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Alyse Gregory papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 163
Scope and Contents
The Alyse Gregory Papers consist chiefly of Gregory's correspondence, with smaller amounts of her diaries, writings, notebooks, artworks, photographs, and other personal papers. Also present are small groups of papers of people associated with Gregory which were in her possession at the time of her death, including correspondence, diaries, and writings of Llewelyn Powys; writings of John Cowper Powys and Edna St. Vincent Millay; and diaries of Gertrude Powys. Accompanying these is a small amount of correspondence and notes of Rosemary Manning concerning Gregory's papers. The collection documents Gregory's literary friendships and personal relationships, particularly with Llewelyn Powys, his siblings and the Powys circle, colleagues associated with The Dial, and the Gregory family; her writing and intellectual interests; and her efforts to edit her diaries and correspondence and those of Llewelyn Powys. The papers span the years 1888-1982, with the bulk of materials dating from 1939-1967.

The collection is housed in 78 boxes and is organized into ten series: Correspondence, Diaries, Writings, Notebooks, Photographs, Artworks, Clippings and Other Printed Material, Other Alyse Gregory Papers, Papers of Others Held by Alyse Gregory, and Rosemary Manning Papers. Oversize materials are stored in a portfolio. Restricted Fragile Papers, stored in boxes 76-78, contain materials for which reference photocopies have been supplied in the main files.

Series I, Correspondence , (boxes 1-54), is organized into two subseries: General Correspondence and Gregory and Pinneo Family Correspondence. In both subseries, incoming and outgoing letters are interfiled.

General Correspondence concerns Gregory's friendships, particularly with the Powys family and their circle, and her literary and other intellectual interests. Most letters date from after 1939 and concern Gregory's life in England following her husband's death, including discussion of experiences in Dorset during the Second World War; response to writings about The Dial and the Powys family; disposition of her papers; and experiences relating to aging. Also present is earlier correspondence concerning her social reform and literary career in New York, including transcripts of Gregory's letters to Florida Scott-Maxwell, concerning social reform and suffrage work; a few letters from Maurice Robertson ("Maurice Stevens" in The Day is Gone) and Van Wyck Brooks; and larger files of letters from Randolph Bourne, Scofield Thayer (includes poems), James Sibley Watson, Jr., and Marianne Moore. Later correspondence relating to Scofield Thayer includes letters from Hermann P. Riccius, Constance Williams, and C. P. Williamson.

A small amount of correspondence with Llewelyn Powys is present, including intimate letters, notes, and poems. Many of Gregory's letters to others dating from the period 1936-1939 concern Powys's illness and death, and later correspondence discusses memories of him, including single letters from Lisaly Gujer and Dr. F. Häberlin, who cared for him during his illness in Switzerland. Gregory corresponded with all of the Powys siblings and many of their spouses and children. John Cowper Powys and Phyllis Playter are represented by extensive files; in addition to those of Llewelyn Powys, other concentrations of letters are present for Gertrude, Philippa, William, Lucy, Mary Casey (all outgoing), Faith Oliver, and Francis. A single letter from Theodore Francis Powys is present. Correspondence concerning Theodore's family after his death includes letters from his wife, Violet Dodds, their daughter Theodora Gay, and Theodora's companion, Geoffrey, Count Potocki de Montalk.

In addition to files for John Cowper Powys (49 folders) and Phyllis Playter (99 folders), correspondence is most extensive for Gamel Woolsey (84 folders), Claude Colleer Abbott (94 folders; includes poems), and Valentine Ackland (24 folders; includes poems). Other major literary correspondents are: Redwood Anderson (most outgoing; incoming includes a poem), Gerald Brenan (includes poems), Gladys Brooks, Vere H. Collins, Giovanni Costigan, C. G. L. Du Cann, Eve Elwin, Derrick Leon (concerning Marcel Proust), Marianne Moore, Marie Nordlinger and her daughter Pauline Green (concerning Reynaldo Hahn and Marcel Proust), Alan Osbourne (concerning Robert Louis Stevenson), Sylvia Townsend Warner, James Sibley Watson, Jr., Louis Wilkinson (most outgoing) and Joan Lambert Wilkinson (most outgoing). Correspondence with other friends includes extensive files for Dorothy Blodgett, Madeleine Walker Curry, John Fisher, Derek Lindsay, Henriette Metcalf ("Fifirella" in The Day is Gone), Peggy Newman, Rosamond Rose, Florida Scott-Maxwell (most outgoing), Oliver Stoner (most outgoing), and Giles Wordsworth.

Other correspondence includes letters from: William Rose Benét (includes poems), Eugen Boissevan, Betty Burroughs, Van Wyck Brooks, Brigid Brophy, Kenneth Burke, Henry Seidel Canby, E. E. Cummings, Marion Morehouse Cummings, Agnes de Lima, Sigrid de Lima, Malcolm Elwin, Patience Empson, Arthur Davison Ficke, Gladys Ficke, Robert Gibbings, Stephen Gooden, Mona Gooden, Lawrence Gowing, Evelyn Hardy, Anne Holahan, Mark Holloway, Margaret Holloway, Alvin Saunders Johnson, Rosemary Manning, Reginald Marsh, William Q. Maxwell, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Naomi Mitchison, Raymond Mortimer, Lewis Mumford, George Painter, Peter Quennell, Paul Rosenfeld, Marie Hippolyte Ponsin Rôze, Bertrand Russell, George Santayana, Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant, Gertrude Stein, James Stern, Philip Toynbee, Jean Untermeyer, Richard Heron Ward, William Wasserstrom, Oliver Marlow Wilkinson, Edmund Wilson, Sophia Wittenberg, and Carl Zigrosser.

