There is a long history of celebrated works that resulted from research conducted in the Ransom Center's collections. Some recent publications follow.
Twenty-Eight Artists & Two Saints
(New York: Pantheon, 2007)
In this collection of essays, Joan Acocella, staff writer for The New Yorker, brings together the struggles and successes of a wide range of artists. Profiling figures across artistic modes, Acocella weaves their individual stories into a linked narrative about art, its challenges, its possibilities, and the artist's continuing ability to prevail. By taking the word "artist" at its broadest, this collection inspires a robust and engaging conversation between unlikely voices.
In preparing this book, Acocella worked with the Sybille Bedford collection. Acocella works as a staff writer for The New Yorker covering dance and books, and she has written for The New York Review of Books and The Wall Street Journal.
William Baker and Gerald N. Wachs
Tom Stoppard: A Bibliographical History
(London: The British Library, 2010)
In cataloging Tom Stoppard's creative output over the last half-century, this tome demonstrates the sheer volume and diversity of Stoppard's contributions to English letters. Baker and Wachs take on the herculean task of listing and describing not only editions of Stoppard's plays, but also his screenplays, translations, fiction, journalism, lectures, and interviews, producing a comprehensive account of Stoppard's multifaceted oeuvre. This volume constitutes an invaluable resource for scholars interested in any aspect of Stoppard's work.
In preparing this book, the authors consulted the Stoppard collection. Baker's research was supported by a 2006–2007 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship from the Harry Ransom Center.
Joelle Biele, ed.
Elizabeth Bishop & The New Yorker: The Complete Correspondence
(New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011)
Elizabeth Bishop's 40-year relationship with The New Yorker offers a rare glimpse into the hidden sides of publication; the reader gets to delve into both the magazine's editorial process and Bishop's own evolving writing practice. Letters between Bishop and her editors illuminate the intensely personal side to publication by detailing her daily life, travels, and ever-charming personality. The letters bring to light a basic fact of the writer's life: rejection and the struggle to render publishable work over the course of a long and changing career.
In compiling this book, editor Biele consulted photographs from the Robert Lowell collection and the Elizabeth Hardwick collection. Biele is a Fullbright Scholar and is the author of White Summer.
(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2009)
Through classics such as Death of a Salesman, All My Sons, and The Crucible, Arthur Miller captivated post-war America and built a body of work that serves as a main pillar of twentieth-century American drama. In 1956, his refusal to name names before the House Un-American Activities Committee and his marriage to the actress Marilyn Monroe captivated the public. Extensive insight gathered from Miller's papers illuminate these events in this new biography.
In preparing this book, Bigsby consulted the Arthur Miller collection. Bigsby is Professor of American Studies and the Director of the Arthur Miller Centre at the University of East Anglia.
Margaret Storm Jameson: A Life
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009)
Margaret Storm Jameson was a prolific novelist who served as president of the English P.E.N. Centre from 1938 through World War II. A failed first marriage, a volatile relationship with her mother, and the deaths of her brother and sister in the two World Wars, respectively, ignited the passion for social activism that would guide her as feminist, pacifist, and socialist campaigner. Although Jameson sought to destroy the majority of her personal papers, Jennifer Birkett is able to shed new light on her personal life and works.
In preparing this book, Birkett consulted the Storm Jameson collection and the P.E.N. International archive. Birkett is Chair of French Studies at Birmingham University.
Above the Battlefield: Modernism and the Peace Movement in Britain, 1900–1918
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010)
Brockington complicates our understanding of the effects of the first World War on British artistic expression by looking at the many ways in which artists, writers, and performers launched a secular peace movement. Rather than focusing on the violence that contributed to British modernism, Brockington focuses on the pacifist elements of the Bloomsbury group and a circle of theater workers in Chelsea. This book allows readers to see new connections between artistic modernism and political action.
In preparing this book, Brockington consulted the Mary Hutchinson papers. Brockington is Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Bristol.
(Paris: Pauvert, 2008)
Poet, editor, writer, journalist, artist, activist—Nancy Cunard defied easy classification. Born into an aristocratic English family, she came into contact with artists at a young age and grew to sympathize with revolutionary causes. Close friends with many avant-garde artists, her two most important relationships were with author Louis Aragon, and, most controversially, with black musician Henry Crowder. François Buot portrays the different facets of Cunard's political passions, love affairs, and artistic endeavors.
In preparing this book, Buot consulted the Nancy Cunard collection. Buot is a biographer and specializes in the Surrealist movement.
Paul R. Cappucci
William Carlos Williams, Frank O'Hara, and the New York Art Scene
(Madison: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2010)
Art and poetry collided often in New York City after World War II. Both artists and poets were eager to find a new language that was distinctly American. William Carlos Williams was one of the first poets of his generation to employ simple language to convey ideas, emotions, and images. His poetry was highly influential to the younger New York poet Frank O'Hara. Both poets championed the modern art movement led by the New York School of painters. Through their mutual influence, these painters and poets created a new American artistic language, both verbal and visual.
In preparing this book, Cappucci consulted the William Carlos Williams collection. He is Associate Professor of English at Georgian Court University and the author of William Carlos Williams' Poetic Response to the 1913 Paterson Silk Strike.
The Beat Generation and Counterculture: Paul Bowles, William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac
(New York: Peter Lang, 2009)
Fighting societal norms with their ideals of spontaneity, open emotional expression, and often gritty realism, the Beat Generation grew out of the New York intellectual and underground scenes in the 1940s and 1950s. Chandarlapaty examines key figures William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac in this study. Although he is not included among the Beats, Paul Bowles's relationships with Burroughs and Kerouac prompt his inclusion and examination under the same critical lens.
In preparing this book, Chandarlapaty consulted the Paul Bowles collection. Chandarlapaty teaches composition and literature classes at Southern University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
John Coldstream, ed.
