Constance Savery: Work Diaries CWS

Digital Facsimile

I have annotated the digital diary by using the table of contents below as an outline. At the end of the annotations is a description of how the digital copy differs from the original. Choosing any of the sections below will take you there.

Work Notes, 1905-1929

Work Notes, 1930-1939

Work Notes, 1940-1949

Work Notes, 1950-1959

Work Notes, 1960-1969

Work Notes, 1970-1973

List of Published Work

Notes about Suffolk

Savery Family

Other Appendices

Facsimile Description

Work Notes, 1905-1929, pp 1-5

Since Savery received the blank diary as a present at the end of 1929, the entries with dates prior to 1930 were based upon memory or on records now lost. It begins

 Childish writings of various kinds including

Sept. 1905   The Princess named Nelly.
followed by ten blank lines. I believe Savery intended to locate some other juvenilia and add their titles, but did not do so. Many years later she prepared Winifred's Thought Book, a collection of early poems and tales, but no publisher was interested, so she donated a manuscript copy of these to the de Grummond Children's Collection. Princess Nelly was not among them. It is possible that Nelly is in one of the family magazines prepared by Savery and her sisters. Those colorful treasures are carefully preserved by her goddaughter in Devon. Winifred's Thought Book is concluded on her tenth birthday in 1907, so none of the other juvenile titles in the diary, which resume in 1911, are included there either.

The titles of her first two publications, The Gullivers [The Trickster Tricked] and A Seaside Holiday are duly noted for 1913 and 1914. The sole entry for 1918 is The Wyverne Chronicle, a short story that was expanded to a novel in 1920-1921 and remained unpublished despite numerous revisions and title changes spanning seventy-eight years up to a final handwritten, 693-page draft in 1996. Christine Savery, aged 16, recorded this in her pocket diary on September 3, 1918:
Rec'd Peters story which is topping
Through 1923 the entries follow the format of Princess Nelly: a year followed by a title. Beginning with The Primrose Children, Sept. 1923 - June 1924, the month is added as well. The entries are a mixture of titles published then, titles published at a later date, and titles that were lost or, more probably, discarded. Occasionally now a title is followed by an entry such as "(1 day)" to indicate how long it took to write the story. She wrote Nicholas Chooses White May in three weeks in May of 1927. When it was accepted the following February, it was her first book sale, although Forbidden Doors was published first.

By 1928, the entries are appearing more frequently and may include the day of the month and a word about progress. Apparently Savery was copying from a previous diary. Having given up teaching to assist her father in his Middleton parish, she had much more time for writing, her work was selling, and she had learned her trade.

Work Notes, 1930-1939, pp 6-34

The decade begins auspiciously with the February publication of Tenthragon, the American edition of Forbidden Doors, followed by Nicholas Chooses White May in March. Savery continued to write short stories, but manuscripts for books are taking more of her time. In December of 1930 Pippin's House was sold, to Longmans, Green & Company in New York, her first sale of an original novel to an American publisher. She would go on to sell Longmans ten more books.

With contemporaneous entries, the diary has become a living document, losing uniformity, but gaining personality with emendations, interpolations, and, still rarely, comments. In 1931 she wrote The Yellow Ribbon, the first of seven adult short stories for THE SUNDAY CIRCLE.

April 13, 1934, initiated another fruitful relationship. Wishing to publish a serial based upon Lady Moonshine in Candle Street, CHILD LIFE magazine also accepted Grandamamma Was-a-Witch and five other short stories. In all, CHILD LIFE published eleven Savery stories and the Lady Moonshine serial. Regarding the latter, Savery wrote a rare complaint:
...CHILD LIFE (U.S.A.) has accepted Moonshine in Candle Street. It is to be cut to comply with their requirements for serialization. I do not like this."
When she didn't complain, she commiserated:
Letter from Pickering & Inglis accepting Yellow Gates for inclusion in their "Sunshine" series. [This was its maiden voyage] £7"10"0 ! offered for copyright. Poor thing!
I have a special affection for Yellow Gates. It was the first book by Savery that I read when, in 2000, I wondered if she was as good an author as I remembered from more than fifty years previously.

Among scores of entries about her work, Savery occasionally records something happening in family or household. Even more rarely she will mention the outside world:
    January 20th 1936.
    (Death of King George V
    at night)
Finished the re-typing of The Wyverne
, renamed it Quicksilver, and
prepared it for sending to the U.S.A.
Some manuscripts have their own histories. On April 26, 1936 she wrote:
"Little Dragon" stories accepted by CHILD LIFE, to which they were sent in August 1935. Delay in acceptance caused by mistake on part of agent, who sent them in for a competition for short stories wh. did not close until Dec. 31st. Although it was below the wd. limit and was a fairy tale and not a "real" story, the first of the series, The Little Dragon, obtained fourth place among over 1200 entries from America and England.
On June 8, 1937, Savery reported typing a short story on "J.M.S.'s new typewriter." Over the years Savery progressed from writing manuscripts by hand, to typing them on an old typewriter, to, in this case, using her father's new machine." John Manley Savery died on July 24, 1939, aged 80.

After a not uncommon apologetic phrase, an entry dated June 28 - July 14, 1937, chronicles the history of another short story:
Practically no work--cannot.
White Shines the Star accepted by THE SUNDAY AT HOME. It was originally written in the summer of 1923 and ever since then has been trying to get into one of the R.T.S. [Religious Tract Society, older name for Lutterworth Press] publications. It is now rewarded for nearly fourteen years of patient perseverance. Originally called The Shrimp and Martin, then The White Star of Christmas, then White Shines the Star.
A new era begins with the entry for September 11-12, 1939:
(no work possible during three weeks round about the declaration of war on Sept. 3rd)
As the parentheses indicate, all external news, however important, was extraneous to the work diary, and the war is mentioned as an interruption of Savery's work schedule. Her first story with a war theme was Glory de George, written on October 2-6. It was accepted immediately by WOMAN'S MAGAZINE. In Books for Black-Outs: Charlotte Yonge (THE TIMES, November 27), she repeated a 'they say' prediction that the war would last three years.

Work Notes, 1940-1949, pp 35-81

When Savery was given her diary, she set aside 36 pages in which to make notes about her work, then began a list of her publications on the 37th page. In July of 1940 she had filled the 36 pages, so she set aside some blank pages for additional publications and resumed her work records on the other side of those. When I made the digital facsimile, I moved the publication list so that it would follow all of the notes.

Occasionally the war affected her work. Here are two examples:
May 20th: Received £6"0"2 royalties on Green Emeralds for the King. There has been a special sale of 320 copies. 1750 "sheets" have been destroyed by fire (caused by enemy action).

