MS Acc10.049 comprises the typescript for "The ham funeral: a tragical farce in two acts", typescript carbon, ca. 1950s, punch bound, 86 pages. This typescript was once owned by actress Ruth Ford and her husband actor Zachary Scott, and is markedly different from the final version published by Eyre and Spottiswoode in Four plays (1965) (1 folder).
Born in England in 1912, Patrick White became Australia's first Nobel Laureate in Literature. White published 12 novels and nearly 30 short stories during his lifetime, together with a modest number of poems. His great novels, from The aunt's story (1948) to Memoirs of many in one (1986), were written steadily over a period of almost 40 years. His dozen produced dramatic works were written in two distinct periods of activity: from The ham funeral in 1947 to A cheery soul in 1962, and then again from Big toys in 1977 to Shepherd on the rocks in 1987. He published a number of essays, especially in his later years when he became a reluctant activist for the preservation of Centennial Park and other green spaces, for indigenous rights, for an Australian Republic and against nuclear arms. He also published a 1981 autobiography, Flaws in the glass. He was a prolific correspondent, with a selection of his thousands of known letters appearing in David Marr's 1994 publication, Patrick White: letters. White died in 1990. His lifelong partner, Manoly Lascaris, survived him for 13 years, dying in 2003.