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Mary Ellen Chase Literary Manuscripts, 1937-1968
7 boxes (3 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 33

Abstract:
The bulk of the collection consists of manuscripts of novels, children's books, memoirs, biblical studies, articles, and book reviews.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The manuscripts are open for research according to the regulations of the Smith College Mortimer Rare Book Room without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

The Mary Ellen Chase Literary Manuscripts are the physical property of the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors of the works or their legal representatives.

Mortimer Rare Book Room
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

(The biographical note was written by Elizabeth Kates in 1999 for the Smith College Archives collection of Professor Chase's papers located in that collection.)

Mary Ellen Chase was born on February 24, 1887 in Blue Hill, Maine. Her parents were deeply religious Protestants and Mary Ellen was one of eight children who received a thorough biblical education as well as an academic one. She began writing at the age of sixteen and by her death on July 28, 1973, had published more than thirty essays, novels, and biographies.

At the age of nineteen, Chase took a leave from the University of Maine, where she was enrolled as an undergraduate, in order to teach in a one-room school in Buck's Harbor, Maine. Following her graduation, she taught for three years in Wisconsin at a coeducational boarding school and later for two years at a private girl's school in Chicago, Illinois. At that point in time, Chase fell ill and was advised by her doctor that a move to Montana would improve her health. During her time there, Chase taught public school and wrote two novels.

Upon full recovery, Chase took a teaching position at the University of Minnesota where she also studied and earned her MA in 1918 and later her Ph.D. in 1922. In 1926 she was hired by Smith College where she taught courses on the English novel and the King James Version of the Bible. During her time at Smith, Chase became a respected colleague, teacher, and friend to many. Her courses, taken by English majors and non-English majors alike, were some of the most popular on campus. In addition, Chase's home on Paradise Road became a favorite place for her students to go for good conversation and cookies. Despite her success as an author, teaching remained her true love throughout her career. She viewed teaching as the main source of meaning in her life. An extremely dedicated professor, Chase believed that "the personality of the teacher is more important than her intellectual attainments" and that "if the teacher has no enthusiasm for teaching and for subject matter, her students will learn little." She was very excited about her field of expertise and hoped to similarly inspire her students.

Mary Ellen Chase has come to be known as one of the great American novelists. Much of her work was inspired by her childhood in Maine and several of her novels are autobiographical. The Goodly Heritage (1932) and A Goodly Fellowship (1939) are about her childhood and how she became a teacher, respectively. Chase also wrote several books for children and more than one of her novels became best-sellers. Chase's popularity and skill at public speaking earned her many invitations to lecture around the country. She was awarded honorary degrees at the University of Maine, Bowdoin, and Colby Colleges, Smith College, and Northeastern University. Her work was also acknowledged by the Women's National Book Association in 1956 when she was awarded the Constance Lindsay Skinner Award.

After her retirement in 1955 at the age of sixty-eight, Chase continued to live on-campus with her long-time companion, Eleanor Duckett, and her dog, Gregory. She spent summers in Maine at her home, "Windswept," and journeyed to England where she took Hebrew classes at Cambridge in order to better understand the Old Testament. She also taught two adult education seminars on the Bible at Radcliffe College. In 1968, Smith College acknowledged her dedication to the students and the College with a new dormitory, the Mary Ellen Chase House.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Mary Ellen Chase Literary Manuscripts consist of 3 linear feet of material, dating from 1937 to 1968. The bulk of the collection consists of manuscripts of her novels, memoirs, biblical studies, articles, and book reviews, as well as a few miscellaneous personal items. The majority of the collection came to the Rare Book Room directly from Chase over a period of time, including items that were part of her estate. The manuscript of Dawn in Lyonnesse was given to the collection by Raymond P. Putman in memory of Natalie Starr Putman (Smith College Class of 1933). There are additional items that were donated by Eleanor Duckett and Esther C. Dunn. The letters of Mary Ellen Chase to Grace Cooper were given to the Library by Ann Gilbert McDonald.

