de Grummond Collection

McCain Library and Archives
University Libraries
University of Southern Mississippi


Collection Number
Collection Dates
Collection Volume
.30 cu.ft. (1 box)

Biographical Sketch | Scope & Content | Related Collections | Series & Subseries | Box Inventory


Materials donated by Joan Phipson between 1967 and 1978.


Non-circulating; available for research.


This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U. S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials, other than that noted above.

Biographical Sketch

Joan Fitzhardinge, who writes under the name Joan Phipson, was born on November 16, 1912 in Warrawee, New South Wales, Australia. She grew up in Australia, England, and India. She was educated at Frensham School, Mittagong, New South Wales where she returned to serve as librarian and printer from 1937-1939. Immediately after leaving school, however, she completed a correspondence course in journalism and moved to London, where she worked as a secretary from 1935-1937. She was a copywriter for a radio station in Sydney from 1939-1941 and a telegraphist for the women's auxiliary Australian Air Force from 1941-1944. She married Colin Hardinge Fitzhardinge in 1944. She is a member of the Australian Society of Authors. Since 1944 she has resided in New South Wales.

Phipson started writing for children quite by accident. When one of her own children was about to be born, she was told to take a rest. Instead, she decided to write a story of the sort she would have liked when she was young. In the early 1950s, she sent the story to a friend at Angus and Robertson, which published it. She subsequently began writing novels and has written more than twenty-five, dealing with such subjects as a mother's suicide, the destruction of a large city due to a general strike, and nuclear holocaust. She has also written an historical novel, Bass and Billy Martin, about exploration of the Australian coast. In her children's novels, Phipson often describes more intense dramas dealing with personal and social conflict. Among other awards, she received the Australian Children's Book of the Year Award in 1963 and the New York Herald Tribune Children's Spring Book Festival Award in 1964, both for The Family Conspiracy.


Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence from Phipson to the de Grummond Collection during the 1960s and 1970s and material relating to the publication of three novels published between 1965 and 1977. The material for the novels is arranged alphabetically by title; for each title, the organization of the materials reflects the probable order in which they were created.

Birkin (1965) is the story of a pet steer. In this novel, Phipson wanted to show that children's pets aren't always the easy and pleasant things children think they are. For this title, the collection contains the complete edited typescript. For The Family Conspiracy (1962), the collection also contains a complete typescript. According to the correspondence, this typescript includes the original first chapter that did not appear in the published book due to length. This novel deals with the Barker family, minor characters from a previous book. The plot revolves around the family's need to raise money for their mother's operation. All the children do something to raise money--sometimes they succeed, sometimes they do not. In Fly Into Danger (1977), Phipson urgently advocates environmental conservation, in much the same way as Patricia Wrightson, another Australian writer of children's fiction. For this title, the collection contains an edited typescript, a typescript marked for typesetting, and a master set of the American proofs.

Series and Subseries

A. Correspondence (1966-1978)

B. Books (1962-1977)

Box Inventory


A. Correspondence

1/1 From Phipson to the de Grummond Collection, 1966-1978, 4 items.

B. Books

BIRKIN by Joan Phipson (New York: Harcourt, 1965). 1/2-1/4 Typescript, edited, 1/2 front matter, chapters 1-5, pp. 1-47; 1/3 chapters 6-9, pp. 48-101; 1/4 chapters 10-14, pp. 102-152. THE FAMILY CONSPIRACY by Joan Phipson (New York: Harcourt, 1962). 1/5 Typescript, front matter, pp. 1-175. FLY INTO DANGER by Joan Phipson (New York: Atheneum, 1977). 1/6-1/7 Typescript, edited, 1/6 title page, chapters 1-7, pp. 1-54; 1/7 chapters 8-13, pp. 55-99. 1/8-1/9 Typescript, marked for typesetter, irregular pagination, 1/8 front matter and chapters 1-6, pp. 1-44; 1/9 chapters 7-13, pp. 45-99. 1/10 Master galley, edited, with page breaks marked, front matter and galley pages 1-48, 1 typescript insert.

Processed: February 1991
Revised: June 2001

Biographical Sketch | Scope & Content | Related Collections | Series & Subseries | Box Inventory
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The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection

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