Register of the Ivy Litvinov papers

Processed by Natasha Porfirenko
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Phone: (650) 723-3563
Fax: (650) 725-3445
Email: archives@hoover.stanford.edu
© 2008
Hoover Institution Archives. All rights reserved.

Register of the Ivy Litvinov papers

Hoover Institution Archives

Stanford University

Stanford, California
Processed by:
Natasha Porfirenko
Date Completed:
2008
Encoded by:
ByteManagers using OAC finding aid conversion service specifications and Elizabeth Konzak
© 2008 Hoover Institution Archives. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Ivy Litvinov papers
Dates: 1911-1997
Collection number: 87075
Creator: Ivy Litvinov
Collection Size: 14 manuscript boxes (5.8 linear feet)
Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Acquired by the Hoover Institution in 1987, the Ivy Litvinov papers contain information relating to the life of Ivy Litvinov in Great Britain and the Soviet Union, her marriage to the Soviet foreign minister Maxim Litvinov, and British and Russian literature. Also includes papers of her daughter Tatiana Litvinov.
Physical location: Hoover Institution Archives
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English Russian

Administrative Information

Access

The collection is open for research
The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

Publication Rights

For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ivy Litvinov papers, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives

Acquisition Information

Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1987

Accruals

Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

Biography / Administrative History

Ivy Low, born in London in 1889 of the unlikely union of a Jewish intellectual and the daughter of an Indian army colonel, grew up to be a writer and a rebel. The man she met in 1914 and married two years later was the Bolshevik revolutionary, Maksim Litvinov (born Meyer Genokh Wallakh to Orthodox Jewish parents). He became one of the most important figures in the Soviet Union and was ultimately Stalin's Minister of Foreign Affairs and ambassador to Washington.
Ivy spent most of her long life in Moscow. She never took to being the Commissar's wife, but devoted herself to literature. Her writing is almost without exception a heightened autobiography, the collection of short stories depicting her daily life and observations.
The fact that she survived under Stalin is remarkable, although there was an unexplained year when she was virtually in exile in the Urals, separated from her husband and two children.
The happiest time of her life was when Maxim was ambassador ambassador to the United States, and she and America fell in love with one another. Her dynamic, bohemian personality entranced Americans and she was fêted by artists, film stars, writers and statesmen alike. It is perhaps appropriate that many of her stories were first published in the New Yorker. They were collected in 1971 under the title She Knew She Was Right.
"She also translated into English her husband's speeches and party tracts and later such Russian classics as Pushkin, Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov."*
"Her final years were spent adding to a disorderly pile of unpublished manuscripts, but never producing the volume of memoirs about high life in the Kremlin that was expected of her. In fact, she always remained something of an outsider, and her fifty-year sojourn in the Soviet Union owed more to personal loyalty to her husband, and later her children, than to sympathy with Communist ideology."*
Her biographer John Carswell ( The Exile: A Life of Ivy Litvinov, London, Boston, 1983) does attempt to explain why Ivy did not produce more writing over the years, mentioning her interest in her English past over her Russian present, and the obsessive perfectionism that kept her working on successive drafts of the same piece. Inhibiting still was the habit of discretion acquired as a diplomat's wife in a police state.
* Quotes from a review of Carswell's biography The Exile: A Life of Ivy Litvinov by Anita Grossman, published in Commentary, September, 1984

Scope and Content of Collection

Acquired by the Hoover Institution in 1987, the Ivy Litvinov papers contain information relating to the life of Ivy Litvinov in Great Britain and the Soviet Union, her marriage to the Soviet Foreign Minister Maksim Litvinov, and British and Russian literature. Also includes papers of her daughter Tatiana Litvinov.
The collection is organized into five series: Diaries, Correspondence, Speeches and writings, Miscellany, and Sound recordings.
The papers include annotations, literary reviews, autobiographical, fictional, and other writings. She wrote the stories at the age of 81. She claimed total recall, saying it didn't matter if an event was recorded four of forty years later. She avoids the need for totally accurate recall by terming her work "sorterbiography" a mixture of fact and fiction.
Set in Russia and England, the stories range from the absorbing to the ordinary. Switching between countries, she cleverly illustrates how universally people live and relate to one another. The Russian stories are her best. She makes it quite clear the "scientific characteristics of communist economy" did not interest her. Instead, we are given domestic dramas, the concerns of people in small towns, often by the seaside or in country dachas. What makes the stories interesting is not only their perceptiveness about "ordinary" human emotions, but the Stalinist shadow which hangs over them.