June 9th: Received cheque of £8"8"0 for twelfth and last installment of Silver Whistle. This cheque was rescued from the fire which destroyed the premises of the Lutterworth Press (a fire caused by incendiary bombs). The receipt form sent to me was singed.
Savery's best-known book about the war, Enemy Brothers, was published in the United States in August of 1943. That same summer, Savery wrote:
June 14th: Enemy Brothers to be serialized (D.V.) in CLASSMATE by the Methodist Church Board of Education (U.S.A.) November. after publication. This very unusual.

Readers of three major motion pictures studios in New York have recommended Enemy Brothers very highly to Hollywood for production.

June 14th-July 2nd: Practically completed (all but 3 or 4 pages) a shorter version of Enemy Brothers, a reduction from 78,000 to 40,000. But the editor of CLASSMATE has made his own cuts and will not want mine.
Savery prepared an English version of the book for distribution in the U.K., but it was not considered timely, and never published there.

Here is another wartime quote:
March 23, 1944: Letter from S.J. Shaylor, pleased that I had written again, as he had lost my address when his offices were destroyed in the Paternoster Row blitz. He cannot take The Trumpet of the Lord as an S/S [Service of Song] at present owing to acute paper shortage, but would like to look at it with a view to keeping it in cold storage.
In the diary, the end of the war was noted with as little fanfare as when it started and with no interference in the work schedule:
Aug. 16th: VJ Day (no 2).  Received 3 copies of Emeralds for the King.
The end of the war led to much easier and faster communication between the United States and England, and Savery's American market expanded as a consequence. At the same time, there were still paper shortages at home, and periodicals such as WOMAN'S MAGAZINE, which had taken Savery's stories for adults, were no longer in circulation. In 1946, she arranged for resale rights:
Jan. 15: Messrs Dean & Son gave me permission to use stories formerly published by them, in American magazines including American magazines with a Canadian circulation for a fee of 10/6 a thousand words.

  The Oxford Press gave me permission to use stories published by them. This permission is to be at 10% of the money received by me for publication elsewhere either at home or abroad, with the proviso that the Oxford Press are free to publish the stories themselves at any time.

  Brown, Son & Ferguson gave me permission to re-use the stories in There Was a Key.
As her correspondence indicates, getting permission from Brown, Son & Ferguson was not easy.
There were even disagreements with American publishers, as when, on Oct. 9, 1947, she received
Proofs of The Dark House on the Moss (mutilated and the character study of Primrose Lanthorn spoilt).
Among Savery's articles about books and authors is one about "A.L.O.E"--"A Lady of England"--Charlotte Maria Tucker. The article would not appear for some time, but the diary for January and February, 1949, lists letters about ALOE from Mrs. St. George Tucker (two), Miss A.E. Tucker (two), Miss Constance Hamilton, Miss Smith, Mrs. Ogle, Mrs. Moynihan, Mrs. Flint, Miss M.E. Brooks, Miss Goodair, and Miss Constance Tucker. Savery's research was careful and thorough. Even her fiction, such as The Memoirs of Jack Chelwood, is replete with historically accurate allusions.

Work Notes, 1950-1959, pp 82-142

During the 1950s, interspersed with her own activities, are more frequent mentions of her sisters' work, articles typed for Phyllis and announcements, often in capital letters, when Christine's novels were accepted and published. For example, here are three consecutive entries from the summer of 1950:
Phyllis's story The Guiding Hand accepted by BRITISH MESSENGER.
Wrote an article on Mary Delany--Dearest Mrs. Delany.
Christine's book The Raven Flew North arrived.
Savery has described her busy church and social life elsewhere. There are numerous references to these obligations in the diary. Here are two consecutive entries beginning on September 11, 1950:
Finished Frost Flowers (Wrote it quite quickly, but much hindered by Parochial Church Council difficulties).

Still hindered by P.C.C. difficulties (Bishop's visit on Sept 17th)...
Everything was grist to Savery's mill. A Rector in Council is a humorous account of a P.C.C. meeting, which may explain her rare use of a pseudonym.

In April of 1953 Savery agreed to expand I Must Read them Again, a series that appeared in THE SUNDAY AT HOME, to twelve monthly articles about books and authors for METHODIST MAGAZINE. They liked the series and approved a second one, The Attic Bookshelf, which ran in 1956. During the mid-50s, the diary contains many references to obscure and unknown authors, such as Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck and Sarson Ingham.

She was also quick to respond to an opportunity:
Feb. 25: The Editor of CROSSROAD asked for a serial.

Mar. 9: Over Moonless Seas accepted by the Editor of CROSSROAD.
This serial eluded me until the summer of 2010.

An author needs a sense of humor, in writing, certainly, but also to sustain one when the mail isn't satisfactory:
Dec. 30th [1954]: Heard that Four Lost Lambs is a "fine story" but that the "Sunday School experts" consider that it "needs polishing". The Book Editor says she does not know what this means, but will I look the story over and make any changes that may occur to me! Also heard that To the City of Gold is considered "grand."

  31st: Diligently polishing the lambs.

About Jan. 4th: Sent off the lambs.
She was to have more difficulty with the lambs. When the proofs arrived, the Lutterworth Press asked that she add 22 lines to make the story fit the number of pictures. "They have ruined the story," she complained when the page proofs were returned, "by cutting to make it fit the pictures"; however, when the finished book arrived, the illustrations pleased her. She never wrote another picture book for Lutterworth, and her other picture-book manuscripts were not published.

Her response to one serial was uncharacteristic:
Sept. 6 [1955]: FINISHED Bunyan's Barn, the most difficult book to write that I ever wrote. I wonder why. It may have been because I feel a stranger in this new post-war world.
The story did not impress her sister Phyllis.

She enjoyed a radio interview:
Sept. 17th: Went up to London to make a tape-recording for Mrs. Ruth Harshaw's "World Carnival of Books." Made recording on Sept. 18th in the Schools Broadcast Section of the B.B.C. Met fellow-author Miss Rosalie Fry..., author of Lucinda and the Painted Bell (title in the U.S.A. is A Bell for Ringelblume, published by Dent). Lunched by invitation at the Stratford Court Hotel. Rhonda Power of the history section of the Schools Broadcasting Service was present. Kitty Barne & Noel Streatfield had also made records. The tapes will be flown to the U.S.A. for recording 8:45 a.m. Dec. 22, Chicago, WMAC, and Dec. 30, 7:30 a.m. WRCA. I am to have a record.

Feb. 5th: Bertha Gunterman wrote, sending reviews of Welcome, Santza and announcing that the records of my broadcast are being sent by sea mail. She wishes my books could appear, like Margaret Baker's, on television. So do I.

