Browse: Collections Digital Content Subjects Creators Record Groups

Ruby Cohn collection of Kay Boyle letters


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 0

Ruby Cohn collection of Kay Boyle letters, 1922-19 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Email Us Contact Us About This Collection

Collection Overview

Title: Ruby Cohn collection of Kay Boyle letters, 1922-19Add to your cart.

ID: 1/1/MSS 235

Primary Creator: Boyle, Kay, (1902-1992)

Other Creators: Cohn, Ruby

Extent: 1.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Arranged by material type.

Subjects: Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992, Cohn, Ruby.

Forms of Material: Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992 - Correspondence, Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992 - Manuscripts, Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992 - Photographs, Cohn, Ruby. - Correspondence, Correspondence., Manuscripts for publication., Photographs

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Ruby Cohn Collection of Kay Boyle Letters contains materials dating from 1922 through 1994 in the form of autobiographical writings, correspondence, and miscellaneous documents.  The draft of her autobiography included in this collection appears to be the full text submitted to Gale Research and includes a note from Kay describing the status with publishers. The correspondence is made up of approximately 180 letters, nearly all of them from Kay Boyle to Ruby Cohn. There are two photographs of Kay Boyle contained within this series; they depict Kay in her adolescence and elderly years. All of the press cuttings are about Kay Boyle and her works, some with notes from Kay and others following her death.  The miscellaneous documents folder contains copies of some of Kay Boyle's writings (most under one page) in addition to notes on Kay's life, though the origin of these notes is unknown.

Biographical Note

Kay Boyle was born in 1902 and was a member of the American expatriate movement of the 1920s and 1930s.  As a young woman Boyle studied architecture at the Ohio Mechanics Institute in Cincinnati.  Boyle's first contribution to a national publication was a letter to the editor, which appeared in Harriet Monroe's Poetry: A Magazine of Verse in 1921.

Sometime in 1925 Boyle became involved in This Quarter, a literary review, which published her work in the first three issues.  Her first published pieces had been poems in Poetry, Broom, Forum, and Contact. In 1929 the Crosbys' Black Sun Press published Boyle's first book, titled Short Stories, in a limited edition of 185 copies.

In the late 1930's Boyle befriended several of the period's most notable writers, including James Joyce and Gertrude Stein, as well as Robert McAlmon.  In addition to lending advice as a fellow artist, McAlmon helped her to leave Duncan Colony and provided financial assistance when funds were low.  Although they never produced a collaborative work during his lifetime, Boyle revisited McAlmon's 1938 autobiography after his death, adding chapters that gave her perspective on the events he described.  The result was a revised edition of Being Geniuses Together, published in 1968.  During this time Boyle met Joseph Franckenstein, an Austrian baron, mountain climber, skier, and scholar.  In 1943 Franckenstein and Boyle were married.  He became an American citizen that year, and as an OSS officer, parachuted into France to help the Resistance.  Much of Boyle's World War II writing is inspired by Franckenstein.  He and Boyle were in Germany during the occupation when Boyle turned out some of the finest postwar fiction for the New Yorker (collected in 1951 in The Smoking Mountain). He also was with her when she was accused of communist sympathies during the McCarthy era of the early fifties, and consequently lost his government job.  Though the charges were fought and ultimately dismissed, the blacklisting and the time and resources required to fight the charges exacted immeasurable harm on their personal and professional lives.  Shortly after moving to San Francisco, where Boyle had been appointed to the creative writing faculty of San Francisco State College in 1963, Franckenstein died of cancer.  They had two children. Boyle died in 1992.

Subject/Index Terms

Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992
Cohn, Ruby.

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including 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.

Related Materials:

Kay Boyle Papers, Collection 90

Alice A. Kahler Collection of Kay Boyle Letters, Collection 150

Herman and Fay Rappaport Collection of Kay Boyle Papers, Collection 87

Kay Boyle and Joseph Franckenstein Correspondence, Collection 184

Kay Boyle Manuscript of The Crazy Hunter, Collection 80

Preferred Citation: [Item], Ruby Cohn collection of Kay Boyle letters, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Mini-autobiography: The FamilyAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Mini-autobiography: The PlacesAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Chronology, 1922 -- 1963Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Quotes from early Kay Boyle correspondenceAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: 1970 -- 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 6: 1977 -- 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 7: 1980 -- 1982Add to your cart.
Folder 8: 1983 -- 1984Add to your cart.
Folder 9: 1985 -- 1987Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Undated correspondence and empty envelopesAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Press cuttingsAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Miscellaneous documentsAdd to your cart.

A Calendar for Ruby - poem by Kay Boyle

Memorial tribute to George Moscone by Kay Boyle

Kay Boyle responses to questions on social issues

Notes on Kay Boyle by unidentified person

Page Generated in: 0.163 seconds (using 263 queries).
Using 2.98MB of memory. (Peak of 3.28MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-2.1
Copyright ©2012 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign