Constance Savery papers, 1913-1999  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Savery, Constance
Constance Savery papers
5.25 linear feet, (11 containers)
Collection Number
Coll 471
The papers of Constance Savery, English-born author known primarily for her children's and young adult novels, are comprised of correspondence, work diaries, drafts and typescripts, ephemera, personal documents, published material, photographs, and artifacts.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Constance Winifred Savery was born in Froxfield, Wiltshire in England on October 31, 1897, the eldest of five daughters of Reverend John Manly Savery. The Savery family moved to Birmingham when Constance was eleven years old where she attended the King Edward VI High School for Girls. She received a scholarship to study English literature at Somerville College, Oxford in 1917, and became one of the first women to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oxford in 1920.

She later received a post-graduate diploma in Secondary Education at Birmingham University, and taught for several years. Savery’s teaching career came to an end with the death of her mother, as she chose to return to assist her father with his parish work in Middleton, Suffolk. She never returned to teaching, but instead established a career as a writer, publishing over 50 books and short stories of juvenile fiction in her lifetime. Some notable titles include Green Emeralds for the King (1938), The Reb and the Redcoats (1961), and Enemy Brothers (1943). Her final publication in 1980 was a completion of Charlotte Brontë’s unfinished manuscript, Emma. The authors of Savery’s version are cited as “Charlotte Brontë and Another Lady.” Constance Savery died in Stroud, Gloucestershire on March 2, 1999.

[Sources: Biographical notes in Coll 471; Tucker, N. (1999) ‘Obituary: Constance Savery’ Independent, 17 Mar]

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Constance Savery papers include correspondence, work diaries, drafts and typescripts, ephemera, personal documents, published material, photographs, and artifacts. Correspondence includes incoming letters from Savery’s family, but the collection is primarily composed of letters exchanged between Constance Savery and a fan of Savery’s writing, Agneta Thomson of Sweden. Savery and Thomson began exchanging letters in 1989 when Thomson requested some publication information, and the two remained pen pals until Savery’s death in 1999. The subseries ‘Agneta Thomson’ includes all correspondence between Savery and Thomson arranged in chronological order from 1989-1999, with a numerical index prepared by Agneta Thomson. The second subseries, ‘Others,’ contains other incoming correspondence to Constance Savery, as well as correspondence exchanged between Thomson and Hummerstone (a relation of Savery’s) regarding the death of Savery.

The diaries in the collection detail Savery's daily work on publications. The collection also includes many unpublished typescripts and manuscripts of Savery’s writing. The ‘Chapbooks’ subseries contains over 100 color facsimiles of Savery’s publications (many excerpted from anthologies or scanned from unpublished typescripts). These chapbooks were produced by Eric Schonblom, and contain the bookplate of Agneta Thomson.

The News Clippings and Ephemera series includes unused postcards, mementos of Savery’s father, newsletters, church programs, and papers related to the Somerville College 75-year reunion (which Savery attended as a representative of the first cohort of women to receive degrees from Oxford). Personal documents include royalty receipts and contracts exchanged between Savery and some of her publishers, including Longman’s, Green and Co., and Bethlehem Books.

The Publications and Articles series includes material not written by Savery; the majority of these are Swedish works sent to Savery from Agneta Thomson. The Photographs series includes some portraits of Savery, though many are photos of Thomson and the gifts she sent to Savery. There are also two copies of a photograph of Savery and Thomson together at their only in-person meeting in England (ca. 1993). The Artifacts series includes a small leather souvenir, and two Maria Ahren dolls belonging to Agneta Thomson. Thomson named these dolls were “Miles” and “Giles,” and were the subject of many stories and letters between Savery and Thomson.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Constance Savery papers, Coll 471, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I:  CorrespondenceReturn to Top

