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Elizabeth Bowen Papers: Finding Aid
mssHM 52741-53108  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Bibliography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • 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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.  


    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.


    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.