Many incoming letters are annotated or accompanied by notes written by Gregory clarifying dates or commenting on content. Typed transcripts, when present, are filed separately following each correspondent. Most transcripts were prepared by Gregory, often with abridged content and appended notes. An exception is transcripts of letters from Gamel Woolsey, which were prepared and extensively annotated by Kenneth Hopkins. While most corresponding originals are also in the collection, some letters are present only as transcripts. During processing, dates supplied on transcripts have been transferred to originals, when present. Letters from correspondents to third parties are filed separately following transcripts.

The second subseries, Gregory and Pinneo Family Correspondence, consists of correspondence of several family members with Gregory and with others. Family members represented include Alyse Gregory's father, James G. Gregory; mother, Jean L. Pinneo Gregory; sister, Jean L. Byington; brother, Ward Gregory; father's sister, Virginia A. White; mother's sister, Dotha Stone Pinneo; mother's brother, James A. Pinneo; and sister's daughter, Joan Byington.

Most letters are between Gregory and her mother, dating from Gregory's childhood through her residence in New York, marriage, and relocation to England. The last of these letters, written during Llewelyn Powys's illness in Switzerland, concern her mother's declining mental and physical health following a stroke. Other letters from this period are from Gregory to her uncle, James A. Pinneo, who served as her mother's caretaker. Earlier letters of Jean L. Pinneo Gregory to other family members concern a trip to Naples in 1905 and Ward Gregory's illness in 1916-1917. Two chronological sets of transcripts, prepared by Gregory, consist of letters of her mother, for which most originals are present in the collection, and letters of her own, including early letters not present as originals.

Series II, Diaries , (boxes 55-59), is organized into two subseries: Original Diaries, consisting chiefly of diary volumes and accompanying notes, and Transcripts, which were prepared by Gregory during her later life. Original Diaries includes a volume with brief entries for 1925-1926, followed by diaries with extensive and continuous entries from 1930 through the last day of Gregory's life, August 27, 1967. Many diaries include later annotations and evidence of editing for transcription. Transcripts include several typescripts edited from original diaries present in the collection, preceded by holograph volumes of extracts from earlier diaries for which originals are not present.

Series III, Writings , (box 60), is organized into four subseries: Books, Short Stories, Essays, and Other Writings. Materials pertaining to books include a biography of Randolph Bourne, an unfinished novel, and reviews of published novels and The Day if Gone. Two short stories are present, including a clipping of a story published in Cornhill Magazine. The bulk of materials are essays, including typescripts and clippings from The Freeman, The Freethinker, and other journals. Most subjects are literary; also present are an essay on the life of Philippa Powys and drafts of essays concerning expatriation and aging. Other Writings includes clippings of book reviews written by Gregory, many published in The Dial, and notes concerning her editing of Llewelyn Powys's papers.

Series IV, Notebooks , (boxes 61-62), contains volumes arranged alphabetically by title, followed by untitled volumes in chronological order. Most notes pertain to books on philosophic and literary subjects. Other contents are lists of books, quotations, and a few household notes.

Series V, Photographs , (boxes 63-66), is organized into four subseries: Albums, People, Places, and Photograph Envelopes. Two albums are present, including a volume of uncaptioned photographs, apparently made during Gregory's early travels in Europe, ca. 1905. This album includes images of Gregory and Marie Hippolyte Ponsin Rôze, as well as many unidentified people. A second album contains captioned photographs made by unidentified travelers during a cruise to Indonesia, ca. 1920, including images of shipboard scenes and views of Palestine, Port Said, Algiers, Pedang, and other locations in Indonesia.

The second subseries, People, includes several copies of a late snapshot of Gregory, and an early portrait of her and Marianne Moore in the Dial offices, taken by Doris Ulmann. Several photographs, including one image of Llewelyn Powys and several of unidentified people and places, appear to have been taken in Switzerland. Other items include several photographs of Laure Hayman, a friend of Marcel Proust, sent to Gregory by Henriette Metcalf; a photograph of John Cowper Powys with an unidentified man; a group of photographs of William Powys and his family; many photographs of correspondents represented in Series I; and a few photographs of East Chaldon neighbors. Also present are many family photographs sent to Gregory by James Sibley Watson, Jr., dating from the 1950s-60s, showing himself, his wife Hildegarde Lasell Watson, and their children and grandchildren.

The third subseries, Places, consists of a few photographs of Gregory's last home at Velthams Cottage and of unidentified houses. The last subseries, Photograph Envelopes, contains envelopes from English and Swiss film developers.