Container(s): Box , Folder

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
Subseries A: Agneta Thomson
Box Folder
1 1
Index of 1989-1999 correspondence prepared by Agneta Thomson
1 2
1 3
1 4
1 5
1 6
1 7
1 8
1 9
1 10
1 11
2 1
2 2
2 3
2 4
2 5
2 6
2 7
2 8
2 9
2 10
2 11
Incoming Enclosures, n.d.
Separated from corresponding letter.
2 12
Incoming Enclosures, n.d.
Separated from corresponding letter.
Subseries B: Others
Correspondence to Constance Savery unless otherwise stated.
Box Folder
2 13
Agneta Thomson to Elizabeth Hummerstone
2 14
Elizabeth Hummerstone to Agneta Thomson
2 15
Incoming, A-Z
2 16
Incoming, to Rev. J.M. Savery [father]

Series II:  DiariesReturn to Top

Container(s): Box , Folder

Hardbound diaries (both originals and fair copies created by Savery) logging writing hours, royalties, etc.

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
3 1
Fugitive Verse and Prose
3 2
3 3
3 4
3 5
3 6
4 1
With typed index prepared by Eric Schonblom
4 2
Work (copy)
With typed index prepared by Eric Schonblom
4 3
With typed index prepared by Eric Schonblom

Series III:  WritingsReturn to Top

Container(s): Box , Folder

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
Subseries A: Drafts
Box Folder
5 1
Description of Typescripts
Authorship uncertain
5 2
The Christmas Weather-Birds
5 3
Don't Make Faces (3 copies)
5 4
God's Own Field
5 5
Haggiston Hall
5 6
[Haggiston Hall] Chapter 8, A Change of Air for Tosty
5 7
[Haggiston Hall] Chapter 9, Cousin Celadon Comes to Call
5 8
[Haggiston Hall] Chapter 10, Oxford Days
5 9
[Haggiston Hall] Chapter 12, What Happened Next
5 10
[Haggiston Hall] Chapter 13, Where Does Your Father Live?
5 11
[Haggiston Hall] Chapter 16, A Supper Party and Its Consequences
5 12
[Haggiston Hall] Chapter 18, A Sack and a Carpet-Bag
5 13
[Haggiston Hall, unknown chapter] pp. 286-300
5 14
Haggiston Hall Synopsis
5 15
The Holiday at Tawnysands
5 16
A Lesson on the Virginals
5 17
The Joke (2 copies)
5 18
The Joy Bells
5 19
The Memoirs of Jack Chelwood
With note by Eric Schonblom
6 1
The Memoirs of Jack Chelwood Synopsis
6 2
A New Home for Mike
6 3
Paul the Inventor
6 4
Pleasures and Pains of Authorship
6 5
The Polite Letter Writer
6 6
Quicksilver's Quest, Chapters 1-8
6 7
Quicksilver's Quest, Chapter 14
6 8
Rise and Fall of a Family Magazine
6 9
Seven Sly Shrimps
6 10
The Story of Lewis Carroll (2 copies)
6 11
A Squirrel for My Own
6 12
Yellow Pamments
Subseries B: Chapbooks
Facsimiles prepared by Eric Schonblom.
Box Folder
7 1
Ah! Did You Once -?; Allen and Unwin Reader's Reports; American Books in Britain
7 2
The Anomalous Prize; The Attic Bookshelf; An Autobiographical Sketch
7 3
The Best Place for Homework; Betty's Button Bag; Bishop Guy Bullen; A Book by Fifty Authors
7 4
The Black Pansies; A Book of Beauties; Bunyan's Barn
7 5
Butterscotch Pie; Character for Patsy; Cherry-Tree Cottage
7 6
The Clocks That Could Not Tick; Constance Savery Reads from Her Poems; The Cow and the Calf; The Crab-Stall Artists
7 7
A Dancer Merry; Dark Trees; Dearest Joe; A Doll and an Engine
East Anglian Composer; An Experiment on Co-operation; The Father of History
7 9
Fire Fighter; The Fairy Godbrother; The Fairy Shoe Shop
7 10
The French Vow; A Gentle Biographer; The Girl with the Purple Hair
7 11
Glory de George; Glory de George; Great-Grandmother's Pansy Spoons
7 12
He Started School at Twenty-One; The Head Mistress's Hat; The Hill with the Dippitty Trees
7 13
His Brother's Keeper; Hobby by Proxy; Honeypenny Buns
7 14
I May be a Billetee; I Must Read Them Again; Improving Inky Jacintha at College
7 15
In Defense of All That; In His Steps Part I; In His Steps Part II
7 16
In the Magic Mirror; Ladders to Heaven; Letters to the Times
7 17
The Little Dragon; The Little Dragon and His Chinese Lilies; The Little Dragon's Birthday Party
7 18
The Little Dragon's Princess; The Little Gypsy; The Little House
8 1
The Lucky Spoon; Mad Max Madd; The Magic Pebble
8 2
A Man of Many Mercies; Master Purvey's Jewel; Mink and His House; Miss Marigold's Letter, Parts I and II
8 3
One Crowded Hour; One Leaf on the Track; Orange Flowers
8 4
The Oranjorica Treasure; Paul the Inventor; Pigeon's Party
8 5
Poem by Three Authors; The Polite Letter Writer; Remembered Charms
8 6
Rescue Under Fire; Rise and Fall of a Family Magazine; Robert Grosseteste
8 7
Sally Goes House-Hunting; Sandy, the Burglar; The School Museum
8 8
The School Sampler; The Scotch Society; Sea Magic
8 9
A Seaside Holiday; Service Without Medal; The Shining Necklace; Sir Dominic's Scapegrace
8 10
Six Enchanted Eggs; Spindleberries and Pam; Splash!
8 11
Stair After Golden Skyward Stair; The Sun, Moon, and Stars Clock; The Tea Party
8 12
Those Awful Little Rabbits; Three Poems; Through the Bright Silences
8 13
The Tickative Clock; Tom Tiddler's Ground; To School through the Tunnel
8 14
To See the Princess; The Tricker Tricked; The Trumpet of the Lord
8 15
The Wastwych Street; Where Diotis Grows; White Shines the Star
8 16
A Change of Air for Tosty; A Lesson on the Virginals; A Lesson on the Virginals; Miles, Giles, and Friends

