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Issue Details: First known date: 1955... 1955 Helen Haenke Collection
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

The University of Queensland's Fryer Library holds a substantial collection of Helen Haenke's literary works. The collection includes plays, short stories, novels, poems, and prose, all in manuscript form. Several of these works were published, but only the manuscript and electronic text versions are included in the collection. 

Notes

  • Also includes unpublished short stories:

    • 1983: 'A world where "The Cult" are stealing all the children and teenagers and possibly eating them.' (Adapted from the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Backward in Coming Forward: A group of school girls are desperate to see inside their teachers' tea room. Names of the characters are spelt backwards which is in the same style as the notes the girls pass to each other.
    • The Bride Place: 'A camping reunion for a group of friends has a sinister overtone.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Brutality. Sadism. Which? Or Neither: 'An adolescent boy is traumatised by his Grandmother's death.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • The Bug Woman: Recollections of a young girl about an "eccentric" lady known by their family. (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Cactus or The Real Wonder: 'Written in "Outback Australian" style of language with a typical country droll perspective.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland). Ned is bitter because Daisy, whom he was meant to marry, is now married to Will. Ned tries to get revenge on Will but his plan backfires.
    • The Cathedral: 'A philosophical commentary of the author's thought processes after seeing a woman wearing a yellow dress and hat outside the Cologne Cathedral.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland). The author reflects that women are often lonely and this loneliness connects them. (d. 1968).
    • Child Prodigy: A young boy enjoys christening and then executing bugs. After he executes several caterpillars named 'Auntie', he considers one day executing his real aunt.
    • Cousins: 'Aunty Flo arrives for a visit with the Bishop and her very precocious niece, Lily. Lily insists on sitting with the adults for dinner, showing up her cousins by singing sophisticated songs and producing a totally inappropriate hat to wear to church the following Sunday. This story references a play called "The Duchess".' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Death of a Suffragette: The same story as 'The Bug Woman', with a few minor alterations.
    • The Demonstration: 'A brief story about an encounter between intellectuals of different generations.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Don't Look Back: 'A man returns to New Guinea 15 years after the war to find a Japanese man residing in his old home.' (Adapted from the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland). (d. 1957).
    • Drown in a Teacup: Over the course of a day, a woman repeatedly feels rejected by those around her. She reminisces about when she nearly drowned as a child and uses the anecdote to regain her spirits.
    • The Edge of Fear: 'Katherine, an office worker, is unnerved when she suspects a man is attempting to rob her of some office funds she took home for safe-keeping.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland). (d. 1956).
    • The Elm Tree: Two versions. 1. A man's wife asks him to cut down the Elm tree in their neighbour's garden, as it is casting too much shade over where she hangs their washing. Written in third person. 2. A woman watches on as a man makes plans to cut down a nearby Elm tree that she feels attached to. This version is written from the perspective of the woman who loves the tree.
    • A Feller Running Away: 'Mrs. Medlar, a widow, settles into a country town. She has a severely burned hand but the significance of it is unclear.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Finder's Keeper: Just before he dies, a man tells his wife he never really wanted to marry her. In his will we leaves the farm to his childhood sweetheart. His wife moves away with their daughter, enjoying the freedom.
    • First with the News: 'Chas's wife has a heart condition and has just announced she is pregnant. Her news must now take precedence over the news that Chas has just won a prestigious scholarship.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland). (d. 1956).
    • Gay Little Ideas: 'A series of letters when a newly appointed school teacher meets a charming French family.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • A Glass of Water: 'A story about the importance to a 13-year-old girl of experiencing first love.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • A Golden Crown for a Gown: 'A short story set in a second-hand clothing shop, where the owner sees beyond the clothes to the person who wore them.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • The Hand of Friendship: 'A group of teenagers are asked to welcome a girl into their circle of friends, but feel threatened by her sophistication and intelligence.' (Adapted from the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • He's a Good Boy: 'A story of a family's concern about an intellectually disabled young man and his danger to others.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • A Head for Money: 'Sally is responsible for locking up the shop and taking home the late takings, but is found unconscious on the footpath after two men try to rob her. It turns out she keeps the money safely in her headscarf.' (Adapted from the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Henry Salt and the Urge: 'Henry, an artist, scams some young women into painting lessons to pay for his tickets to a ball.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Honey Saw or The Dud: 'The pub at Wallaberoo is a sanctuary for three mates and pretty bar-maid Maisie.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland). That is, until the new bank clerk/lay preacher breaks up their routine.
    • Idyll or Idyll for Secret Voices: A harsh, condescending mother interferes in her children's lives when they begin to make relationships with an unsuitable family.
    • If Cherries were Kisses: 'Eighteen year old Lucie attempts to get Rob to notice her against the competition of three other ladies.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • It Makes You Human: 'George attempts to court Margaret in the face of opposition from the three children she is minding.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland). (d. 1956).
    • It Takes a Flood: 'Contemplating the Council restoration of the riverbank following a flood inspires a man to view his wife and family in a fresh light.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • The Judge: 'A woman experiencing hallucinations most likely brought on by the stress of having to read some of her literature publicly, and possibly critique others, results in a migraine.' (Adapted from the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Lalo: An anecdote where the author sees a painting of a woman and is reminded of someone she used to know.
    • The Lark Turned Sour: 'A story about a property owner who hasn't comprehended his sister's struggles following their parent's death.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • The Last Eagle: A man, a woman, and their baby are the only beings left alive—and one eagle.
