Abbe, George (1911-1989)
The George Abbe collection primarily consists of holograph and typescript manuscripts by Abbe, including poetry, plays, novels, non-fiction, and speeches. Also present are several letters from various important poets, as well as a trove of letters and printed material regarding the anti-vivisectionist movement. The collection as a whole presents a comprehensive catalog of Abbe’s literary career and personal life, from his youth to his latter year.
The collection is organized into four sections: manuscripts, printed material, correspondence, and memorabilia.
The manuscripts by Abbe include novels (mostly unpublished), non-fiction books (mostly unpublished), plays, short stories, short non-fiction, collected and uncollected poetry, and notes. Included are the published works The Incandescent Beast, The Winter House, One More Puritan, Stephen Vincent Benet on Writing (early versions), The Larks, You and Contemporary Poetry, The Non-Conformist, The Funeral, Yonderville, Abbe and Benet (early drafts and notes), the plays “The Adomatic Man” and “Shatter the Day,” and numerous short stories. The collection also contains numerous unpublished and uncollected works, including poems written by Abbe as a young boy.
Also included in the manuscripts are works of fiction, poetry, and short non-fiction by others. Present are several works of fiction and non-fiction by Abbe’s mother, Aida Kitteredge Abbe.
The printed material includes short stories, non-fiction, drama, poetry, and other items (articles, letters to the editor, reviews, miscellany). The bulk of these items are magazines and newspapers, as well as several rare small-press or privately printed pamphlets.
The correspondence is divided into personal and business / professional. The personal correspondence includes several letters from Abbe’s family, as well as a group of 33 letters from Stephen Vincent Benet (1935-1947). Other notable items in the personal correspondence include letters from A. Whitney Griswold, Edwin Francis Cory, C. T. Lloyd, and Curtis Zahn.
The business and professional correspondence includes numerous letters regarding the anti-vivisectionist movement (1962-1968). Notable items here include letters from Jacob K. Javits and Robert F. Kennedy. The rest of the correspondence in this group concerns publishers and publishing; notable correspondents include Charles Angoff, Elizabeth Bishop, Isabella Gardner, and Robinson Jeffers.
The memorabilia is divided into photographs and miscellany. The photographs consist of Abbe and his family; the miscellany consists of various items of personal interest to Abbe, including two sketch books belonging to Abbe’s father, the Reverend Harry A. G. Abbe.