Elizabeth Bowen Papers: Finding Aid

Processed by Huntington Library staff, approximately 1989; supplementary encoding and revision supplied by Xiuzhi Zhou and Diann Benti.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 2000
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Overview of the Collection

Title: Elizabeth Bowen Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1934-1946
Bulk dates: 1944-1946
Collection Number: mssHM 52741-53108
Creator: Bowen, Elizabeth, 1899-1973.
Extent: 368 pieces in 5 boxes.
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: The collection is composed of correspondence and literary manuscripts of Anglo-Irish novelist Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973). The correspondence concerns publishing arrangements for Bowen's works in progress during the years 1944-1946, discussions of her writing and the writing of other authors, and references to her wartime writing for the British Council and other agencies.
Language: English.

Access

Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Administrative Information

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Elizabeth Bowen Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

Purchased from Sotheby's, July 21, 1988, lot 151, and from Sotheby's, November 15, 1988, lot 1638.

Biographical Note

Anglo-Irish author Elizabeth Dorothea Cole Bowen (1899-1973) was born in 1899 in Dublin, Ireland, married Alan Charles Cameron in 1923, and died in 1973 in London, England. Among her many novels are The Last September (1929), The House in Paris (1935), The Death of the Heart (1938), The Heat of the Day (1948), A World of Love (1955), and Eva Trout; or, Changing Scenes (1968). Her other numerous writings encompass literary criticism, reviews, and several volumes of short stories. Miss Bowen's honors include Commander, Order of the British Empire in 1948; D.Litt., Trinity College, Dublin, 1949, and Oxford University, 1956; Companion of Literature, Royal Society of Literature, 1965; and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, 1970, for Eva Trout.

Bibliography

Contemporary Authors, Permanent Series volume 2, and First Revision volumes 41-44.
Glendinning, Victoria. Elizabeth Bowen (New York: Knopf, 1978).
Kenney, Edwin James. Elizabeth Bowen (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1975).
Who Was Who, volume VII.

