Papers (1952-1986 [Bulk: 1984-1986], undated) documenting the life and literary career of Eleanor Clark (1913-1996), the noted Los Angeles, California-born American travel writer and novelist, who was married to the iconic poet, historian, and literary critic, Robert Penn Warren (#1169-014), and who was mother of poet and scholar, Rosanna Phelps Warren (#1169-079) and of sculptor Gabriel Warren; consisting of manuscripts, proofs, oversized materials, and loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection and relating mainly to her travel book Tamrart: 13 Days in the Sahara (1984); her novel Camping Out (1986), her short story The Fortress and Raggedy Ann (1982); and her travel book Rome and a Villa (1952).
Clark became an ardent supporter of labor and leftist politics, especially after graduating from Vassar. She moved to New York and became friends with many Trotskyites. In 1937 she traveled to Mexico to work as a translator for Leon Trotsky then living there in exile from the Soviet Union. While in Mexico, she married one of Trotsky's secretaries, Jan Frankel. This marriage was short-lived.
During the Second World War, Clark worked for the U.S. Office of Strategic Services and her political extremism began to wane. She also began to write. In 1946, she published her first novel The Bitter Box, which followed the spiritual journey of a conservative bank clerk, searching for meaning in left wing politics and personal relationships. The novel earned her a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation and an award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. After the war, Clark took several trips to Italy to study its culture and architecture and became interested in travel writing. In 1952, she wrote Rome and a Villa, a non-fiction account of her travels that establisher her status as a travel writer.
On 7 December 1952, Clark married the poet, novelist and critic Robert Penn Warren (#1169-014) in Roxbury, Connecticut. They had two children together: Rosanna (#1169-079) and Gabriel Warren. In 1961, Clark and her family spent five months on the south coast of Brittany, France. This trip inspired her travel book, The Oysters of Locmariaquer (pronounced "loc-maria-care") (1964). Highly popular and readable, the work investigated the famous local oyster industry, including its history, myths, practices, methods, technologies, and place in local culture. The book earned her the National Book Award in 1965. Eleanor Clark and Robert Penn Warren are the only married couple to win the National Book Award.
In her later years, Clark began to suffer from macular degeneration, a disease which causes progressive blindness, but she continued to write. In 1977, she published her last major work, Eyes, Etc., which followed her struggles with her illness. As the disease progressed, she had to write with black markers on an oversized drawing boards. Clark died in a Boston retirement home on 19 February 1996, seven years after her husband's death. She was 82 year old.
"Eleanor Clark Papers, 1881-1993 [Bulk: 1933-1986](#YCAL MSS 315)" 36.71 lin. ft. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, CT. http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.eclark
"Eleanor Clark". [Biographical Sketch] Gale Literature Resource Center. Accessed 11 November 2016. http://go.galegroup.com/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T002&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=MultiTab&searchType=BasicSearchForm¤tPosition=2&docId=GALE|H1000018290&docType=Biography&sort=RELEVANCE&contentSegment=&prodId=LitRC&contentSet=GALE|H1000018290&searchId=R3&userGroupName=ncliveecu&inPS=true. .
"Eleanor Clark". [Biographical Sketch] Vassar College Encyclopedia. 2014. Accessed 11 November 2016. https://vcencyclopedia.vassar.edu/alumni/eleanor-clark.html.
Author: Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of John Leche, 11/11/2016, 3/16/2017.
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 106 sub-collections of the papers of Southern American writers, illustrators, composers, and publishers. 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.
Author: Jonathan Dembo, 11/2/2016
Stuart Wright Collection: Eleanor Clark Papers (#1169-070) are arranged in original order in 2 series.
Series 1: Cary Addition #1 to the Stuart Wright Collection consisting of papers (1952-1986 [Bulk: 1984-1986]) documenting the life and literary career of Eleanor Clark (1913-1996), an American travel writer and novelist; consisting of manuscripts, proofs, oversized materials, and loose manuscripts transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection relating mainly to her publications Tamrart: 13 Days in the Sahara; her novel Camping Out; her short story The Fortress and Raggedy Ann; and several other works. Clark was married to Robert Penn Warren (#1169-014) and was the mother of Rosanna Warren (#1169-079). Source: Cary Addition Boxes #071.015, 081.007, 082.020, 096,000, 101.000. Series 1 is housed in Box 1.a-1.i, os1-3.
Series 2: Ludlow Addition #2 to the Stuart Wright Collection consisting of papers (1964-2003 [Bulk: 1984-1986]) documenting the life and literary career of Eleanor Clark (1913-1996), an American travel writer and novelist; consisting of loose manuscripts transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection relating mainly to her publications Tamrart: 13 Days in the Sahara; her novel Camping Out; and her travel book Rome and a Villa. Clark was married to Robert Penn Warren (#1169-014) and was the mother of Rosanna Warren (#1169-079). Source: Cary Addition Boxes #167.002, 167.003, 167.008, 167.023. Series 2 is housed in Box 1.j-1.m.
Purchased from Stuart Wright, 10/27/2011, 7/20/2012
Processing, Preliminary inventory & Container List, by Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of Nathaniel King & Jay Colin Menees, 2/16/2016, 3/29/2016; Final inventory by Jonathan Dembo, 3/29/2016; Finding aid by Jonathan Dembo, 11/11/2016; Biographical Sketch, by Jonathan Dembo with the assistance of Dale Wetterhahn & John Leche, 4/26/2016, 11/11/2016, rev. 2/10/2017; Encoding revised by Jonathan Dembo, 2/10/2017, 3/16/2017.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
Eleanor Clark Papers, 1881-1993 [Bulk: 1933-1986] (#YCAL MSS 315) 36.71 lin. ft., Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, CT USA