René--7.10-11
  • Thwaite, Anthony--7.10
  • Tuite, Simon--7.10
  • Wade, Rosalind--7.10-11
  • West, Anthony--7.10