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Finding Aid of the General Literary Manuscripts collection

Finding aid prepared by Jacqueline Morin, 2010

Summary Information

USC Libraries Special Collections
Allmond, Marcus Blakey, 1851-1909 -- Correspondence
Andros, R. S. S., (Richard Salter Storrs), 1817-1868 -- Correspondence
Auden, W. H. (Wystan Hugh), 1907-1973 -- Correspondence
Burgess, Gelett, 1866-1951 -- Correspondence
Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789-1851 -- Correspondence
Davie, Donald -- Correspondence
Gosse, Edmund, 1849-1928 -- Correspondence
Herford, Oliver, 1863-1935 -- Correspondence
Howard, Robert, Sir, 1626-1698 -- Correspondence
Howells, William Dean, 1837-1920 -- Correspondence
Lindsay, Vachel, 1879-1931 -- Correspondence
Lofting, Hugh, 1886-1947 -- Correspondence
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882
Mabie, Hamilton Wright, 1846-1916 -- Correspondence
Maeterlinck, Maurice, 1862-1949 -- Correspondence
Morley, Christopher, 1890-1957 -- Correspondence
Norris, Frank, 1870-1902 -- Correspondence
Page, Thomas Nelson, 1853-1922 -- Correspondence
Perkoff, Stuart Z. -- Correspondence
Porter, Cole, 1891-1964 -- Correspondence
Read, Thomas Buchanan, 1822-1872 -- Correspondence
Roberts, Charles George Douglas, Sir, 1860-1943 -- Correspondence
Runyon, Damon, 1880-1946 -- Correspondence
Ruskin, John, 1819-1900
Saltus, Edgar, 1855-1921 -- Correspondence
Sherman, Frank Dempster, 1860-1916 -- Correspondence
Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894 -- Correspondence
Vale, Eugene -- Correspondence
Van Dyke, Henry, 1852-1933 -- Correspondence
Weismiller, Edward Ronald, 1915- -- Correspondence
Wells, Carolyn, d. 1942 -- Correspondence
General Literary Manuscripts collection
Collection no.
0.42 linear ft., 1 legal-size document box
The General Literary Manuscripts collection is an artificially created collection comprised chiefly of literary works and manuscript fragments of well-known writers and other public figures. The time covered is late 17th century to the first half of the 20th century.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder# or item name], General Literary Manuscripts collection, Collection no. 375, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

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Scope and Content

The manuscripts in the General Literary Manuscripts collection represent a wide variety of American and English writers, as well as a range of written materials. Some items of note include a signed bank check from James Fenimore Cooper to "Daughters," some hand-written receipts with sealing wax of Sir Robert Howard dated 1677, several manuscripts by Christopher Darlington Morley, and an original 1940s radio script by Damon Runyon called, "That Ever-Loving Wife of Hymie's."

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The one-box collection is arranged alphabetically by author.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

USC Libraries Special Collections
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California, 90089-0189

Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice is required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Autographs (manuscripts)
  • Essays
  • Financial records
  • Manuscripts
  • Poems
  • Short stories
  • Typescripts

Personal Name(s)

  • Allmond, Marcus Blakey, 1851-1909 -- Archives
  • Andros, R. S. S., (Richard Salter Storrs), 1817-1868 -- Archives
  • Auden, W. H. (Wystan Hugh), 1907-1973 -- Archives
  • Burgess, Gelett, 1866-1951 -- Archives
  • Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789-1851 -- Archives
  • Davie, Donald -- Archives
  • Eliot, T. S., (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965 -- Archives
  • Gosse, Edmund, 1849-1928 -- Archives
  • Herford, Oliver, 1863-1935 -- Archives
  • Howard, Robert, Sir, 1626-1698 -- Archives
  • Howells, William Dean, 1837-1920 -- Archives
  • Lindsay, Vachel, 1879-1931 -- Archives
  • Lofting, Hugh, 1886-1947 -- Archives
  • Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882 -- Archives
  • Mabie, Hamilton Wright, 1846-1916 -- Archives
  • Maeterlinck, Maurice, 1862-1949 -- Archives
  • Morley, Christopher, 1890-1957 -- Archives
  • Norris, Frank, 1870-1902 -- Archives
  • Page, Thomas Nelson, 1853-1922 -- Archives
  • Perkoff, Stuart Z. -- Archives
  • Porter, Cole, 1891-1964 -- Archives
  • Read, Thomas Buchanan, 1822-1872 -- Archives
  • Roberts, Charles George Douglas, Sir, 1860-1943 -- Archives
  • Runyon, Damon, 1880-1946 -- Archives
  • Ruskin, John, 1819-1900 -- Correspondence
  • Saltus, Edgar, 1855-1921 -- Archives
  • Sherman, Frank Dempster, 1860-1916 -- Archives
  • Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894 -- Archives
  • Vale, Eugene -- Archives
  • Van Dyke, Henry, 1852-1933 -- Archives
  • Weismiller, Edward Ronald, 1915- -- Archives
  • Wells, Carolyn, d. 1942 -- Archives


  • Authors, American--19th century--Archival resources
  • Authors, American--20th century--Archival resources

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

 Allmond, Marcus Blakey undated 

Scope and Content

Poems: "Honor": 3 leaves. "To One and All": 1 leaf.

Letter to USC from Allen E. Allmond (son). 1 leaf.

Biographical information and letter from Allen E. Allmond. 6 leaves.

Biographical information (unauthored) on Marcus Blakey Allmond. 4 leaves.

