Robinson Jeffers collection
Scope and Contents
The bulk of the collection consists of manuscript drafts of Jeffers’ early narrative and lyrical poems. The John Hay Whitney Gift materials contain significant annotation and are inscribed with descriptive and analytical commentary. Additionally, a single folded sheet labeled “Genesis of Tamar,” includes plans for the stairway of the tower at Tor House. The Robert M. Leylan Gift includes full drafts of shorter poems and passages from longer and unidentified poems. The third series, Materials from Other Sources, incorporates a typescript copy of a study of the poetry of Robinson Jeffers by Howard Trivers and annotated by Robert M. Leylan.
The limited correspondence in each series includes letters from Robinson and Una Jeffers, the book dealer Barnet B. Ruder, and the Jeffers bibliographer S. S. Alberts, concerning the various manuscript materials.
- 1920 - 1951
- Majority of material found within 1920 - 1933
Conditions Governing Access
Existence and Location of Copies
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
1.67 Linear Feet (5 boxes)
Language of Materials
While studying at the University of Southern California, Jeffers met Una Call Kuster, the wife of a prominent Los Angeles attorney. Their involvement and Kuster’s ensuing divorce was a public scandal that was widely reported. Jeffers and Kuster were married in 1913 and one year later settled in Carmel, California where Jeffers eventually built the stone cottage and tower he called “Tor House.” A daughter was born in 1914 but died in infancy; twin sons were born in 1916. In 1912 Jeffers privately published his first volume of poetry, Flagons and Apples. In 1916 his second volume, Californians, was commercially published. Tamar and Other Poems (1924), his third volume, proved both a formal and critical breakthrough and was reissued in an expanded edition the following year under the title Roan Stallion, Tamar and other Poems. Over a period encompassing five decades, Jeffers published nearly two-dozen volumes of poetry. In 1954 he published his last volume, Hungerfield and Other Poems, an expanded edition of his Hungerfield (1952) which included a eulogy for Una Jeffers who died in 1950. A volume of Jeffers’ uncollected poems, The Beginning and the End and Other Poems, was published posthumously in 1963.
Most of the descriptive information used in the inventory of this finding aid was derived from folder notes and catalog cards created by previous staff members of the Beinecke Library.
- Guide to the Robinson Jeffers Collection
- by Christopher Geissler, Tom Hyry, and Beinecke Staff
- May 2008
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
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