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Mary Stanley papers.

Identifier: MSS-Archives-2002/1

Scope and Contents

This collection includes both literary and personal papers relating to Mary Stanley, as well as photographs and war memorabilia relating to her first husband, Brian Neal.

Abbreviations: BN: Brian Neal. MN: Mary Neal KS: Kendrick Smithyman MS: Mary Stanley


  • 1936 - 1994


Conditions Governing Access

Partly restricted: access to original poetry manuscripts in folder 1 is restricted, issue photocopied set: folder 2 instead.

Biographical / Historical

Mary Stanley(1919-1980) was a poet and teacher, she best known for her collection Starveling year (Pegasus Press, 1953). She attended to Auckland University College in 1936 (eventually graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1947) and later became a trained teacher. In January 1943 Mary Stanley married, Brian Neal, who was killed in action in Italy in July 1944 while serving with the 4th Field Regiment, New Zealand Artillery.

In 1946 she married Kendrick Smithyman, with whom she had three sons. For many years she suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, but showed a determination to rise above this condition, returning to primary school teaching and working with remedial reading cases and school music.

Mary Stanley died in 1980.


0.1 metres (1 box)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Margaret Edgcumbe, English Departmentt., 1 March 1996.

Related Materials

Mss & Archives 2009/3: Kendrick Smithyman literary papers.

Select Bibliography

  • French, Phyllis Ann. Twelve women poets of New Zealand : imperatives of shape and growth. Thesis, University of Texas, 1967. Blanche Baughan, Ursula Bethell, Eileen Duggan, Katherine Mansfield, Robin Hyde, Jessie Mackay, Gloria Rawlinson, Ruth Gilbert, Ruth France, Mary Stanley, Ruth Dallas and Fleur Adcock.
  • Joseph, M.K. Mary Stanley 1919-1980. Islands. 8, no. 1 (Mar. 1980): 87-88.
  • The Book of New Zealand Women. Edited by Charlotte Macdonald, Merimeri Penfold and Bridget Williams. Wellington : Bridget Williams Books, 1991. pp.616-618.
  • Smithyman, Kendrick. Introduction to the 1994 edition of Starveling Year.
  • Savage, Maryann. Wound logic: the invincible necessity of Mary Stanley. Thesis, MA. University of Auckland, 1997.
Inventory of the papers of Mary Stanley, 1936-1994.
Stephen Innes
December 2002
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, University of Auckland Repository

5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 New Zealand