Ever, Dirk: The Bogarde Letters
(London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2008)
Dirk Bogarde's life took him from British matinee idol in the 1950s, to art-house mainstay in the 1960s, to successful author in the 1970s and 1980s. During this time he also maintained a copious and lively correspondence with a plethora of friends and acquaintances, including actors, directors, critics, writers, and publishers. This volume brings together selected correspondence from 1969 until the end of his life, maintaining Bogarde's idiosyncratic grammar and spelling. Witty and vulgar by turns, but always engaging, Bogarde's strong individual voice emerges forthrightly from these letters.
In preparing this book, John Coldstream consulted the Tom Stoppard collection and the Julian Barnes collection. John Coldstream is the author of Dirk Bogarde: The Authorised Biography (2004).
L. W. Conolly
Bernard Shaw and the BBC
(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009)
Drawing on extensive archival research, Conolly studies Shaw's participation in public conversations about freedom of speech, the editing of plays for radio broadcast, and the protection of authors' rights to control and profit from performances of their works on the radio or television. He also carefully scrutinizes the relationships between Shaw and the BBC during the Second World War. Brimming with Shaw's sparkling wit, this book is an important study of the politics behind two cultural giants of the twentieth century.
In preparing this book, Conolly consulted the George Bernard Shaw collection. He is a Professor in the Department of English at Trent University and is general editor of the Selected Correspondence of Bernard Shaw.
Michael Copp, ed.
Imagist Dialogues: Letters between Aldington, Flint and Others
(Cambridge: The Lutterworth Press, 2009)
Richard Aldington and F. S. Flint were not only highly active in the formation of Imagism, an early modernist movement that employed concise and unsentimental language, but also the best of friends. Copp gathers many letters between the two poets that have never before been published. The letters reflect the intellectual interests of Aldington and Flint, as well as their meditations on the political, cultural, and geographical turmoil caused by World War I and its aftermath.
In preparing this book, Copp consulted the Richard Aldington collection and the F. S. Flint collection with support from a 2003–2004 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship from the Harry Ransom Center.
Inger H. Dalsgaard, Luc Herman, and Brian McHale
The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Pynchon
(New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012)
One of the most celebrated American novelists of the past half century, Thomas Pynchon is notable for challenging his readers, and this companion provides tools for meeting that challenge. Comprehensive, accessible, lively, up to date, and reliable, it approaches Pynchon's fiction from various angles, capitalizing on the expertise of an international roster of scholars. Designed for students, scholars, and fans alike, the companion begins with a biography of the elusive author and ends with a coda on how to read Pynchon.
In preparing this book, the editors consulted the Thomas Pynchon collection at the Ransom Center. Dalsgaard is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Aarhus, Denmark; Herman is Professor of American Literature and Narrative Theory at the University of Antwerp; McHale is Distinguished Arts and Humanities Professor of English at Ohio State University.
The Lost Orwell
(London: Timewell Press Limited, 2006)
Peter Davison's 20-volume edition of The Complete Works of George Orwell was published to international acclaim in 1998. The Lost Orwell assembles all the new material discovered in the past eight years—a treasure trove of letters and documents that will substantially redefine our image of one of the twentieth century's most important writers.
This book includes six letters discovered by Gordon Bowker in the John Courtenay Trewin collection.
Radclyffe Hall: A Life in the Writing
(Philadelphia: The University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011)
The Well of Loneliness is probably the most famous lesbian novel ever written and certainly the most widely read. The book's author, Radclyffe Hall, was already well known as a writer, but the fame and notoriety of The Well of Loneliness has all but eclipsed a literary output of some half-dozen other novels and several volumes of poetry. In Radclyffe Hall: A Life in the Writing, Richard Dellamora offers the first full look at the entire range of Hall's published and unpublished works.
In preparing this book, Dellamora consulted the Radclyffe Hall collection at the Center. Dellamora is a visiting professor in the department of English at the University of California, Los Angeles and professor emeritus of English and cultural studies at Trent University in Canada.
Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger, ed.
Wanda Landowska et la renaissance de la musique ancienne
(Arles: Actes Sud, 2011)
Harpsichordist Wanda Landowska was hugely influential in reviving the harpsichord in the early twentieth century. An impassioned and irreverent performer and artist, Landowska was a pioneer in the reinterpretation of musical texts. Asked about her interpretation of Bach's works, Landowska purportedly replied, "You play Bach your way, and I'll play him his way." Eigeldinger brings to print a multimedia glimpse into Landowska's music, writing, and polemical position as an orator on musique ancienne, or the revival of old music.
In preparing this book, Eigeldinger consulted Debussy's letters from the Carlton Lake collection. Eigeldinger is a Swiss musicologist. Together with John Rink and Jim Samson, he is preparing a new critical edition of the complete works of Frédérick Chopin.
Martha Dow Fehsenfeld and Lois More Overbeck, Eds.
The Letters of Samuel Beckett, 1929-1940
(Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009)
This volume, covering the years 1929-1940, is the first of a four-part series offering a comprehensive range of Samuel Beckett's letters. At the core of this installment are Beckett's letters to Irish art historian, poet, and critic Thomas McGreevy; the edition, however, also features correspondence with James Joyce, Samuel Putnam, George Reavey, Mary Manning Howe, Maria Jolas, and others. In these letters we see Beckett wrestling with aesthetic ideas, composing his works, and struggling to be published (Beckett's translation of Rimbaud's "Le Bateau ivre," for example, was bounced from one little magazine in favor of a letter by Ezra Pound criticizing surrealism). Fehsenfeld and Overbeck's detailed editorial apparatus includes translations, explanatory notes, chronologies, and profiles of major correspondents.
In compiling this edition, the editors consulted the Samuel Beckett papers at the Ransom Center. Overbeck's research was supported by a 1993–1994 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship from the Harry Ransom Center.
Ed Folsom, Susan Belasco, and Kenneth M. Price, Eds.