Feb. [1956] The records came. Amusing.
While she was waiting for the records to arrive, her ingenuity was challenged:
Dec. 29th: Proofs of The Boy from Brittany (formerly The Throne of the Lilies) arrived. I am requested to delete any 3 lines in Chap. 3, any 10 in Chapter 4, any 7 in Chapter 8 (preferably in one portion, not odd lines) to make the book fit into 96 pages!!
  YAH! Did it cleverly.
Competing with a sister for a publisher's book list might cause jealousy in some households, but it was cause for celebration when either of the Savery sisters was published:
May 2nd: Miss Margaret Stewart writes from the Lutterworth Press, asking whether there is any likelihood of my contributing to the new series for 8-year-olds and to a new series for "sixteens", for which "official permission to go ahead" has not yet been granted. Miss Stewart adds:
I have not yet got official permission to go ahead with the second of these, and I am keeping the author of an excellent story waiting far too long already, so I had better not say any more about this one just now.
?  Does this mean that Miss S. is referring to Christine's story Signal for Poke? What else could it mean?

A further letter contains another cryptic reference to the story by the excellent author, giving May 31st as the date of the Council meeting at which its lot will be decided.
Signal for Poke was accepted on July 27. It was published as Aircraftman Poke the following year.

In 1958 Savery wrote an appreciation of Alfred R. Gaul, a minor composer of choral music and her music master at King Edward VI High School for Girls in Birmingham. Mr. Gaul's Party was printed in THE TIMES on Nov. 3, and it prompted a number of letters from others who had known Mr. Gaul, including Savery's English mistress at the school. Savery went on to write a second piece about him for the EAST ANGLIAN MAGAZINE and was then asked to write a third article for King Edward's school magazine, THE PHŒNIX. This led to an invitation to be guest speaker at the London Branch of King Edward's Old Girl Association. After hesitating, she accepted. The diary records the event:
May 7th, 1959: ...Have been busy preparing a talk on The Pains and Pleasures of Authorship for a dinner of the London Branch of the Old Edwardians, at which I am to be guest speaker.

May 8th: Spoke at K.E. (Old Edwardians) Dinner at Dartmouth House (Headquarters of E.S.U. [The English-Speaking Union]). Speech seemed to be liked. Hope it was.
Although the speech was not published, Savery preserved it for us in volume 5 of the fair copy of her diary.

Work Notes, 1960-1969, pp 143-180

Feb. 4th [1960]: Asked by Methodist Board of Education to write stories about early translators of the Bible.
This mutually profitable assignment led to work for Savery and for articles at all levels for the Methodists. In 1962 she celebrated Ulfilas, John Purvey (with John Wyclif), and Henry Martyn in TRAILS FOR JUNIORS. In 1963 she added hymn-writers John Milton and Joseph Addison for the same Sunday School magazine, which also accepted a piece about William Tyndale in 1964. This story or article, Secret in a Cedarwood Box may never have been published. The Methodists phased out TRAILS FOR JUNIORS, and I did not find Tyndale in FIVE | SIX, the replacement periodical. On the other hand, FIVE | SIX did print biographies of Columba, 1966, and The Venerable Bede, 1967, together with Caedmon, St. Hilda, and Hilda's successors at her Abbey, also in 1967.

Savery sometimes wrote explanations of why she wasn't writing, but rarely made excuses. This must have been a difficult three months:
Feb 10th - April 11th [1960]: Unable to write (except for finishing addition to Rebel Jacqueline and going over the last 2 chapters of The Reb and the Redcoats, owing to shingles and absence from home during Irene's last illness.

April 7th: Irene died, carissima, carissima.
In 1963 an article, Teddy's Button and All That, appeared in THE CHRISTIAN GRADUATE attacking evangelical fiction, its motives, and the quality of the books themselves. On June 1, Savery responded, rebutting the article point by point and offering a grateful acknowledgement to the article's 'awful examples,' which had brightened her own childhood.

She remained busy at her church, St. Margaret's in Suffolk:
July 16-19 [1963]: Exhibition in Reydon Church: Our Church: Past and Present.

July 18-25: In spare time wrote article about the Exhibition entitled Church Uninteresting?
Canon John Fitch, who was pastor of St. Margaret's at the time, informed me in a letter that the exhibition was prepared by him and Miss Constance Savery. He was not aware that she wrote an article about it. The publications portion of the diary states that it was printed in THE WINDOW, which turned out to be a publication used as an insert in parish magazines.

An entry for Nov. 23rd, 1964, reports the arrival of a new typewriter, an Olivetti 82, a gift from Doreen.

Here's another account of the sisters' relationship with the Lutterworth Press:
Jan. 15th, 1965: The Golden Cap accepted. M. Stewart writes "This is fine and I shall be very glad to have it". She also says "I hope you don't mind however if I publish Miss Christine Savery's story (JOURNEY WITH MARK) first? Hers is for boys, and we particularly need a boys' story this year". Splendid! Have rung up Chris at Stone Cottage, Stratton.

Jan. 20th, 1965: Chris and I received our contracts from the Lutterworth Press. £65 to be paid.

Feb. - : Alas! The Lutterworth "expert" desires that in the Christian teaching of The Golden Cap more emphasis should be placed on conservative evangelical teaching and less on "the social gospel". I am to rectify this in April.
Of particular interest to bibliographers, such as myself, is this report:
June 7 [1966]: The Professor of Library Science at the University of Southern Mississippi (Mrs. Lena Young de Grummond) has written to ask for the gift of some of my manuscripts, typescripts, etc. for an "outstanding collection of children's books." I propose to send the TSS of Welcome, Santza, Magic in My Shoes, and The Reb and the Redcoats.
I had a short time to examine these typescripts. The children in Magic in My Shoes are two years younger in the original typescript than they are in the book. There is no indication whether Savery or an editor at Longmans made the change, which is one among a great many. As a rule, Savery did not retain her original manuscripts once a book was published, so the Mississippi library provides a unique opportunity to examine the works in progress.

Savery received some bad news in June of 1967:
June 14th: Trying to write The Golden Mountains. Received a letter from Bertha (Gunterman) notifying me of her impending resignation from the firm of David McKay on July 15th.
Having acquired Longmans, Green & Co., David McKay had been sending royalty checks to Savery since 1962. Whether Gunterman's retirement was affected by the acquisition or was simply a normal wish to retire, it was a blow to Savery, who lost a sympathetic editor at the publisher paying her the highest income. None of her subsequent books were purchased by McKay. There was another difference. While the characters in her books for Longmans had been church-going Christians, they did not preach, and the books were not evangelical in nature. Hereafter, except for Emma, Savery would not sell another novel except to the Sunday School market.

Having passed the age of 70, her health and the health of her sisters was becoming a recurring concern. Here's a hasty note:
Nov.-Dec. [1967]: Still v. difficult to write. Dec. 8th onward Chris ill away from home (angina) great anxiety what best to do. Phyl ill influenza part of the time.

Dec. to May 9th, 1968: Owing to continual illness in the family (Phyllis Asian flu' and continued after effects; Christine coronary thrombosis); it has been almost impossible to write at all.
Christine recovered completely and lived another twenty-nine years. Phyllis, a chronic invalid, recovered from this bout of flu' only to fall sick again the next time it came around...and the next...and the next.

