Correspondence; manuscripts of books, short stories, plays and
articles; notes; clippings; biographical material and personalia; royalty statements;
collected theater and opera programs, 1869-1941; announcements and invitations; Christmas
and greeting cards. Correspondents include George Arliss, Gertrude Atherton, Robert Ernest
Cowan, George Creel, Ina Coolbrith, Lion Feuchtwanger, Herbert Hoover, Fannie Hurst, Owen
Lattimore, Benjamin H. Lehman, W. Somerset Maugham, Carey McWilliams, H.L. Mencken, Ruth
Comfort Mitchell, Kathleen Thompson Norris, Fremont Older, James D. Phelan, H.G. Wells, Harr
Wagner, and Stefan Zweig.
Charles Caldwell Dobie was born in San Francisco March 15, 1881, and unlike many California
writers who went East after their first success, he continued to live in his native city. He
attended local schools and, because of the death of his father and the necessity of
contributing to family support, he never went beyond grammar school in formal education. He
went into insurance work, starting as an errand boy and eventually becoming office manager.
When he was nineteen he joined a class in short story writing inaugurated by W. C. Morrow,
the noted journalist and writer. Under his direction, Dobie learned the short story craft.
Writing in his spare time, he worked for ten years without selling a line. In October 1910
his first story was published in the San Francisco Argonaut. In 1916 he
resigned his insurance position to devote full time to writing. Thereafter he became a
regular contributor to leading magazines, including Smart Set,
Harper's, Scribner's and
Pictorial Review. Many of his stories were selected for inclusion in
"best short story" anthologies, notably the Edward J. O'Brien and
O. Henry memorial collections. His first novel, The Blood Red Dawn, was
published in 1920. Other novels include Broken to the Plow (ca. 1921),
Less than Kin (1926) and Portrait of a Courtesan (1934). In
addition, he wrote from time to time, a number of newspaper columns, the most famous of
which was "The Caliph in San Francisco," appearing in the San Francisco
Bulletin, 1925-1926. The books which permanently identified him in the
public mind with San Francisco were San Francisco: A Pageant (1933) and
San Francisco's Chinatown (1936). Dobie died in his home in San
Francisco on January 11, 1943.
Number of containers: 12 boxes, 12 cartons, bound volume, and 1 portfolio
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protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of
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with the user.
Collection is open for research.