ECU | Joyner Library | Special Collections | Digital Collections
ECU Digital Collections Banner

Stuart Wright Collection: Andrew Nelson Lytle Papers, 1934-1984, undated

(Manuscript Collection #1169-006)

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Stuart Wright Collection: Andrew Nelson Lytle Papers
Creators: Lytle, Andrew Nelson, 1902-1995
Wright, Stuart T., 1948-
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1934–1984, undated) documenting the life and literary career of Andrew Nelson Lytle, the noted Southern American novelist, dramatist, literary critic, professor of English literature, and editor, who became a leader and spokesman for the Southern Agrarian literary movement, including correspondence, manuscript materials, typescripts and holographs, and printed materials.
Extent: 0.25 Cubic feet, 1 archival box; 56 items.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

21 June 2010, 0.25 cubic feet; 1 archival box; 56 items. 342 p. Papers (1934 – 1981, undated) documenting the life and literary career of Andrew Nelson Lytle, the noted Southern American novelist, dramatist, literary critic, professor of English literature, and editor, who became a leader and spokesman for the Southern Agrarian literary movement, including correspondence, manuscript materials, typescripts and holographs, and printed materials. Vendor: Stuart Wright.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Stuart Wright Collection - Andrew Nelson Lytle Papers (#1169-006) East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA

Acquisition Information

  • Purchased from Stuart Wright, 6/21/2010

Processing Information

  • Processing, Container list & Preliminary inventory by Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of Stephanie Biggs, revised 11/19/2010; final inventory by Krystal Cook, revised 1/18/2011; revised by Douglas Tuers, 4/26/2011; Finding aid by Jonathan Dembo, 11/2/2011, revised by Dick Wolfe, 6/11/2012; Encoded by Jonathan Dembo, 7/3/2012; Encoding revised by Jonathan Dembo, 7/16/2012.


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Allen Nelson Lytle

Allen Nelson Lytle, the noted American biographer, novelist, dramatist, literary critic, educator, and editor, was born on 26 December 1902, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He graduated from Vanderbilt University where he met and associated with his fellow Southerners, the poets Robert Penn Warren and Allen Tate. Intending to be an actor, he studied theater at Yale and Oxford universities. In his 20s, he performed on Broadway but soon returned to the South never to depart. During the 1930s Lytle became a leading member of the Southern Agrarian literary movement and, perhaps, its most influential spokesman. He taught literature and creative writing at the University of Florida and later at Sewanee: The University of the South. He was the editor of the Sewanee Review from 1961 to 1973. He died in 12 December 1995, in Monteagle, TN.

Stuart T. Wright

The Andrew Nelson Lytle Papers were collected and compiled by Stuart T. Wright. Wright was born on 30 March 1948 in Roxboro, North Carolina. He was the son of Frances Critcher Wright (1919-2010) and Wallace Lyndon Wright (1921-1965). An avid reader as a boy, Wright developed a strong interest in the American Civil War and with his father toured many of the war’s battlefields searching for artifacts and studying the history of the era. At the age of 12, he won a statewide “Johnny Reb” essay contest and by the age of 15 had visited every major battlefield of the Civil War. Wright attended Roxboro High School, from which he graduated in 1966. It was during these years that he developed an interest in collecting historical books and manuscripts and began relationships with a number of local collectors and dealers.

In the fall of 1966, Wright enrolled at Wake Forest University as a pre-med, history, German and music student. Wright earned a B.A. in German and music in 1970. As a graduate student at Wake Forest University, Wright focused his studies on Southern history and literature, his ambition being to build an authoritative Southern Studies collection for the university. He received a master's degree in Southern Studies in 1973 and a second master's degree in U.S. History in 1980. Additionally Wright holds a professional degree from England in a medically related field. It was while studying there that he became interested in Thomas Wolfe, the noted North Carolina native and novelist.

Following his graduation from Wake Forest, Wright began to develop his collections more systematically, acquiring many first editions of Southern writers. In 1976 he began teaching at Reynolda House, a Wake Forest University affiliate dedicated to the arts and arts education. Wright taught classes in American music as well as human anatomy for art students. In 1978 Wright became Lecturer in Education at Wake Forest University. During his 10 years teaching at Wake Forest University, Wright authored numerous works of Civil War and North Carolina history, and dozens of articles, bibliographies, essays and reviews on Southern literature and the writers whose papers he collected. In addition, he developed a strong interest in the writings of the English poet Donald Davie and the Minnesota-born poet Richard Eberhart, whose works he also collected.

At the same time, Wright also began a career as a publisher by starting Palaemon Press in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. By 1984, Palaemon Press had produced 316 titles, consisting mainly of broadsides and limited editions, of the poetry and essays of such Southern writers as A. R. Ammons, Fred Chappell, James Dickey, William Goyen, George Garrett, and Eudora Welty. He also built comprehensive collections and compiled book-length descriptive bibliographies of A.R. Ammons, Andrew Lytle, Reynolds Price, James Dickey, William Goyen, Walker Percy, Randall Jarrell, Peter Taylor, George Garrett, Richard Eberhart, and Donald Davie. As well as serving as editor of the contemporary literature section of the Bulletin of Bibliography throughout the 1980s, Wright also contributed pioneering checklists of the writings of Southern poets Henry Taylor, Charles Wright, and Robert Morgan. For Meckler Publishing he served as series editor for a number of book-length bibliographies and checklists. In recognition of these accomplishments, when he was just 32, Wright was elected to membership in New York's prestigious Grolier Club.

All of these works are represented in the Stuart Wright Collection. In his dealings with these various authors Wright made consistent efforts to acquire personal papers, letters and documents, photographs, manuscripts, drafts, proofs, and published materials to supplement his continuing activities as a purchaser of their works. In this way, Wright acquired perhaps a majority of his overall collection. Over the years a number of biographers used Wright’s collection to aid their research. For example, James A. Grimshaw, Jr. used the collection extensively for his Robert Penn Warren: A Descriptive Bibliography, 1922-1979 published by the University Press of Virginia, in 1981 and Craig S. Abbott did so as well for John Crowe Ransom: A Descriptive Bibliography, published by Whitston Publishing Company, Inc. in 1999. Joseph Blotner also used the Wright collection in researching Robert Penn Warren: A Biography, published by Random House in 1997.

Nevertheless, from the mid- to late 1980s, Wright began to look for a permanent home for his collection, which he felt had grown too large and yet had been too little used. Unable to find a repository willing to accept the entire collection under suitable conditions, he sold a number of individual author collections to Vanderbilt University, Duke University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Emory University. It was not until 2010 that he reached agreement to house the remaining, and largest part of his collection at East Carolina University. The Stuart Wright Collection in the East Carolina Manuscript Collection of J.Y. Joyner Library includes 22 sub-collections of the papers of Southern American writers. The related Stuart Wright Book Collection holds several thousand volumes by or about many of the same writers. Many of these volumes contain annotations, inscriptions, and insertions that reveal much about the authors in the collection and their relationships with one another. In 1998 Wright moved to England, and since 2001 he has resided in the medieval market town of Ludlow, in Shropshire.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The collection contains material relating to Andrew Nelson Lytle’s life and literary career from 1934 to 1984, including material compiled and added to the collection by Stuart Wright. The material covers most of his career except for the later years. The material is especially helpful for documenting Lytle’s relationships with George Core and the origin and development of his literary ideas and style. The collection contains versions of Lytle’s works and materials given to him or submitted to him for review, including: The Dead, Faulkner, The Marquis, Myth in the Mind of the Writer, Wake for the Living, and Last Sheep.

The Andrew Nelson Lytle Papers are arranged in original order in four series.

Series 1: Correspondence and Manuscript Materials, 1937-1981, contains letters between Andrew Nelson Lytle and George Core, his successor as editor of The Sewanee Review; also condemnation proceedings relating to Tennessee Valley Authority vs. R. L. Lytle, Guntersville, Alabama, 1937-1981. Series one is located in box 1.a – 1.b.

Series 2: Typescripts and Holographs, 1934, 1964, Undated, consists of edited manuscripts of literary essays written by Andrew Nelson Lytle, 1934 and 1964. Series two is located in box 1.c-1.j

Series 3: Printed Materials, 1964-1970, contains printed materials by and about Andrew Nelson Lytle, including Andrew Nelson Lytle: A Bibliography of His Writings (1920-1969), an honorary doctorate award from Kenyon College, and his Founder’s Day Address at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, 1964-1970. Series three is contained in box 1.k – 1.m.