The diary contains very few tributes, but clearly this one was recorded the minute she heard the news:
Feb 2nd-4th, 1969: Still difficult to write. Phyl ill; drawing room fireplace under repair. Corrected proofs of Lavender's Tree.
Viola Garvin died on Jan. ___, 1969. She did comparatively little creative work, but spent the best years of her life as Literary Editor of THE OBSERVER. In youth, an unforgettable rare soul. I never met her again, but she shone like a planet at Somerville. No glitter, just "the soft journey that a planet goes". Those dark haunting eyes have ever remained in my memory.
The quotation is from A Quiet Soul by John Oldham (1653-1683).

Savery had a visitor that summer:
June 6th [1969]: Miss Mabel E. Eldridge arrived to talk to me about my books. She is preparing a book on the childhood influences of writers for children, and is interviewing 27 British aithors. A most interesting evening (She stayed for the night) with a most charming person.
I have not found a book of this description by a Mabel Eldridge.

On July 20, 1969, there was another intrusion of the outside world into the work diary, eleven lines describing the first moon landing by the "Eagle" from the "Columbia" space craft.

Work Notes, 1970-1973, pp 181-198

The phrase "difficult to write" appears with some frequency, often coupled with references to Phyllis being ill. Savery does report working on The City of Flowers, No King but Christ, The Drifting Sands, and God's Arctic Adventurer, which were published, and Jack Chelwood, Meet Me at the Anchor, The Irish Child's Dream, and Violet Jacket, which were not. She was not exactly idle.

On Sept. 5th-6th, 1972, she mentions the massacre at the Munich Olympics, her final reference to an external public event.

By this time there were no longer many blank pages in the diary, and Savery seemed impelled to fill them up with random discourse. Following the Munich report, there are fourteen lines about references to her mother's cousin, Willoughby Huddleston, in Betty Askwith's The Victorian Families, after which Savery writes:
It is always interesting to meet one's relatives in books, but one does not do it very often. We five sisters have figured in "Leonora Starr's" book of reminiscences about Southwold rather unflatteringly. "I pity the Savery sisters; they have such dull lives," she is reported to have said (I myself have never seen the book). If the misguided woman only knew!
I conducted my own unsuccessful search for this quotation in two of Starr's reminiscences about Southwold, To Please Myself and To Please Myself Again. A Southwold bookshop owner wrote to me defending Starr, saying that it was unlikely that the opinion was ever published and that it was uncharacteristic of the author in any case.

On the day of the Munich tragedy, Phyllis missed three steps going downstairs and broke a vertebra in the lumbar region of her spine. Following her mention of this, Savery spends a page and a half relating the discovery of a reference to her father's father in Sir Frederick Pollock's Macready's Reminiscences.

In 1973, Savery, usually reticent about her methods, describes her research for a biography:
During April I made tentative plans for writing the life of the forgotten Victorian novelist and biographer of Charlotte Yonge, Christabel Rose Coleridge, grand-daughter of the poet. I do not know whether this plan will come to fruition (what a metaphor!) as it is very difficult to obtain material. The usual comment of second-hand booksellers is--"Christabel Coleridge? Never heard of her!"

A letter to THE CHURCH TIMES procured me a charming letter from Canon J.H. Adams, whose Godmother was C.R.C.'s lifelong friend. Canon Adams had once owned most of C.R.C.'s books, bequeathed by his Godmother, but on moving into a smaller house he got rid of all save Lady Betty, which he was kind enough to lend me, together with some clever nonsense verses written by C.R.C. once in his Godmother's house. She called at the house on a rainy day, and he lent her his umbrella. She duly returned it, "but", wrote the Canon, "she was a stout, heavy lady, and she had leant in it. The umbrella was never the same again."

C.R.C.'s father (Coleridge's son Derwent) was appointed headmaster of Helston Grammar School in 1825 (Charles Kingsley was one of his pupils). About sixty years later my uncle, the Reverend James West Savery, was appointed to the same post. His life was as brief as Derwent Coleridge's was long: he died when only twenty-nine.
On May 11 Savery reported the publication of God's Arctic Adventurer by Lutterworth, and in June she notes that
All four sisters appear in Wessex Authors as we were all born in Wiltshire.
These are the last 'work notes' in the diary. A farewell paragraph follows that is reproduced elsewhere. After this account she mentions knowing someone (her headmistress at King Edward's High School) who knew someone (an unnamed canon) who had seen Edward the First when the lid of his coffin in Westminster Abbey was raised briefly "for purposes of identification." She ends with eighteen lines describing the fair copy of the diary.

List of Published Work, pp 199-240

This list, or rather the corresponding list in the fair copy, was my guide in seeking out and finding Savery's scattered work. Here are the titles in chronological order. Following each title is a letter or two in braces to assist you in locating my annotation: [A]rticle; [B]ook; [Bi]ography; [P]lay; [S]hort Story; [Se]rial; [S/S]ervice of Song; [V]erse. I have omitted the names of publishers and periodicals, but works by Savery's sisters are retained.


The Tricker Tricked [S]; The Seaside Holiday [S]


Mike and Dicky [V]; Review of "Oxford Book of Poetry, 1919" [A]


Where Roses Hang over the Wall [S]


The Fairy Godbrother [S]


Translation of French Verse [V]


Hill with the Dippitty Trees [S]; Forbidden Doors [B]


Tenthragon [B]; Nicolas Chooses White May [B]; The Inventions of Paul [S]; There Was a Key [B]


Stair after Golden Skyward Stair [S]; The Yellow Ribbon [S]; Pippin's House [B]; The Orange [S]; A Victorian in Training [A]


A Pot of Blue Squills [S]; Great-Grandmother's Pansy Spoons [S]; Angel Feathers [S]; The Christmas Flower Shop [S/S]; The Blue Loving Cup [S]; Panty at the Market [S]; Hoopland [S]; Jan at the Cross Roads [S]; Papa and Mama: The Victorian Parent... [A]; Hill with the Dippitty Trees [S]


L'il White Owl [S]; Black Pansies [S]; Ow'd Maggotty Patch [S]; One Leaf on the Track [S]; Jacintha at College [S]; Improving Inky [S]


A Handful of Thistledown [S]; Mad Max Madd [S]; The School Museum [S]; The Crab-Stall Artists [S]; The Inventions of Paul [S]; Puffball and Spoon [S]; The Magic Garden [S]; The Scotch Society [S]; A Book of Beauties [S]; To See the Princess [S]; The Tale of the Mugglewuff [S]; One Crowded Hour [S]


Gifts of Gold [S/S]; Six Enchanted Eggs [S]; A Dancer Merry [S]; Spindleberries and Pam [S]; Honeypenny Buns [S]; Yellow Gates [B]; The Anomalous Prize [S]; The Lucky Spoon [S]; Four Little Dragon stories [S]; Two Clock Shop stories [S]; The Secret of Grandmamma Wastwych [S]; In His Steps [S/S]; To School through the Tunnel [S]; The Headmistress's Hat [S]


