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Name Berckman, Evelyn
Pseudonym
Born / Died 1900–1978
Scope

 

The Evelyn Berckman collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, research material, printed material, and musical works.

Berckman’s novels and historical, nonfiction books constitute most of the writings.  Titles exist in various stages, from early drafts with holograph corrections to carbon copy versions and final proofs.  For some titles, there are notebooks present containing handwritten drafts or assorted loose draft pages, both typed and handwritten.  Titles in the collection include Nelson’s Dear Lord: A Portrait of St. Vincent (biography); Stalemate (Doubleday, 1966); A Case of Nullity (Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1967); The Heir of Starvelings (Doubleday, 1967); The Long Arm of the Prince (R. Hale, 1968), writing as “Constance Cleve”; She Asked For It (Doubleday, 1969); The Voice of Air (Doubleday, 1970); A Finger to Her Lips (Doubleday, 1971); The Stake in the Game (Hamish Hamilton, 1971); The Fourth Man on the Rope (Doubleday, 1972); The Hidden Navy (Hamish Hamilton, 1973); Wait (Hamish Hamilton, 1973), also published as Wait, Just You Wait (Doubleday, 1974); Creators and Destroyers of the English Navy (Hamish Hamilton, 1974); The Nightmare Chase (Doubleday, 1975); Be All and End All (Hamish Hamilton, 1976), also published as Journey’s End (Doubleday, 1977); The Crown Estate (Doubleday, 1976); A Dirty Shame; and The Man on the Wheel (unpublished).  Other manuscripts by Berckman include the article titled “John Jervis, Lord St. Vincent” for The Oxford Companion of Ships and the Sea.

The correspondence in the collection (about one hundred items total) is mainly letters related to Berckman’s nonfiction works.  These letters date from about 1954 to 1975, and include general correspondence regarding Berckman’s research.  Notable items include a copy of a letter (ca. 1770) from Mary Ricketts, the sister of John Jervis, the Earl of St. Vincent (subject of Nelson’s Dear Lord); letters from the director of the National Maritime Museum, London (1962); several letters from Mrs. Horatia Durant, great-granddaughter of Lord Nelson (1962-1968); and letters from Admiral Sir William James, Brigadier W. F. K. Thompson, Lt. Com. Peter K. Kemp (Naval Historical Branch), Ruth Florence Verney (goddaughter and step-great niece of Florence Nightingale), Rear Admiral A. H. Taylor, various naval employees from the United States, British government officials, and publishing company employees and agents.

Photographs in the collection consist of over three dozen photos used for Berckman’s nonfiction books regarding the British navy.

Research material in the collection includes maritime research compiled by Berckman for her historical works; topics include the British Admiralty, types of warships, venereal disease, as well as several folders of assembled printed articles and images.  In addition, the collection holds nearly thirty notebooks filled with Berckman’s research notes on various topics relevant to the British navy, including piracy, Navy councils, “oddities,” and many others.  Most of the notebooks have over fifty pages of notes, and some have loose pages of written or printed information laid into the notebook.  There is also some research-related correspondence, dated 1972-1978.

Printed material in the collection includes dust jackets from hardcover editions of Berckman’s books; reviews of her books cut from various British newspapers; tear sheets from magazines; and an interview with Berckman which appeared in The Scotsman, June 14, 1975.

Musical works in the collection consist of three different scores, written by Berckman in New York before she moved to London.  These were likely written in the 1940s.  The titles are: Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “Marche Miniature from Suite #1 (D. Major),” Op. 43, transcribed for two pianos by Berckman (including two copies, marked “clean” and “fully corrected”); “Sorbonne” (including three versions of a conductor’s score, as well as orchestra parts); and a conductor’s score for “Tours (XVth Century).”

 

Biography

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Library of Congress Subject Headings

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