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Ruth Pine Furniss papers

 Collection
Call Number: YCAL MSS 431

Scope and Contents

The Papers contain writings and other papers of American author Ruth Pine Furniss. Furniss's career as an author is documented in various material, including drafts, printed versions of her writings, contracts with publishers, and copyright cards. Some of Furniss's poetry, short stories, and articles written in the 1920s, and largely published in magazines and newspapers, are in a scrapbook of clippings. Reception of Furniss's novels, including Gay, Snow, and The Layman Looks at Doctors, is documented in reviews gathered into two scrapbooks. The Papers also include a draft for The Dreamland Tree, an unpublished novel completed in 1952 close to the end of Furniss's life. The correspondence of Furniss's son, W. Todd Furniss, reveal his endeavor to have The Dreamland Tree published following his mother's death.

The Papers also include personal effects, such as calling cards and photographs.

Dates

  • 1919-1960

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Ruth Pine Furniss Papers is 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

Gift of W. Todd Furniss (Yale 1942), 1983.

Arrangement

Organized into three series: I. W. Todd Furniss Correspondence, 1958-1960; II. Writings, 1926-1952; and III. Other Papers, 1919-1940.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.furniss

Overview

The Papers contain writings and other papers of American author Ruth Pine Furniss. Furniss's writings drew on her struggle with mental illness and her exposure to various medical treatments. Her career as an author is documented in various material, including drafts, printed versions of her writings, contracts with publishers, and copyright records. Some of her poetry, short stories, and articles written in the 1920s, and largely published in magazines and newspapers, are in a scrapbook of clippings. Reception of Furniss's novels, including Gay, Snow, and The Layman Looks at Doctors, is documented in reviews gathered into two scrapbooks. The Papers also include a draft for The Dreamland Tree, an unpublished novel completed in 1952. The correspondence of Furniss's son, W. Todd Furniss, reveal his endeavor to have The Dreamland Tree published following his mother's death.

Ruth Pine Furniss (1893-1957)

Ruth Kellogg Pine Furniss was born on March 2, 1893 to Charles LeRoy and Grace Eddy Kellogg Pine in Lansingburg, New York. She attended the Emma Willard School (Troy, New York) and Miss Porter’s School (Farmington, Connecticut). She studied short story writing with Dr. Blanche Colton Williams at Columbia University and went on to publish a number of short stories and novels.

It is believed Furniss suffered from manic-depression, which was treated through periods of institutionalization, shock-therapy, a topectomy, and ultimately, a lobotomy. Furniss’s writings drew on her struggle with mental illness and her exposure to various medical treatments, as can be seen in her novels Gay (1928) and Snow (1929), and The Dreamland Tree (completed in 1952 after Furniss received a topectomy and shock therapy). Furniss published The Layman Looks at Doctors (1929) under the pseudonyms S.W. and J.T. Pierce, who were a fictional couple.

In 1912 Furniss married Dr. Henry Dawson Furniss (d. 1942), with whom she had five children, three of whom survived childhood (Henry Dawson, Junior; James P.; and W. Todd). The Furniss family lived in Pelham, New York and New York City. During World War II Furniss served as a Gray Lady with the Red Cross. Furniss was hospitalized at several points during her life for what may have been manic-depression. At the end of her life she was hospitalized at Pilgrim State and Central Islip (Long Island). Furniss died of a heart attack in December 1957 at the age of 64.

Processing Information

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization, in 2010. Printed material were removed from the Papers and catalogued separately at an earlier point in time. Former call number: Uncat Za Furniss.
Title
Guide to the Ruth Pine Furniss Papers
Author
by H. Dean
Date
2010
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

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

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.