Fonds SC335 - Audrey Alexandra Brown fonds

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Audrey Alexandra Brown fonds

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Fonds

Reference code

CA UVICARCH SC335

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Date(s)

  • 1904 - 1998 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

60 cm of textual records and other material

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Audrey Alexandra Brown was born in Nanaimo, B.C. on October 29th, 1904 to Joseph Miller Brown, a Nanaimo pioneer watchmaker and amateur historian, and Rosa Elizabeth nee Rumming. She was fifth in a family of 8. She was educated at St Ann's Convent Nanaimo, April 1912-September 1913 and at Nanaimo Public School March 1915-February 1917. She was a very keen reader and largely educated herself. She wrote her first verse at the age of 6. In May 1927 she was attacked by rheumatic fever and rendered unable to walk. She was taken into treatment at Queen Alexandra Solarium (Mill Bay) November 1934, operated on, and discharged able to walk, 1935. Brown was "discovered" in 1928 by Professor Pelham Edgar of Victoria College (Toronto) who promoted her career from 1928 to 1939. Between 1931 and 1948 she published 5 books of poems: A Dryad in Nanaimo (1931), A Dryad in Nanaimo with 11 New Poems (1934), The Tree of Resurrection (1937), Challenge to Time and Death (1943) all with Macmillan's Canada, and All Fools Day (1948) with Ryerson Press. In 1937 she published her only prose work, The Log of the Lame Duck (1937) about her hospital experience. In addition to this Ms. Brown published some of her poetry in newspapers and journals. From 1926 on Audrey Brown published first poetry and later prose in newspapers. As a freelance journalist she published the columns "Remember With Me" and "What Do You Think?" under the pseudonym "the Khoji" in the Nanaimo Free Press (1969-1974). Former Prime Minister Robert Borden admired her poem "Laodamia" and corresponded with her from 1934 until his death in 1937. She was also admired by and corresponded with Lorne Pierce intermittently from 1931 to 1960. Audrey received many awards: the Members Memorial Medal of the Canadian Women's Press Club (1936), the Lorne Pierce Gold Medal and the Royal Society of Canada (1944), the Order of Canada (Officer) (1968), and the Centennial Silver Medal (1967). She had honorary memberships in a number of women's clubs, was a member of the Canadian Authors Association (1948) and visited England (June-December 1950) as guest of P.E.N.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of manuscripts published and unpublished, which include juvenilia, poetry and story drafts, and the author's annual holograph gatherings of completed poems. The fonds includes public addresses, children's stories, periodical off prints, page proofs of A Dryad in Nanaimo, reviews, family and biographical items, photographs, certificates, recordings of poems set to music, a printers plate, biographical material, and correspondence. Correspondence includes 34 letters from former Prime Minister Robert Borden. Artwork often accompanies juvenilia verse and later children's stories; the media used include: ink on paper illustrations, pencil sketches, and watercolour drawings. Newspaper clippings include the author's columns, stories and poems. Also included are photocopies of 60 letters written by Audrey Brown to Professor Pelham Edgar (1929-47). The originals are in the Pelham Edgar collection at Victoria University, Toronto. The fonds also consists of: newspaper clippings and biographical material re Audrey Alexandra Brown and her family; correspondence between Brown and Pelham Edgar; correspondence between Brown and Earle Birney; correspondence from Martin Burrell to Pelham Edgar re Brown; manuscripts by Brown.

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Selection of material from fonds available through UVic Digital Collections.

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Finding aids

Box list available.

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Physical description

Includes 40 photographs, 8 medals, 2 cm of artwork : watercolour drawings, ink on paper, pencil on paper, 1 audio cassette.

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Description record identifier

audrey-alexandra-brown-fonds-2

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised by JF, June 17, 2013.

Language of description

  • English

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