1 1

 Andros, R[ichard] S[alter] S[torrs] undated 

Scope and Content

"Perseverance" [poem]. Signed. 1 leaf.

1 2

 Auden, W.H. undated 

Scope and Content

"This Lunar Beauty" holograph poem by W.H. Auden was given to the U.S.C Library by Christopher Isherwood. 1 leaf.

Biographical note

•Born: 21 February 1907 •Birthplace: York, England •Died: 29 September 1973 •Best Known As: The Anglo-American poet who wrote "The Age of Anxiety"

Name at birth: Wystan Hugh Auden

W. H. Auden was a young, sensational English poet of the 1930s who became an elder statesman of Anglo-American literature by the time he died in 1973. He made his reputation while still at Oxford in the 1920s, and by the time he left England for New York to avoid World War II he was considered by many to be the spokes-poet of a generation -- an erudite, socially conscious and technically brilliant rising star. Once in America (1939), he wrote poems of all kinds (long and short), essays, films and speeches, as well as libretti and plays with more-than-just-pals Chester Kallman and Christopher Isherwood (respectively). He taught and lectured (he also kept up his relationship with Oxford) and became even more famous when won the 1948 Pulitzer for the long poem "The Age of Anxiety." Critics and scholars still consider Auden one of the 20th century's great poets, but few of his poems are familiar to mainstream audiences. He spent his last years in New York, at Oxford and in Vienna, Austria (where he died). His poetry gained new notice in recent years, thanks to the film "Four Weddings and a Funeral," which features Auden's poem "Funeral Blues" ("Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone"). His works include Poems (1930), Look, Stranger! (1936, also known as On This Island) and The Shield of Achilles (1955, winner of the National Book Award).

1 3

 Burgess, Gelett 1917 

Scope and Content

"The House of Pride," comedy in three acts and seven scenes. 167 leaves, in folder.

Biographical note

Gelett Burgess, in full Frank Gelett Burgess (b. Jan. 30, 1866, Boston, Mass., U.S.—d. Sept. 17, 1951, Carmel, Calif.), American humorist and illustrator, best known for a single, early, whimsical quatrain:

I never saw a purple cow,

I never hope to see one;

But I can tell you, anyhow,

I’d rather see than be one.

Burgess was educated as an engineer and worked briefly for a railroad in that capacity. Between 1891 and 1894 he taught topographical drawing at the University of California. In 1895 Burgess became the founding editor of Lark, a humor magazine, and in 1897 he began to publish books of his self-illustrated whimsical writings.

Burgess’ humor was based upon the sudden break of ideas: a substitution of the unexpected for the commonplace. Among his best-known works are Goops and How to Be Them (1900) and subsequent books on Goops (bad-mannered children). He is credited with adding several words to the English language, including blurb. Among his many other works are Are You a Bromide? (1906), Why Men Hate Women (1927), and Look Eleven Years Younger (1937).

"Gelett Burgess." Encyclopedia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. 30 Nov. 2010

1 4

 Burgess, Gelett 1910 

Scope and Content

"Suicide." Signed essay by Gelett Burgess.

1 5

 Church, Mildred P. 1926 March 

Scope and Content

"Thomas Nelson Page: An Appreciation." Typescript. 5 leaves.

1 6

 Cooper, J.F. 1848 September 7 

Scope and Content

Signed check drawn on Otsego County Bank [Cooperstown, New York], made out to "Daughters." 1 item.

Biographical note

•Born: 15 September 1789 •Birthplace: Burlington, New Jersey •Died: 14 September 1851 •Best Known As: The American novelist who wrote The Last of the Mohicans. Most surveys of American literature call James Fenimore Cooper the first truly American novelist, thanks to the success of what is called the Leatherstocking series -- novels featuring the hero Natty Bumppo:  The Pioneers (1823),  The Last of the Mohicans (1826),  The Prairie (1827),  The Pathfinder (1840) and  The Deerslayer (1841). Cooper grew up in upstate New York (where his father founded Cooperstown), got kicked out of Yale (1805) and spent 8 years in the Navy before beginning a career as a writer. He wrote sea-faring tales, historically-based adventures and non-fiction social commentary, and his ambitious efforts made him rich and famous. His class-consciousness and fondness for aristocracy earned him disfavor among some Americans, and his tendency toward Romanticism (in the style of Sir Walter Scott) led to a famous slam by Mark Twain ("Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses"), but his exploration of American themes and his success as a novelist have earned him a spot as one of the founders of American literature. His other works include  Red Rover (1827),  The Sea Lions (1849) and  The Redskins (1846).

He wasn't born with the middle name Fenimore; it was legally added to his name in 1826.

1 7

 Davie, Donald 1969 

Scope and Content

Poem " To Helen Keller." Signed. 1 leaf.

Biographical note

Donald Alfred Davie, (b. July 17, 1922, Barnsley, Yorkshire, Eng.—d. Sept. 18, 1995, Exeter, Devon), British poet, literary critic, and teacher who was a major conservative influence on British poetry in the 1950s.

Davie served in the Royal Navy during World War II and obtained bachelor’s (1947) and doctoral (1951) degrees from the University of Cambridge. He taught at Trinity College, Dublin (1950–57), Cambridge (1958–64), the University of Essex (1964–68), and Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. (1968–78).

Davie was a principal figure in The Movement, a group of British poets in the 1950s who expressed antiromantic ideals and purposely avoided experimentation in their verse. His earliest critical works, Purity of Diction in English Verse (1952) and  Articulate Energy (1955), explored the moral dimensions of poetic style. His poetry has been characterized as Neo-Augustan, austere, and elegant. His first book of verse, Brides of Reason (1955), was followed by A Winter Talent (1957), Essex Poems (1969), Six Epistles to Eva Hesse (1970), In the Stopping Train & Other Poems (1977), and To Scorch or Freeze (1988), among other volumes. His Collected Poems 1950–70 was published in 1972. Davie’s poetry was characterized by meticulous syntax and plain diction and tended to be philosophical and quietly moralistic in tone. His later critical works included Ezra Pound: Poet as Sculptor (1964), The Poet in the Imaginary Museum (1977; essays), Czesław Miłosz and the Insufficiency of Lyric (1986), and Under Briggflatts: A History of Poetry in Great Britain, 1960–1988 (1989).

"Donald Alfred Davie." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 24 Nov. 2010

1 8

 Eliot, T.S. 1955 April 19 

Scope and Content

Invitation and program for Literary Luncheon held at the Conservative Political Centre, London, at which Eliot spoke on "The Literature of Politics".

1 44

 Gosse, Edmund W. 1873 February 7 

Scope and Content

Poem "Wilfred." Autographed and signed. Donated by Judge Hilton H. McCabe on October 18, 1968. 1 leaf.

Biographical note

Sir Edmund Gosse, (b. Sept. 21, 1849, London, Eng.—d. May 16, 1928, London), English translator, literary historian, and critic who introduced the work of Henrik Ibsen and other continental European writers to English readers.

Gosse was the only child of the naturalist Philip Henry Gosse. His mother having died when he was young, he was taken by his father to St. Mary Church, near Torquay, Devon, where he grew up, attending neighbouring schools. Living in a strict religious household, he came to know nonreligious poetry, fiction, and other literature only surreptitiously. He nevertheless secured employment on the library staff of the British Museum from 1865 to 1875, was a translator for the Board of Trade for some 30 years, lectured on English literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1885 to 1890, and finally was librarian to the House of Lords from 1904 to 1914.

Gosse was a prolific man of letters who was quite influential in his day. He translated three of Ibsen’s plays, notably Hedda Gabler (1891) and The Master Builder (1892; with W. Archer). He wrote literary histories, such as 18th Century Literature (1889) and Modern English Literature (1897), as well as biographies of Thomas Gray (1884), John Donne (1899), Ibsen (1907), and other writers. Some of his many critical essays were collected in French Profiles (1905). Unfortunately, Gosse was active just before the modern revolution in standards of scholarship and criticism, so that much of his critical and historical output now appears amateurish in its inaccuracies and carelessness. His finest book is probably Father and Son (1907), a minor classic of autobiography in which he recounts with grace, irony, and wit his escape from the dominance of a puritanical father to the exhilarating world of letters. Gosse was knighted in 1925.

"Sir Edmund Gosse." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 24 Nov. 2010

1 9

 Herford, Oliver undated 

Scope and Content

"A Packet of Letters" is an autographed manuscript of five poems by the author.

Biographical note

Oliver Herford (1863–1935) was a British born American writer, artist and illustrator who has been called "The American Oscar Wilde". As a frequent contributor to The Mentor, Life, and Ladies' Home Journal, he sometimes signed his artwork as "O Herford". In 1906 he wrote and illustrated the "Little Book of Bores". He also wrote short poems like "The Chimpanzee" and "The Hen", as well as writing and illustrating "The Rubaiyat of a Persian Kitten" (1904) and "Excuse It Please" (1930). His sister Beatrice Herford was also a humorist.

Ethel Mumford and Addison Mizner wrote a small book The Cynic's Calendar of Revised Wisdom for 1903 as a Christmas present and added Herford's name as an author as a joke. The printer made up more copies to sell and to everyone's surprise it was an astounding success. When Herford found out about it he wanted 90% of the royalties. He was awarded an equal third.

1 10

 Howard, Sir Robert 1677 

Scope and Content

Two documents pertaining to monies received or owed, one with a red wax seal. Handwriting difficult to read due to English style of 17th century.

Biographical note

Sir Robert Howard, (b. 1626, England—d. Sept. 3, 1698), English dramatist, remembered chiefly for his dispute with John Dryden on the use of rhymed verse in drama.

Howard was knighted by the royalists in 1644 and was imprisoned during the Commonwealth, but after the Restoration he was elected to Parliament and ultimately became a member of the Privy Council. His proud and pretentious character provoked frequent attacks.

Of Howard’s plays, the best were The Indian Queen (first performed 1664), a tragedy written in collaboration with Dryden; and The Committee (first performed 1662), a comedy of humours that satirized the Commonwealth regime and gained durable popularity from the character of the Irish footman Teague.

Howard’s preface to Four New Plays (1665) began his dispute with Dryden, who had married Howard’s sister, Lady Elizabeth Howard, in 1663. In his preface Howard opposed Dryden’s dedicatory epistle to The Rival Ladies (1664), which held that rhyme was better suited to heroic tragedy than blank verse. Dryden replied in Of Dramatick Poesie, an Essay (1668). In the preface to The Duke of Lerma (1668), Howard replied in a rather more personal tone, but Dryden had the final word in the crushing Defence of an Essay of Dramatick Poesie prefaced to The Indian Emperour (1667).

"Sir Robert Howard." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 24 Nov. 2010

1 11

 Howells, William Dean 1883 

Scope and Content

"An Italian View of Humor." Typescript with autographed corrections. Signed. 15 leaves.

