RepositorySpecial Collections Archives (GB 0029)
Ref NoEUL MS 122
DateEarly 20th century
LevelCollection
Extent20 items
TitleManuscript items contained within the Forrest Reid book collection
DescriptionThe Reid Book Collection held at the University Library contains 45 print-items, including first editions of each of Reid's books. Amongst the titles are a number of presentation copies bearing Reid's autographs inscriptions, including a first edition of 'The Bracknels' (1911) inscribed by Reid to Henry James. Reid was an ardent admirer of James and fostered an epistolary friendship with the older writer, but James was displeased when Reid dedicated to him 'Garden of God' (1905), a novel with a gay romance as its subject. An account of this incident is given by Reid in his autobiography, the first part of which was published in 1926 as the 'The Apostate', the second part was 'Private Road', published in 1940.

The archival content of the collection is slight, as the items survive as inserts still enclosed in copies of Reid's books. However, there are letters from Forrest Reid and illustrator Gilbert Dalziel inserted in the copy of 'Illustrators of the Sixties', and a letter from Norman Douglas to Reid in Reid's copy of Douglas's 'Alone' (1921). It also includes one letter sent by Reid to his friend J N Hart in 1931. Inserted into a presentation copy of 'Saturday Night at the Greyhound' (1931), Reid's letter to Hart describes the literary advice he gave to the novel's author John Hampson.
Admin HistoryForrest Reid (1875-1947) was a novelist and literary scholar, born on 24 June 1875, After some years as an apprentice in the tea trade, he went to Christ's College, Cambridge, at the age of thirty and took his degree in 1908 with a second class in the medieval and modern languages tripos. He then settled down to write in Belfast, which, apart from periods of travel, remained his home for the rest of his life. He made annual trips to visit friends in England, including Walter de la Mare and E M Forster.

Reid wrote sixteen novels, two volumes of autobiography, two collections of short stories, critical studies of W. B. Yeats and Walter de la Mare, and a definitive work on the book illustrators of the 1860s and numerous essays and book reviews. Boyhood and adolescence seen through the understanding eyes of an older man supply the subject of most of Reid's work. Same-sex attraction and love is another recurring theme in many of his novels.

Reid was unmarried. He led a retired and outwardly lonely life but had many varied interests. He was an expert croquet player, a lover of animals and the country, an opera enthusiast, a discriminating collector, a wide reader, and a stimulating and clear-minded conversationalist. He was close with many writers of his own generation, and was generous with help and advice to young authors.

Reid was one of the founder members of the Irish Academy of Letters and received the honorary degree of DLitt at the Queen's University of Belfast in 1933. He was awarded the James Tait Black memorial prize for his last novel, Young Tom. Reid died in Warrenpoint, co. Down, on 4 January 1947.

Source: John Bryson, revised by Brian Taylor (2004), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
LanguageEnglish
Access StatusOpen
Related MaterialOther papers relating to Reid are held at the following repositories:
Queen's University, Belfast has substantial holdings.The Forrest Reid collection comprises typescript and manuscript drafts of longer works, short stories and poems, as well as proof copies, bibliographies, catalogues and correspondence. One of the most significant parts of these papers is Reid's correspondence with the novelist Edward Morgan Forster (1879-1970) covering a period of thirty-four and a half years.
University of Texas (Austin), Belfast Central Library (Ulster and Irish Studies), Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Cambrige University (King's College, Papers of E M Forster) and the National Library of Scotland.
Access ConditionsUsual EUL arrangements apply.
ArrangementArchival items are still retained within the books in which they were originally held, contained within the Reid Book Bollection.
Finding_AidsIndividual archival items are not currently listed.
Creator_NameReid; Forrest (1875-1947); novelist and critic
Mgt_GroupLiterary papers
Persons
CodePersonNameDates
DS/UK/106Reid; Forrest (1875-1947); novelist and critic1875-1947
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