The majority of Chase's literary manuscripts are located in other repositories. See the section entitled "Related Material" for assistance in finding other literary manuscripts. The Smith College Archives has files related to Chase's teaching career in the English Department of Smith College.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The manuscripts are open for research according to the regulations of the Smith College Mortimer Rare Book Room without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

The Mary Ellen Chase Literary Manuscripts are the physical property of the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors of the works or their legal representatives.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Mary Ellen Chase Literary Manuscripts, Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College.

History of the Collection

The majority of the collection came to the Rare Book Room directly from Chase over a period of time, including items that were part of her estate. The manuscript of Dawn in Lyonnesse was given to the collection by Raymond P. Putman in memory of Natalie Starr Putman (Smith College Class of 1933). There are additional items that were donated by Eleanor Duckett and Esther C. Dunn. The letters of Mary Ellen Chase to Grace Cooper were given to the Library by Ann Gilbert McDonald.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Mortimer Rare Book Room
William Allan Neilson Library
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2906
Fax: (413) 585-2904

Email: mrbr@smith.edu
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/rarebook
Language
English

Series Descriptions
(1947-1968)


This series contains a few personal items of Chase, a few letters written and/or received by her, the notebooks she kept during her study of Hebrew at Cambridge University and other miscellaneous items.

(1937-1968)


This series includes the manuscripts of a few of Chase's literary output, namely her novels and children's books, memoir and biblical studies.

(1933-1966)


Chase wrote extensively for popular magazines. Included in this series are the manuscripts of a few of the articles she wrote for this media. In addition, there are some speeches and other materials whose purpose is not clearly identified.

(1954-1966)


This series includes reviews by Mary Ellen Chase, arranged alphabetically by the author.

Contents List
SERIES I. PERSONAL PAPERS
(1947-1968)


Appreciation certificate, College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minnesota
, 1968 Jun 8

Box 1: folder 1
Correspondence of Mary Ellen Chase (to and from)
, 1906-1968

Box 1: folder 2a-n
Letter. ALS to Grace Cooper, Orono, Maine. Ms. Chase describes in detail her room, her students and school-teaching and the landscape in South Brookville, Maine. [8 pages and envelope]
, 1906 Apr 20, postmark

Box 1: folder 2a
Letter. ALS to Grace Cooper, Orono, Maine. Ms. Chase describes the sea, her arrival at South Brooksville in the rain, a "foolish" girl who wandered into her schoolhouse, her boarding house and her teaching ("rain or shine--well or ill.") [4 pages and envelope]
, 1906 May 10, postmark

Box 1: folder 2b
Letter. ALS to Grace Cooper, Orono, Maine. Ms. Chase discusses the end of school, her vacation plans and the difficulties she had driving the family cow home. [7 pages and envelope]
, 1906 Jul 4

Box 1: folder 2c
Letter. ALS to Grace Cooper, Orono, Maine. Ms. Chase describes the sea and her feelings at a clam bake. She also writes about New England "country" people and about the writers who try to portray them. [19 pages and envelope]
, 1906 Sep 3, postmark

Box 1: folder 2d
Letter. ALS to Grace Cooper, Lansing, Michigan. Ms. Chase discusses winter in Maine, snowshoeing, her family's cook, books she likes and a date she had with Ellis. She has just turned 20 years old. [8 pages and envelope]
, 1907 Feb 25

Box 1: folder 2e
Letter. ALS to Grace Cooper, Lansing, Michigan. Ms. Chase describes the signs of spring, her backache and her boarding house. She notes that she will be going back to college next year and complains about her poor eyes. [13 leaves and envelope]
, 1907 Apr 29, postmark

Box 1: folder 2f
Letter. ALS to Grace Cooper, Lansing, Michigan. Ms. Chase discusses her life back at College and how she dislikes Orono in comparison to Blue Hill. She mentions various mutual friends. [17 pages and envelope]
, 1907 Sep 22, postmark

