Lavin, Mary (1912-1996)

The Mary Lavin collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, and other items. The papers are mainly comprised of manuscripts of short stories, novellas, non-fiction works and anthologies.

Book-length manuscripts by Lavin in the collection include The Becker Wives, and Other Stories (M. Joseph, 1946), published as At Sallygap, and Other Stories (Little, Brown, 1947); Mary O'Grady (novel, Little, Brown, 1950); A Likely Story (children’s book, Macmillan, 1957); The Great Wave, and Other Stories (Macmillan, 1961); Collected Stories (Houghton, 1971); In the Middle of the Fields, and Other Stories (Constable, 1967; Macmillan, 1969); The Stories of Mary Lavin, Vol. II (Constable, 1973); and In a Cafae, written with Elizabeth Walsh Peavoy (short stories, Town House (Ireland), 1995).

Manuscripts for short stories by Lavin are extensive, with several drafts present for each title, and drafts usually with major corrections.  Titles include “The Long Holidays,” “The Lost Child,” “Mock Auction,” “Mrs. Evers’ Eiderdown,” “My Molly,” “The New Gardener,” “An Old Boot,” “One Evening,” “The Patriot Son,” “Second-Hand,” “Tom,” “Trastevere,” “What’s Wrong with Aubrietta,” “The Young Girls,” “A Bevy of Aunts,” “A Walk of the Cliff,” and “Lethe (A Marriage).”

The collection also include some spiral-bound notebooks containing Lavin’s handwritten story drafts. In addition, there are manuscripts by William Walsh (Lavin’s first husband) with Lavin’s own notes.

Correspondence in the collection dates from 1935 to the 1980s. Many of the letters to Lavin are from faculty members at various universities in the United States. There are also letters from friends, publishers and critics. The great bulk of these date from the 1960s to the 1970s. Notable correspondents include Thomas Kinsella, Louis Coxe, Edith Oliver, Richard Ellman, Len Downs, William Galen, Thomas Gullason, George Starbuck, Alex Medlicott, Donald Stanford, Robert Fitzgerald, John D. J. Moore, (U.S. Ambassador to Ireland), Donald Born, Siobhan McKenna, John Dover Wilson, and Eudora Welty. Also present are some holiday/birthday cards to Lavin from her children, personal letters dating between 1950 and the 1980s, and letters from her second husband, Michael MacDonald Scott (from the 1970s and 1980s). Professional letters (dating from the 1960s to the 1980s) include copious correspondence with literary agents and magazines, mostly from the 1960’s. In addition, some letters pertain to the Irish Academy of Letters (1971-1974); Lavin served as president in 1972. These items include many letters from Mervyn Wall and two from Terence DeVere White.

Other material in the collection includes financial records, programs for events, printed articles mentioning Lavin, and several photographs of Lavin.

Notable Figures
1. Lavin, Mary, 1912-1996
Associated Subjects
1. Women's Studies Collections -- Novels and Short Stories Subject Guide
2. Literary Collections Subject Guide
3. Irish Collections Subject Guide
4. Helen Deutsch Research Section
5. Irish literature -- Women authors
6. Women authors, Irish
7. Irish literature – 20th century