de Grummond Collection

McCain Library and Archives
University Libraries
University of Southern Mississippi


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

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


Materials received from Margaret McElderry of Atheneum Press in 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

Patricia Wrightson was born in Lismore, New South Wales, Australia, on June 21, 1921. She was educated at State Correspondence School for isolated children and St. Catherine's College. Wrightson believes that her informal education was as valuable to her as her formal schooling, if not more so. She was educated in philosophy, literature, and wonder by her father and in the social sciences by her mother. Wrightson feels she profited most from the year she abandoned formal schooling altogether to study Shakespeare on her own. After Wrightson married in 1943, she went to work as secretary and administrator at Bonalbo District Hospital, 1946-1960, and Sydney District Nursing Association, 1960-1964. Subsequently, she served as assistant editor of School Magazine, Sidney, from 1964 to 1970.

Wrightson has written more than fifteen books for children, as well as a novel for adults. She has edited several collections of stories for children. In her children's fiction, she uses aboriginal folk-spirits (fairies and monsters) to enrich her tales, which she categorizes as contemporary Australian fantasy. She believes that fantasy can be used as a means of exploring the "other" point of view, which, in turn, she hopes will stretch the reader's understanding and lead to independent thinking and conclusions. Wrightson has received many honors and awards for her fiction including the Australian Children's Book Council Book of the Year Award in 1956 for The Crooked Snake, in 1974 for The Nargun and The Stars, in 1978 for The Ice is Coming, and in 1984 for A Little Fear. She won the Boston Globe Horn Book Award, 1984, for A Little Fear. For overall excellence in her field, she was awarded the Dromkeen Children's Literature Foundation Medal, 1984 and the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, 1986.


Scope and Content

This collection contains a 1977 letter from the author to the de Grummond Collection and materials for The Ice is Coming (1977). Correspondence with the author indicates that the editorial marks on the typescript are her own.

In The Ice is Coming, the first book of a trilogy, Wrightson explores the nature of life and death as Wirrun, an aborigine, turns his friend Yunggamurra, a water sprite, into a human being only to discover that he has subjected her to the human trials of aging and death. As in many of her books, Wrightson is concerned for the land and how it is being violated by modern industry. The collection has a complete, edited typescript for this title.

Related Collection


Series and Subseries

A. Correspondence (1977)

B. Books (1977)

Box Inventory


A. Correspondence

1/1 To the de Grummond Collection, 1977.

B. Books

THE ICE IS COMING by Patricia Wrightson (New York: Atheneum, 1977). 1/2 - 7 Typescript, edited, 1/2 author's note and chapter 1, pp. 11-38; 1/3 chapter 2, pp. 39-74; 1/4 chapter 3, pp. 75-105; 1/5 chapter 4, pp. 106-151; 1/6 chapter 5, pp. 152-200; 1/7 chapter 6, pp. 201-243.

Processed: February 1991
Revised: July 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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