Biographical note

(born March 1, 1837, Martins Ferry, Ohio, U.S. — died May 11, 1920, New York, N.Y.) U.S. novelist and critic. He wrote a campaign biography of Abraham Lincoln (1860) and served as consul in Venice during Lincoln's administration. As editor of the Atlantic Monthly (1871 – 81), he became a preeminent figure in late 19th-century American letters. A champion of literary realism, he was one of the first to recognize the genius of Mark Twain and Henry James. His own novels (from 1872) depict America as it changed from a simple, egalitarian society where luck and pluck were rewarded to one in which social and economic gulfs were becoming unbridgeable. His best-known work, The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885), is about a self-made man's efforts to fit into Boston society. Howells risked his livelihood with his plea for clemency for the anarchists involved in the Haymarket Riot, and his deepening disillusionment with American society is reflected in the late novels Annie Kilburn (1888) and A Hazard of New Fortunes (1890).

Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. © 1994-2010 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. All rights reserved.

1 12

 Howells, William Dean undated 

Scope and Content

"The Song the Oriole Sings." Signed manuscript. 1 leaf.

1 13

 Lindsay, Nicholas Vachel circa 1913 

Scope and Content

"Introducing Mr. Franz Rickaby," signed manuscript, with typed copy. 5 leaves total.

Biographical note

Vachel Lindsay, in full Nicholas Vachel Lindsay (b. Nov. 10, 1879, Springfield, Ill., U.S.—d. Dec. 5, 1931, Springfield), American poet who, in his youth, began traveling the country reciting his poems in return for food and shelter, in an attempt to revive poetry as an oral art form of the common people.

He first received widespread recognition for "General William Booth Enters into Heaven" (1913), about the founder of the Salvation Army. His works are full of powerful rhythms, vivid imagery, and bold rhymes and express an ardent patriotism, a passion for progressive democracy, and a romantic view of nature. His collections include Rhymes to Be Traded for Bread (1912),  The Congo (1914), and  The Chinese Nightingale (1917). He was responsible for discovering the work of Langston Hughes. Depressed and unstable in later years, he committed suicide by drinking poison.

1 14

 Lofting, Hugh undated 

Scope and Content

Autograph, with drawing of dog. 8 x 13 cm. Gift of Mrs. Helen Virginia.

Biographical note

Hugh Lofting, (b. Jan. 14, 1886, Maidenhead, Berkshire, Eng.—d. Sept. 26, 1947, Santa Monica, Calif., U.S.), English-born American author of a series of children’s classics about Dr. Dolittle, a chubby, gentle, eccentric physician to animals, who learns the language of animals from his parrot, Polynesia, so that he can treat their complaints more efficiently. Much of the wit and charm of the stories lies in their matter-of-fact treatment of the doctor’s bachelor household in Puddleby-on-the-Marsh, where his housekeeper, Dab-Dab, is a duck and his visitors and patients are animals.

Lofting attended a Jesuit boarding school in Derbyshire from the age of eight. He studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, in 1904–05 and completed his studies in civil engineering at the London Polytechnic in 1906–07. His work took him to Africa, the West Indies, and Canada, but in 1912 he decided to become a writer and settled in New York City. He lived most of his life in the United States, but the ambience of all his books is English. Since Dr. Dolittle was originally created to entertain Lofting’s children in letters he sent from the front during World War I, it is not surprising that he was a firm opponent of war, violence, and cruelty. After serving in Flanders and France, Lofting was wounded and invalided out. The Story of Dr. Dolittle, the first of his series, appeared in 1920 and won instant success. He wrote one Dr. Dolittle book a year until 1927, and these seven are generally considered the best of the series—certainly the sunniest. The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle (1922) won the Newbery Medal as the best children’s book of the year.

Wearying of his hero, Lofting tried to get rid of him by sending him to the moon (Dr. Dolittle in the Moon, 1928), but popular demand compelled him to write Dr. Dolittle’s Return in 1933. The last of the series, Dr. Dolittle and the Secret Lake, was 13 years in the writing and was published posthumously in 1948.

A motion picture, Doctor Dolittle (1967), heightened the already worldwide interest in his books, and several were reissued with new illustrations—Lofting’s own apt and charming drawings had accompanied the original publications. Dr. Dolittle; A Treasury (1967) collected outstanding episodes from the series.

Lofting also wrote books in which the doctor did not appear, including The Story of Mrs. Tubbs (1923) and its sequel, Tommy, Tilly, and Mrs. Tubbs (1934).

"Hugh Lofting." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 24 Nov. 2010

1 15

 Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth 1874, undated 

Scope and Content

Cartes de visite of Longfellow; short poem, signed and dated April 11, 1874.

1 46

 Mabie, Hamilton W[right] undated 

Scope and Content

"Fiction, Poetry & Belles Letters." Signed manuscript. 27 pages on 26 numbered leaves.