The Little Dragon's Musical Box [S]; The Little Dragon and the Will-o'-the-Wisp [S]; God's Promises [S/S]; Orange Flowers [S]; The School Sampler [S]; The Sun, Moon & Stars Clock [S]; Pippins Hus [B], Danish translation of Pippin's House [B]; Where Diotis Grows [S]; The School Sampler [S]


Adventures in Candle Street [Se]; The Little Dragon [S]; A Doll and an Engine [S]; Betty's Button Bag [S]; Double Daisies [S]; Moonshine in Candle Street [B]; Danny and the Alabaster Box [B]; Sandy the Burglar [S]; Hobby by Proxy [S]; The Christmas Cloak [S/S]


The Tale of the Mugglewuff in Braille [S]; The Tea Party [S]; Green Emeralds for the King [B]; Death Comes to the Dragons [A]; White Unto Harvest [S/S]; White Shines the Star [S]; Ah, Did You Once-- [S]


The Gentle Biographer [A]; Thomas's Green Tent [S]; Books for the Black Outs [A]


Glory de George [S]; Peep Behind the Scenes [A]; The Wide, Wide World [A]; Uncle Tom's Cabin [A]; Ladders to Heaven [S]; The Silver Whistle [Se]; Little Dragon no. 2 [S]; Creatures of the Sea [A]; Great-Grandmother's Pansy Spoons [S]; Little Women [A]; Miss Marigold's Love Letter [S]; The Lamplighter [A]; Talbot Baines Reed [A]; Blue Fields [Se]; The Little Dragon [S]


Little Dragon no. 3 and 4 [S]


Sea Magic [A]; The Two Flowers [V]; Onward [V]; Dark Trees [S]; Who Fashioned the Manger? [V]


I May Be a Billetee [A]; The Trumpet of the Lord [S]; Mink and His House [S]; The Fairy Shoe Shop [S]; The Best Place for Homework [A]; Enemy Brothers [B&Se]


The Good Ship Red Lily [B]; Splash [S]; Rescue under Fire [S]; God Bless Daddy by Christine Savery [B]


Pigeon's Party [S]; Up a Winding Stair [Se]; Peter of Yellow Gates [B]; Dark Trees [S]; Experiment in Co-Operation [A]; Six Enchanted Eggs [S]; Emeralds for the King [B]; Firefighter [S]; Tom Tiddler's Ground [S]


Butterscotch Pie [S]; Glory de George [S]; The Little Gypsy [S]; Book by Fifty Authors [A]; Onward [V]


One Leaf on the Track [S]; Silver Whistle [Se]; The Scotch Society [S]; American Books in Britain [A]; Blue Fields [B]; Sir Dominic's Scapegrace [B]; A Hobby by Proxy [S]


Three Houses in Beverley Road [Se]; Dark House on the Moss [B]; Bishop Guy Bullen [Bi]; The Crab-Stall Artists [S]; The Little Gypsy [S]


Rainbow Castle [Se]; Dark House on the Moss [Se]; Up a Winding Stair [B]; Jacintha at College [S]; Candle Saint [A]; Danny and the Alabaster Box [B]


Das Düstere Haus am Moor [B], German translation of The Dark House on the Moss [B]; Three Houses in Beverley Road [B]; Lady of Flowers and Friendship [A]


Orange Flowers [S]; Redhead at School [B]


Frost Flowers [S]; Small Pink Books [A]


Konungens Smaragder [B], Swedish translation of Emeralds for the King [B]


Scarlet Plume [B]; Meg Plays Fair [B]; Character for Betsy [S]


Izaak Walton [A]; Wide, Wide World [A]; The Pilgrim's Progress [A]; Through the Bright Silences [A]; Uncle Tom's Cabin [A]; The Lamplighter [A]; East Anglian Farmhouse by Phyllis Savery [A]; Over Moonless Seas [Se]; Conduct and Carriage in Society [A]; Young Elizabeth Green [B]; Fanny Burney [A]; Little Women [A]; Talbot Baines Reed [A]; Frank Bullen [A]; Charlotte Yonge [A]; Henry Vaughan [A]


Robert Grosseteste [A]; The Rector in Council [S]; Little Gypsy [S]; Wild Treherne Moor by Phyllis Savery [A]; Red Knights from Hy Brasil by Christine Savery [B]; Bunyan's Barn [Se]


Welcome, Santza [B]; Tabby Kitten [B]; Colour-Blind by Doreen Savery [B]; Dearest Mrs. Delany [A]; Forget-me-not Blue by Phyllis Savery [B]; The Lamplighter [A]; East Anglian Farmhouse by Phyllis Savery [A]; Little Charlie's Life [A]; Christopher North [A]; Sara Coleridge [A]; Small Pink Books [A]; A.L.O.E. [A]; Novels of Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler [A]; Poem by Three Authors [S]; Cornish Storyland [A]; White Cross and Dove of Pearls [A]; In the Golden Dawn [A]; A Rose-Coloured Performance [A]; Letters of James Smetham [A]


Queen of the Sea [A]; Four Lost Lambs [B]; Thistledown Tony [B]; The Boy from Brittany [B]; Mental Rearmament [A]; Die Kampfhähne von St. Morvyns [B], German translation of Meg Plays Fair [B]


To the City of Gold [B]; Flight to Freedom [B]; In Apple Alley [B]; Snowdrops in Parsonage Gardens [A] by Phyllis Savery; Rise and Fall of a Family Magazine [A]; Aircraftman Poke [B] by Christine Savery; Magic in My Shoes [B]; Mr. Gaul's Party [A]; "another in THE PHŒNIX" [A]


Unfair to Tommy [A] by Irene Savery; The Sea Urchins [B]; East Anglian Composer [A]; The Evelyns by Phyllis Savery[B]; The Tree House [Se] by Christine Savery; To the City of Gold [Se]; Seagulls Circling [B] by Phyllis Savery; Wer spielt mit Benjamin? [B], German translation of Three Houses in Beverley Road [B]


The Far Farers [B] by Christine Savery; Sally Forth [Se] by Christine Savery; Sorrel's Secret [B] by Doreen Savery; Ein Schiff fährte nach Antiochien [B], German translation of To the City of Gold [B]; Rebel Jacqueline [B]


The Four Cameleers [B] by Christine Savery; >Clegg's Car [S] by Christine Savery; All Because of Sixpence [B]; The Reb and the Redcoats [B]; Die verzauberten Schuhe [B], German translation of Magic in My Shoes [B]


The White Kitling [B]; Camp Robber [B] by Christine Savery; He Started School at Twenty-one [A]; Master Purvey's Jewel [S]; A Man of Many Mercies [A]; Wastwych Secret [S]


The Royal Caravan [B]; Breton Holiday [B]; In the Magic Mirror [A]; Dearest Joe [A]; Church Uninteresting? [A]


