Zane Grey large collection of 89 letters and ephemera
Date Published: 1902 to 1936
Binding: No binding
Zane Grey (1872-1939) was a prolific American author who idealized the American frontier, best known for his popular adventure novels and stories associated with the Old West.
This is a unique and varied collection of archival documents which offers a vista into Grey’s popularity as a best-selling author and celebrity of legendary status. The collection contains approximately 89 letters, 1919-1936, accompanied by news clippings and other enclosures. The letters have envelopes and are addressed to Grey. Many of the envelopes have “ans x” or another designation in Grey’s hand. Several have drafts of replies written by Grey or are annotated by him. In addition, there are: 5 photos (two of Grey, one at a fishing camp with Captain Mitchell and others, and the other of Grey fishing on the Rogue River); 2 negatives; 2 cancelled signed checks (Lillian E. Robertson, Grey’s cousin by marriage and illustrator of his many books; the other to Jess Smith, Grey’s guide who married Robertson, $1,000 as a wedding gift from Grey); untitled and undated ms. (4 pp. in pencil) beginning “Oh, such a headache as I have.”; ms., n.d., “Poetry and What It Means to Me” re Grey receiving a copy of The Golden Treasury from his mother, 3 pp.; leaflet advertising Zane Grey and the Pueblo, compliments of the Zane Grey Hotel; ts. synopsis for The Arizona Riders, 2 pp.; "A Day on the Delaware", Recreation, 16, no. 8 (May 1902), Grey’s first magazine publication; ad from Pacific Motor Boat pertaining to the Red Wing Moto Co., Grey’s first choice of a marine engine; Tales of Swordfish and Tuna. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1917. Tear sheets of illustrations and line drawings. Approximately 238 pp.
Most of the letters have more interesting content, some about outdoor life and fishing, some from other authors or would-be authors about story ideas. 4 letters are from Grey’s girlfriends. There are also 5 family letters to or written by Romer Zane, Grey’s son. In one letter, Romer tells his dad to curb his spending. Here is a sampling of the general letters:
• ALS (2 pp. with photo and envelope) from John Timothy Stone (1868-1954; Presbyterian clergyman, moderator of the 125th general assembly of the Presbyterian church in 1913-4), 28 January 1922, has just finished reading To the Last Man, invites Grey to spend a week with him at his summer house in Colorado, recounts defending Grey’s work in a literature course when he attended Harvard.
• ALS (4 pp., 2 envelopes) from Louisa Watkins, 20 January 1922, asks Grey several questions about the writing process and advice for beginning writers. • ALS (2 pp. with envelope) from Eleanor Jackson, 17 July 1924, has just read To the Last Man, seeks advice from Grey about writing and says that she has never gone to school.
• ALS (2 pp. with envelope) from Michael Sterlace, 5 November 1924, seeks Grey’s advice, “an interested reader of books and magazine” with limited education, has written a story entitled “Through the Seven Gates of Hell”. At the end of the letter is the following written in pencil in Grey’s hand: “I think it only kind to tell you that judging from your letter, I could say that you have not studied the English language enough to be able to express yourself in a story that would be accepted for publication. This is a defect that can be remedied by hard work and application. Hoping you eventually meet with success.”
• ALS (2 pp. with envelope) from Maurice Salzman, 13 January 1926, compliments Grey on writing The Vanishing American, seeks Grey’s advice about writing, is writing to other authors.
• ALS (2 pp. with envelope) from Zane Irwin (a twelve-year-old girl), 29 January 1926, points out that they have the same first names and may even be cousins, would like to be personally acquainted with him, mentions The Vanishing American.
• ALS (1 p. with envelope) from Mrs. I.D.S. McCall, 31 January 1926, asks whether Grey lives in Death Valley California, she lives in the Ozarks, has been told that Grey has a character in one of his books based on her husband, Dr. McCall, a physician and surgeon, who “left this country – August 7th 1915 in company with a woman and three children”.
• ALS (1 p. with envelope) from Margaret Anderson, post-marked 9 October 1928, is writing an essay for her English class on Catalina Island, spent some time during the summer at Catalina and “admired his beautiful home”, would like Grey to comment about Catalina.
• ALS (1 p. with envelope) from Frances Butterick, 12 June 1931, requests Grey’s autograph.
• ALS (1 p.) from Belle E. Forbush, Wentworth Library, Centre Sandwich, N.H., 12 August 1931, congratulates Grey on his long association with Harper & Brothers, requests an autographed photo of Grey for the library’s collection of authors’ pictures.
• TLS (3 pp.) from W.R. MacIlrath, 15 December 1920, thanks Grey for his letter of 1 December, he and Grey are polar opposites with regard to money, he wants to make lots of money, wants to publish a vocational encyclopedia if he ever gets wealthy, writing for outdoor magazines.
• TLS (2 pp.) from George H. Young, (Young Mines Company Ltd, Madizelle Mining Co.), 19 December 1924, congratulates Grey on his article about deer hunting in the Arizona Republican, says that the slaughter of wild animals is criminal, invites Grey to his camp near Phoenix.
• TLS (1 p. with envelope) from Leslie C. Collins, The Cornell Daily Sun, post-marked 18 February 1927, mentions that Grey is an alumnus of the Beta Rho chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity at the University of Pennsylvania, asks Grey of he could write an article for his newspaper.
• TLS (1 p. and 2 smaller sheets with envelope) from W.T. Shepherd, Columbia University School, 13 March 1928, is making a study of genius, has written to many other people, asks Grey several questions about creative imagination, sensitivity, and other factors.
• TLS (1 p. with envelope) from Walter A. Stevens, 1 October 1928, mentions that Grey has worked with Helen Cody Wetmore on The Last of the Great Scouts, sends Grey a synopsis of a story about his town, wants to know if Grey can review the synopsis and complete the story. At the bottom of the letter, Grey has written; “ZG away but | Cannot do this | Return syn”.
Collection on consignment with LDRB.
Good. Item #8519