Biographical note

'Hamilton Wright Mabie, A.M., L.H.D., LL.D.' (1846-1916) was an American essayist, editor, critic, and lecturer, born at Cold Spring, N. Y., educated at Williams College (1867) and the Columbia Law School (1869). American culture is indebted to him for helping to spread, by his lectures as well as his writings, a love of good reading in the United States. He received honorary degrees from his own alma mater, from Union College, and from Western Reserve and Washington and Lee universities. His writings include:

''Norse Stories, Retold from the Eddas'' (1882) ''Nature in New England'' (1890) ''My Study Fire'' (two series, 1890 and 1894) ''Short Studies in Literature'' (1891) ''Under the Trees and Elsewhere'' (1891) ''Essays in Literary Interpretation'' (1892) "Essays on Books and Culture'' (1897) ''Essays on Work and Culture'' (1898) ''The Life of the Spirit'' (1899) ''William Shakespeare, Poet, Dramatist, and Man'' (1900) ''A Child of Nature'' (1901) ''Works and Days'' (1902) ''Parables of Life'' (1902) ''Essays on Nature and Culture'' (1904) ''Backgrounds of Literature'' (1904) ''Introduction to Notable Poems'' (1909) ''American Ideals, Character, and Life'' (1913) ''Japan To-Day and To-Morrow'' (1914) Various books for children were written or edited by him (1905-08).

1 16

 MacKaye, Arvia and MacKaye, Robin Keith 1911 

Scope and Content

"The Hermit Thrush" by Arvia MacKaye, signed holograph, dated November 1911, which is when it was actually published in Harper's Magazine. The back of the manuscript is stamped "Fitchburg, Massachusetts."

"The Swimming Pool" by Robin Keith MacKaye, typescript inscribed at the bottom "To Uncle Jamie from Robin, Aug, 1911."

1 17

 Maeterlinck, Maurice undated 

Scope and Content

Four manuscripts donated by Patrick Mahony:

1. "The Clemency of Chance." Typescript, signed. 5 leaves.

2. "Our debt to the Water Spider." Typescript, edited. Translated by Patrick Mahony. 1 leaf.

3."My Faith in the Future." Typescript, edited. Translated by Patrick Mahony. 3 leaves.

4. "Maurice Maeterlinck." [fragment]

Biographical note: Maurice Maeterlinck

Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949), born in Ghent, Belgium, came from a well-to-do family. He was educated at a Jesuit college and read law, but a short practice as a lawyer in his home town convinced him that he was unfit for the profession. He was drawn toward literature during a stay in Paris, where he associated with a number of men of letters, in particular Villiers de l'Isle Adam, who greatly influenced him. Maeterlinck established himself in Paris in 1896 but later lived at Saint-Wandrille, an old Norman abbey that he had restored. He was predominantly a writer of lyrical dramas, but his first work was a collection of poems entitled Serres chaudes [Ardent Talons]. It appeared in 1889, the same year in which his first play, La Princesse Maleine, received enthusiastic praise from Octave Mirbeau, the literary critic of Le Figaro, and made him famous overnight. Lack of action, fatalism, mysticism, and the constant presence of death characterize the works of Maeterlinck's early period, such as L'Intruse (1890) [The Intruder], Les Aveugles (1890) [The Blind], and the love dramas Pelléas et Mélisande (1892), Alladine et Palomides (1894), and Aglavaine et Sélysette (1896). The shadow of death looms even larger in his later plays, Joyzelle (1903) and Marie Magdeleine (1909), Maeterlinck's version of a Paul Heyse play, while L'Oiseau bleu (1909) [The Blue Bird] is marked by a fairy-tale optimism. Le Bourgmestre de Stilemonde (1919) [The Burgomaster of Stilemonde] was written under the impact of the First World War.

Maeterlinck developed his strongly mystical ideas in a number of prose works, among them Le Trésor des Humbles (1896) [The Treasure of the Humble], La Sagesse et la destinée (1898) [Wisdom and Destiny], and Le Temple enseveli (1902) [The Buried Temple]. His most popular work was perhaps La Vie des abeilles (1900) [The Life of the Bee], which was followed by L'Intelligence des Fleurs (1907) [The Intelligence of the Flowers], studies of termites (1927), and of ants (1930). In later life, Maeterlinck became known chiefly for his philosophical essays. In 1932 he was given the title of Count of Belgium.

From Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901-1967, Editor Horst Frenz, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1969

This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above. Maurice Maeterlinck died on May 6, 1949.

"Maurice Maeterlinck - Biography". 29 Nov 2010

Biographical note: Patrick Mahony

Patrick Mahony was an author, literary critic, lecturer, and literary assistant to Maurice Maeterlinck and the author of the 1951 book The Magic of Maeterlinck.

1 18

 Morley, Christopher [Darlington] 193[5?] 

Scope and Content

"Big Mails Galore," from "The Bowling Green" [column in The Saturday Review], Autographed and signed. 8 leaves.

Biographical note

Christopher Morley 1890-1957, American editor and author, b. Haverford, Pa., grad. Haverford College, 1910. He was a Rhodes scholar. Morley was one of the founders of the Saturday Review of Literature, of which he was an editor from 1924 to 1940. A prolific author, he wrote more than 50 books. His novels, generally in a light vein, include  Parnassus on Wheels (1917),  The Haunted Bookshop (1919),  Thunder on the Left (1925), and  Kitty Foyle (1939; filmed 1940). He also revised and enlarged  Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (1937, 1948).

"Christopher Morley." The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2008. 29 Nov. 2010

1 19

 Morley, Christopher [Darlington] 1935 March 25 

Scope and Content

"Frightened to Death" a column for "The Bowling Green", from The Saturday Review. 6 leaves in Morley's autograph; 5 leaves typescript from correspondence used in the column.

1 20

 Morley, Christopher [Darlington] 1934 July 13 

Scope and Content

"Was Sherlock Holmes an American?" Autographed manuscript. Signed. 16 leaves.

1 21

 Morley, Christopher [Darlington] 193[?] 

