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Bessie (Elizabeth F.) Breuer papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

Personal Papers


Writings by Bessie Breuer

Writings by Others


Henry Varnum Poor

Bessie (Elizabeth F.) Breuer papers, 1926-1972 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: Bessie (Elizabeth F.) Breuer papers, 1926-1972Add to your cart.

ID: 1/1/MSS 203

Primary Creator: Breuer, Bessie, (b. 1893)

Extent: 24.0 Boxes

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.

Subjects: 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.

Forms of Material: Bergman, Ingrid, 1915-1982 - Correspondence, Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992 - Correspondence, Breuer, Bessie, b. 1893 - Correspondence, Breuer, Bessie, b. 1893 - Manuscripts, Correspondence., 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, Photographs, Screenplays., Sketches., Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968. - Correspondence, Toomer, Marjorie - Correspondence

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

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.

Biographical Note

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.

Subject/Index Terms

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.

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Accruals: Additions 2017, 2018.

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

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.

Preferred Citation: [Item], Bessie Breuer papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Personal Papers],
[Series 2: Correspondence],
[Series 3: Writings by Bessie Breuer],
[Series 4: Writings by Others],
[Series 5: Photographs],
[Series 6: Henry Varnum Poor],

Series 5: PhotographsAdd to your cart.
Box 20Add to your cart.
Folder 1: PhotographsAdd to your cart.

Bessie Breuer  (12 photos), n.d.     

Bessie Breuer walking, n.d.

Bessie Breuer and companions at Stork Club , n.d.

Bessie Breuer and woman—proof sheet,(2)  n.d.

Bessie Breuer and man (HVP?), n.d.

Bessie Breuer and man (HVP?) and boy (Peter?), n.d.

Bessie Breuer and man, color photo (2), n.d.

Rosa Mostova—newspaper or magazine clipping, n.d.

Mike and 400lb turtle  Hub’s Pier, 2/6/50

Sue 2 years old, 2/50

Suzy 3 year old, undated

Envelope with pictures of Victoria  Sent by Dorothea, 1950

Cast of Sundown Beach, undated.

Cast of Sundown Beach (names listed on back, undated

Folder 2: Kay BoyleAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: UnidentifiedAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Postcards, blankAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Additional PhotographsAdd to your cart.

Photograph of Lotte Lenya and Bessie Breuer, circa 1948

Photograph of Bessie Breuer with Marion Hargrove at the Stork Club, circa 1946

Unidentified family snapshots circa 1960s, 1970s

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Personal Papers],
[Series 2: Correspondence],
[Series 3: Writings by Bessie Breuer],
[Series 4: Writings by Others],
[Series 5: Photographs],
[Series 6: Henry Varnum Poor],

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