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Series II: Personal Papers, 1810-1951

Call Number: GEN MSS 454, Series II

Scope and Contents

Series II Personal Papers contains Bowen’s literary agreements (contracts), correspondence, photographs, genealogical material, a scrapbook, and a small collection of press cuttings that include reviews of her books. The agreements cover both her writings and radio appearances. Most of the correspondence is fan mail, but it does include letters from noted writers such as Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Algernon Methuen, William Roughead, and Rebecca West. One folder holds letters from Edward Wagenknecht, a professor at Boston University, who studied and later published Bowen's writings in anthologies; additional correspondence between Wagenknecht and Hilary Long is in Series III, as well as more than three hundred letters from Bowen to Long.

A folder of genealogical material contains correspondence with distant relatives regarding the Ellis, Campbell, and Bayley families, and includes three nineteenth-century manuscript memoirs of Marjorie Bowen’s ancestors: on Bishop John Ellis (1785-1855), a Moravian clergyman who represented the church in Antigua, Jamaica, and Barbados from 1818 to 1855, written by his third wife; on Elizabeth Bowen Ellis (1792-1842) by her son Charles Bowen Ellis (1821-1887); and a memoir of the latter, who was born in Antigua and was also a Moravian minister and missionary, by an unidentified sibling. Notebooks consists of three commonplace books with research and personal education notes, poems, and a list of publications (to 1910). Photographs contains portraits of Bowen, her children and ancestors, in particular her father's family, and the interior of her home at 46 Markham Square, London. The series ends with a folder of reviews by others of her books, a scrapbook, and miscellaneous ephemera.


  • 1810-1951


Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection:

The materials are open for research.

Box 41 (sound recordings): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.


Series II is arranged alphabetically by genre: Agreements, Correspondence, Genealogical Material, Notes, Photographs, Book Reviews, Scrapbook, and Miscellaneous


1.88 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.