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Donald Brien Collection on Forrest Reid


Held at: Bryn Mawr College [Contact Us]Bryn Mawr College Library, 101 N. Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr 19010

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Bryn Mawr College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Forrest Reid was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1875. The youngest of a family of 12, Reid lost his father at a young age, and much of his upbringing fell to his mother and older sisters. His mother had been born to an aristocratic Shropshire family, though Reid found the strict code of ethics of his immediate family and thier Protestant faith to be stifling. As a boy, Reid was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, and he later went on to attend Christ's College, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. After publishing his first two novels, The Kingdom of Twilight (1904) and The Garden God (1905), and taking his degree in 1908, Reid settled down in Belfast to pursue a writing career.

Throughout the early part of the twentieth century, Reid produced a string of unsucessful novels, including Following Darkness (1912) and Pirates of the Spring (1919). His most applauded works, however, came later in life, beginning with Uncle Stephen (1931), a novel that would form part of a trilogy that was thought to be the author's greatest masterpeice. Reid would go on to produce many more well-regarded work, like Apsotate (1926), his notable autobiography, and Brian Westby (1934), inspired by his relationship with novelist Stephen Gilbert. Reid also wrote studies of William Butler Yeats and Walter de la Mare, with whom he was a close personal friend. In addition to his sucess in writing, Reid was a founding member of the Imperial Art League (later the Artsists League of Great Britain).

Rorrest Reid died in 1947 with his oeuvre highly-regarded, but lacking the popular recognition many thought he deserved. Reid is not particularly well-known today, and there have been recent efforts to restore many of his best works to print.

Donald Brien was a collector of Forrest Reid's works and papers.

This collection consists of material collected by Donald Brien, and features documents concerning Forrest Reid, a Northern Irish author and literary critic. Much of the collection is in the form of letters that were either sent to friends and colleagues by Forrest Reid, or letters that later sent to Brien by some of Reid's most notable contacts. The collection also contains a number of postcards, greeting cards, writing samples, newspaper clippings, photographs, and research materials and notes that were collected by Donald Brien. The collection is divided into two series: I. Forrest Reid Materials, and II. Donald Brien Materials.

Series I: This series is divided into three folders. The first folder, "Correspondence: Outgoing," features letters that were written by Reid to many of his professional and personal contacts. The letters are organized alphabetically by the last name of the person with whom Reid was contacting, and the letters relating to each recipient are organized chronologically, therein. The second folder, "Writings," features several of Reid's works, including catalogue entries, Reid's notes and impressions on other works, and a bibliography relating to his writing. The third folder in this series, "Galleys," features galley proofs of Pirates of the Spring (1919) and Pender Among the Residents (1922).

Series II: This series is organized into two folders. The first folder, "Correspondence: Incoming," houses the letters that Donald Brien received from people who knew or had worked with Forrest Reid. This folder is organized similarly to Reid's folder, with the letters being organized first by the last name of the person with whom Brien was corresponding, and then chronologically. The second folder, "Research Material," contains a notebook of letters to and from Forrest Reid that were transcribed by Brien, loose letters of the same kind, the writings of various authors on Forrest Reid after his death, and newspaper clippings and photographs from the memorial and exhibition that were produced after Reid's death.

Bryn Mawr College
Finding Aid Author
Alexandra Adams
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The Donald Brien Collection on Forrest Reid is the physical property of the Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal hairs and assigns.

Collection Inventory

Physical Description

1 boxes

Babington, 1929.
Folder 1
Mrs. Burke and Miss Cameron, 1927.
Folder 2
Pinker, 1927.
Folder 3
Siegfried Sassoon, 1912.
Folder 4
Martin Secker, 1914-1915.
Folder 5
A.J.A. Symons , 1929.
Folder 6
Taylor, 1927.
Folder 7
Robert Wright , 1935.
Folder 8
Miscellaneous Recipients , 1905-1946.
Folder 9
Notes and Impressions.
Folder 10
A Bibliography , 1904-1944.
Folder 11
Catalogue Entries , 1921-1952.
Folder 12
Criticism .
Folder 13
The Schoolmaster .
Folder 14
The Visitors .
Folder 15
Pirates of the Spring (1919), 1919.
Folder 16
Pender Among the Residents (1922) , 1922.
Folder 16

Physical Description

2 boxes

John Bebbington , 1953.
Folder 17
Various Booksellers, 1949-1951.
Folder 18
Russell Burlingham , 1952-1965.
Folder 19 Folder 18
Knox Cunningham , 1952-1969.
Folder 20
Walter de la Mare , 1952 .
Folder 21
Stephen Gilbert , 1951-1969.
Folder 22
Grace Hamilton (Smith) , 1964-1968.
Folder 23
Letters Concerning Kenneth Hamilton , 1924-1931.
Folder 24
John Hart , 1951-1964.
Box 25 Folder 25
Ruddick Millar , 1951-1952.
Folder 26
Robin Perry, 1953-1955.
Folder 27
J. Stanley Prosser, 1952-1955.
Folder 28
Doreen Sheridan, 1961-1966.
Folder 29
R.J. Wright , 1952-1960.
Folder 30
Miscellaneous Senders, 1951-1953.
Folder 31
Notebook of Reid's Letters and Notes , 1929-1964.
Folder 32
Transcribed Reid Letters, 1920-1925.
Folder 33
Various Authors on Reid, 1947-1952.
Folder 34
Memorial and Exhibition.
Folder 35
Miscellaneous .
Folder 36
Folder 37
Folder 38

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