Series 4: Loose Manuscripts Transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, 1960-1984, contains loose manuscript materials by and about Andrew Nelson Lytle, including, 1960-1984, found in the Stuart Wright Book Collection. Perhaps the most notable item is a holograph draft of Robert Penn Warren’s poems Prayer of the Hairless Ape & In the Fall of 1984. The loose manuscripts are linked to the book of origin by their Stuart Wright Book Collection Number (e.g. Stuart Wright Book Collection #38.4) Series three is contained in box 1.n – 1.p.

Note to Researchers: Series 4: Loose Manuscripts Transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection consists of items found laid in works in the Stuart Wright Book Collection by, about, associated with, or owned by Andrew Lytle. They include notes and bookmarks inserted by Lytle, Stuart Wright, and others; also notes, cards, correspondence, clippings, advertising, reviews, ephemera, etc. relating to his published works. The loose manuscripts are linked to the books from which they came by their Stuart Wright Book Collection Number (e.g. Stuart Wright Book Collection #40.15).

Related Collections Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Jump to a section?

Series 1:
Correspondence & Manuscript Materials, 1937-1981
  • Box 1#1169-006.1
    • Folder a#1169-006.1.a
      Lytle, Andrew, Editor of Sewanee Review. Correspondence with George Core, University of Georgia Press [Correspondence] (1968-1981) TL, TLS. 16 items. 37 p.
    • Folder b#1169-006.1.b
      Tennessee Valley Authority vs. R. L. Lytle, Guntersville, Ala., including Order Declaration of Taking and Petition, in Citation No. 309 Condemnation Proceedings, U.S. District Court for the Middle Justice of Tennessee [Legal Documents] (23 Sept.- 11 December 1937) Printed Forms. 4 items. 10 p. Note: Stuart Wright note: "The document that ordered the seizure of "Cornsilk", the Lytle farm in Alabama. Flooded by the TVA. Figures into Lytle's writings and interviews."
Series 2:
Typescripts & Holographs, 1934, 1964, Undated
Series 3:
Printed Materials, 1964-1970
  • Box 1#1169-006.1
    • Folder k#1169-006.1.k
      Andrew Nelson Lytle: A Bibliography of His Writings (1920-1969), by Noel Polk, The Mississippi Quarterly, vol. 23, no. 4 [Bibliographies] (Fall 1970) pp. 435-495; Printed & Typescript. 2 items. 31 p. Note: also includes cover letter from Noel Polk to Andrew Lytle (26 April 1971) TLS; Signed "For Andrew Lytle, with thanks for his help" by Noel Polk on first page.
    • Folder l#1169-006.1.l
      Doctor of Letters Award to Andrew Nelson Lytle [Broadside] by President, Kenyon College (30 May 1965) Printed. 1 item. 1 p.
    • Folder m#1169-006.1.m
      Christian University and the Word, A: An Address for Founders' Day [Pamphlet] by Andrew Lytle, The University of the South, Sewanee, TN (1964) Printed. 1 item. 6 p.
Series 4:
Loose Manuscripts Transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, 1960-1984
  • Box 1#1169-006.1
    • Folder n#1169-006.1.n
      Forest of the Night, by Madison Jones [Books] (1960) Printed. 1 item. 1 p. Note: Stuart Wright note: "The dedication copy to Lytle"; Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #49.4
    • Folder o#1169-006.1.o
      The Form Discovered: Essays on the Achievement of Andrew Lytle, Edited by M. E. Bradford [Books] (1975) Printed. 2 items. 4 p. Note: "How Personhood Makes for History: A Wake for the Living: A Family Chronicle, by Andrew Lytle" in Crown Publishers News (4 July 1975) Illustrated mimeographed typescript; 2 copies; Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #50.32
    • Folder p#1169-006.1.p
      The Velvet Horn, by Andrew Lytle [Books] (1984) Printed. 1 item. 1 p. Note: "Prayer of the Hairless Ape" & "In the Fall of 1984" by Robert Penn Warren [Poems] (30 September 1984) Edited holograph; Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #50.34
What is this page? Click here to learn more abou this webpage
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. To see what's been digitized in this collection, please click on the "View Digitized Objects" tab, or look for hyperlinks in the container list
ECU Centennial Logo

Finding Aids for Special Collections and University Archives

© 2002-2011 Joyner Library, East Carolina University

Contact Us ° Digital Collections
Feedback Form
Feedback Analytics