Leaves of Grass: The Sesquicentennial Essays
(Lincoln: Nebraska University Press, 2007)
This volume of essays draws its inspiration from the proceedings of "Leaves of Grass: The 150th Anniversary Conference," held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2005. More than 150 scholars, musicians, poets, and enthusiasts gathered to celebrate the publication of Leaves of Grass, and the resulting essays invite readers to re-examine Whitman's familiar text in the light of the innovative approaches discussed at the conference.
In preparing this volume, Ed Folsom consulted the Ransom Center's Walt Whitman papers. Folsom is the Carver Professor of English at the University of Iowa.
Donat Gallagher, Ann Pasternak Slater, and John Howard Wilson
A Handful of Mischief: New Essays on Evelyn Waugh
(Lanham: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2011)
A Handful of Mischief is a collection of essays based on presentations at the Evelyn Waugh Centenary Conference at Hartford College, Oxford, in 2003. In addition to essays on well-known novels such as Scoop (1938), Brideshead Revisited (1945), and Helena (1950), the collection includes papers on Waugh's library, his changing conception of Oxford, his writing about religious conversion, and his role in the British evacuation of Crete in 1941. The authors approach Waugh and his work in various ways, and innovative essays explore sovereignty, post-colonialism, and adaptation for radio.
In preparing this book, the authors consulted the Evelyn Waugh collection at the Ransom Center. Gallagher is the Honorary Secretary of the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies; Slater is the Eardley-Wilmot Fellow in English at St. Anne's College, Oxford; Wilson is an Associate Professor of English at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.
Richard Oram, Associate Director and Hobby Foundation Librarian at the Ransom Center, contributed an essay on Waugh's book collecting and the novelist's library, now at the Ransom Center.
CBS's Don Hollenbeck: An Honest Reporter in the Age of McCarthyism
(New York: Columbia University Press, 2008)
This is a timely look at a reporter who defied pressure to appear patriotic at the expense of objectivity during Cold War-era America. Drawing on unsealed FBI records, private correspondence, and numerous interviews, author Ghiglione provides a nuanced portrayal of the feisty journalist in the Edward R. Murrow camp who skewered print media in his prize-winning radio program CBS Views the Press. Although Hollenbeck tragically committed suicide while under attack from conservative, anti-Communist journalists, Ghiglione re-casts his life in terms of his pioneering career.
In preparing this book, Ghiglione consulted the New York Journal American microfilm copy for information on the anti-communist journalist Jack O'Brian. Ghiglione is the Richard Schwarzlose Professor of Media Ethics at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.
Men in the Middle: Searching for Masculinity in the 1950s
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005)
While the 1950s have been popularly portrayed—on television and in the movies and literature—as a conformist and conservative age, the decade is better understood as a revolutionary time for politics, economy, mass media, and family life. Magazines, films, newspapers, and television of the day scrutinized every aspect of this changing society, paying special attention to the lifestyles of the middle-class men and their families who were moving to the suburbs newly springing up outside American cities.
Richard Greene, ed.
Graham Greene: A Life in Letters
(New York: Norton, 2007)
Richard Greene's compilation, Graham Greene: A Life in Letters, grants readers access to the genre that comprised the bulk of Greene's hidden writing career: his correspondence. In this meticulously annotated collection, Graham Greene's authorial voice takes on subjects that span his lifelong immersion in political conflict to his more personal and human interactions, such as a letter to his beloved sister, Elisabeth, on the "auspicious, nay, may I say epoch making occasion" of her tenth birthday.
In preparing this book, Richard Greene worked closely with the Graham Greene collection. Richard Greene (no relation) is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto.
Sandra Hagan and Juliette Wells, eds.
The Brontës in the World of the Arts
(Burlington: Ashgate, 2008)
The four Brontës—Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne—were very precocious artistic siblings. This book of essays includes contributions from a wide variety of scholars in various fields, which situate the Brontës within several artistic contexts. Discussions include analyses of the role of painting in Charlotte's Jane Eyre and the role of music in Emily's Wuthering Heights. Collaborations between the siblings and their influences upon one another's artistic output take the forefront in this collection as scholars map the different relationships each sibling fostered with various art forms and practices.
In preparing this book, Wells consulted the Brontë̈ family collection. Hagan is Professor of English at Vancouver Island University, Canada. Wells is Assistant Professor of English at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York.
Craig Ashley Hanson
The English Virtuoso: Art, Medicine, and Antiquarianism in the Age of Empiricism
(Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2009)
The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge was the major professional organization for London's physicians. They became the first nonaristocratic collectors of art and antiquities in Britain. Hanson's study of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English virtuosi and of these men's interests and collecting practices dispels the common notion that an intellectual institution with a deep appreciation for the relationship between art and science did not exist until a century later.
In preparing this book, Hanson consulted the Ransom Center's book collection. He is Assistant Professor of Art History at Calvin College.
The White Negress: Literature, Minstrelsy, and the Black-Jewish Imaginary
(New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2011)
In this study of cross-racial affinities and tensions between African-American and Jewish-American women from the 1920s through the Second World War, Lori Harrison-Kahan considers literary and cultural texts which yield complex stories about constructions of American identity and early twentieth- century racial politics. She writes about Sophie Tucker's blackface performances, Edna Ferber's fiction and autobiographical writings, Hurst's fiction and its adaptations to film, and Zora Neale Hurston's friendships and occasional collaborations with Jewish authors in order to probe how these relationships complicate an understanding of American identity.
In preparing this book, Harrison-Kahan consulted the Fannie Hurst papers with support from a 2006–2007 Dorot Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Jewish Studies from the Harry Ransom Center.
The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham
(London: John Murray, 2009)
A prominent playwright and the author of the now classic Of Human Bondage and The Razor's Edge, Somerset Maugham also worked in Hollywood, adapting his characters for film. This rich biography explores Maugham's work for the British Intelligence, his travels in the Far East, and the literary and theatrical circles in which he moved. His secret life is also revealed: his extreme shyness, the disastrous marriage that hid his homosexuality, and his complex relationships with men.
In preparing this book, Hastings consulted the Somerset Maugham collection with support from a 2002–2003 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship from the Harry Ransom Center.
Edith Wharton and the Conversations of Literary Modernism
(New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)
In Edith Wharton and the Conversations of Literary Modernism, Jennifer Haytock examines Edith Wharton's place in the modernist canon and adopts a thematic approach that places Wharton in conversation with other modernist literatures. Though Wharton did not identify herself as a modernist, Haytock argues that Wharton's works do engage with the cultural issues that defined modernism, noting Wharton's employment of an impressionistic writing style in The Reef and her treatment of feelings of alienation, isolation, and failed communication in Twilight Sleep.
In preparing this study, Haytock consulted the Edith Wharton letters to Morton Fullerton. Haytock is Associate Professor of English at SUNY College, Brockport.
Scrapbook: An American History
(New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 2008)
Through extensive documentation and intricate page layouts that rival the creative contortions of scrapbooks, Helfand describes how scrapbooks became a type of visual autobiography that, when viewed in aggregate, mirror the changing rhythm of American life over the past 150 years. Captured ephemera of everyday life and the remains of so many intimate relationships lay side-by-side on carefully crafted pages.
In preparing this book, Helfand consulted the Anne Sexton papers. Helfand is a graphic designer, partner at Winterhouse Publishers, and senior critic at Yale University School of Art.
D. Herlin, F. Lesure, & G. Liebert, Eds.
(Paris: Éditions Gallimard)
Rare are the composers who are also great letter writers. Among the French, Debussy is one. We are able to see Debussy's many facets: the perfectionist musician, the curious and attentive reader, the loyal and amusing friend, and the affectionate father. Even while one cannot darken an existence that has known so much satisfaction and success, the artist's intransigent solitude appears in marked relief.
Herlin used manuscripts from the Carlton Lake collection while producing annotations and introductory remarks for this publication.
Joan Littlewood's Theatre
(New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011)
Joan Littlewood was one of the preeminent figures in international theater during the mid-twentieth century. Holdsworth takes a thematic rather than chronological approach to her study of Littlewood's work, probing how performances by the Theatre Workshop engaged with major political issues such as war and working class experience. She uses current scholarship on ethics, citizenship, and cultural politics to underpin her study of Littlewood's creative theatrical and community-based projects.
In preparing this book, Holdsworth consulted the Michael Barker Collection of Joan Littlewood and the Theatre Workshop. Holdsworth is an Associate Professor in the School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies at the University of Warwick.
In Search of Nella Larsen
(Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2006)
Born to a Danish seamstress and a black West Indian cook in one of the Western Hemisphere's most infamous vice districts, Nella Larsen (1891-1964) lived her life in the shadows of America's racial divide. She wrote about that life, was briefly celebrated in her time, then was lost to later generations—only to be rediscovered and hailed by many as the best black novelist of her generation.
Hutchinson consulted the Alfred A. Knopf records in preparing this book
Christine Kenyon Jones, ed.
Byron: The Image of the Poet
(Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2008)
The Romantic poet George Gordon Byron was a celebrity during his lifetime. Even after his death, artists drew on Byron's reputation as a young and handsome but slightly dangerous gentleman to represent the ideal Romantic poet. This book explores how Byron's image functioned not only during his life but also after his death. Visual representations of the poet have appeared on medals, in numerous paintings and prints, as well as on film. Even portrayals of Byron's most famous literary characters share Byron's distinctive physical traits, truly uniting the image of the artist with his art.
In preparing this book, Jones consulted the George Gordon Byron collection. She is a Research Fellow in the Department of English at King's College London, and a member of the Executive Committee of the London Byron Society.
Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley
(Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2010)
In this definitive biography of the founder of modern magick, Richard Kaczynski traces Aleister Crowley's life as an astrologer, magician, occultist, prophet, poet, and adventurer. Kaczynski considers how Crowley's philosophy of "Do What Thou Wilt" has subsequently informed popular culture. Based on 20 years of research, this revised and expanded edition includes previously unpublished information and images about one of the twentieth century's most colorful figures and occult performers
In preparing this book, Richard Kaczynski consulted the Aleister Crowley collection and the Louis Umfreville Wilkinson collection. Kaczynski is the author of The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley, the editor and annotator of a forthcoming edition of Crowley's The Sword of Song, and co-editor of The Revival of Magick and Other Essays.
Thomas Keith, ed.
The Magic Tower & Other One-Act Plays by Tennessee Williams
(New York: New Directions, 2011)
This collection of one-act plays compiled by Thomas Keith showcases the endless possibilities the Tennessee Williams archive offers for reconsidering an author and his works. Though they are not what he is most widely known for, Williams imagined the performance of his one-acts as thematic suites, and continued to write in this concise form throughout his career. "The peak of my virtuosity," Williams said, "was in the one-act plays. Some of which are like firecrackers in a rope." In compiling this volume, the Tennessee Williams collections were consulted extensively. Thomas Keith is an editor at New Directions. He has been involved in the preparation of nineteen Tennessee Williams titles from New Directions.
Hidden Talent: The Emergence of Hollywood Agents
(University of California Press, 2009)
Katharine Hepburn, John Wayne, Lauren Bacall—behind each of these stars was a hidden force: the talent agent. In this history of Hollywood agents, Tom Kemper mines agency archives to present an insider's view of their tooth-and-claw rise to power during the studio era. A tale of ambitious characters, savvy calculation, muckraking, financial ruin, and ultimate triumph, this work establishes the agent's vital role in the Hollywood business world. Existing studies characterize agents as a product of the 1950s, but Kemper revises the record to show how agents emerged from the primordial film industry during the late 1920s and carved themselves a permanent niche. Through case studies of key figures like Myron Selznick and Charles Feldman, we see that the agent's character and social relationships functioned within a business structure—a good reputation and powerful connections were his most precious assets. With wit and precision, Kemper locates Hollywood agents at the crossroads of talent and profit, and captures their central and enduring role in the burgeoning film industry.
Kemper used the Myron Selznick papers, as well as the David O. Selznick collection, for personal correspondence and reflections on the brothers' relationship and business interactions. His research was supported by a 2007–2008 Warren Skaaren Film Research Endowment fellowship from the Harry Ransom Center.
The Life of Kingsley Amis
(London: Jonathan Cape, 2006)
As a novelist, poet, and critic, Kingsley Amis was at the center of literary culture in Britain in the second half of the twentieth century and made his opinions known on a variety of contentious topics. In this authorized biography, Zachary Leader goes to great lengths to portray the man of letters in all the fascinating facets of his work and life. The book also gives revealing portrayals of some of Amis's close friends, such as poet Philip Larkin.
In preparing this book, Leader used the Kingsley Amis collection. Leader is a professor of English Literature at Roehampton University in London.
American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett
(New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2005)
By the time of his untimely death defending the Alamo in 1836, David Crockett had become a folk hero. Author Buddy Levy takes on the biography of America's first celebrity from Crockett's meager education to his life as a hardscrabble frontiersman, weaving the remarkable if somewhat incongruous accomplishments of this three-time U.S. congressman, one-time presidential candidate, and best-selling author who fell out of favor with Andrew Jackson after his criticism of the brutal Indian Removal of 1830. Crockett's wildly popular autobiography, A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett—By Himself went through seven printings in his lifetime and prompted an extended book tour of the eastern seaboard. Levy claims that this work prefigured the literary genre of realism made popular by Mark Twain 50 years later.
In preparing this book, Levy used a painting from the Ransom Center's extensive art collection. Levy is Assistant Professor of English at Washington State University.
The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
(New York: Free Press, 2007)
Andrew Lycett, author of a critically acclaimed biography of Dylan Thomas, draws on correspondence, diaries, and original manuscripts to explore the central mystery of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's life: how the scientifically minded creator of a proverbially rational detective also became fanatically devoted to the obsessive research of supernatural phenomena. The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes examines Conan Doyle's many contradictions and creates a compelling and sympathetic biographical portrait.
In preparing this book, Lycett consulted the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle papers. Lycett is a writer of biographies and a former foreign news correspondent.
The Last Pre-Raphaelite: Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian Imagination
(London: Faber and Faber Ltd., 2011)
The angels on our Christmas cards, the stained glass in our churches, the great paintings in our galleries—Edward Burne-Jones's work is all around us. His work was the bridge between Victorian and modern art; he influenced not just his immediate circle but later artists such as Klimt and Picasso. With new research and fresh historical perspective, MacCarthy tells the dramatic story of how Burne-Jones progressed from being an artist "loved by the initiate few and laughed at by the profligate many" to a key figure in the shaping of the Victorian imagination.
In preparing this book, MacCarthy consulted the Ransom Center's Charles Murray Fairfax and the Edward Burne-Jones collections.
A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E. M. Forster
(New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2010)
With the posthumous publication of his long-suppressed novel Maurice in 1970, E. M. Forster came out as a homosexual. Though that revelation barely made a ripple in his literary reputation, Moffat argues that Forster's homosexuality was the central facet of his life. He preserved an archive of his private life, a history of the gay experience he believed would find its audience in a happier time.
In preparing this book, Moffat consulted the E. M. Forster collection and the J. R. Ackerley collection. She is an associate professor of English at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Bill Morgan and David Stanford, eds.
Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters
(New York: Viking Penguin, 2010)
Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road and Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl redefined American literature in the mid-twentieth century, making them the most well-known and influential writers of the Beat generation. This collection of correspondence between Kerouac and Ginsberg spans the entire length of their close friendship, beginning after they met in 1944 until Kerouac's death in 1969. Their intimate exchanges include critiques of one another's work, accounts of travels and adventures, and each man's determination to fulfill his unique literary vision.
In preparing this book, Morgan consulted the Allen Ginsberg collection. Morgan is the author of two books on the Beat Generation and the editor of The Letters of Allen Ginsberg. Stanford is an independent editor who worked on numerous Kerouac projects during his decade at Viking Penguin.
The Two Cultures Controversy: Science, Literature, and Cultural Politics in Postwar Britain
(New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)
Scientist and novelist C. P. Snow posited the concept of an intellectual divide between "two cultures"—the arts and the sciences. Literary critic F. R. Leavis argued that Snow was an intellectual hack suggesting a false distinction because his own mind was not plastic enough to play across several disciplines. Ortolano follows the debate between these two public intellectuals, placing each within the cultural context of the 1960s.
In preparing this book, Ortolano consulted the C. P. Snow collection with support from a 2006–2007 British Studies Fellowship jointly sponsored by the Harry Ransom Center and the British Studies program at The University of Texas at Austin.
R. Barton Palmer and William Robert Bray
Hollywood's Tennessee: The Williams Films and Postwar America
(Austin: The University of Texas Press, 2009)
Tennessee Williams has had more plays adapted for the screen than any other American dramatist. This book draws on archival research to flesh out Williams's arduous screenwriting process during the heyday of the Production Code Administration (PCA). Using evidence from diverse materials such as billboard art, press books, and other production material, the authors show that Williams used innovative efforts to bend the code when adapting plays such as A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Suddenly, Last Summer for the screen.
In preparing this book, Palmer and Bray consulted the Tennessee Williams collection. Bray's research was supported by a 2003–2004 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship from the Harry Ransom Center.
Ending British Rule in Africa: Writers in a Common Cause
(Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009)
In the post-World War II period several writers and public intellectuals began a campaign aimed at ending British imperialism in Africa. Polsgrove analyzes the pamphlets, articles, books, and letters of several authors writing together to bring about the end of British rule. These political intellectuals united to form a community of writers all working together to build a vision of Africa free from British colonial control. Polsgrove traces the publishing history of this social movement and analyzes the literary works of this community as they sought political and social change.
In preparing this book, Polsgrove consulted the Nancy Cunard collection and the Alfred A. Knopf Inc. records. Polsgrove is Professor Emerita at the School of Journalism at Indiana University, Bloomington.
The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca, and the Shot Heard Round the World
(New York: Pantheon Books, 2006)
On October 3, 1951, the most famous ninth-inning home run in baseball history made Bobby Thomson the hero of the New York Giants, winning the National League pennant with what became known as "The Shot Heard Round the World." It was later discovered that this triumph was stolen, not earned, due to a coach's surreptitious Wollensak telescope that allowed the Giants to decode the Brooklyn Dodgers' finger signals and know when the fateful fastball would be thrown.
In preparing this book, Joshua Prager consulted the New York Journal American photograph morgue. Prager is a Wall Street Journal Senior Special Projects writer.
Michael J. Puri
Ravel the Decadent: Memory, Sublimation, and Desire
(New York: Oxford University Press, 2011)
The music of Maurice Ravel (1875–1937), beloved by musicians and audiences since its debut, has been a difficult topic for scholars. The traditional stylistic categories of impressionism, symbolism, and neoclassicism have offered little insight on this fascinating but enigmatic work. From an array of decadent topics, Puri selects three—memory, sublimation, and desire—and uses them to delineate the content of this music, link it to its biographical context, and create new methods for the analysis and interpretation of music.
In preparing this book, Puri consulted the Carlton Lake collection at the Ransom Center. Puri's research was supported by a 2007–2008 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship from the Harry Ransom Center.
Sophie Ratcliff, ed.
P. G. Wodehouse: A Life in Letters
(London: Hutchinson, 2011)
In Jeeves and Wooster, P. G. Wodehouse created one of the most memorable pairings in English literature. The correspondence selected for this collection represents the full scope of Wodehouse's endeavors from his schooldays to his death in 1975, including his early forays into banking and journalism, his literary and theatrical successes, and his internment in a German concentration camp in 1940. In these letters, some of which have never previously been published, the twists and turns of Wodehouse's life emerge, clad in his characteristic style.
In preparing this book, Ratcliffe consulted the P. G. Wodehouse collection. Sophie Ratcliffe teaches English at Christ Church, Oxford, and writes reviews of literature and criticism.
e. e. cummmings: a Poet's Life
(New York: Clarion Books, 2006)
This biographical overview of the unconventional American poet E. E. Cummings gives younger readers a basis from which to learn more about his work. Aside from his participation in the war and his connections with main actors of the Modernist movement, the biography also shows Cummings's romantic struggles, particularly his long-lasting relationship with Marion Morehouse.
In preparing this book, Reef consulted the E. E. Cummings collection. She is the author of more than 35 books of nonfiction for young people.
The Ancient World on the Victorian and Edwardian Stage
(New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)
The Victorian and Edwardian eras together lasted from 1837 until 1910. This book considers the ways that Victorian and Edwardian theater cultures represented the Ancient World. Richards analyzes plays such as Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and Coriolanus and incorporates accounts of actors including Sir Henry Irving and Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. By focusing on the role played by actor-managers in producing plays and on the relationships between the theater and history, literature, religion, and the visual arts.
In preparing this book, Richards consulted the Theater Arts Manuscripts collection. Richards is Professor of Cultural History at Lancaster University.
Paula M. Salvio
Anne Sexton: Teacher of Weird Abundance
(Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007)
Well known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning confessional poetry, Anne Sexton was also a teacher who employed a "weird abundance" of techniques in her pedagogical approach. In her classroom, she examined the practice of drawing from personal experience in writing and used her own history to demonstrate how to establish "I" as a literary identity. Salvio focuses on Sexton's life from a unique perspective, examining her classroom interactions and adding to our understanding of her honest creativity, continually clouded by melancholy throughout her career.
In preparing this book, Paula M. Salvio consulted the Anne Sexton papers and the photography collection. Salvio is Associate Professor of Education at the University of New Hampshire.
Selling the Tudor Monarchy: Authority and Image in Sixteenth-Century England
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009)
The Tudor Monarchy ruled the Kingdom of England from 1485 with the rise of Henry Tudor until the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. Sharpe analyzes portraits of the monarchs, music they commissioned, speeches they gave, and ceremonies they performed to understand the dynamic relationship cultivated between the Tudors and their public. Sharpe examines the role of the public's increasing desire to romanticize their monarchs and thus to help create the image of the Tudors we still have today.
In preparing this book, Sharpe consulted the Pforzheimer Library of Early English Literature. Sharpe is Professor of Renaissance Studies and Director of the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies at the University of London.
Alicia C. Shepard
Woodward and Bernstein: Life in the Shadow of Watergate
(New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2007)
In this double biography, Alicia Shepard provides context for the true story behind All The President's Men and, most interestingly, tackles the history of what came after the groundbreaking book. With the aid of the Ransom Center's extensive Woodward and Bernstein papers, as well as over 175 interviews with former colleagues, Shepard separates the myth from the reality of the iconic Watergate journalists—Woodward the meticulous, disciplined people-pleaser and Bernstein the brilliant, but irresponsible, troublemaker.
In preparing this book, Shepard consulted the Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein Watergate papers. Shepard is a freelance writer and teaches journalism at American University in Washington, D.C.
M. M. Silver
Our Exodus: Leon Uris and the Americanization of Israel's Founding Story
(Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 2010)
Despite the dramatic circumstances of its founding, Israel did not inspire sustained, impassioned public discussion among Jews and non-Jews in the United States until Leon Uris's popular novel Exodus was released in 1958. Author M. M. Silver's extensive archival research clarifies the relevance of Uris's own biography in the creation of Exodus.
In preparing this book, Silver consulted the Leon Uris papers at the Center. Silver heads the general studies department at the Max Stern College of Emek Yezreel.
