Lowry, Malcolm, 1909-1957

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Lowry, (Clarence) Malcolm was a novelist born in New Brighton, England. He spent time at sea before studying at Cambridge. His most recognized novel is Under the Volcano (1947), set in Mexico where he resided 1936-37. Other works include Ultramarine (1933), based on his early sea travel, and the posthumous Dark is the Grave Wherein My Friend Is Laid (1968). Most of his productive years he lived in British Columbia. From 1954 to his death he resided in England.

From the description of Malcolm Lowry collection. [1940's]. (University of Victoria Libraries). WorldCat record id: 676738325

Clarence Malcolm Lowry was born in Cheshire, England, on July 28, 1909, to cotton broker Arthur Osborne and Evelyn (Boden) Lowry. His early life was marked by distance from his parents, and the alcoholism that would afflict him for the rest of his life began when he was just a teenager. As a young boy he was sent to private boarding schools and was expected to enter the family business after completing college. After finishing boarding school, he worked on the British freighter S. S. Pyrrhus for five months in 1927 before returning home and entering Cambridge in 1929.

A year after graduating from Cambridge, Lowry published his first novel, Ultramarine (1933). The book received poor reviews and later Lowry himself described it as "an altogether unmentionable early novel." In April of 1933, while on a trip to Spain, Lowry met Jan Gabrial. Less than a year later they were married in Paris.

Lowry and Gabrial's relationship was rocky, and soon after the marriage, Gabrial returned to her home in New York, leaving Lowry in Paris. He followed her to New York in 1935, where his drinking problem was treated in Bellevue Hospital's psychiatric ward. The two moved to Mexico in 1936, and a year later, Gabrial once again left Lowry, and returned to the United States. During the remainder of his time in Mexico, Lowry sank further into depression and alcoholism and began working on a draft of Under the Volcano (1947), which would become his most recognized work.

In 1938, Lowry returned to the United States where he met former actress Margerie Bonner. They moved to Canada upon the expiration of Lowry's U. S. visa, and after securing a divorce from Gabrial in 1940, Lowry married Bonner. Following the destruction of their home by a fire in 1944, Lowry and Bonner moved in with their friends, Gerald and Betty Noxon, where Lowry completed Under the Volcano . The book was published two years after its completion in 1945.

Lowry found it difficult to produce new work after Under the Volcano and traveled with his wife frequently to find new inspiration. In 1949, after returning to Canada, Lowry briefly worked on a screenplay of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night.

Despite continued efforts, Lowry never published a novel after Under the Volcano . Several of his unfinished works and collections of his short stories were published posthumously, edited primarily by his wife Margerie.

After the termination of his contract with Random House, in 1954 Lowry and his wife began travelling in Europe. They rented a cottage in England in February 1956, where Lowry lethally overdosed on alcohol and barbiturates and died on June 27, 1957.