Arrangement

The collection is organized into 5 series: Diaries, Correspondence, Speeches and writings, Miscellany, and Sound recordings

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in Stanford University's online catalog.

Subjects

Litvinov, Maksim Maksimovich, 1876-1951
British literature
Authors, English – 20th century- Biography
Soviet Union – Social conditions


Container List

Box/Folder: 1

Diaries, 1945-1997

Scope and Content Note

Ivy and Tatiana diaries. Contain description of life, politics, and social conditions in Great Britain and the Soviet Union. (Numbered 1-57 by Tatiana Litvinova, daughter of Ivy Litvinov). Contains description of life, politics, and social conditions in Great Britain and the Soviet Union, arranged chronologically by date. Each handwritten holograph includes a typewritten transcript. Arranged chronologically
Box/Folder: 1 : 1

Number 1, 1945 June - July

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1-29)
Box/Folder: 1 : 2

Number 2, 1943-1949

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 30-60)
 

1950-1951.

Note

See Diary number 7
Box/Folder: 1 : 3

Number 5, 1953 September - December, and undated

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 271-323)
Box/Folder: 1 : 4

Number 6, 1953 June – August

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 324-377)
Box/Folder: 1 : 5

Number 7, 1950, 1951

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 378-397)
Box/Folder: 1 : 6

Number 8, circa 1953

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 398-419)
Box/Folder: 1 : 7

Number 9, 1953, 1954

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 420-439)
Box/Folder: 1 : 8

Number 10, 1954 June – July

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 440-452)
Box/Folder: 1 : 9

Number 11, 1954 February – March

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 453-477)
Box/Folder: 1 : 10

Number 12, 1954 August 4

Scope and Content Note

(p. 478)
Box/Folder: 1 : 11

Number 13, 1954 May

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 479-491)
Box/Folder: 1 : 12

Number 14, 1954 July – August

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 492-508)
Box/Folder: 2 : 1

Number 15, 1954 March – May – August

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 509-516)
Box/Folder: 2 : 2

Number 16, 1954, 1955

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 517-542)
Box/Folder: 2 : 3

Number 17, 1955 January

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 543-552)
Box/Folder: 2 : 4

Number 18, 1955 March – September

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 553-560)
Box/Folder: 2 : 5

Number 19, 1955 July

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 561-569)
Box/Folder: 2 : 6

Number 20, 1955, 1956

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 570-581)
Box/Folder: 2 : 7

Number 21, 1956 April – December

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 582-601)
Box/Folder: 2 : 8

Number 22, 1956, 1959

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 602-617)
Box/Folder: 2 : 9

Number 23, 1957 June – July

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 618-627)
Box/Folder: 2 : 10

Number 24, 1957 July – September,

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 628-650)
Box/Folder: 2 : 11

Number 25, 1957 October

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 651-658)
Box/Folder: 2 : 12

Number 26, 1958 March - April, 1959 July - August

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 659-681)
Box/Folder: 2 : 13

Number 27, 1958 January – June

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 682-820)
Box/Folder: 3 : 1

Number 27, 1958 January – June

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 682-820)
Box/Folder: 3 : 2

Number 28, 1959 June – July

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 821-836)
Box/Folder: 3 : 3

Number 29, 1958, 1959

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 837-947)
 

Number 30

Box/Folder: 3 : 4

1959-1960, 1962-1965, 1970

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 61-155)
Box/Folder: 3 : 5

1960 January - February

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 156-180
Box/Folder: 3 : 6

1960 March – April

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 181-203)
Box/Folder: 4 : 1

1960 March – April

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 204-227)
Box/Folder: 4 : 2

1960 April – July,

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 228-251)
Box/Folder: 4 : 3

1960 July – September

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 252-270)
Box/Folder: 4 : 4

Number 31, 1960-1962, 1972

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 956-991)
Box/Folder: 4 : 5

Number 32, 1960-1962

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 992-1067)
Box/Folder: 4 : 6

Number 33, undated

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1068-1079)
Box/Folder: 4 : 7

Number 34, 1962 June, 1967 January

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1080-1085)
Box/Folder: 4 : 8

Number 35, 1952 October – December

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1086-1091)
Box/Folder: 4 : 9

