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Finding aid for the Thornton Wilder letters 6082
6082  
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Box 1, folder 1

Wilder to Elfy 1945 5 August

Scope and Contents

Letter written by Thornton Wilder to Elfy Stoeger. It appears that at the time that this letter was written, Wilder was not aware that she had been married the day before and moved to Los Angeles.
Wilder mentioned his hearing continued to deteriorate after they had lunch together. Wilder says that he wasn’t writing to her just to thank her for her letter, but also to encourage her to pursue singing. Wilder tells Elfy that she has the talent, beauty, and grace to sing the works of Mozart and Schubert. Thornton ends his letter with a reference to Wagner’s Meistersinger von Nurnburg.
Box 1, Folder 2

Wilder to Mr./Ms. Joseph 1945 28 August

Scope and Contents

Short letter written by Thornton Wilder, addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph Joseph. During the time that this letter was sent, Wilder was in Miami Beach on military duty and was able to send his letter free of cost. In addition, the war had just ended in the Pacific theater earlier that month. Wilder informs his friends that the news of their marriage made him very happy. He wishes them the best and congratulates the couple.
Box 1, folder 3

Wilder to Mrs. Rudolph Joseph 1945 8 October

Scope and Contents

Letter written by Thornton Wilder, addressed to Mrs. Rudolph Joseph
Wilder writes that he was very happy to hear that Mrs. Rudolph was dedicating herself to music. He gives her advice and says that the best thing one can do is to be disciplined, love, and be creative. Wilder ends the letter by informing Mrs. Rudolph Joseph that he will be in the Carolina mountains to finish Alcestiad.
Box 1, Folder 4

Wilder to Joseph 1946 10 January

Scope and Contents

Letter written by Thornton Wilder addressed to Rudolph Joseph, Elfy’s husband. Wilder often called Rudolph Joseph “Mochven” which means “little seagull” in German. Wilder mentions Elfy’s charming letters and jokingly says he should become a singer himself. Wilder mentions that he has a British film offer, as well as 3 American ones. He says he is almost at a point of accepting a film offer and visiting Los Angeles.
Box 1, folder 5

Wilder to Joseph 1946 4 March

Scope and Contents

Letter written by Thornton Wilder addressed to Rudolph Joseph, Elfy’s husband. Wilder writes to inform Rudolph, or “Mochven” as Wilder calls him, that a certain matter is in suspension due to pending negotiations with London bidders. He mentions that his latest interest is Existential Philosophy and Jean Paul Satre. Wilder concludes his letter by asking Rudolph whether he is an “existialiste” and sends his best regards.
Box 1, folder 11

Christmas Card to Elfy 1961 December

Scope and Contents

Brief letter written by Thornton Wilder to Mrs. Elfy Joseph. Item is a Christmas/New Year card with an image of a Christmas tree. Wilder writes to Elfy to inform her that he is in opera world and that she ought to be a part of that world. He lets her know that his short opera by Hindemith opened in Mannheim, while his long opera by Louse Talma opened in March in Frankfurt with Frau Inge Borkh. Wilder mentions that Elfy has a beautiful voice and that if she were not so shy she could be a wonderful addition to the world of opera. He ends the letter by thanking her for the beautiful card she sent him.
Box 1, folder 6

Wilder to Joseph 1947 26 June

Scope and Contents

Letter written by Thornton Wilder, addressed to Rudolph Joseph, Elfy’s husband.
Wilder greets Rudolph and says he is pleased that he has been enjoying Cabala. He tells Rudolph he has an obsession with creating film adaptations based on works of literature. Wilder informs him that his translator Herbert Heilischtra is trying to interest him in a publishing company Albatross, which will publish German books in London. Lastly, he mentions that he has heard no news of Gnadige Frau and jokes that he punished her by making her sing aria from Re Pastore and Pamima’s lament three times.
Box 1, folder 7

Thank you Letter to Rudolph Joseph 1948 12 August

Scope and Contents

Thank you letter addressed to Mr. Rudolph Joseph
The writer of the letter thanks Rudolph and his wife for the Piaf records. The writer states that he has heard of them but has never listened to them.
Box 1, folder 8

Wilder to Elfy and Rudolph 1949 5 March

Scope and Contents

Letter written by Thornton Wilder, addressed to Rudolph Joseph and Elfy Joseph. Item is a brief letter from Wilder in which he answers Rudolph and Elfy’s questions. He offers them both a reading recommendation titled Fear and Trembling The Concept of Dread. In addition, he mentions that Dr. V. Frisch of Graz gave a great lecture on how bees communicate with each other.
Box 1, folder 15

Wilder to Elfy and Rudolph After Divorce 1945-1952 August

Scope and Contents

Letter written by Thornton Wilder, addressed to Rudolph Joseph and Elfy.
Wilder writes that he was delighted to hear that Maxwell Perkins had granted Rudolph the rights. Perkins was senior editor of Schribner Publishers and was instrumental in the making of writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway among many others. Wilder asks Elfy about her singing and whether she has been keeping up with her singing exercises.
Box 1, folder 9

