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Flora Annie Steel Manuscript

Identifier: MSS 0169

Scope and Contents

This signed original holograph manuscript is an apparently unpublished play, Grand-dad, or, The Spirit of the British Navy. The cast of characters includes: Grand-dad Pettigrew (an old veteran), Mr. Sailor-man (a quartermaster), Tummus (a boy, Grand-dad's great-grandson), Mrs. Pettigrew (Grand-dad's grandson's wife, Tummus' mother), Selina and her baby (Mrs. Pettigrew's niece), and Mrs. Hawkins (Selina's mother-in-law).


  • undated


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.

Biographical or Historical Information

Flora Annie Steel (1847-1929) was a British novelist and short story writer. Although she received very little formal education, she was allowed free run of her parents' library and was known for her strong personality and boundless energy. She married government official Henry Steel in 1867 at the age of twenty, and they left for India within twenty-four hours of the ceremony. Steel spent the next twenty-two years as a tireless organizer of community enterprises wherever she and her husband were posted. She immersed herself in the lives of the local population, learned the local language and displayed a genuine if somewhat paternalistic interest in the lives of the people of India, especially the women.

Steel began writing short stories reflecting her experiences and collecting Indian folk tales toward the end of her time in India, though only one book, Wide Awake Stories (1884), was published before she left in 1889. She enjoyed a long friendship and business association with the publisher William Heinemann, wrote copiously and was well-received by the British public. At least half of her numerous novels and short stories were concerned with Indian or Anglo-Indian life.


0.01 Linear Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



Flora Annie Steel (1847-1929) was a British novelist and short story writer. This signed original holograph manuscript is for an unpublished play entitled, Grand-dad, or, The Spirit of the British Navy.

Method of Acquisition

Purchased from collector, November 2000.

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Processing Information

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Flora Annie Steel Manuscript
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Revision Statements

  • April 20, 2021: This finding aid underwent changes in Spring 2021 after a reparative archives review. The following link leads to the legacy version of this finding aid:

Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US