Sir Terry Pratchett accompanied his literary agent, and College honorand, Colin Smythe, on a visit to the College last week to help present Smythes’ donation of the complete back-catalogue of the author’s works.
The catalogue, presented in all 33 of the languages they have been published in, was presented to the College Library and the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies. According to the College, the gift is intended to underpin research in contemporary fiction and translational studies.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Smythe commented, “It’s always nice to come back to my alma mater, even after 46 years,” adding, “and when two honorary doctors from Trinity have an opportunity to explore the Long Room in the Old Library and add to its prestigious collection, its doubly so.”
Commenting on Mr. Smythe’s donation, the Provost, Dr John Hegarty said that “Colin’s generous gift of this wonderful collection will inspire future generations of scholars for many years to come.” He added, “Trinity has links across the world in all walks of life. Our links to another world, the Discworld, were expanded last December through the addition of Sir Terry to our university’s alumni. I’m always delighted to see the success of our graduates internationally, across all generations.
Mr. Smythe graduated from the College in 1963 and went on to start his own publishing company specialising in Irish literature three years later. Mr. Smythe has published books by or about authors including W.B.Yeats, Lady Gregory and J.M.Synge, among others. He has published work on subjects such as the Irish epic myths, the fairy faith and Irish folklore. He is also agent for the literary estates of a number of Irish authors, including George Moore, Lady Gregory and Oliver St John Gogarty.
Following their first meeting in 1968, Mr. Smythe went on to publish the Discworld author’s book, The Carpet People, in 1971, which he followed on with four other books. Mr. Smythe became Sir Terry’s agent in 1987 and now represents his client in his merchandising and all productions of his work.