Box 1: folder 2g
Letter. ALS to Grace Cooper, Lansing, Michigan. Ms. Chase sends get well wishes. [7 pages and envelope]
, 1908 Oct 15, postmark

Box 1: folder 2h
Letter. ALS to Grace Cooper, Lansing, Michigan. Ms. Chase sends get well wishes and describes the weather and the woods. She says it is hard to study and asks Grace to come back to Orono for a year. [10 pages and envelope]
, 1909 Aug 8, postmark

Box 1: folder 2i
Letter. TLS from Rebecca West to MEC giving Ms. Chase permission to reprint her "Travelling in America." Also mentions Mina Curtiss. [1 leaf]
, 1929 Jan 8

Box 1: folder 2j
Letter. TLS to [Martha A.] Kirsten thanking her for her letter on Chase's "A Goodly Fellowship." [1 leaf]
, 1940 Feb 24

Box 1: folder 2k
Letter. TLS from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. to MEC in the Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Northampton, Mass. conveying wishes for her recovery. He encloses remarks of Mr. King on Ms. Chase's work (no longer with the letter). [2 leaves]
, 1950 Jul 31

Box 1: folder 2l
Letter. AMS from Cecilia V. Sargent. Sargent writes of her retirement in Camden, Maine, and her attempting to write a novel at 76 years of age. Now at 78 the novel is published. She thanks Chase for inspiring her in this pursuit. [3 leaves]
, 1971 Mar 31

Box 1: folder 2m
Correspondence received by MEC. The letter from Newton (The Thacher School, Ojai, Calif.), may be from her nephew.
, 1968 Mar-Aug

Box 1: folder 2n
Course outline, Victorian Literature, Honors Unit. 1 notebook, AMsS, .
[1950s]

Box 1: folder 3
Note:

Also contains outline for Seminar in Writing, [Smith College] 428.

Hebrew study notebooks, Cambridge, England. 4 notebooks, AMsS
, 1947

Box 1: folder 4-5
Photograph of MEC, by Eric Stahlberg, Northampton, Mass.
, n.d.

Box 1: folder 6
Photographs of MEC. MEC with 3 siblings, she is identified as "Minnie." Taken by Harry Smith, Bucksport, Me. and photograph dated 1917 taken by Sam M. Judd, Reid Corner, Minneapolis, inscribed by Chase: "To my friend Mrs. Peters with my love-July 28, '17, Mary Ellen Chase."
, n.d., 1917

Box 1: folder 6a
Royalty statements, Macmillan
, 1968 Nov 11

Box 1: folder 7
Stationery of MEC - blank pages
, n.d.

Box 1: folder 8
SERIES II. BOOKS
(1937-1968)


Dawn in Lyonesse (New York: Macmillan,
1938)


Original draft, AMsS, 1 notebook. Contains an inscription by MEC dated 24 Dec 1948: "For Natalie Starr Putman to whom this book was dedicated in 1937."
, 1937 Jul-Aug

Box 1: folder 9
Dolly Moses: the Cat and the Clam Chowder (New York: W. W. Norton,
1964)


[First draft], AMs
, n.d.

Box 1: folder 10
Second draft ("2nd try"), AMs
, 1963 Jul 18

Box 1: folder 11
[Third draft], AMsS
, n.d.

Box 1: folder 12
Donald McKay and the Clipper Ships (Boston: Houghton Mifflin,
1959)


Notebook I. AMs
Began, 1958 Jul 5

Box 1: folder 13
Notebook II. AMs
, n.d.

Box 1: folder 14
Typescripts, carbon, corrected. TMs. 99 leaves
, n.d.

Box 2: folder 15
The Edge of Darkness (New York: W. W. Norton, )

(Original and revised manuscripts are in the Smith College Archives.)