Joric and the Dragon [B]


Secret in a Cedarwood Box [S]; The Sea-Queen [B]; Please Buy my Pearls [B]; Journey with Mark [B] by Christine Savery; Banksia Roses [A] by Phyllis Savery


The Golden Cap [B]; The Cow and the Calf [S]


The Shining Necklace [S]; The Father of History [A]; Italian translation of The Wastwych Secret [S]; The Strawberry Feast [B]


The Silver Angel [B]; Befangen beim Stemme Kaschgal [B], German translation of Journey with Mark [B]; In the City of Flowers [Se]


Lavender's Tree [B]; Gilly's Tower [B]; The Sapphire Ring [B]


The City of Flowers [B]


The Siege of Blackbrae [B] by Christine Savery; The Drifting Sands [B]


Royal Caravan [B], paperback; The Far-Farers [B], paperback, by Christine Savery; Der Himmelsbaum [B], German translation of Lavender's Tree [B]


God's Arctic Adventurer [Bi]


No King But Christ [P]


Emma [B]


Emma [B] in America

Suffolk, pp 242-259

Savery devoted the first pages of the original diary to Suffolk. They look like what they are, interested jottings, and they are not strongly organized despite the frequent formal headings that tend to describe only the next half-page. When I created the facsimile, I moved the Suffolk section so that it followed her publication list. Here are her sections. The numbers are mine.
  1. Characteristics of Suffolk language
  2. Suffolk dialect and expressions
  3. Middleton-cum-Fordley
  4. Customs
  5. Local Tales & Legends
  6. Middleton from County Churches by T. Hugh Bryant
  7. [a miscellany]
  8. East Anglian Glossary [an inserted page]

1. Characteristics of Suffolk Language [reproduced in its entirety]:

Dignity--Biblical language seen in vocabulary.

2. Suffolk dialect and expressions:

After listing some birds, such as "King Henry = kingfisher", and flowers, "glory de Johns = glorie de Dijon", she provides two and a half pages of expressions, some with definitions, a greater number without. Taking every tenth one...
"He has had afflictions."
"some glad" = very glad.
"To be ugly" = to be cross or fretful thro' illness.
"She crazed me to let her do it" = begged and begged.
"a chance time" = very rarely, by chance. "She never stirs out of doors--when I say 'never' I mean only by a chance time." "I only suffer a chance time."
These expressions are interrupted by an epitaph from the Middleton Churchyard and then continued:
"chemister" = chemist
"wore up" for "worn out". "I'm all wore up"--"The coat is wore up."
"din't" = didn't
"handcup" = a small bowl with a handle used for dipping into well or raintub.
The list is interrupted again to record two Suffolk names, Gildersleeves and Threadkettle.

3. Middleton-cum-Fordley:

After complimenting the handwriting of the 1669 rector and listing a dozen "curious names," among them Whyncoppe, Throwhawke, Fella, and Daidy, she returns to Suffolk dialect:
"How do you like yourself?" = "How do you like living here?"
"I am in the mind to" = I wish to.

4. Customs:

(3 or 4 boys act as beaters, forming a straight line in woods, & a rainbow line (i.e., crescent) in fields. Boy who is the wing does most work). (Pheasant cry is t'tuk, t'tuk).

"to get a harvest" = to be employed at harvest-time. "Maaster, give me a harvest" (frequent use of "Maaster").

Wood-pigeons damage crops. Shooting-parties formed in March. March dinner in Suffolk farmhouse--pigeon pudding.

5. Local Tales & Legends

These 'tales' are retold so briefly that I infer they were intended as aids to memory. None were used in her fiction. An example...
Never put hair-combings in dustbin; always burn lest the birds should get hold of them to make their nests "that will give you headaches."
And some more expressions...
"bus" = thorn. "I have a bush in my hand" (a thorn or splinter)
"that baffles me"--"I haven't a stamp and that quite baffles me."

6. Middleton from County Churches by T. Hugh Bryant

AbeBooks lists Bryant's book, which is in two volumes. It was published in 1912, and all of the Internet listings are for County Churches: Suffolk. Savery filled a page with concise notes.

7. Miscellany

Epitaphs alternate with collections of dialect, e.g.:
"Tho' Boreas blasts and Neptune's waves
  Have tost me to and fro,
In spite of both by God decreld (decreed)
  I harbour here below:

"Where now at anchor I do ride
  With many of our Fleet
And once again I shall set sail
  Our Admiral Christ to meet."


"What a noise the sea is making!" "Yes, that's lost the wind."
"She never turned tongue in her head to me." = (She never answered me rudely).
"Spuffles" = bustles about.
cuppey-whey, woosh, com-hather, tarn-ye = horseman's call to his plough-horses

8. East Anglian Glossary

More of the same...
Arrawiggle = earwig
Brush the stubble = to stick thorn bushes into the stubble fields to entangle the nets of night poachers.
On which note the section on Suffolk ends.

Savery History, pp 260-275

The separate sections of Savery history are each of a piece, but the order is random suggesting that Savery entered them in the diary as she encountered them. My annotations will be too short to satisfy genealogists and much too long for everyone else:
  1. Members of the Savery family at Oxford
  2. The Savery Family (i)
  3. Extract from Gazette
  4. Devonshire Associations
  5. The Savery Family (ii)
  6. Descendants of George and Phillipa Savery
  7. Account of Savery Families
  8. Miscellany

1. Members of the Savery family at Oxford. List made by Thomas Servington Savery of Pembroke College, Oxford

Savery was proud of her Oxford degrees, and she remembered Oxford with fondness in her writing, so it is not surprising to find this list heading the Savery family section of the diary.

The list begins with
1. Savery Richard of Devon arm. Exeter College. Matriculated Dec. 1619 aged 18. G. at law Inner Temple 1623. Son & heir of Samuel, late of Totnes, Devon. Gentleman.
and works its way down to Savery's father and uncle, followed by Savery, her sister, and Thomas, who prepared the list:
15.   "  John Manly, 4th son of George of Sherborne, Dorset. Gentleman non. Coll matric. 17th Oct. 1881, aged 22
16.   "  Samuel Servington, 5th son of George of Reading. Gentleman Christ Church. 1886.
17.   "  Constance Winifred. Somerville College B.A. 1921 M.A. 1924 Eldest daughter of John Manly Savery no. 15, q.v.
18.   "  Christine Charlotte Alexandra. St. Anne's. B.A. 19__ .
19.   "  Thomas Servington, younger son of Henry Mearns Savery M.D. of Planefield, Evesham. Pembroke College. B.A. 19__ (?) M.A. 19__ (?).
Apparently Thomas made the list while still an undergraduate. Savery adds a footnote to explain that her Grandfather George moved from Kingston to Sherborne to Reading.

2. The Savery Family. Extract from Totnes Mayors and Mayoralties by Edward Windeatt

Windeatt was a Devon historian who wrote around 1900. Here is an excerpt from Savery's summary:
Sir W. Pole, in his Description of Devonshire, mentions among the men of rank, who had lived in Totnes, Richard Savery, mayor in 1537.

