Unpublished Wheatley (the most important items)
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Unpublished Wheatley (the most important items)

1 Various early attempts at writing From circa 1910 to 1934 Location unknown

We know DW’s earliest attempt at writing was a short story called ‘The Snake With Diamond Eyes’, because he reprinted it in ‘Mediterranean Nights’ in 1942. The whereabouts of many of his later authorial attempts before he became published are unknown.


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2 Julie’s Lovers 1917-1918 Location known

Started by the light of a gutted candle at an ammunition dump in France in World War One, this was DW’s first finished attempt at a full length novel, and DW’s father was so impressed by DW’s application to it that he sought unsuccessfully to have the novel published after the end of World War One.


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3 The Perfumed Garden of Sheik Nefzaoui ? Location known

Described in the 1964 catalogue of DW’s library as DW’s notes relating to this book, which had been published in the nineteenth century, this manuscript notebook came up for auction in the same lot as ‘Julie’s Lovers’ in January 2020

         
4 The Trees in the Garden ?
1920s
Location unknown

Described in the 1964 catalogue of DW’s library as an ‘unfinished novel, about 63 pages’, nothing more is known about this. Possibly the reference is to the Garden of Eden, about which Gordon Eric Gordon-Tombe taught DW his own particular interpretation, and which was later the subject of DW’s celebrated Papé bookplate

         
5 The first few chapters of a never finished precursor to ‘The Haunting of Toby Jugg’ 1939 Location known

Shortly before the Second World War, DW started writing a Black Magic novel about the strange goings-on at Dartington Hall, featuring Gregory Sallust. After a few chapters, war having broken out, DW discontinued it to write ‘The Scarlet Impostor’ instead. The book was never finished, but its theme was taken up and re-used some eight years later for ‘Toby Jugg’.


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6 Various apparently un-published short stories ? Location of some known

The manuscripts / typescripts of various DW short stories, such as a Sexton Blake short story and a story entitled ‘White Slavers of the Aegean’ are known to exist, but whether they were ever published (and if so, where) is currently unknown. There are also quite probably other short stories written by DW early in his career of which we are currently totally unaware.


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7 This Winter early August 1940 Location known

DW’s War Paper Number Nine.


DW wrote in ‘Stranger than Fiction’ that a copy of this paper could not be found. Either this was true and DW found a copy subsequently, or else he preferred not to discuss its contents in the book. Either way, a copy was located in one of DWs special box files which contained his copies of all his War Papers in 2018.


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8 Of Vice and Virtue 1950 Location known

Written and paid for in secrecy at the behest of the Foreign Office in order to foster fundamentalist Islam as a counter to communism, one copy of the ultra-rare Arabic edition is known, and the location of the English typescript, which DW kept in his personal, specially bound, set of his published output, is also known.


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9 Travel notes from DW’s world tour 1963 Location known

A long, sectioned typescript detailing DW’s impressions of what he saw. Presumably similar material from other trips survives somewhere.


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10 Scenes and Portraits Pre 1964 Location known

Originally known only from a brief description in the May 1964 catalogue of DW’s Library, this elusive work turned up in 2021.

It transpires that it is the in-depth description of a 'stamp table' that DW crafted for his step daughter Diana and her American family in 1962.


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11 The Lusty Youth of Roger Brook Pre 1971 Location known

Stipulated by DW never to be published during his or his wife’s lifetime, this was DW’s highly explicit novel about Roger Brook’s sex life, incorporating portions of ‘The Launching of Roger Brook’ and parts of ‘The Man Who Killed the King’. The novel also revealed how Roger was destined to die, although the mode of Roger’s demise was not to be written into a published novel until ‘Desperate Measures’ was published towards the end of DW’s life in 1974.


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12 Variants to parts of DW’s published novels Location of many variants known

DW’s novels went through many drafts, and the pencil and typescript drafts of many still exist, mostly in a single collection. Among books to have variant – and still preserved – endings are ‘The Devil Rides Out’ and ‘The Ka of Gifford Hillary’.


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13 DW’s prolific two-way correspondence Location of some known

DW had a voluminous correspondence both with his famous friends and with his fans. The location of some of this is known (such as much of his correspondence with occultists Montagu Summers and Rollo Ahmed, and with literary figures such as James Hilton, and also with some of his former Deception Planning colleagues), but the location of a large proportion of what almost certainly still exists remains unknown.

         
14 The complete final volume of DW’s autobiography: ‘The Old Man Said’ Pre Nov 1977 Location known

Rediscovered in 2016, the final volume of DW’s autobiography was only published in small part, and as an addendum (‘Autumn’) to the end of his final posthumously published volume of autobiography ‘Drink and Ink’. While much of the annotated typescript consists of word sketches of DW’s friends in Lymington, and is not perhaps of widespread interest, it also gives insight into the character of some of DW’s famous friends, and gives an account of his world travels that is not to be found elsewhere.


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Copyright © 2002-2006 Bob Rothwell. 2007-2021 Charles Beck.
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