1957


Typescripts, corrected, with printer's annotations. TMs. 289 leaves
, 1957 Jun 2

Box 2: folder 16-18
Galley proofs - See Oversize



The Girl from the Big Horn Country (New York: A. L. Burt,
1916)


Dust jacket
, n.d.

Box 2: folder 18a
A Goodly Fellowship (New York: Macmillan,
1939)


AMs. 4 notebooks,

Laid in: "This manuscript is gladly given to the cause of the War Bond Rally held in Northampton, on January 25, 1944 in John M. Greene Hall. The book was begun on April 16th, 1939 and written largely at Juniper Lodge, Chocorug, N.H. during the summer of 1939. It was finished on Sep. 17th, 1939...." AmsS.

See in Oversize: Drawing of Blue Hill Harbor, Maine, illustration for A Goodly Heritage, by Maitland de Gogorzo.

1939

Box 2: folder 19-22
A Journey to Boston, a Novel (New York: W. W. Norton, c )
1965


Typescripts, carbons, mimeographs, with printer's annotations. TMs. 84 leaves
, 1965 Jan 6

Box 2: folder 23
Life and Language in the Old Testament (New York: W. W. Norton,
1955)


Typescript, corrected, with printer's annotations. 240 leaves
, 1955 Jul 19

Box 3: folder 24-26
The Prophets for the Common Reader (New York : W. W. Norton,

(Earlier manuscripts for this title are in the Smith College Archives.)

1963)


Typescript, corrected, with printer's annotations. 180 leaves
, 1963 Apr 3

Box 3: folder 27-29
The Psalms for the Common Reader (New York: W. W. Norton,
1962)


Typescript, corrected, with printer's annotations. 213 leaves
, 1961 Dec 13

Box 3: folder 30-32



Richard Mansfield: the Prince of Donkeys (New York: W. W. Norton,
1964


Draft 1, AMs. l notebook
, n.d.

Box 3: folder 33
Draft 2, AMs. 19 leaves
, n.d.

Box 3: folder 34
TMs. 22 leaves
, n.d.

Box 3: folder 35
TMs, carbon. 22 leaves
, n.d.

Box 3: folder 36
Sailing the Seven Seas (Boston: Houghton Mifflin,
1958)


TMs, carbon. 95 leaves
, n.d.

Box 3: folder 37
Victoria: A Pig in a Pram (New York: W. W. Norton, c
1963)


TMs, carbon. 19 leaves
, n.d.

Box 3: folder 38
A Walk on an Iceberg (New York: W. W. Norton,
1966)


Original draft. AMsS 1 notebook
, n.d.

Box 3: folder 39
[Revised draft] AMsS. 28 leaves
, 1966?

Box 3: folder 40
Note:

On tp: "Originally written at Rockport: May 23rd-May 30th [1966?]"

Typescript, carbon. 29 leaves. Leaf 29 is an original typescript,
n.d.

Box 3: folder 41
The White Gate: Adventures in the Imagination of a Child (New York: W. W. Norton,
1954)


Typescript, carbons, mimeographs, with printer's annotations. TMs. 144 leaves
, 1954 May 13

Box 4: folder 42
TMs, Chapter 7. On chapter tp: "Suppressed copy." Laid in: Chapter VII being rewritten." Leaves [68]-73.
, n.d.

Box 4: folder 43
Revision notes. AMs. 2 leaves
, n.d.

Box 4: folder 44
Windswept (New York: Macmillan,
1941)


(Drawings, photographs and letters related to the novel are in the Smith College Archives.)



Original draft, AMs. 10 notebooks
, 1940-[1941]

Box 4: folder 45-54
Note:

On tp: of the 1st notebook: "Actual writing of this novel began on 12th November 1940 at 16 Paradise Pond …" Laid in: "The original manuscript began November 12, 1941 in Northampton. Finished September 2, 1942 at Windswept, Petit Manan Point, Maine." Dates incorrect on MEC's note in that her novel was published in 1941.