Series IV:  News Clippings and EphemeraReturn to Top

Container(s): Box , Folder

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
9 1
Blank Postcards
9 2
Church Programs
9 3
Encyclopedia Biography
9 4
Holograph Notes
9 5
J.M. Savery Memorial
9 6
News Clippings
9 7
News Clippings, n.d.
9 8
9 9
Somerville College

Series V:  Personal DocumentsReturn to Top

Container(s): Box , Folder

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
Subseries A: Financial
Box Folder
9 10
Allied Newspapers Limited
9 11
Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society
9 12
Bethlehem Books
9 13
Longmans, Green and Co.
9 14

Series VI:  Publications and ArticlesReturn to Top

Container(s): Box , Folder

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
9 15
Bronte Parsonage
9 16
Lotta Svard
9 17
9 18
Sir Thomas Fairfax as a Leader
9 19
The Vasa Sets Sail

Series VII:  PhotographsReturn to Top

Container(s): Box , Folder

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
10 1
Agneta with Bears
10 2
Agneta with Bears
10 3
Agneta with Boots
10 4
Agneta's Parents
10 5
Constance and Agneta
10 6
Constance and Family
10 7
Constance Portraits
10 8
10 9
Middleton Church, Suffolk
10 10
Miles and Giles Dolls
10 11
Unidentified Portrait and Event

Series VIII:  ArtifactsReturn to Top

Container(s): Box , Folder

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
9 20
Prince Albert Souvenir
Maria Ahren Dolls
Two ceramic dolls named "Miles" and "Giles" belonging to Agneta Thomson.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Children's books--Specimens
  • Children's Literature
  • Children's literature, English
  • Children's literature, English--Authorship
  • Children's literature--Illustrations
  • Children's literature--Publishing
  • Illustrated children's books
  • Illustrated children's books--England--Specimens
  • Women authors, English
  • Women authors, English--20th century--Diaries
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Correspondence