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Shirley Hazzard Papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS421

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

The focus of the collection is Hazzard's friendship with and writing on Graham Greene, particularly her reminiscent book, "Greene on Capri," (2000), which recalls the period from the 1960s through the 1980s when Hazzard and her husband, writer Francis Steegmuller, frequently sojourned on the island and spent many hours in the company of Greene, either at his home Il Rosario or at da Gemma's, a favorite cafe. Correspondence, from friends and literary associates, as well as publishers, regarding the publication of "Greene on Capri," is primarily congratulatory or relating to publication details. The collection includes Hazzard's manuscripts for the book. Notable series of correspondence are those from Graham Greene (1950-1990); Michael Richey, from among Greene's circle of friends; and Norman Sherry, Greene's authorized biographer.

Special first or limited editions of Greene's books are included in the collection, with some inscribed and signed by the author -- "The Man Within," (Doubleday, Doran and Company, 1929), inscribed to Francis Steegmuller and signed; "Our Man in Havana," (Penguin 1971), inscribed to Hazzard and Steegmuller; "Reflections on Travels with My Aunt," (Firsts & Company, N.Y., 1989), limited edition, signed; and "The Return of A.J. Raffles," (The Bodley Head, 1975), limited, rebound first edition, inscribed and signed. Other publications of note are: "Il Convengno del Paesaggio," by Edwin Cerio (1923); "Omnes Eodem Gogimur," (1953), the limited privately printed memorial tribute to Norman Douglas by Kenneth Macpherson; and "Photographs," by Islay Lyons (Editions Didier Millet, 1996). A photographs series includes, among those of Greene and Hazzard, images of two other luminaries, Harold Acton and Norman Douglas, both known to Greene during his time on Capri. Hazzard details these acquaintances in her book (cf. p.47 re Douglas; and p.135 re Acton).

Abbreviations and Terminology ALS autograph letter signed ANS autograph note signed AMss autograph manuscript AMS autograph manuscript signed TLS typed letter signed TNS typed note signed TMss typed manuscript TMS typed manuscript signed To facilitate consistency and indexing, the terms "speeches" and "talks" are denoted as "Lecture" in this finding aid.


  • 1941 - 2007
  • Majority of material found within 1990 - 2000

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Biographical note

Shirley Hazzard was born January 30, 1931, in Sydney, Australia, the daughter of a government official, Reginald Hazzard and Catherine Stein. She was educated at Queenwood College, Sydney. In 1947 her father was appointed Australian trade commissioner to Hong Kong. Hazzard, who accompanied her parents, began work with the British Combined Services Intelligence in Hong Kong. Subsequently, she followed her family to postings in Wellington, New Zealand, working for the British High Commissioner (1949-1950); to London; and ultimately to New York, where her father became trade commissioner in 1950.

Hazzard remained in the U.S. after the departure of her parents in 1951, eventually obtaining citizenship and a position at the United Nations in the general service category of Technical Assistance to Underdeveloped Countries (1952-1962). Under this auspice, she spent a year (1956/1957), in Italy, working with the international supply mission. During the period in Italy, Hazzard began to write short stories, with the first published in the New Yorker. In 1962 Hazzard resigned from the U.N., in order to focus on writing. The following year, 10 of her New Yorker stories were published as "Cliffs of Fall and Other Stories." Her literary reputation was cemented with the publication of her novel, "The Transit of Venus," (1980), for which she received worldwide attention and awards such as the National Book Critics Circle and the PEN/Faulkner award.

A long-time resident, Hazzard maintained an active presence in the literary and cultural scene of New York City. She also lectured extensively around the country, and was Boyer lecturer in Australia in 1984 and 1988. Hazzard wrote two critical books about the United Nations, "People in Glass Houses: Portraits of Organization Life," (1967, 2004); and "Countenance of Truth: the United Nations and the Waldheim Case," (1990). However, she is best known for her novels which garnered her the highest literary honors. Besides those already mentioned for "The Transit of Venus," awards include: U.S. National Institute of Arts and Letters award in literature (1966); National Book Award nomination, National Book Foundation (1971); Guggenheim fellow (1974); Miles Franklin Award (2004); and for Hazzard's novel, "The Great Fire," the National Book Award for Fiction (2003) and the Howells Medal for most distinguished novel, only issued every five years by the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2005).

Hazzard married biographer and novelist Francis Steegmuller in 1963. Together they cultivated a circle of significant literary friendships, not least of which included that of Graham Greene on the island of Capri, a favorite destination of Hazzard and Steegmuller during the summers in the 1960s through the 1980s. Their relationship and time spent with Greene is recollected with Hazzard's characteristic perspicacity and appreciation of human nature in her book, "Greene on Capri," (2000).

Hazzard died on December 12, 2016, in Manhattan, New York, N.Y.

Sources/citations: Hazzard, Shirley: "Countenance of Truth," (Viking, 1990). "Greene on Capri - a Memoir," (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, N.Y., 2000). Sherry, Norman: "The Life of Graham Greene, 1939-1955, Volume 2," (Viking, 1994). "The Life of Graham Greene, 1955-1991, Volume 3," (Viking, 2004). Literary Resource Center -


6.7 Linear Feet (21 Hollinger boxes (11 Document Cases, 10 Slim Document Cases))

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

Gift of Shirley Hazzard, 1973-2002.

Related Materials

Related collection: Shirley Hazzard papers GTM171116

Shirley Hazzard Papers
Lisette C. Matano, Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Washington, D.C.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057