Working at E.J. Pratt Library (located at 71 Queen’s Park Crescent E) with archivist Roma Kail and her team, I examined the critique génétique (primary sources) of Canadian writer and poet Raymond Knister for my archives project. I focused on the manuscript and research material of Knister’s novel, My Star Predominant: Portrait of John Keats, as well as his correspondence and newspaper clippings about his death. In doing so, I was able to write the history of the research and writing process of My Star Predominant, as well as Knister’s relationship with Pelham Edgar, Frederick Phillip Grove, and his wife. Furthermore, by examining the newspapers clippings about his death, I identified inaccuracies that are often present in secondary…show more content…
He is also known for editing Canadian Short Stories in 1928 (“Raymond Knister”). He was about to begin working as an editor for Ryerson Press when he drowned on Lake Saint Clair in 1932 (“Biographical Sketch”).
Archival Material Initially, I examined the manuscript of My Star Predominant: Portrait of John Keats. The manuscript presented a challenge because it was difficult to gain the “story” of Knister – that is, the manuscript was just a rough draft of the final book and didn’t present any information on Knister or his process of writing or researching the manuscript. After reading the foreword, I had questions about how Knister researched Keats and his thought process when trying to organize and write the book. In that regard, I found his personal letters to be more interesting and meaningful because they answered some of those questions. In particular, Knister’s correspondence with Pelham Edgar was especially helpful.
I looked at three letters Knister wrote to Edgar from the years 1930 to 1931, in which he detailed writing the manuscript of My Star Predominant. After the progress research report, I also discovered one letter written to Knister from Pelham Edgar, though unfortunately, it is only dated May 7 with no year. I also considered some of the research material that Knister had for My Star Predominant.