Revised draft, AMs. 16 notebooks
, [1941]

Box 5: folder 55-70
Note:

Laid in: "Dear Margaret Erierson: I am very happy to give to the Smith College Library the manuscript of Windswept in its original and its revised form.... because the College has given me the fifteen happiest years of my life. It may interest you to know that much of the novel was written in Library 35 and 36." AMsS, dtd 1942 Feb

SERIES III. ARTICLES AND OTHER WRITINGS
(1933-1966)


"An Ancient Democracy to a Modern," Common Ground 3:2
(1943):65-71


An Ancient Democracy to a Modern: an address … January 11, 1942 given at the … New York Society for Ethical Culture. TMs, mimeograph with corrections. 7 leaves
, 1942

Box 6: folder 71
An Ancient Democracy to a Modern: an address given before the Secondary Education Association on Feb. 28th, 1942 in Philadelphia. TMsS, with corrections. 20 leaves
, 1942

Box 6: folder 72
Ancient Greek Ideals. AMsS, [12] leaves
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 73
"Are You Afraid of Snakes?" Reader's Digest 69 (Jul
1956):45-48


Are You Afraid of Snakes? AMsS, 11 leaves
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 74
"Confidences of a Lecturer," Commonweal 18 (May 26,
1933):100-102


AMs, 23 leaves
, 1933

Box 6: folder 75
"Five Literary Portraits," The Massachusetts Review 3 (Spring
1962): 511-516


AMs, 1 notebook
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 76
Note:

Manuscript has title: Literary Portraits: Willa Cather, Sarah Orne Jewett, Gertrude Stein, Rose Macaulay, Dorothy Sayers

TMsS. carbon, 8 leaves
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 77
Note:

Manuscript has title: Some Brief Literary Portraits.

For Victoria Louise Schrager. TMsS, mimeo, 4 leaves
, 1943

Box 6: folder 78
Note:

"Given at the Memorial Assembly at Smith College, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 1943 at 8:30 A.M."

Maine. TMs, with corrections. 15 leaves, incomplete ms.
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 79
"Memorial Day,
1900," Ladies Home Journal 74 (May 1957):56+.


AMsS, 20 pages
, 1957

Box 6: folder 80
"Pitfalls of a Perfectionist," Coronet 40 (Sep
1956): 46-48


AMsS, 12 leaves
, 1956

Box 6: folder 81
Note:

Draft has title: Pitfalls of Perfection: the Myth of 100%

The Psalms of Maine. TMsS, mimeo, 3 leaves
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 82
"She Misses Some Goals," Life 41 (Dec. 24,
1956):23-25


First draft, AMs, 8 leaves
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 83
Note:

Has title: The American Woman: A Diagnosis of Her Present State

Second draft, AMsS, 10 leaves
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 84
Note:

Has title: The American Woman.

TMs, 8 leaves
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 85
Note:

Has title: The American Woman.

Mimeo copy with corrections. [14] leaves
, 1956 Oct 25

Box 6: folder 86
Note:

Has title: The American Woman.

Letter. TLS from Ralph Graves, Life. In regard to the ms. of 1962 Oct 25. [1] leaf
, 1956 Oct 26

Box 6: folder 87
Smith College: A Definition. Printed broadside. 3 copies
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 88
"Thank-You Is a Lovely Word"



[Draft 1?], AMs, written in pencil [8] leaves
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 89
[Draft 2?], AMsS, written in ink [10] leaves
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 90
TLS from Harlin Quist, Collier Books (1 leaf) and signed contract (5 leaves) in regard to "Thank-You Is a Lovely Word"
, 1962 Oct 12

Box 6: folder 91
Values in Literature [by] Mary Ellen Chase, Arno Jewett, William Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, c
1968.