Scope and Content

"The Wonder City." Autographed manuscript. Signed. 6 leaves.

1 22

 Norris, Frank 189[?] 

Scope and Content

"From Dawn to Dark- Fighting" -- handwritten short story written on two leaves, tipped into bound volume containing typescript of same story. All of the original manuscripts of Norris's novels were burned in the San Francisco fire of 1906, according to a note from his brother Charles G. Norris. The note is included in the volume.

Biographical note

Frank Norris (Benjamin Franklin Norris), 1870-1902, American novelist, b. Chicago. After studying in Paris, at the University of California (1890-94), and at Harvard, he spent several years as a war correspondent in South Africa (1895-96) and Cuba (1898). His proletarian novel McTeague (1899) was influenced by the experimental naturalism of Zola . His most impressive works were two parts of a proposed novelistic trilogy entitled  The Epic of Wheat —  "The Octopus" (1901), depicting the brutal struggle between wheat farmers and the railroad, and  "The Pit" (1903), dealing with speculation on the Chicago grain market. The trilogy and Norris's burgeoning literary career were cut short by his death from a ruptured appendix. The  Responsibilities of the Novelist (1903), an essay collection, contains his idealistic views on the role of the writer.

"Frank Norris." The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2008. 29 Nov. 2010

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 Norris, Frank undated 

Scope and Content

"McTeague." 2 handwritten leaves from Norris's novel, McTeague.

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 Page, Thomas Nelson 1910 December 17 

Scope and Content

Address for Washington Peace Society ["America as a Peace maker"]. Typescript with autograph revisions. 9 leaves.

Biographical note

Thomas Nelson Page, (b. April 23, 1853, Oakland plantation, near Beaver Dam, Va., U.S.—d. Nov. 1, 1922, Oakland, Calif.), American author whose work fostered romantic legends of Southern plantation life.

Page attended Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), taught for a year, and in 1874 graduated in law from the University of Virginia. He practiced until 1893, when he moved to Washington, D.C., and devoted himself to writing and lecturing. He first won notice with the story “Marse Chan” in the Century Illustrated Magazine. This and similar stories were collected in what is probably Page’s most characteristic book, In Ole Virginia, Marse Chan, and Other Stories (1887), reflecting the glamorous life of the old antebellum regime and the tumults of the Civil War. His essays and social studies, including Social Life in Old Virginia (1897) and The Old Dominion—Her Making and Her Manners (1908), have the same tone as his fiction. From 1913 to 1919 Page served as U.S. ambassador to Italy. His other works include Two Little Confederates (1888), a children’s tale; The Burial of the Guns; and Other Stories (1894); The Old Gentlemen of the Black Stock (1897); and Red Rock (1898), which told of Southerners rebelling against Reconstruction.

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 Page, Thomas Nelson 191[3?] 

Scope and Content

"The Virginians and Constitutional Government." Typescript with revisions. Signed with autograph. 16 leaves.

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 Perkoff, Stuart Z. undated 

Scope and Content

"A Birthday Greeting for Lawrence Lipton." Typescript. 1 leaf.

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 Poole, Hazel B[ishop] 193[9?] 

Scope and Content

"Stony River" [poem], handwritten and signed.

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 Porter, Cole 1954 

Scope and Content

"How to Beget a Muscial Comedy." Short story by Cole Porter "as told to Richard G. Hubler." 17 pages plus 4 pages of cover letters and suggested changes.

Biographical note

(born June 9, 1891, Peru, Ind., U.S. — died Oct. 15, 1964, Santa Monica, Calif.) U.S. composer and lyricist. Porter was born to an affluent family and studied violin and piano as a child and composed an operetta at age 10. As a student at Yale University he composed about 300 songs, including "Bulldog;" he went on to study law and then music at Harvard. He made his Broadway debut with the musical comedy See America First (1916). In 1917 he went to France and became an itinerant playboy; though rather openly homosexual, he married a wealthy divorcée. He wrote songs for the Broadway success  Paris (1928), and this led to a series of his own hit musicals, including  Anything Goes (1934),  Red, Hot and Blue (1934),  Kiss Me, Kate (1948),  Can-Can (1953), and  Silk Stockings (1955). Porter also worked on a number of films, such as  High Society (1956). His witty, sophisticated songs, for which he wrote both words and music, include "Night and Day," "I Get a Kick Out of You," "Begin the Beguine," and "I've Got You Under My Skin." Porter's large output might have been even more vast had not a riding accident in 1937 necessitated 30 operations and eventually the amputation of a leg.

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 Read, Thomas Buchanan 1848 May 9 

Scope and Content

First ten lines of poem "Christine." 1 leaf.

Biographical note

Thomas Buchanan Read (March 12, 1822 – May 11, 1872), was an American poet and portrait painter born in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Read wrote a prose romance, The Pilgrims of the Great St. Bernard, and several books of poetry, including  The New Pastoral,  The House by the Sea,  Sylvia, and  A Summer Story. Some of the shorter pieces included in these, e.g., "Sheridan's Ride," "Drifting,""The Angler," "The Oath," and "The Closing Scene," have great merit. Read was briefly associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. His greatest artistic popularity took place in Florence. Among portraits he painted were Abraham Lincoln, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Alfred Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, and William Henry Harrison. Read died from injuries sustained in a carriage accident, which weakened him and led him to contract pneumonia while on shipboard returning to America. This article incorporates public domain text from : Cousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London, J. M. Dent & Sons; New York, E. P. Dutton.