Number 36, 1955 September - November

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1092-1096)
Box/Folder: 4 : 10

Number 37, undated

Scope and Content Note

(p. 1097)
Box/Folder: 4 : 11

Number 38, 1961-1974

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1098-1101)
Box/Folder: 5 : 1

Number 39, 1962 September – October,

Scope and Content Note

includes English version (pp.1102-1119)
Box/Folder: 5 : 2

Number 40, 1963 January – February

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1120-1129_
Box/Folder: 5 : 3

Number 41, 1963 February – March

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1130-1144)
Box/Folder: 5 : 4

Number 42, 1963 March – November, 1965 September – October

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1145-1230)
Box/Folder: 5 : 5

Number 43, 1963 December 15

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1231-1233)
Box/Folder: 5 : 6

Number 44, 1963

Note

See also Diary number 53

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1234-1241).
Box/Folder: 5 : 7

Number 45, 1964 March – November

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1242-1259)
Box/Folder: 5 : 8

Number 46, 1964 June – December, 1966 January

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1260-1271)
Box/Folder: 5 : 9

Number 47, 1964, 1972-1974

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1272-1272a)
Box/Folder: 5 : 10

Number 48, 1965

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1273-1974)
Box/Folder: 5 : 11

Number 49, 1965 January – September

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1275-1287)
Box/Folder: 5 : 12

Number 50, 1967 May – August

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1288-1298)
Box/Folder: 6 : 1

Number 51, 1967-1968

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1299-1302)
Box/Folder: 6 : 2

Number 52, 1963 December 25

Scope and Content Note

(p. 1303)
Box/Folder: 6 : 3

Number 53, 1967, 1969, 1973, 1975, 1997

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1304-1313)
Box/Folder: 6 : 4

Number 54, 1967-1968,

Scope and Content Note

(pp.1314-1325)
Box/Folder: 6 : 5

Number 55, 1969-1972, 1974-1975

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1326-1340)
Box/Folder: 6 : 6

Number 56, 1969

Scope and Content Note

(pp.1341-1342)
Box/Folder: 6 : 7

Number 57, 1973-1997

Note

See also number 53

Scope and Content Note

(pp. 1343-1361)
 

Correspondence, 1936-1977.

Scope and Content Note

Includes both personal and business correspondence. Arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent
 

Family

 

Tatiana (Tania), daughter, letters from

Box/Folder: 6 : 8-16

Mother, 1936-1975

Box/Folder: 7 : 1-7

Mother, 1938-1975

Box/Folder: 7 : 8

Father (Maksim Litvinov) 1938-1941

Box/Folder: 7 : 9

Mikhail (Misha), son, 1938, 1960-1975

Box/Folder: 7 : 10

Condolences to Tatiana on death of Ivy Litvinov, 1977 April-June

Box/Folder: 7 : 11

Undated

Box/Folder: 7 : 12

Unidentified, 1960, 1972-1975

 

General

Box/Folder: 7 : 13

1937-1978

Box/Folder: 7 : 14

1954-1976

Box/Folder: 7 : 15

1958-1964

Box/Folder: 8 : 1

1960-1964

Box/Folder: 8 : 2

1966

Box/Folder: 8 : 3

1969-1977

Box/Folder: 8 : 4

1973-1975

Box/Folder: 8 : 5

1973-1977

Box/Folder: 8 : 6

Bell, Adrian, 1966-1968

Box/Folder: 8 : 7

Carswell, Cath, 1926-1936, 1943

Box/Folder: 8 : 8

Carswell, John, 1960-1980

Box/Folder: 8 : 9

Chukovski, Kornei, 1961-1962

Box/Folder: 8 : 10

Daily Express, 1973

Box/Folder: 8 : 11

Fischer, George, 1975

Box/Folder: 8 : 12

Fischer, Louis, 1960

Box/Folder: 8 : 13

Freidin, Grisha, 1975

Box/Folder: 8 : 14

Freud, Anna, 1977

Box/Folder: 8 : 15

Grace, Emily, 1947

Box/Folder: 8 : 16

Harari, M., 1960

Box/Folder: 8 : 17

Klyshko, Phyllis, 1945, 1961

Box/Folder: 8 : 18

McKensie, Rachel, 1966

Box/Folder: 8 : 19

Meynell, Viola, 1911-1914.