[Draft 1], AMsS, 5 leaves
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 92
Note:

Has title: Introduction

[Draft 2], AMsS, 7 leaves
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 93
Note:

Has title: Introduction

TMsS, carbon, 7 leaves
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 94
Note:

Has title: Introduction

AMsS, 9 leaves
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 95
Note:

Has title: Introductions to Units + mimeo list of "Table of Contents," 6 leaves, dtd 25 Jun 1963

TMsS, carbon, 8 leaves
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 96
Note:

Has title: Introductions to Units

What Do You Expect of College for Your Daughter? AMs, [8] pages
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 97
"Why Teach Literature?" Literature Today, no. 5 (New York: Houghton Mifflin, c1966)
, 1966

Box 6
[Draft 1], AMs, [13] leaves
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 98
[Draft 2], AMsS, [15] leaves
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 99
TMsS, carbon, 16 leaves
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 100
TLS from William A. Jamison, Houghton Mifflin in regard to the publication of "Why Teach Literature?" in Literature Today. [1] leaf
, 1967 Jun 26

Box 6: folder 101
Published work. 3 copies
, 1966

Box 6: folder 102
Miscellaneous sheets.
, n.d.

Box 6: folder 102a
SERIES IV. BOOK REVIEW BY MARY ELLEN CHASE
(1954-1966)


Gildersleeve, Virginia C. A Hoard for Winter (New York: Columbia University Press, 1962), AMsS. [3] leaves
, 1962

Box 6: folder 103
Haller, William. The Elect Nation: the Meaning and Relevance of Foxe's Book of Martyrs (New York: Harper & Row, 1963), AMs. [3] leaves
, 1963

Box 6: folder 104
Jewett, Sarah Orne. A White Heron: A Story of Maine; edited and illustrated by Barbara Cooney (New York: Thomas Y Crowell, 1963), AMsS. [2] leaves
, 1963

Box 6: folder 105
O'Connor, Frank. The Mirror in the Roadway: A Study of the Modern Novel (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1956), AMsS. [3] leaves
, 1956

Box 6: folder 106
Read, Miss. Village School (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1955), AMsS. [2] leaves
, 1955

Box 6: folder 107
Starkey, Marion L. The Congregational Way (New York: Doubleday, 1966), TMs. 4 leaves
, 1966

Box 6: folder 108
Worcester, Gurdon S. The Singing Flute (New York: I. Obolensky, 1963), AMsS. [2] leaves
, 1963

Box 6: folder 109
SERIES V. OVERSIZE



Drawing of Blue Hill Harbor, Maine, illustration for A Goodly Heritage, by Maitland de Gogorzo. Ink on paper, singed by artist on verso, as well as annotations.
, n.d.

Box 7: folder 110
The Edge of Darkness (New York: W. W. Norton,
1957)


Galley proofs, with printer's annotations
, 1957 Jun 13

Box 7: folder 111
Galley proofs, with revisions and printer's annotations
, 1957 Jul 22

Box 7: folder 112
Galley proofs, with Chase's corrections and annotations
, 1957

Box 7: folder 113
The Psalms for the Common Reader (New York: W. W. Norton,
1962)


Galley proofs, with printer's corrections and annotations
, 1961 Dec 13

Box 7: folder 114
Galley proofs, with Chase's corrections and annotations
, 1961?

Box 7: folder 115
Uncut page proofs, with printer's annotations
, 1962

Box 7: folder 116
The White Gate: Adventures in the Imagination of a Child (W. W. Norton,
1954)


Galley proofs, with printer's corrections and annotations
, 1954 Jun 15

Box 7: folder 117
Galley proofs, with printer's corrections and annotations
, 1954 Jul 19

Box 7: folder 118
Galley proofs, with some printer's annotations. 5 leaves only
, 1954 Aug 5

Box 7: folder 119
Uncut page proofs, with some annotations
, 1954

Box 7: folder 120

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • American literature--History and Criticism-Sources
  • Bible as literature
  • Bible--Introductions
  • Chase, Mary Ellen, 1887-1973
  • Cooper, Grace
  • Smith College--Faculty

Contributors
  • Gogorzo, Maitland de


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