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 Roberts, Charles G[eorge] D[ouglas], [Sir] undated 

Scope and Content

"Origins." Handwritten poem fragment. 1 leaf.

Biographical note

Sir Charles G.D. Roberts, in full Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts (b. , Jan. 10, 1860, Douglas, N.B.—d. Nov. 26, 1943, Toronto), poet who was the first to express the new national feeling aroused by the Canadian confederation of 1867. His example and counsel inspired a whole nationalist school of late 19th-century poets, the Confederation group. Also a prolific prose writer, Roberts wrote several volumes of animal short stories, a genre in which he became internationally famous.

After graduating from the University of New Brunswick (1879), Roberts taught school, edited the influential Toronto magazine The Week, and for ten years was a professor of English at King’s College in Windsor, Nova Scotia. In 1897 he moved to New York City where he worked as a journalist, and in 1911 he established residence in London. Returning to Canada 14 years later, Roberts embarked on a cross-Canada lecture tour and later settled in Toronto as the acknowledged dean of Canadian letters. He was knighted in 1935.

Beginning with Orion, and Other Poems (1880), in which he expressed traditional themes in traditional poetic language and form, Roberts published about 12 volumes of verse. He wrote of nature, love, and the evolving Canadian nation, but his best remembered poems are simple descriptive lyrics about the scenery and rural life of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Outstanding among his poetic works are In Divers Tones (1886), Songs of the Common Day (1893), The Vagrant of Time (1927), and The Iceberg, and Other Poems (1934).

Roberts’s most famous prose works are short stories in which his intimate knowledge of the woods and their animal inhabitants is displayed—e.g., Earth’s Enigmas (1896), The Kindred of the Wild (1902), Red Fox (1905), and Neighbours Unknown (1910). His other prose includes a pioneer History of Canada (1897) and several novels dealing with the Maritime Provinces.

"Sir Charles G.D. Roberts." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 29 Nov. 2010

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 Runyon, Damon 1940s 

Scope and Content

"That Ever-Loving Wife of Hymie's." Original typescript of an unpublished radio script.

Biographical note

(born Oct. 4, 1884, Manhattan, Kan., U.S. — died Dec. 10, 1946, New York, N.Y.) U.S. journalist and short-story writer. He served in the Spanish-American War as a teenager. After returning to the U.S. he wrote for newspapers in the West. In 1911 he moved to New York, where he developed a style focusing on the underside of city life and began to write stories. He is best known for Guys and Dolls (1931), a collection of stories about a racy section of Broadway written in the uniquely rendered slang that became his trademark and gave rise to the term Runyonesque; the book was adapted as a musical by Frank Loesser (1950).

"Damon Runyon." Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1994-2010. 15 Dec. 2010.

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 Ruskin, John 1873 June 24 

Scope and Content

Short, signed handwritten note addressed to Mr. G. Allen.

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 Saltus, Edgar [Evertson] undated 

Scope and Content

"Lyssa." Handwritten and signed short story. 13 leaves. Typed copy of story included.

Biographical note

Edgar Evertson Saltus (October 8, 1855 – July 31, 1921) was an American writer known for his highly refined prose style. His works paralleled those by European decadent authors such as Huysmans and Oscar Wilde. Saltus wrote two books of philosophy, The Philosophy of Disenchantment and  The Anatomy of Negation.

Acclaimed by fellow writers in his day, Saltus fell into obscurity after his death. His short story "The Paliser Case" was adapted to film in 1920, and his novel  Daughters of the Rich was filmed in 1923.

A biography by Marie Saltus, Edgar Saltus: The Man was published in 1925.  Edgar Saltus, a critical study by Claire Sprague, appeared in 1970.

His elder brother Francis Saltus Saltus was a minor poet.

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 Saltus, Edgar [Evertson] undated 

Scope and Content

"Platonic Affection." Handwritten and signed essay on fragile paper. Typed copy as well as a photocopy of the original included.

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 Sherman, Frank Dempster 1901 December 

Scope and Content

"Lilacs." Handwritten poem is signed and dated by the author with the note, "Respectfull submitted to the Editor of 'The Youth Companion.'"

Biographical note

SHERMAN, FRANK DEMPSTER. Born in Peekskill, New York, May 6, 1860; died September 19, 1916. He took the degree of Ph.B. from Columbia University in 1884, and was Professor of Graphics in Columbia School of Architecture from 1904 until his death. He was the author of "Madrigals and Catches" (1887); "Lyrics for a Lute" (1890); "Little Folk Lyrics" (1892); "Lyrics of Joy" (1904); and "A Southern Flight" (with Clinton Scollard), (1906).

This biographical note is reprinted from The Little Book of American Poets: 1787-1900. Ed. Jessie B. Rittenhouse. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1915.

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 Stevenson, Robert Louis 1854 March 28 

Scope and Content

Letter to his father dictated by the 4 year old Stevenson.

Box Folder

 Vale, Eugene 1959 November 11 

Scope and Content

"An address on the occasion of presenting the manuscript of The Thirteenth Apostle to the American Literature Collection, University of Southern California Library." Typescript with corrections. Includes introduction by Lewis Stieg, University Librarian. 12 leaves.

