Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Bennett, S. mss., 1985-1996, consist primarily of letters from author Patrick O'Brian, 1914-2000, to Stuart Bennett, a rare book and manuscript dealer in London and toward the end of the correspondence in northern California. The letters relate to O'Brian's writings — the Aubrey/Maturin novels as well as his biography of Joseph Banks - to rare books that O'Brian is interested in acquiring—the pseudonymous first edition of Candide, early editions of Jane Austen's novels, and Samuel Johnson's A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland—and to books that Bennett has for sale. Of particular interest is the letter dated 4 August 1995 in which O'Brian gives his blessing to letting Bennett offer his two O'Brian manuscripts to the Lilly Library "to join the others ...if you feel so inclined." The correspondence also concerns more personal matters such as health, travels, and mutual visits. Interfiled with the Patrick O'Brian letters are a few from his wife Mary, usually addressed to Bennett's first wife Kate, or to both Bennett and wife, and a few retained copies of Bennett's letters to O'Brian. Also present are letters from publishers to Bennett, usually sending along a copy of O'Brian's most recent publication and in a few cases galleys of the American edition. Miscellaneous photocopied items relating to O'Brian's life and works complete the collection.

Purchase. 2003

Collection size: 90 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.