Scope and Content

The collection is composed of correspondence and literary manuscripts of Anglo-Irish author Elizabeth Bowen. All the manuscripts and over one hundred letters in the collection were penned by Bowen. The correspondence concerns publishing arrangements for Bowen's works in progress during the years 1944-1946, discussions of her writing and the writing of other authors, and references to her wartime writing for the British Council and other agencies.
Correspondents include the British Broadcasting Corporation, Jonathan Cape Ltd., the Cresset Press, Cecil Day Lewis, the Fontaine, the British Council, Great Britain's Control Office for Germany and Austria, Graham Greene, John Hayward, Alfred A. Knopf Inc., John Lehmann, the Listener, Longmans, Green and Company, Ltd., the Opus Press, Victor Sawdon Pritchett, Emile Victor Rieu, Rolfe Arnold Scott-James, and Vogue.
Some notable items include:
  • Bowen, Elizabeth Dorothea Cole. To Lady Cynthia Mary Evelyn (Charteris) Asquith [1934] briefly describing an experience in Fascist Italy. HM 53108.
  • Bowen, Elizabeth Dorothea Cole. Letter (1946, July 1) to Harper's Bazaar encloses list of houses and places that inspired her stories. HM 52803.
  • Bowen, Elizabeth Dorothea Cole. Letter (1946, Mar. 1) to Frank Rouda analyzing her writing style and commenting on The House in Paris, in response to his request (1946, Feb. 2) for information to be used in his graduate studies. HM 52858 and HM 53060.
  • Day-Lewis, Cecil. 6 pieces (1944-1946) to Elizabeth Bowen, and 5 pieces (1944-1946) from Bowen to Day-Lewis, discussing her writing for Orion. HM 52776-52780 and HM 52920-52925.
  • Great Britain. British Council. 8 pieces (1945-1946) to Elizabeth Bowen and 6 pieces (1945-1946) from Bowen to the British Council about various writing projects relating to the Council's wartime and post-war efforts. HM 52791-52796 and HM 52946-52953.
  • Greene, Graham. 2 pieces (1945-1946) to Elizabeth Bowen and 2 pieces (1944-ca. 1945) from Bowen to Greene concerning literary matters. HM 52801-52802 and HM 52962-52963.
  • Hayward, John. 5 pieces (1945) to Elizabeth Bowen, one mentioning T.S. Eliot and all dealing with a literary project for Cresset Press. HM 52966-52970. Also 4 pieces (1945-1946) to Elizabeth Bowen from Cresset Press and 2 pieces (1946) from Bowen to Cresset Press. HM 52774-52775 and HM 52916-52919.
  • Knopf (Alfred A.) Co. 10 pieces (1944-1946) to Elizabeth Bowen concerning publishing arrangements for The Demon Lover (published in the U.S. as Ivy Gripped the Steps) and 5 pieces (1946) from Bowen to Knopf. HM 52816-52820 and HM 52982-52991.
  • Pritchett, V.S. Letter (1946, June 10) to Elizabeth Bowen about plans for a joint publication: Why Do I Write? An Exchange of Views between Elizabeth Bowen, Graham Greene, & V.S. Pritchett (published in 1948). HM 53048.
Persons represented by 5 or more pieces consist of:
  • Bowen, Elizabeth Dorothea Cole. 6 literary manuscripts, 134 pieces (1934-1946). HM 52743-52880, HM 53107-53108.
  • British Broadcasting Corp. 12 pieces (1945-1946). HM 52881-52892.
  • Cape (Jonathan) Ltd. 6 pieces (1944-1945). HM 52895-52900.
  • Day-Lewis, Cecil. 6 pieces (1944-1946). HM 52920-52925.
  • Fontaine (periodical). 6 pieces (1944-1946). HM 52934-52939.
  • Great Britain. British Council. 8 pieces (1945-1946). HM 52946-52953.
  • Great Britain. Control Office for Germany and Austria. 5 pieces (1946). HM 52955-52959.
  • Hayward, John. 5 pieces (1945). HM 52966-52970.
  • Knopf (Alfred A.) Inc. 10 pieces (1944-1946). HM 52982-52991.
  • Lehmann, John Frederick. 6 pieces (1945-1946). HM 52993-52998.
  • The Listener (periodical). 6 pieces (1944-1946). HM 53001-53006.
  • Longmans, Green & Co., Ltd. 2 pieces (1945-1946) and 3 documents (1944-1946). HM 53009-53013.
  • The Opus Press. 5 pieces (1945-1946). HM 53030-53034.
  • Pilot Press, Ltd. 5 pieces (1945-1946). HM 53043-53047.
  • Rieu, Emile Victor. 5 pieces (1945-1946). HM 53055-53059.
  • Scott-James, Rolfe Arnold. 6 pieces (1945). HM 53066-53071.
  • Vogue (periodical). 5 pieces (1946). HM 53093-53097.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by author.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

Subjects

Bowen, Elizabeth, 1899-1973 -- Correspondence.
Bowen, Elizabeth, 1899-1973 -- Manuscripts.
Authors, English -- 20th century -- Correspondence.
Publishers and publishing -- Great Britain -- Correspondence.
Women authors, British -- Correspondence.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Literature and the war.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Women -- Great Britain -- Correspondence.

Forms/Genres

Letters (correspondence) -- Great Britain -- 20th century.
Manuscripts -- Great Britain -- 20th century.

Alternate Authors

Day Lewis, C. (Cecil), 1904-1972.
Greene, Graham, 1904-1991.
Hayward, John, 1905-1965.
Lehmann, John, 1907-1987.
Pritchett, V. S. (Victor Sawdon), 1900-1997.
Rieu, E. V. (Emile Victor), 1887-1972.
Scott-James, R. A. (Rolfe Arnold), 1878-
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
British Broadcasting Corporation.
British Council.
Cresset Press.
Great Britain. Control Office for Germany and Austria.
Jonathan Cape (Firm)
Longmans, Green and Company, Ltd.
Opus Press.
Pilot Press, Ltd.


Collection Contents

Box 1

Manuscripts and correspondence: A-Bowen (to A-H)

Box 2

Manuscripts and correspondence: Bowen (to I-W) - British

Box 3

Manuscripts and correspondence: Cameron-Harper's

Box 4

Manuscripts and correspondence: Hayward-Oxford

Box 5

Manuscripts and correspondence: Penguin-Wyatt; Ephemera