An Honourable Englishman: The Life of Hugh Trevor-Roper
(New York: Random House, 2010)
Hugh Trevor-Roper was one of the most gifted scholars of his generation—a brilliant writer, high-society star, and cultural force who moved easily between aristocratic houses and the humble haunts of literary bohemia. Sisman examines Trevor-Roper's affectionless middle-class upbringing, traces his career from early academic triumphs to later failed writing attempts, and reveals the truth behind his missteps in the World War II intelligence works that forever tainted his reputation. Profoundly bright and brutally acerbic, Hugh Trevor-Roper was a literary lion like no other.
In preparing this book, Sisman consulted the A. D. Peters & Co. collection at the Center.
Sandra Spanier and Robert W. Trogdon, eds.
The Letters of Ernest Hemingway, 1907-1922
(New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011)
In the first volume of The Letters of Ernest Hemingway, readers can find intimate thoughts and ideas from Hemingway's youth, including his descriptions of his experiences in World War I and his arrival in Paris. The letters reveal the intimate complexities of Hemingway's life, many of which were obscured by his tough-guy persona. This much anticipated volume will give scholars and Hemingway enthusiasts new insights into one of the twentieth century's most important writers.
In preparing this book, Sandra Spanier and Robert W. Trogdon consulted the Ernest Hemingway collection. Spanier is a professor of English at Pennsylvania State University. Trogdon is a professor of English and Director of the Institute for Bibliography and Editing at Kent State University.
T. H. White's Troubled Heart: Women in The Once and Future King
(Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2007)
Kurth Sprague's comprehensive study explores the editing process by which T. H. White shaped The Once and Future King and attempted to expunge echoes of his own troubled relationship with his mother from early drafts of the book. Based on a unique knowledge of White's drafts, letters, life, and journals, Sprague traces the development of White's female characters and the book's development into a sophisticated political fantasy.
In preparing this critical study, Sprague consulted the T. H. White papers. Sprague was a novelist, poet, and professor at The University of Texas at Austin.
Victor Fleming: An American Movie Master
(New York: Pantheon Books, 2008)
Renowned for his ability to make films across an astounding range of genres, Victor Fleming was the most sought-after director in Hollywood's Golden Age. Fleming is remembered for the two most iconic movies of the period, Gone With The Wind and The Wizard of Oz, yet his talent for making the right film for the time instead of remaking the same movie in different guises has resulted in his relative contemporary obscurity. Michael Sragow restores the director to the pantheon of our greatest filmmakers and fills a gaping hole in Hollywood history.
In preparing this book, Sragow consulted the Alfred S. Shivers collection of Maxwell Anderson research materials and the David O. Selznick collection at the Ransom Center. Sragow is the movie critic for the Baltimore Sun and contributes regularly to The New Yorker.
David Staines, ed.
The Letters of Stephen Leacock
(Don Mills, Ont.: Oxford University Press, 2006)
Prolific author and McGill University Professor Stephen Leacock is remembered as one of Canada's best literary humorists. It took 15 years for David Staines to assemble this collection of more than 800 letters compiled from collections in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. Leacock's niece Barbara Nimmo assisted Staines with the monumental task, and the end result is a fascinating and complete portrait of the charming gentleman behind the letters.
In preparing this book, Staines consulted the John Lane Company Records, the Bermondsey Book, Thomas Bertram Costain, St. John G. Ervine, Guy de Maupassant, Christopher Darlington Morley, and Hugh Walpole collections, and the P.E.N. International archive. Staines is Professor of Canadian and medieval literature at the University of Ottawa.
Margaret Bradham Thornton, Ed.
Tennessee Williams Notebooks
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006)
This remarkable edition of Tennessee Williams's never-before-published Notebooks, meticulously edited and annotated by Margaret Bradham Thornton, presents the author's own record of his extraordinary life. The Notebooks follow Williams from his undergraduate days to the height of his literary accomplishment and contain his most private thoughts and reflections on his writing and personal experiences.
In preparing this edition, Bradham Thornton consulted the Tennessee Williams papers. Bradham Thornton is a writer and independent scholar.
Thomas Travisano and Saskia Hamilton, eds.
Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell
(New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008)
In the world of twentieth-century American poetry, few writers were as successful and renowned as Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. After being introduced at a party in 1947, Bishop and Lowell sustained a close friendship that spanned decades and continents, though they rarely saw one another in person. This collection of their correspondence reflects the poets' deep respect and admiration for one another. They write about their work, gossip about literary contemporaries, and recount personal dramas with wit and candor.
In preparing this book, Travisano consulted the Robert Lowell papers. Travisano is Chair of the Department of English & Theatre Arts at Hartwick College. He has written and edited several books on twentieth-century American poetry. Hamilton is an American poet and teaches at Barnard College.
Alan D. Vardy
Constructing Coleridge: The Posthumous Life of the Author
(New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)
Samuel Taylor Coleridge is perhaps one of today's most famous Romantic poets. This is due in large part to the way his survivors remember him as a Romantic luminary with a complex, heroic personality. Coleridge's family began constructing his heroic literary image immediately after his death in 1834. Vardy recounts Coleridge's reputation during his life as a controversial and scandalous figure, then traces how his family set about restoring Coleridge's stature as a literary genius through the careful editing of his body of work.
In preparing this book, Vardy consulted the Coleridge family archive with support from a 2004–2005 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship from the Harry Ransom Center.
Roses and Rain: A Biography of James Elroy Flecker
(Ely: Melrose Press Limited, 2006)
Roses and Rain is a comprehensive exploration of the life and work of poet, playwright, and novelist James Elroy Flecker. Walker's research provides an insight into not only Flecker's short life but also the lives of other notable contemporaries such as Rupert Brooke, Ronald Firbank, and Lawrence of Arabia. The narrative builds a picture of the formative events in Flecker's life, which enables the reader to observe the evolution of this gifted poet.
Walker used materials from the James Elroy Flecker collection in preparing this biography.
Pierre Walker and Greg W. Zacharias, eds.