Scope and Content Note

Includes one photograph
Box/Folder: 8 : 20

New Yorker, New York, 1968-1974

Box/Folder: 8 : 21

Observer (Jeremy Hunt), 1974, 1976

Box/Folder: 8 : 22

Rantz, Berta, 1972

Box/Folder: 9 : 1

Seddon, Nell, 1973-1976

Box/Folder: 9 : 2

Wetlin, Peggy, 1972-1977

 

Speeches and writings, 1949-1981, undated.

Scope and Content Note

Includes annotations, literary reviews, autobiographical, fictional, and other writings by Ivy Litvinov relating to her life in Great Britain and the Soviet Union. Arranged alphabetically by title
Box/Folder: 9 : 3

Annotations on Leona Schechler manuscript American Families in Russia, undated

 

Literary reviews

Box/Folder: 9 : 4

Drafts.

Scope and Content Note

Includes correspondence, 1973-1977
Box/Folder: 9 : 5

Knoff, Alfred, Five Sisters: Woman Against the Tsar, New York, 1975

Box/Folder: 9 : 6

Lawrence, D. H., Bay In The Bush: The Forgotten Australian Novel, 1981

 

Autobiographical notes

Box/Folder: 9 : 7-8

Block notes, mostly undated.

Scope and Content Note

Includes notes from 1963 and 1973
Box/Folder: 9 : 9

Being English in Moscow, autobiographical journal, undated

Box/Folder: 9 : 10-11

Background material, undated.

Scope and Content Note

Holograph and typescript
Box/Folder: 10-11

Background material, undated.

Scope and Content Note

Holograph and typescript
Box/Folder: 12 : 1-5

Background material, undated.

Scope and Content Note

Holograph and typescript
 

Stories

Box/Folder: 12 : 6

Alihanyans, undated

Box/Folder: 12 : 7

Barber's Story, undated

Box/Folder: 12 : 8

Boy Who Laughed, New Yorker, 1970 September 19

Box/Folder: 12 : 9

Cats in My Life, undated

Box/Folder: 12 : 10

Concert, undated

Box/Folder: 12 : 11

Dacha, 1963

Box/Folder: 12 : 12

Everyone Vulnerable, part I and II, 1944.

Scope and Content Note

Notes, draft, typescript
Box/Folder: 12 : 13

Flat, undated

Box/Folder: 12 : 14

Funeral Home, poem, undated

Box/Folder: 12 : 15

Game of Patience, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 1

Gammer, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 2

Greenacres, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 3-4

Harrow, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 5

If Two Are Not in Agreement, Can They Walk Together?, Undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 6

In a Glass Darkly, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 7

In Darkest England, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 8

Incoulation [sic] of Peter, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 9

Jane Brown, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 10

Ladies Only, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 11

Lielupe diary, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 12

Little Masterpiece, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 13

Lonely Like Me, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 14

Lucky Old Woman, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 15

Met Katherine Mansfield, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 16

Moscow/Vera/Baby Bear, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 17

Mrs. Chuck and Mrs. Doody, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 18

My Visit to Everan.

Scope and Content Note

Includes notes, 1959
Box/Folder: 13 : 19

Natalia Petrovna (Dacha), undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 20

Of Reading and Writing, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 21

Play, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 22

Revenant (Hilda Taylor), undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 23

South, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 24

Statesman at Home, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 25

Thrush, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 26

Tynemouth, undated

Box/Folder: 14 : 1

Tynemouth, undated

Box/Folder: 14 : 2

Typography of Pornography (At the Dacha), undated

Box/Folder: 14 : 3

World unrealized, undated

Box/Folder: 14 : 4

Miscellany

 

Miscellany.

Scope and Content Note

Includes article about Ivy Low's (Litvinov) life, and Tatiana Litvinov file
Box/Folder: 14 : 5

Love in Cold Climate, article about Ivy Low's (Litvinov) life, Ham and High, 1988 February 12

Box/Folder: 14 : 6

Tatiana Litvinov file. Literary drafts of Slepoi (Blind), undated

 

Sound recordings and electronic documents, undated.

Scope and Content Note

Include five 3.5" floppy discs with Tatiana Litvinov documents, and five numbered compact sound cassettes. Arranged by number
 

Five 3.5" floppy discs with Tatiana Litvinov documents.

 

Five numbered compact sound cassettes.