The Savery family appears to have settled in Totnes early in the sixteenth century; they are said to have come from Brittany originally, and in Henry VIII's reign we find them in Totnes and holding the position of mayor, which they would not have done had they not lived there for some time.
The Savery family supported the Commons during the Civil War, but regained favor after the Restoration. The history continues to about 1800, where it is picked up in section 5, also entitled "The Savery Family."

3. Extract from Woolmer's Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, Dec. 8-15, 1838:--

Shirley Woolmer wrote histories of Exeter in the early nineteenth century. The excerpt is not long. It states that Servington Savery (not Savery's uncle) of Modbury, Devon, purchased an estate. A second paragraph describes a calf-bound Account of the Savery family, Totnes by John Savery of Shelton (? Shilston) who has traced his family back to 1511 in Devon.

4. Report and Transactions of the Devonshire Associations contain the following references to the Savery family.

This is a list of 14 references to persons named Savery. Each line has the person's first name or initials, together with the volume and page number of the Transactions. The earliest reference is to Thomas in vol. 61 (1700), the last to Francis in vol. 70 (1938). There is not an obvious correlation between those dates that are given and the volume numbers. Vol. 70 has dates as early as 1870 and as late as 1938. There are no volumes listed after vol. 70.

5. The Savery Family. Notes written by the Rev. Arthur Stanley Bishop, second son of Albert and Annie (nee Savery) Bishop.

This cogently written account of the Savery family extends from John Savery in Devon, 1511, down to Savery's grandfather, George, who was also the grandfather of the Rev. Bishop, who was, consequently, Savery's first cousin. George had a very large family that included Savery's father, John Manly, and her uncle Serv, Sir Servington Savery, M.P. The direct line follows. For the dates, I have used [b]orn, [l]iving, and [d]ied. The (sic) entries are Bishop's or Savery's. The 4th and 5th Servingtons are not identified.

John Savery, Esquire l. 1511   Halberton (sic), Devon
Christopher Savery (1st) l. 1530   Totnes Castle, Devon; like all Saverys, a strong Protestant
Christopher Savery (2nd) l. 1558   thriving merchant of Great Totnes
Stephen Savery l. 1566   married Johanna de Servington in 1564
Christopher Savery (3rd) l. 1591  married Jeanne Carew in 1586; sold Totnes Castle in 1591; moved to Shilston
Sir Christopher Savery (4th) l. 1643  married Joanna Elberd in 1622; Parliamentary colonel; all Saverys of this period were M.P.s for Totnes
Servington Savery (1st) d. 1684  granted a general pardon by Charles II after Restoration
Christopher Savery (5th)  younger brother Servington (2nd) founded family branch in Marlborough
Servington Savery (3rd) d. 1689  took part of William of Orange against James II
Christopher Savery (6th) l. 1693  High Sheriff in 1693
Servington Savery (6th) d. 1753  eminent Fellow of Royal Society
William Savery  married Ann Puckey
George Savery b. 1815  Wesleyan minister 1839-1885; married Phillipa (sic) West

6. Descendants of George and Phillipa Savery, also by Rev. Arthur Bishop with additions and corrections by Constance Savery.

Listed here are the eleven children of George and Phillipa Savery, together with the names of some spouses, children, and grandchildren. After an unnamed baby that died in infancy came Ellen (Nellie), George, Annie, William Henry, Phillipa, James, Florence, John, Servington, and Edith. Since Annie was Bishop's mother, that record is the largest, listing Annie's five children, whom they married, and the names of their children and grandchildren. The families of Alberta, William Henry, and Phillipa are also reported to the third generation. Since John Manly's children, Savery and her sisters, did not marry, that branch is much smaller. Of John Manly's three youngest siblings, Florence died young, and neither Servington nor Edith married, so when Constance died at age 101, she had no close relatives.

7. From Account of Savery Families by A.W. Savery, M.A. (Boston, The Collins Press).

The British Library listing of this 1896 book gives the author's name as Alfred William Savary and expands the title to A Genealogical and Biographical Record of the Savery families (Savory and Savary) and of the Severy family (Severit, Savery, Savory and Savary). "By A. W. Savary ... assisted in the genealogy by Miss Lydia A. Savary." The following names are mentioned, but they are not connected to the Savery family listed earlier:
Concerning the estate of James Husey, 34 Henry III., A.D. 1250, we find John Savery, a juror, the first occurrence of the name as a family name in English records; ...A.D. 1256, we find John Savari, a juror; ...A.D. 1265, John Saveri, a juror; ...A.D. 1254, under the form Savary, the same man; ...and Savaric de Dalton and Clarice his wife, ...landholders in Dalton and Bratton (Wilts).

Names: Chief male names Servington, Christopher, Richard, Anthony
Women: Armenilla, Camille, Deidamia, Lavette, Luella, Marintha, Sabine, Roxana, Desire, Lorinda, Elvira

8. Miscellany.

There is a list headed "Wiltshire" followed by dates from 1605 to 1699, each with a name: "Sible Savery"; "Alce Savery"; "Johane"; "Deliverance, daughter of Elizabeth Seivory of Marblehead."

The next heading is "Devonshire Totnes Parish Register."

These are baptismal records between April 8, 1565 and Jan. 3, 1606-7, listing many of the names in Section 5 above. Spelling is phonetic; in the four entries with that name, we find Christopher, Crystover, Chrystover, and Xtopher. There is also a burial list with four names. There is an historical note:
Saverys of Devonshire (possibly) an offshoot from the Wiltshire family, and this without derogating from old tradition that they "came originally out of Brittany." John Savary of Westbury, Wilts, in the 13th century the common ancestor of all the name in west and s.west of England.
The section ends with a supplement to the earlier Family History with the descendants of George Savery's son Mearns.

Other Appendices, pp 276-307

These appendices were not in the fair copy provided to the University of Oregon:

1. Amounts earned by writing, 1915 to April 1952.

The first page lists earnings from 1915 to 1946 with a single number for each year. A note indicates these are for calendar years, not tax years. Savery earned 10 shillings in 1913, £209"15"4 in 1946. Immediately after beginning this record, Savery began another on the next page, this time listing the amount earned by each sale or royalty payment and summing these at the end of each tax year. The detailed record runs up to April 1, the end of her tax-year, 1951, when she ran out of room in the diary and began to record what she earned in a separate memorandum book. I have not annotated either this list or the memo book, which is in the manuscript collection of the Knight Library at the University of Oregon; however, I will note that her highest earnings prior to 1951 were in the tax year 1947: £487"14"1".

2. Photographs.

When Savery created her diary, she set aside pages beginning on page 207 for photographs. When the facsimile was made, page 207 became page 300, but it is still titled "Photographs". There are no photographs on that page or any other, but there are two entries:
Mrs Caroline Godber [with] sons Alan, William, and Graham.

