Guide to the Papers of John Bryson [MSS 127]

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Manuscript Name Papers of John Bryson
Manuscript Number MSS 127
Last Updated February 2022
Extent 11 boxes + 6 oversize
Location Special Collections, UNSW Canberra
Abstract Manuscripts, correspondence, and legal material relating to John Bryson, including drafts, press clippings, correspondence, and working notes for his novel Evil Angels (1985)

Collection Subject Type


Scope and Content

The papers of lawyer and author John Bryson (1935-2022) comprise material relating to his account of the Azaria Chamberlain case, Evil Angels (1985), correspondence and legal material relating to the Frank Morris versus Penguin Books defamation case dating 1987-1992, and manuscript material for various short stories and novels

Date Range of Content


Biographical Note

Wikipedia article:

John Bryson was born in Melbourne in 1935 and educated at the University of Melbourne where he studied law. After practicing law for ten years, he became chairman and managing director of a Melbourne public company in 1971 before rejoining the bar in 1978. Bryson began publishing his articles and stories in Australian newspapers in 1973. His best known work is his 1985 book Evil Angels which was made into a film in 1988. Other works include a 1981 collection of short fiction Whoring Around and a novel of the Spanish Civil War, To the Death, Amic (1994). In 2014 Bryson received an Order of Australia for significant service to Australian literature.

Austlit : John Bryson retrieved 14 July 2020

Craven, Peter. ‘An extraordinary man’: farewell to author of Lindy Chamberlain masterpiece', Sydney Morning Herald, 10 February 2022. retrieved 14 February 2022


Administrative Information


Access and Copying Conditions

Access: Check with Curator

This collection contains a variety of copyright material. Copyright is held by the creator of each item. Specific conditions for this collection are listed below. If no conditions are stipulated then the standard terms of the Copyright Act apply for published and unpublished items. Digitised material from manuscript collections is provided to clients by UNSW Canberra in good faith for private study and research only, and may not be published or re-purposed without the express and written permission of the individual legal holder of that copyright. Refer also to the UNSW copyright, disclaimer and takedown policy. 

Copying: Check with Curator

Preferred Citation

Papers of John Bryson, Special Collections, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, MSS 127, Box [Number], Folder [Number].


Check with Curator


Subject Keywords



John Bryson, 1935-2022  - Archives

Authors, Australian - Archives

Lindy Chamberlain, 1948-  -Trials, litigation, etc.

Short stories, Australian - 20th century

Personal Names

John Bryson, 1935-2022





Container List


Box 1

Folder 1

Chamberlain Trial, volume 1 [Lindy / Azaria]

Folders 2-4

Chamberlain Trial, volume 1

Folders 5-8

Chamberlain Trial, volume 2


Box 2

Folders 9-12

Chamberlain Trial, volume 3

Folders 13-16

Chamberlain Trial, volume 4


Box 3

Folders 17-20

Chamberlain Trial, volume 5

Folders 21-23

Chamberlain Trial, volume 6


Box 4

Folders 24-25

Azaria - first inquest, volume 1

Folders 26-28

Azaria - first inquest, volume 2

Folders 29-31

Azaria - first inquest, volume 3


Box 5

Folders 32-34

Azaria - second inquest, volume 1

Folders 35-37

Azaria - second inquest, volume 2

Folder 38

Press photographs, correspondence - Chamberlain Inquest - includes Azaria newsletter, news clippings

Folder 39

Bob Collins speaks to the House : J Kuhl, J Bryson


Box 6

Folder 40

Martin Report

Folder 41

Documents from A Kirkham

Azaria - press clippings

Folder 42

Regarding Chamberlain case

Folder 43

Documentary exhibits

Folders 44-45

Greg and Sally Lowe

Folders 46-47

Chamberlain - correspondence and working file


Box 7

Folders 48-49

Chamberlain - correspondence and working file

Folders 50-51

Evil Angels - readers’ letters

Folder 52

Evil Angels - last draft before ‘shooting’

Folder 53

Evil Angels - author’s manuscript


Box 8

Folder 54

Evil Angels - edited manuscript

Folder 55        

Backstage at the Revolution - manuscript

Folder 56

Backstage at the Revolution - manuscript, ‘Taipai’

Folder 57

Backstage at the Revolution - reviews

‘Bugis Street Shoes’, ‘Warrior’

Folder 58

Backstage at the Revolution - Fishing pieces, ‘Wrath’, ‘Perilous Winter in St. Moritz’, ‘Amandola’

Folder 59

Backstage at the Revolution - ‘A Long Weekend’, ‘Belfast’

Folder 60

Backstage at the Revolution - ‘A Good Pirate Crew can Swarm Sitting Down’.


Box 9

Folder 61

Whoring  Around - ‘Inventory’, ‘Pedigree’, ‘I Keep Meeting My Grandfather’; ‘Ticket for Charity’

Folder 62

Whoring Around  - ‘Children aren’t Supposed to be Here at All’, ‘Routine’, ‘Melodrama for a Plastic Heroine’

Folder 63

Whoring Around - ‘Widows’

Folder 64

Whoring Around  - correspondence, news clippings

Folders 65-66

Whoring Around and other stories

Folder 67

Whoring Around - includes cover photo negative


Box 10

Folder 68

Penguin Books, Frank Morris defamation case

Folder 69

Correspondence and legal material, 1987-1992, regarding the Morris versus Penguin Books Case

Folder 70

Correspondence 1988-1992, Penguin Books versus Morris

Folder 71

Correspondence, legal material regarding Penguin Books versus Morris

Folder 72

Morris’ statements, police records, list of sources

Folder 73

Notes - Morris versus Penguin Books

Folder 74

Imputations from Writ, Morris versus Penguin Books


Box 11

Folder 75

To the Death, Amic - copy of original manuscript, some textual and copy editing


Oversize material

OS 1-5

Chamberlain news clippings

OS 6

To the Death, Amic - galleys, annotated