    • Last Rites: 'A nurse and a farmer, who have been engaged for two years during a harsh drought, are bringing their relationship to its inevitable end.' (Adapted from the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Late Spring: 'A drawn out narrative of a woman's encounters with an old man.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • A Lot in Common: 'A spoilt young woman is left stranded on an island beach and given shelter by a fugitive during a storm.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • The Man on the Verandah: Mona is unhappy with her husband, Ed. Their new neighbours are up to something strange, but in the end Ed cleans himself up, so he and Mona are happy, and the mystery of the neighbours gets solved.
    • Messenger of the Gods: A young woman has been rejected and sent away by her boyfriend. She begins to feel better after she meets a foreign traveller on a train.
    • Metamorphosis: After her mother dies, Catherine remakes herself with her inheritance money. She rediscovers her self-worth after feeling tired and old in marriage.
    • The Middle Aged Spread: 'A man is discontented with his middle-aged life and doesn't want his son to fall into the same trap.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Miss James: An autobiographical story about a haberdashery shop owned by the James family, close to where Helen was brought up. The story describes the shop and Miss James who ran it. (Adapted from the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Moment: An anecdote of the the author's thoughts as she goes about her day in Brisbane, watching and interacting with other people.
    • A Night of Spiders: 'Recollections of a young girl of her Aunt's premonition about spiders, that appears to come to a dreadful fruition.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Old Frankenstein: 'A deaf elderly gentleman comes to visit the author's father, who is a doctor, to discuss politics. The doctor offers a cure for the deafness, but "Old Frankenstein" decides the world is too loud a place after all.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Once-Bitten-Twice Shy: Pen has been engaged to Rick for three years, but he is reluctant to marry and their relationship has soured. Pen falls for the new choir conductor who wants to marry her immediately. (d. 1958).
    • One Man's Meat: 'Three women vie for a widower's attention.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Rain from Heaven: Emily realises she doesn't want to marry her fiance, Harvey, after all. She prays and everything goes wrong on her wedding day, which she is extremely pleased about. (d. 1956).
    • Return to the Scene: As a boy, Dino is upset when he sees the snow-melt wash away swallows' nests under a bridge near his home. As an adult he witnesses it again with a more bitter perspective.
    • The Right Sort of Eyes: 'A young boy's mother shares enchanting stories of her day, but the boy's friend is jealous and insists they must be "fibs".' (Adapted from the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • The Rooster: 'A snapshot of life in the 1970s, when Gorton and LBJ were in power.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland). A man is given a rooster by his friend. The man's wife adores the rooster a bit too much for the man's liking. (d. 1968).
    • Run Away Home: 'A tale of a lonely widower who finds a family to love. Genuine reflection of shallow characters we meet in life, and how a person can feel 'disengaged' within a community.' (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland). (d. 1964).
    • School Girls Don't Change or Whither Scotland Yard?: A personal anecdote about school-girl comics and their consistency over time.
    • Second Chance: Brad and Janet meet for dinner after years apart. Eventually Brad reveals his wife is dead, and he and Janet decide to reunite.
    • Shopping for Love: Deb has already frightened away one young man with her love of window shopping. Now she's worried Charlie will be equally as skittish. 
    • The Shuddering Tree: At the local pub, Joan chats with Paul who tells her of his frightening experience as a child with a tree that shudders. Bored with the usual enforced segregation of men and women in the bar, Joan decides to walk home through the park. She muses to herself and returns to the party. (Adapted from the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland). (d. 1968).
    • A Spell of Sunshine: After a visit from her newly engaged niece, Miss Murdock reminisces sadly about the accountant she fell in love with when she was young.
    • Sponge Cake for Tea: Mr Hedley from the Legacy Club helps war-widow, Mrs Gale, and her four children move house. 
    • The Steady State: Dorothy Molester assesses her independence within the framework of her family. She finds that her husband is not trying to tie her down as much as she thought, but she still strives to keep her independence. (Adapted from the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • The Stone: Old Sven lives on a farm in Norway. He is saving to move to Australia where his son lives, but feels a great attachment to a stone in the middle of his plough field. 
    • The Sun and the Wind: (A follow-up to 'Young Corn, Growing.) Ten-year-old John-Paul continues to visit 'The Lady' who lives nearby to water his corn plants. But he is very frustrated when she keeps asking him to read books. (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Take Care of my Heart: Natalie asks Millie to look after Cor, a handsome Dutch man, while Natalie is away. Millie agrees but feels miserable about it as she has feelings for Cor. Turns out, Natalie was helping Millie all along. (d. 1957).
    • Things You Should Know: An old man connives to ensure his future comfort. (Adapted from the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland). (d. 1957).
    • Three Can Play at that Game: Three generations of women entertain a male guest for dinner. The competition is fierce, but all works out as it should.
    • Three Part Invention: Miss Barker battles with voices in her head. She turns to collecting leaves and pine cones and storing them in her spare room. When the local priest asks her to take on some borders, she turns to drastic measures to get rid of her collection.
    • To Grave and Maker: A naive country child struggles to deal with the death of his beloved Granny. (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Two Pigeons: While observing two pigeons in the tree outside her kitchen window, Marge reflects on her marriage and the annoying 'walrus noises' her husband makes in the bathroom every morning. She goes out for the day and comes home feeling better and more kind. (Adapted from the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland). (d. 1968).
    • The Voices of Love: Two singers reunite for a TV program, but there's more in their history than singing, as Laura once gave up a scholarship so Edward could have it. Nevertheless, it's a happy ending.  (Adapted from the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland). (d. 1961).
    • White Linen: Sarah goes to visit her friend Jeanna and her aunt for tea. She gets caught in the rain on the way home and accepts shelter from a young man with an umbrella.  (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
    • Young Corn, Growing: John-Paul, a young boy, moves from a flat to a new house with his family and is befriended by an older couple who live nearby. They are prepared to help him experience a wider view of life, including nurturing some young corn plants. (From the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland).
  • This archive notes details of most of the content in the UQ Fryer Library's Helen Haenke Collection. However, there are a significant amount of manuscript poems and prose in the collection which have not been listed here.