March 1947   From Howard's of Ipswich, No. 90464 A
It is not probable that the Godber photograph was in the diary very long.

When Savery was chosen for inclusion in the new edition of the Junior Book of Authors, she was asked to provide an autobiographical piece for her readers together with a photograph. According to her diary, she went to Howard's in Ipswich for the picture, and this is where she recorded its serial number for future reference.

3. "Confession"

I mention this confession in my annotation of In His Steps, a service of song. Here is the original confession, probably written about 1973, since it is squeezed between the "photographs" page, above, and a last half-page of earnings. I believe that 'Sheldon' in the first sentence should be 'Shaylor', the editor for the service of song.
I have a confession to make! ...Mr. Sheldon told me that the copyright of In His Steps was in order. In the book, Jasper, an author, is represented as writing a wicked novel. The other characters have decided to forsake their devious ways and follow "in His steps." Jasper alone remained impenitent. I was distressed that a fellow author should be the only one to fail the Christ. Thinking that the Reverend Charles Sheldon was long since dead and would certainly forgive me, I substituted a paragraph of my own, in which Jasper destroyed the MS. of his novel. Later I found out that Mr. Sheldon still lived. But I did not venture to confess. Peccavi

4. Royalties

While most of Savery's copyrights were sold, she did receive royalties for seven titles. In order of publication they were Forbidden Doors, There Was a Key, Pippin's House, Green Emeralds for the King, Enemy Brothers, The Good Ship Red Lily, and Emeralds for the King. On this page she recorded when the royalties for each were due.

5. Word Counts

The last pages of the original diary contained a list of titles, together with the word count for each. This was useful information both in submitting works for publication and in receiving compensation. Some manuscript were returned with the suggestion they be lengthened or shortened. At other times Savery made such changes herself to improve the chances of a sale. Special cases were serials that were to be rewritten into book form or books that were to be recast as serials. A title undergoing such changes would have more than one word count listed in the diary. Scribbled into the margins are calculations. Dividing the number of words in a novel by the average number of words on a page predicts the number of pages in a book, while multiplying the number of pages by words per page estimates the word count.

No page of the diary went to waste. Inside the back cover were the seven book-lengths preferred by the Lutterworth Press, together with the serial number for her Olivetti typewriter.

Description of facsimile edition, pp vii-ix, 308-336

When I prepared the facsimile edition of Constance Savery's original work diary in 2006, I wrote this description:

One can compile an accurate list of Constance Savery's books by perusing the Internet catalogues of the British Library and the United States Library of Congress. It is a far more challenging task to identify her book-length serials, her services of song, her short stories, her articles and her poems. For these, the work diary is essential, and we can be grateful to the author for providing a fair copy of her diary to the University of Oregon, where it is carefully preserved in their manuscript archives.

The fair copy has certain advantages over the original. The handwriting throughout is as legible as print, the author has provided a number of cross-references and notes, which are in red ink to distinguish them from the original, and she has appended a number of unpublished articles and poems. She has also rearranged the whole to provide a continuity that was not possible in a living document.

Although I have twice perused the fair copy and taken copious notes, I have not had an opportunity to compare them side by side. This facsimile will permit that to be done.

In creating this edition, I have taken certain liberties. A true archivist would prefer an exact copy, but I chose to sacrifice authenticity in the interest of clarity and convenience. To wit...

(1) As a result of continued use for more than forty years, the diary's binding is broken, and there are many loose sections and removable pages. Other pages are dog-eared, torn, and discoloured. Extreme examples are pages 236 and 307. There seemed little point in reproducing entire pages simply to display their ragged edges and irregular binding. Consequently, I have cropped these edges whenever I could do so without removing any of the text.

(2) The order of topics in the original diary reflects the manner of its creation. It begins with a section on Suffolk dialects, because Savery was interested in dialects in 1930, and her career was still ahead of her. She began listing her publications in the middle of the diary, not anticipating that her work activities would fill the diary up to that section and require her to interrupt work entries and resume entering them on the other side of her publication list. She set aside a section for photographs and realized later that she had better places to keep them. She did the best she could, numbering pages as she went and leaving notes such as "go to page 208" when one section interrupted another. [For the facsimile] I decided to rearrange the diary pages so that the Suffolk dialects would take a less prominent position, and the other sections would not interrupt each other. This led me, in turn, to add dates or other information at the tops of pages and to use my own page numbers at the bottom. More culpably, I removed Savery's page numbers. They were no longer correct, they did not agree with mine, and removing them led to the text being, on the average, about five percent wider than it would have been had Savery's numbers been retained.

(3) The ink on many pages was faint or smeared. Entries in pencil were so faint and hard to read that Savery often wrote over them using India ink. Page 23 has an example of this. A purist might argue that a copy of faint writing should be faint also, but I preferred legibility and used Adobe® Photoshop® CS2 not only to enhance the faint entries, but also to make the scanned pages more attractive without removing the appearance of diary pages. I was not able to make all of the facsimile pages look alike, but the originals did not look alike either.

(4) Most questionable was my decision to reduce the text width from 6-3/4 inches to 4-1/2 inches. I could have used a 5-inch wide text with no more serious consequences than reduced margins, but as an aid to research, I wanted a place to write my own notes without confusing them with Savery's. In any event, a 5-inch text would still be hard to read. I did not want the final product to be as large as full-sized text would be with adequate margins, and I salved my conscience by knowing that users would have a digital disk available with high definition images that could be enlarged many times the resolution of the original diary. Readers using a magnifying glass will find the images, though small, are sharp.

(5) If I am criticized for all my other decisions, there is compensation for the inconvenience in having an exhaustive index of the first two sections of the diary [on pages 308-336]. The diary is easy to use when one has a date, since the sections are arranged chronologically. It is much more difficult to find, say, information about a particular title when the date of composition is unknown. Person's using the fair copy at Oregon can still use my index, but it will be necessary to go to the appropriate page in the facsimile, note the date, and then look up that date in the fair copy.

(6) Savery's fair copy did not have pages and pages of information about earnings. She may have wished to keep these data to herself, or she may have thought them of too little interest to record. Having deleted her page numbers, I did not want to delete these as well.

(7) In rearranging sections of the diary, I attempted to preserve the placement of right and left-hand pages, inserting notes on pages 37 and 198 for this purpose; however, the royalty schedule in the middle of the earnings pages defeated me. When I moved this schedule to its present location on page 302 at the end of the list of earnings, I reversed the right and left placement of pages 297 through 302. Mea culpa.
Those who are only acquainted with the fair copy should read the anecdote about King Edward I that begins on page 196 and the 'confession' on pages 300-301, reproduced above.

Text of this web site © 2010-2011 by Eric Schonblom. The unpublished works of Constance Savery are reproduced with the permission of her literary heir and copyright owner, E.C.W. Hummerstone.