Biographical note

Perhaps best-remembered as the author of The 13th Apostle, a novel that spent 30 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, Eugene Vale also penned screenplays and teleplays, short stories and poetry. A native of Switzerland, Vale became a screenwriter for director Jean Renoir while living in Paris in 1934. When WWII erupted, Vale emigrated to the United States to write scripts in Hollywood. His first American script was for the war movie  The Bridge of San Luis Rey. During the 1950s, Vale turned to television writing, penning plays for such distinguished anthology series as   Fireside Theater,  Lux Video Theater, and  Hallmark Hall of Fame. His story "A Global Affair" was made into a Bob Hope film in 1964. Vale earned an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for the documentary  The Dark Wave. When not writing, Vale gave lectures on screenwriting at various universities. He also published two textbooks on screenplay writing,  The Technique of Screenplay Writing (1944) and  The Technique of Screen and Television Writing (1983). Vale died of cancer at age 81 on May 2, 1997. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

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 Van Dyke, Henry 1918 July 9 

Scope and Content

Handwritten manuscript titled, "After Death, What?" 1 leaf.

Biographical note

Henry van Dyke was born on November 10, 1852 in Germantown, Pennsylvania in the United States. He graduated from Princeton University in 1873 and from Princeton Theological Seminary, 1877 and served as a professor of English literature at Princeton between 1899 and 1923. In 1908-09 Dr. van Dyke was an American lecturer at the University of Paris. By appointment of President Wilson he became Minister to the Netherlands and Luxembourg in 1913. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received many other honors.

He chaired the committee that wrote the first Presbyterian printed liturgy, The Book of Common Worship of 1906. Among his popular writings are the two Christmas stories  "The Other Wise Man" (1896) and  "The First Christmas Tree " (1897). Various religious themes of his work are also expressed in his poetry, hymns and the essays collected in  Little Rivers (1895) and  Fisherman’s Luck (1899). He wrote the lyrics to the popular hymn, "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" (1907), sung to the tune of Beethoven's  "Ode to Joy" . He compiled several short stories in  The Blue Flower (1902) named after the key symbol of Romanticism introduced first by Novalis. He also contributed a chapter to the collaborative novel,  The Whole Family (1908). Among his poems is  "Katrina's Sundial" , the inspiration for the song  "Time Is" by the group It's a Beautiful Day on their eponymous 1969 debut album.

A biography of Van Dyke, titled Henry Van Dyke: A Biography, was written by his son Tertius van Dyke and published in 1935.

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 Van Dyke, Henry undated 

Scope and Content

Handwritten poem, "Day and Night," signed by the author. 1 leaf.

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 Van Dyke, Henry 1895 

Scope and Content

"The Song of the Sparrows." Handwritten manuscript signed by the author. 3 leaves.

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 Van Dyke, Henry 1918 January 9 

Scope and Content

"Wit, Humor, and Cheerfulness." Typescript signed by the author. 1 leaf.

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 Weismiller, Edward R. 1937 August 5 

Scope and Content

"Wilderness." Typed poem; date added in ink. 1 leaf.

Biographical note

Edward Weismiller (1915-2010), one of the original editors of A Variorum Commentary on the Poems of John Milton, passed away in August 2010. Professor Weismiller received his B.A. degree from Cornell College, his M.A. degree from Harvard University, and his D. Phil. degree from Oxford University. He was a Rhodes Scholar (1938-39 and 1948-50). He served on the faculties of Pomona College (1950-1967) and the George Washington University (1968-1980). His principal scholarly publications focused on English verse form. In addition to his scholarship, Professor Weismiller published four books of poetry:  The Deer Come Down, which was chosen by Stephen Vincent Benét for publication in the Yale Series of Younger Poets, 1936;  The Faultless Shore, 1946;  The Branch of Fire, 1979; and  Walking Toward the Sun, 2002. His espionage novel,  The Serpent Sleeping, was published in 1962. In 2001, Professor Weismiller received the Robert Fitzgerald Award for lifetime contributions to the study of metrics and versification.

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 Wells, Carolyn undated 

Scope and Content

Two handwritten, signed manuscripts: "Word Square" and "Buried Square Word." 2 leaves.

Biographical note

Carolyn Wells (June 18, 1862–March 26, 1942) was an American author and poet (born in Rahway, New Jersey, the daughter of William E. and Anna Wells. She died at the Flower-Fifth Avenue Hospital in New York City in 1942.

She had been married to Hadwin Houghton, the heir of the Houghton-Mifflin publishing empire founded by Bernard Houghton. Wells also had an impressive collection of volumes of poetry by others. She bequeathed her collection of Walt Whitman poetry, said to be one of the most important of its kind for its completeness and rarity, to the Library of Congress (New York Times, Apr. 16, 1942).

Works After finishing school she worked as a librarian for the Rahway Library Association. Her first book, At the Sign of the Sphinx (1896), was a collection of charades. Her next publications were  The Jingle Book and  The Story of Betty (1899), followed by a book of verse entitled  Idle Idyls (1900). After 1900, Wells wrote numerous novels and collections of poetry.

Carolyn Wells wrote a total of more than 170 books. During the first ten years of her career, she concentrated on poetry, humor, and children's books. According to her autobiography, The Rest of My Life (1937), around 1910 she heard one of Anna Katherine Green's mystery novels being read aloud and was immediately captivated by the unravelling of the puzzle. From that point onward, she devoted herself to the mystery genre. Among the most famous of her mystery novels were the  Fleming Stone Detective Stories which—according to Allen J. Hubin's  Crime Fiction IV: A Comprehensive Bibliography, 1749–2000 (2003)—number 61 titles.

Today, however, she is best known for her light verse, particularly for several classic limericks, including this one:

A canner exceedingly canny One morning remarked to his granny: “A canner can can Any thing that he can But a canner can’t can a can, can he?”

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