Wilder to Thornton 1949 14 March

Scope and Contents

Letter written by Thornton Wilder, addressed to Rudolph Joseph, Elfy’s husband.
Wilder starts off his letter by apologizing for not being able to write much, he states he received a large stack of mail while he was in Europe. He mentions that his new play is about halfway done. Wilder writes that he has had ongoing contact with Vittorio de Sica and would love to collaborate with him. He tells Rudolph that charming and beautiful Elfy ought to be singing for them. Wilder concluded the letter by telling Rudolph that Hollywood is not a good place to live and that they should consider living in the east.
Box 1, folder 16

Wilder to Elfy Joseph 1960's-1974

Scope and Contents

Letter written by Thornton Wilder, addressed to Elfy Joseph, who at the time was divorced from Rudolph Joseph. Letter is dated after 1952, between the 1960’s and up to 1974. Wilder thanks Elfy for her last letter, but says that she wrote very little about herself and too much about him. He tells her that he is happy that she surrounds herself with music, although she doesn’t sing much. Wilder tells Elfy that she came to mind during the time that he was in Vienna during Christmas, while having a talk with Frau Seefried after a Wolf recital.
Box 1, folder 10

Wilder to Joseph 1954 26 April

Scope and Contents

Item is a postcard from Thornton Wilder to Mr. Rudolph Joseph. Wilder thanks his friends for the birthday greetings. He writes that he will think of them when he is in Vienna next year after being at the Berlin Festival. During the time of this letter, Elfy and Rudolph Joseph had divorced in 1952. Rudolph moved to Santa Barbara, whereas Elfy remained in Los Angeles for the remainder of her life.
Box 1, folder 18

Re: Aug 27/11 Memorial Service For Elfy 2011

Scope and Contents

Joan sends an additional letter in which she provides the exact location of Elfie’s unmarked grave. The letter provides with information that Elfy was living at the vintage Retirement Home on Tiverton in Westwood. She acknowledges all of Elfy’s dear friends who attended her memorial services despite the 100 degree weather that day. Joan included a copy of 2 photographs, one a portrait of Elfy by herself and the other accompanied by two friends.
Box 1, folder 20

Photograph of Elfina undated

Scope and Contents

Item is a colored photograph of Elfy.
Box 1, folder 21

Photograph of Elfina "Elfy" Joseph and Friends undated

Scope and Contents

Item is a
Box 1, Folder 12

Wilder to Mrs. Elfy Joseph 1962 19 April

Scope and Contents

Letter written by Thornton Wilder to Mrs. Elfy Joseph.
Item is a brief letter in which Wilder thanks Elfy for a book. He addresses her previous letter and tells Alfy that she is her usual charming self. In addition, he brings up an opera and lets Alfy know that he greatly enjoyed the music and hopes to hear it often. Wilder concludes by thanking Alfy for the photographs and for remembering his birthday.
Box 1, Folder 13

Wilder to Elfy Joseph 1974 9 January

Scope and Contents

Letter is written by Thornton Wilder and is addressed to Mrs. Elfy Joseph.
Wilder thanks Elfy for her letter and informs her that he has not been able to keep up with his correspondence due to the deterioration of his eye sight. He ends by sending his best regards to Elfy and Rudolph.
Box 1, Folder 14

Wilder to Rudolph and Elfy Joseph 11 November

Scope and Contents

Letter written by Thornton Wilder, addressed to Rudolph Joseph and Elfy Joseph. In this item, Elfy is the main subject. Wilder tells Elfy that her presence in a university would be beneficial and very much appreciated. He suggests that she start off by volunteering first, and then getting involved with the production of elements at universities such as UCLA, Pomona, and Scripps College. In addition, he suggests that she try to approach television and states that she may use his name as a reference. Wilder concludes by encouraging Alfy and telling her not to waste time.
Box 1, folder 19

Letter from Joan Newman to Alice 14 July

Scope and Contents

Item is a letter from Joan Newman to Alice.
Box 1, folder 22

Guide to Letters of Elfy Stoeger Joseph Clifton Barret Library undated

Scope and Contents

Item is a guide to Thornton Wilder correspondence in the Special Collections Department of the Clifton Waller Barrett Library in Virginia.
Box 1, folder 17

Remembrance of a Lovely Friend 2011

Scope and Contents

Letter written by Joan Harding Newman who was a friend of 30 years with Elfrida Joseph, known as “Elfy” by her dear friends. Joan describes Elfy’s memorial service at Hollywood Forever cemetery on August 27th 2011. Elfy is described as an artistic and musical woman who blessed others with her voice. Joan acknowledges Nedra, Elfy’s closest friend of 45 years and says she can only image how hard their loss may be to her and all of her friends and loved ones. She concludes the letter by stating that Elfy will was dearly loved and her musical voice and presence will be missed.