Date Published: 1936-[1950s]
John Willard Toland (1912-2004) was an American writer and historian, best known for his best-selling biography of Adolf Hitler. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1971 for his history of World War II-era Japan entitled The Rising Sun.
This collection includes approximately 400 pp. of annotated tss. of stories and novellas, 1 ms. notebook (60 pp.), 60 letters, 50 b&w photos (army related, amateur shows and skits), and 4 programs.
The collection pertains to the early period of his career 1936 to 1950’s when he desperately aspired to be a playwright, short story writer, and novelist. Looking back on this unsuccessful period of his life as a writer, he claimed to have written 6 complete novels, 26 plays, and a hundred short stories before completing his first sale, a short story for which The American Magazine paid him $165 in 1954.
• More than half of the collection is comprised of stories written by Toland. Some of the stories are complete and others are fragmentary. Toland often re-used sheets of paper, re-writing and revising his stories. The following is a list of the some of the stories in this collection: “The Cheapskate”; “Nothing But the Truth”; “All Roads Lead to Rome”; “No Cure—No Pay”; “Spite Fence” re-titled “The Wooden Curtain”; “The Square Hole”; “Old Pal”; “Civilization”; “The Gay Ghost”; “Everything Happens in Brooklyn”; “The Sandwich Witch”; “Girl Bites Dog or Disturbed Dogs, Inc.”; “Stuff of Dreams”; “Art for Art’s Sake”; “Tugboats for New York Harbor”; poem about the Walrus and the Carpenter; “Cuppa Cawfee”; “The Gentle Soul”; “The Robot Don’t Make, Ain’t?”; “Bread and Butter Woman”; “Once Over Lightly”; “Rabbits”; and “March Fifteenth Deadline”.
• There is a file of letters of a professional nature regarding the publication of his work, mainly letters of rejection from magazines and literary agencies.
• A few letters concern his time at Williams College and the Phillips Exeter Academy. Most of the letters are of a personal nature which he exchanged with his mother, wife (Dorothy), and other family members.
• There are also documents relating to his service as a soldier in the US army.
This collection is on consignment with LDRB.