Series VI, Artworks , (box 67), arranged alphabetically by artist, consists of a small number of reproductions and original works, mostly correspondents represented in Series I. Other materials include original engravings by Robert Gibbings and Stephen Gooden.

Series VII, Clippings and Other Printed Material , (box 68), contains subject files arranged alphabetically. Most subjects are names of people represented in Series I, with materials including clippings by and about the person, and in some cases typed transcripts of published poems. Other materials include clippings relating to Gregory's marriage, a small scrapbook of clippings about her father's death, a printed map showing East Chaldon and Chydyok, a Dial clip sheet from 1925, and a few clippings about The Dial and Patchin Place.

Series VIII, Other Alyse Gregory Papers , (box 69), is arranged alphabetically by type of material. Materials relating to Gregory and Llewelyn Powys include a typescript note left by Gregory at her death; lists of Powys's manuscripts owned by her; locks of Powys's hair, legal documents concerning his autopsy and estate; and notes of conversation with Powys taken by Gregory at his deathbed. Also present are address books, notes concerning the Gregory and Pinneo families, an essay about John Redwood Anderson by Frank Merrick, and a scrapbook made by Annetta Mullins, a friend of Gregory who was mentally ill.

Series IX, Papers of Others Held by Alyse Gregory , (boxes 70-74), is organized into four subseries: Llewelyn Powys Papers, Edna St. Vincent Millay Writings, John Cowper Powys Writings, and Gertrude Powys Diaries.

The largest subseries, Llewelyn Powys Papers, is organized into subgroups of Correspondence, Diaries, Writings, and Other Papers. Most correspondence consists of transcripts prepared by Gregory from Powys's outgoing letters, for which originals are not present. Transcripts, some with notes by Gregory, include early letters to his family, letters written to literary friends, and replies to requests for his advice and philosophic views. A smaller amount of original incoming and outgoing letters includes many names also represented in Gregory's correspondence in Series I. Concentrations of transcripts and originals are present for Gerald Brenan, H. Rivers Pollock, John Cowper Powys, Littleton Powys, and Philippa Powys.

The second subgroup, Diaries, includes a diary kept during travel to Palestine in 1928-29, two later diaries with a few brief entries, and typescripts of extracts from early diaries, prepared by Gregory. Writings includes essays, mainly typed transcripts made by Gregory and Kenneth Hopkins, clippings of book reviews written by Powys for the New York Herald Tribune, and proofreading notes made by Gregory and John Cowper Powys. The final subgroup, Other Llewelyn Powys Papers, consists of a notebook of Francis Bacon quotations written by Powys's friend May Chesshire, with a presentation inscription from Powys, and clippings and transcripts of articles about Powys and his writings.

Edna St. Vincent Millay Writings includes holograph poems sent to Llewelyn Powys by Millay; poems from Buck in the Snow, transcribed by Powys in holograph; and typescript drafts of poems from Huntsman, What Quarry? and Wine From These Grapes. John Cowper Powys Writings consists of a small amount of materials, including a draft of his introduction to A Baker's Dozen, a collection of essays by Llewelyn Powys, and drafts of a memoir of Llewelyn, apparently written late in John Cowper's life. Gertrude Powys Diaries consists of several printed pocket diaries with brief entries, arranged chronologically. The diaries were kept during her later years at Chydyok with Gregory and Philippa Powys.

Series X, Rosemary Manning Papers , (box 75), is organized into two subseries: Correspondence and Other Papers. Correspondence concerns Gregory's death, memories of her, and Manning's interest in publishing Gregory's papers. Most items are incoming letters from friends of Gregory also represented in Series I. Also present are letters and notes from Gregory concerning her estate. Other items include letters from Ark Press, Donald Gallup, Richard Perceval Graves, Alan Parkes, and other publishers and Powys associates. The second subseries, Other Papers, includes reviews of The Cry of a Gull; clippings concerning Gregory, The Dial, and the Powys family; and notes made by Manning concerning Gregory's papers.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.

Boxes 76-78 and cold storage: Restricted fragile material. Reference surrogates have been substituted in the main files. For further information consult the appropriate curator.
Conditions Governing Use
The Alyse Gregory Papers are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Alyse Gregory Papers were acquired by the Library through gift and purchase over a period of years. Accessions include gifts of Alyse Gregory and purchases from Alyse Gregory on the George B. Alvord Fund and the Milton Garver Fund, 1950-1967; a gift of Alyse Gregory through her executor, Rosemary Manning, 1987; a gift of Lis Whitelaw, 1987; purchases from Bertram Rota on the Eugene G. O'Neill Memorial Fund and the Bradford F. and Lila L. Swan Fund, 1995-2001; and purchases from Judith Stinton on the Eugene G. O'Neill Memorial Fund and the Elizabeth Wakeman Dwight Memorial Fund, 1996-1998.
1888 - 1982
Majority of material found within 1939 - 1967
33.41 Linear Feet ((78 boxes) + 1 portfolio, cold storage)
Related Names
Gregory, Alyse, 1884-1967
Millay, Edna St. Vincent, 1892-1950
Powys, John Cowper, 1872-1963
Powys, Llewelyn, 1884-1939
Ulmann, Doris, 1882-1934
Language of Materials