Bessie (Elizabeth F.) Breuer papers, 1926-1972
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Brief Description:

The bulk of the collection consists of letters to Bessie (Elizabeth F.) Breuer and manuscripts by her, with manuscripts for her last novel, Take Care of My Roses, making up the bulk of the manuscript portion of the collection.

Of note in the collection are letters from Ingrid Bergman, Kay Boyle, John Dewey, John Dos Passos, Julie Harris, Ernest Hemingway, John Houseman, Elia Kazan, Carson McCullers, Henry Miller, John Steinbeck, and Marjorie Toomer.  The collection also contains notes for essays by Breuer on Henry Miller, Ingrid Bergman, Evelyn Dewey, and John Steinbeck, as well as a typed manuscript of 30 Stories by Kay Boyle and two typed manuscripts of the screenplay for Hilda Crane. The collection also contains numerous sketches by Breuer's artist husband, Henry Varnum Poor.

Held at:
Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
605 Agriculture Dr.
MC 6632
Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: 618-453-2516
Fax: 618-453-3451
Email: speccoll [at]
Record Series Number: 1/1/MSS 203
Created by: Breuer, Bessie, (b. 1893)
Volume: 24.0 Boxes
Acquired: Additions 2017, 2018.
Arrangement: Arranged in six series: (1) Personal papers, (2) Correspondence, (3) Writings by Bessie Breuer, (4) Writing by others, (5) Photographs, (6) Henry Varnum Poor.
Biographical Note for Breuer, Bessie, (b. 1893) : Bessie Breuer nee Freedman was born October 19, 1893 in Cleveland, Ohio to Samuel and Julia Freedman.  After graduating from the Missouri State University School of Journalism, she worked, first, as a reporter for the St. Louis Times, then as an editor for the New York Tribune.    She left that position to become the national director of magazine publicity for the American Red Cross at the end of World War I, and subsequently joined the staff of the Ladies Home Journal.  In 1925 she married her third husband, the painter Henry Varnum Poor.  Part of the expatriate movement, Breuer moved to France and began writing fiction under the encouragement of Kay Boyle and others.  After successfully publishing a few short stories, she published her first novel, Memory of Love, in 1934.  Between 1934 and 1961, Bessie Breuer published four novels, one collection of short stories, and a play, Sundown Beach, which was produced by Elia Kazan in 1948.
Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.
Subject Index
Bergman, Ingrid, 1915-1982
Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992
Breuer, Bessie, b. 1893
Dewey, Evelyn, 1889-
Miller, Henry, 1891-1980
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970.
Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968.
Genres/Forms of Material
Bergman, Ingrid, 1915-1982 - Correspondence
Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992 - Correspondence
Breuer, Bessie, b. 1893 - Correspondence
Breuer, Bessie, b. 1893 - Manuscripts
Dewey, John, 1859-1952 - Correspondence
Dos Passos, John, 1896-1970 - Correspondence
Harris, Julie. - Correspondence
Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961. - Correspondence
Houseman, John - Correspondence
Kazan, Elia - Correspondence
Manuscripts for publication.
McCullers, Carson, 1917-1967. - Correspondence
Miller, Henry, 1891-1980 - Correspondence
Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968. - Correspondence
Toomer, Marjorie - Correspondence
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.
PreferredCitation: [Item], Bessie Breuer papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.