Contents

* Contents derived from the 1955-1989 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Time and the Bell, Helen Haenke , single work radio play

Mayne Textiles has a new business manager who borrows money from everyone in the firm, flirts with the switch girl, "improves" the office, and eventually marries the boss's daughter. His co-workers do not approve.

(p. 25l.)
The Dewy Look, Helen Haenke , single work short story

'The 'late' Uncle Heber and his solicitor, Sam, dreamed up a scheme to entice 'man-hating' Julia into marriage.' (Source: the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland)

The Chosen Child, Helen Haenke , single work short story

'A wife is looking for love and affection from her husband. She wants a child conceived in love not simply the result of a sexual encounter.' (Source: Adapted from the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland)

Lament for a Death by Euthanasia, Helen Haenke , single work short story

'An account of the possible birth and death of a disabled child. The "child" is most likely the author's efforts at writing.' (Source: Adapted from the Helen Haenke Short Stories Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland) 

Walkabout, Helen Haenke , single work drama

Eleanor and Noel decide to have a 'real' experience and go to spend the night under a bridge together. They meet two thieves and an Aboriginal girl, Daisy, who has just left her job as a nurse maid. Eleanor and Noel decide this rough living isn't for them after all, but Eleanor begins to question the differences between herself and Daisy.

One Character in Search of..., Helen Haenke , single work drama

'This appears to be a piece written as part of a university course — it features well-known UQ academic Arlene Sykes. Inspired by "Six Characters in Search of an Author"' (Source: Helen Haenke Plays Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland)

A mysterious woman sits in on a university drama tutorial. She evades the students' and lecturer's questions of who she is and what she is doing there. 

The Pied Piper, Helen Haenke , single work drama

A musical version of the original story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. A slight twist at the end regarding Limpy, the only child left after the Piper leads the children away.

Adventure in Friendship, Helen Haenke , single work drama

Frances has been "sent to Coventry" by the girls in her class (they're not speaking to her), because she is a prefect even though she has been at the school for less time than they have. The headmistress solves the problem.