The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1872–1876, Vol. 2.
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009)
Author, playwright, and literary critic Henry James left behind more than 10,000 letters when he died. This volume marks the second in a set of three that bring together all of James's letters between the years 1872–1876. James wrote several letters a week so the volume serves as an almost daily chronicle of his life and his thoughts about his work, about art, and about criticism.
In preparing this book, Walker and Zacharias consulted the H. Montgomery Hyde collection. Walker's research was supported by a 2004–2005 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship from the Harry Ransom Center.
Keri Walsh, ed.
The Letters of Sylvia Beach
(New York: Columbia University Press, 2010)
Sylvia Beach and her bookshop Shakespeare and Company formed a major nexus of American and British expatriate culture in Paris between the wars. The writers who passed through the doors of Beach's bookshop included Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, H. D., Ezra Pound, Janet Flanner, William Carlos Williams, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, and Richard Wright, among others. These letters offer a unique insight into Paris literary culture from the perspective of one of its major centers of gravity.
In preparing this book, Walsh consulted the Carlton Lake collection and the James Joyce collection. Walsh is an Assistant Professor of Literature at Claremont McKenna College in Los Angeles.
Beth Gates Warren
Artful Lives: Edward Weston, Margrethe Mather, and the Bohemians of Los Angeles
(Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011)
From 1906 to 1923, Edward Weston lived and worked in Los Angeles, where he was deeply influenced by a photographer and model named Margrethe Mather. Mather and Weston were at the center of a bohemian community that emerged in Los Angeles contemporaneously with the Hollywood film industry. In this lively text, Warren contextualizes the professional and personal relationships between Mather and Weston and their community.
In preparing this book, Warren consulted the Merle Armitage collection. Beth Gates Warren is an independent scholar and consultant in the field of fine art photography.
Unlikely Collaboration: Gertrude Stein, Bernard Faÿ, and the Vichy Dilemma
(New York: Columbia University Press, 2011)
Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas spent the years of World War II secluded in the south of France, avoiding Nazi attention with the help of the local authorities and Stein's close friend Bernard Faÿ. Will's book explores the fraught question of why Stein, a Jewish lesbian and an innovator of avant-garde artistic practices, would ally herself with Faÿ and the Vichy regime, shedding new light on Stein's life and politics.
In preparing this book, Will consulted the Carlton Lake collection. Barbara Will is Professor of English at Dartmouth College. She has written extensively on Gertrude Stein and modernism.
Tennessee Williams, edited by John S. Bak
New Selected Essays: Where I Live
(New York: New Directions, 2009)
This new collection, edited by John S. Bak, illuminates the life of Tennessee Williams through his candid prose writing. Ranging in date from the playwright's student days to 1981, these essays offer Williams's reflections upon his plays, his literary contemporaries, his relationships with actors and actresses, his failures, and the "catastrophe of success."
In preparing this edition, Bak consulted the Tennessee Williams papers at the Ransom Center. Bak is Maître de Conférences (Associate Professor) at the Université Nancy 2, France.
The Search for Ernest Bramah
(London: Creighton & Read, 2007)
A brilliant short story writer and humorist, the author of novels featuring the perceptive blind detective Max Carrados and the Chinese storyteller Kai Lung, Ernest Bramah was an obsessively reclusive author who protected his intimacy so successfully that nothing was known about his life. After ten years of research, Aubrey Wilson has uncovered the story of this man of contradictions, a man fascinated by the occult despite his reverence for tradition and conservative moral values.
In preparing this book, Wilson consulted the Ernest Bramah collection. Wilson is the author of 14 books on business and marketing.
Douglas Wixson, Ed.
On the Dirty Plate Trail: Remembering the Dust Bowl Refugee Camps
(Austin: University of Texas Press, 2007)
This book presents Sanora Babb's vivid firsthand accounts of the Dust Bowl refugee camps of the 1930s. The volume draws on the field notes the young writer took while visiting California's migrant labor camps for the Farm Security Administration in 1938-39. Douglas Wixson assembles selections from Babb's published articles and fiction, as well as amateur photographs taken by her sister Dorothy. On the Dirty Plate Trail offers an intimate view of the dispossessed farmers' lives and the growth of labor activism in the agricultural valleys along California's Highway 99, the "Dirty Plate Trail."
In preparing this edition, Wixson consulted the Sanora Babb papers at the Ransom Center. Wixson is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Missouri-Rolla (now the Missouri University of Science and Technology) and recently curated an online exhibition about Sanora Babb on the Ransom Center's website.
Connie Nordheilm Wooldridge
The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton: A Biography
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010)
This biographical account of Edith Wharton offers younger readers an opportunity to learn more about the life and work of one of America's significant authors. The text is illustrated with several photographs and archival reproductions of Wharton's drawings and early writings. In addition to chapters on Wharton's early childhood, the biography also focuses on Wharton's marriage, her burgeoning success as an author, and her long literary friendship with Henry James.
In preparing this book, Wooldrige consulted the Edith Wharton correspondence with Morton Fullerton. Wooldrige is the author of several works for young people.
The Mystery of Lewis Carroll: Discovering the Whimsical, Thoughtful, and Sometimes Lonely Man who Created Alice in Wonderland
(New York: St. Martin's Press, 2010)
Lewis Carroll's life and works were full of mystery, contradictions, and puzzles that have led to many scholarly debates about the author. Woolf draws on several newly discovered or previously overlooked sources—bank records, letters from the family of Alice Liddell, and Carroll's own correspondence—to weigh in on key issues like the rift between Carroll and the Liddells, the question of pedophilia, and Carroll's financial trouble.
In preparing this book, Woolf consulted the Charles Lutwidge Dodgson collection. Woolf is a writer, editor of a travel magazine, and author of Lewis Carroll in his Own Account.
The Reading Room Will Be Closed:
December 20-31, 2014
January 1, 2015
January 19, 2015
May 25, 2015
Always closed on Sundays