From the guide to the Malcolm Lowry Collection, 1940-1956, (The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Powell, Dawn. Dawn Powell Papers, 1910-1998. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Lowry, Malcolm, 1909-1957. Under the volcano : typescript, 1946. The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library
creatorOf Gabrial, Jan. Jan Gabrial papers, 1932-1940. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Lowry, Margerie Bonner. Photocopied typescript, [ca. 1950]. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Aiken, Conrad, 1889-1973. Papers and photographs: 1912-1959. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Woolmer, J. Howard, 1929-. J. Howard Woolmer fonds. University of British Columbia Library
referencedIn Doyen, Victor. Victor Doyen fonds. University of British Columbia Library
referencedIn Templeton, William Loftus,. William Templeton collection. University of British Columbia Library
creatorOf Aiken, Conrad, 1889-1973. Papers of Conrad Aiken, 1851-1983, (bulk 1920-1970). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn McConnell, William. William McConnell fonds. University of British Columbia Library
creatorOf Buñuel, Luis, 1900-1983. Papers, 1956-1967. Indiana University
creatorOf Lowry, Malcolm, 1909-1957. Malcolm Lowry collection. [1940's]. University of Victoria Libraries, UVic
referencedIn Herrick, Stephen Gale. Scrapbook of clippings re Malcolm Lowry and his work : [1947-1982] UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Day, Douglas Turner, 1932-. Malcolm Lowry : ca. 1969-1974. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Lowry, Margerie Bonner. Margerie Lowry fonds. [1967]. University of Victoria Libraries, UVic
creatorOf University of British Columbia. Library,. Malcolm Lowry collection. University of British Columbia Library
referencedIn Bradbrook, M. C. (Muriel Clara), 1909-. M. C. Bradbrook fonds. University of British Columbia Library
referencedIn Pocock, Robert. BBC Radio Scripts, 1967-1970. Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
referencedIn Lowry (family). Lowry family fonds. University of British Columbia Library
referencedIn Autograph File, L, 1641-1976. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Malcolm Lowry Collection, 1940-1956 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Markson, David. David Markson fonds. University of British Columbia Library
referencedIn Erskine, Albert Russell, 1911-. Papers : of Albert Russell Erskine, 1927-1981. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Rudman, Mark. Office files of The American Poetry Review, 1979-1995. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn Jan Gabrial papers, 1932-1940 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Harold Matson Company, Inc. (New York, N.Y.). Harold Matson Company, Inc. Records, 1937-1980. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Aiken, Conrad, 1889-1973. Papers and photographs of Conrad Aiken, 1912-1959. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Robert Pick papers, 1915-1977. Houghton Library.
referencedIn O'Kill, Brian,. Malcolm Lowry research collection. University of British Columbia Library
referencedIn New Yorker records, ca.1924-1984 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn American Review records, 1967-1977 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
creatorOf Lowry, Malcolm, 1909-1957. Eridanus : manuscript, after 1946. Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn Erskine, Albert, 1911-1993. Albert Erskine papers, 1930-1999. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Malcolm Lowry collection. McGill University Library
creatorOf Lowry, Malcolm, 1909-1957. [Miscellaneous journal issues from Malcolm Lowry's personal library]. University of British Columbia Library
referencedIn Sir, Michael Redgrave, Archive, 1890-1996 V&A Museum: Department of Theatre and Performance
creatorOf Lowry, Malcolm, 1909-1957. Malcolm Lowry - John Davenport papers, 1926-1970. The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Aiken, Conrad, 1889-1973. person
associatedWith American Review corporateBody
associatedWith Bedford, Sybille, 1911-2006. person
associatedWith Bradbrook, M. C. (Muriel Clara), 1909- person
associatedWith Brophy, Brigid, 1929-1995. person
associatedWith Buñuel, Luis, 1900-1983. person
associatedWith Butts, Mary, 1890-1937. person
associatedWith Cape, Johnathan, person
associatedWith Davenport, John. person
associatedWith Day, Douglas Turner, 1932- person
associatedWith Dick, Kay. person
associatedWith Dinesen, Isak, 1885-1962. person
associatedWith Doyen, Victor. person
associatedWith Erskine, Albert, 1905- person
associatedWith Erskine, Albert Russell, 1911- person
associatedWith Gabrial, Jan person
associatedWith Gabrial, Jan. person
associatedWith Gilliatt, Penelope. person
associatedWith Harold Matson Company, Inc. (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Herrick, Stephen Gale. person
associatedWith Lawrence, Frieda von Richthofen, 1879-1956. person
associatedWith Lowry (family) family
associatedWith Lowry, Margerie Bonner person
associatedWith Manning, Olivia. person
associatedWith Markson, David. person
associatedWith McConnell, William. person
associatedWith Murdock, Iris. person
associatedWith Nesbitt, Cathleen, 1888-1982. person
correspondedWith New Yorker Magazine, Inc corporateBody
associatedWith Noxon, Gerald person
associatedWith O'Kill, Brian, person
correspondedWith Pick, Robert, 1898- person
associatedWith Pocock, Robert. person
associatedWith Powell, Dawn. person
correspondedWith Redgrave, Michael person
associatedWith Rudman, Mark. person
associatedWith Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. person
associatedWith Stern, James, 1904- person
associatedWith Stevenson, George. person
associatedWith Templeton, William Loftus, person
associatedWith Tracy, Honor, 1915- person
associatedWith University of British Columbia. Library, corporateBody
associatedWith Woolmer, J. Howard, 1929- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
English literature--20th century
Authors, English--20th century
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1909-07-28

Death 1957-06-26

Britons

Spanish; Castilian,

English

Information

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