Bitter Orange, Helen Haenke , single work drama

'A middle-aged working class widow feels put upon by her two children in their early twenties and fears loneliness when they leave home. She remembers the time when she couldn't even eat an orange in case the kids would have to go without. She reads the personal columns seeking a man v.m. The neighbours suspect that she is having an affair with the postman she has known all her life. She has met a man and the postman brings her his letters surreptitiously, but she is having second thoughts because he's a Lutheran and church and wowserism don't appeal. The son gives her an orange, she crumples the letter and goes back to the personal notices.' (Source: Helen Haenke Plays Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland)

The Duchess, Helen Haenke , single work drama

Two acts as monologues. In act one, Lily is 27 years old, on the eve of her wedding. She wonders about her life up to that point and how it will change as she becomes a married woman and grows up. In act two, Lily is 89 and her husband is dead. She looks back on her life with a more pessimistic attitude than when she was young.

A Street Stall, Helen Haenke , single work drama

A quick-talking comedy that features multiple women selling wares on a street stall. The villain maintains that "women's place is in the home", and he is disgruntled when any of the women challenge this notion.

The Toad, Helen Haenke , single work drama

'The Griffiths are hosting a dinner party for George's work colleagues and his boss who is expected to offer George a partnership. A toad appears, unmoving, in the hall and is left there as an omen. Couple by couple the guests cry off leaving the parents, their son and his new girlfriend and the 'help' who is expecting her first grandchild. The daughter arrives, fleeing from her husband.' (Source: Helen Haenke Plays Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland) 

First Performance : A One Act Play, Helen Haenke , single work drama

'A chaotic afternoon before the first performance of Harriet's new play by the local Drama Group that evening. Crisis after crisis between the cast of 8.' (Source: Adapted from Helen Haenke Plays Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland)

Return to the Fray : A One Act Play, Helen Haenke , single work drama

A new teacher, not yet graduated from university, starts her job at a girls' boarding school. Meanwhile the Deputy-Head's ex-husband comes back into her life.

The Bottom of a Birdcage, Helen Haenke , single work drama crime

Granpa and Lady live alone in the tenement and have always schemed to keep it that way. Lady becomes fond of their newest tenant, Lad, but eventually he goes too. After Lady commits manslaughter against the milkman, she leaves and Granpa gets the place to himself.

The Angell of Lords, Helen Haenke , single work drama

'George Angell, the captain of Australia's test cricket team, has made a record score in defeating England at Lords. In celebration, his mates have deposited a rather inebriated George in a mausoleum. He blows his trumpet in celebration and summons up two sets of ghosts — one Royalist couple and their puritanical descendants. The old and modern have little understanding of each other and the ghosts do not see eye to eye on morality.' (Source: Helen Haenke Plays Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland)

Blackout, Helen Haenke , single work drama

The stage is divided in two, with separate scenes playing alongside each other. One side of the stage is an office with two women making calls to warn of an unscheduled power stoppage. The other is a matron's room at a private hospital where a male patient is in a critical condition. The office women cannot get through to the hospital as a nurse tries in vain to telephone the wife of the patient. The power goes out, and eventually the patient dies.

Pandora's Daughter, Helen Haenke , single work drama

'Felicity, who has just finished school, lives in a 'Time-warp' house with her father and aunt. Her mother has lived overseas for ten years. The father is in line for a job appointment to London and his daughter will be required to be hostess, even though she would prefer to go to university — which father thinks would be wasted on a woman. (The play is set in 1959 and echoes the social mores of the time). Is the boss's son who has arrived and taken an interest in Felicity his father's son?' (Source: Helen Haenke Plays Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland)

The Golden Sword, Helen Haenke , single work drama

'Described by the author as "a crazy mixed-up anachronism", this romp lies somewhere between a spoof and a satire. An impoverished royal family struggles with red tape and bureaucracy. The Prince wants to marry the foundling taken in by his parents at birth, but King Coal wants him to marry a rich pickle heiress. The magic Golden Sword is the solution to all their problems but has not been used, for no obvious reason, until now!' (Source: Helen Haenke Plays Table - Fryer Library, University of Queensland)

Troth to Toll, Helen Haenke , single work drama

Mayne Textiles has a new business manager who borrows money from everyone in the firm, flirts with the switch girl, "improves" the office, and eventually marries the boss's daughter. His co-workers do not approve.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

      ca. 1955-1989 .

      Holdings

      Held at: University of Queensland University of Queensland Library Fryer Library
      Local Id: UQFL570
      Note:

      7 boxes. Drafts of short stories, prose, poetry and novels in print and electronic text. 

Last amended 16 Oct 2018 14:41:38
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