Thane, Elswyth (1900-1984)
Scope:
The collection of Elswyth Thane consists of manuscripts, correspondence, personal memorabilia, printed materials, professional materials, research materials, legal material, financial materials, audio, photographs, artwork, diaries and journals, notebooks, scrapbooks, and miscellaneous other materials.

The manuscript material consists of drafts, front matter, unpublished sections, and notes from Thane's novels, historical novels, historical nonfiction work, plays, short stories, and other short pieces. Fiction includes Riders of the Wind (1926); Echo Answers (1927); His Elizabeth (1928); Bound to Happen (1930); Queen's Folly: A Romance (1937); Tryst (1939); From This Day Forward (1941); Dawn's Early Light (1943); Melody, including an early draft titled Reprise (1950); This Was Tomorrow (1951); Homing (1957); and Give Me Your Golden Hand by Evelyn Eaton (1951).

Nonfiction work contained in the collection includes The Tudor Wench (1932); England Was an Island Once (1940); The Bird who Made Good (1950); Washington's Lady (1960); Mount Vernon is Ours: The Story of Its Preservation (1966); Mount Vernon: the Legacy (1967); Mount Vernon Family (1968); The Virginia Colony (1969); Dolley Madison: Her Life and Times (1970); The Fighting Quaker: Nathanael Greene (1972); and the unpublished work, The Children at Mount Vernon.

Plays in the collection include His Elizabeth (1928); Young Mr. Disraeli (1935); and The Tudor Wench (undated).

Short stories in the collection include "She Lived at the Ritz;" "Dog's Chance;" "Martha;" "Courtship of the Countess;" "The Other Martha;" "A Dog's Chance;" "Return of the Sailor;" and "Tonton Remembers;" among many others.

Miscellaneous other manuscript materials include transcripts of radio plays for Ever After; a radio talk on Tudor Wench (1933); the radio play "Ingarssen's Daughter;" the poem "The Code" by Arthur Guiterman; and other unidentified, untitled, or unpublished pages.

Correspondence in the collection contain personal, professional, and historical letters, postcards, and telegrams ranging from 1848 to 1969. Notable are correspondence with Herbert L. Satterlee regarding his recollections of the War of 1898 and how he represented NY State in offer of aid to the President; letters from Mount Vernon staff members and ladies association; Mary Roberts Rinehart; the Beebe Family letters and Younglove letters dating from the second half of the 1800s; correspondence with Mr. and Mrs. T. Roosevelt; Eleanor Roosevelt; Laurance S. and Mary Rockefeller; as well as letters to and from agents and editors regarding her books; and a large collection of fan mail.

Personal Memorabilia in the collection consists of Christmas cards; memorabilia from Thane and Beebe's childhood; and clips from personal notebooks along with other biographical materials from Elswyth Thane and William Beebe. Several postcard collections of different countries, especially England, are also in the collection along with Dr. William Beebe's baby clothing, silver baby cup, and clippings about his death.

Printed material consists of reviews, articles, tour guides, short stories, publicity material, and play material by and about Thane, her husband William Beebe, and others. The reviews, articles, essays, and short stories come from varied publications such as Time, National Geographic, Today's Woman, Women's Pictorial, Readers Digest, English Country Life, The English Review, The New York Times and The People's Choice, and date from 1927 to 1970. Notable are programs, reviews, and a printed copy of Young Mr. Disraeli (1935); the original serialized version of Dawn's Early Light in Liberty Magazine from December 1942 to 1943; and a collection of twelve books by various authors including Mary Astor's The Incredible Charlie Carewe and a signed copy of Alan Milne's Micsoda Negy Nap!.

Printed material also includes issues of the magazines Illustrated London News, Country Life, The Sphere, Punch, John O'London's Weekly as well as other assorted newspapers and publications between 1931 and 1956. Elswyth Thane also gave the gift of many printed books written by her, William Beebe, and others.

Professional materials included in the collection include a mastercopy of the script Young Mr. Disraeli (n.d.) and publicity materials for Cloth of Gold.

Research materials in the collection consist of paraphernalia pertaining to many of Elswyth Thane's books and William Beebe's expeditions, including maps, city guides, pamphlets, clippings, newspapers, magazines, and bibliographies. General topics with extensive research materials include the UK, the Elizabethan period, Disraeli, George and Martha Washington, Mount Vernon, historical Williamsburg, and the American South.

Legal material in the collection consists of a contract for rights to Elswyth Thane's play Melody.

Financial materials include six combination wallet-notebooks with bank account records.

Audio material includes one tape titled "Longfellow material at Cambridge" dated February, 1966 and two record albums, one of Beatrice Lillie and one of Gracie Fields.

Photographs in the collection consist of personal and professional items pertaining to shows, research, and family ranging from 1890 to 1940. Notable are snapshots of characters from Young Mr. Disraeli; pictures of Elswyth Thane and her family at home or traveling; historical photographs of the Beebe family; albums containing pictures of Mount Vernon and staff; two albums filled with photos of paintings of English kings and many other photos of English scenarey; and an extensive collection of photos of famous actors of the day.

Artwork in the collection consists of illustrations and book covers for books including Reluctant Farmer, The Bird Who Made Good, Mount Vernon: The Legacy, and Queen's Folly; cartoons and portraits of William Beebe; sketches by Vogue artist Porter Woodruff; pencil sketches for an uncompleted stage production; a portrait of Elswyth Thane from 1926 by Garfield Learned; and a Portrait of The Tudor Wench by Ezra Winter from 1936.

Notebooks in the collection include notes and unpublished drafts of Thane's books, accounts of her trips, and general research materials. Topics include pre-1914 England and Germany; the Thane and Beebe family chronology; George and Martha Washington; Mount Vernon; and 24 notebooks containing accounts of money spent on household goods and food (1848-1880) from the Beebe family. Other untitled notebooks also exist in the collection.

Diaries and journals include accounts of Elswyth Thane's personal life and some notes regarding her books and plays ranging from 1931 to 1944. Besides Thane's personal diaries, the collection also includes a diary account of London during the Blitz and a diary kept by Harrison H. Dodge titled "The Guardians."

Scrapbooks in the collection pertain to her plays' productions, research for books, publicity, and reviews as well as more personal matters. Notable are scrapbooks titled "Disraeli: London Production" from 1934 with clippings from the 1938 production of The Tudor Wench; many containing relevant research into England's history, culture, and society; scrapbooks of Dr. William Beebe's material; and other miscellaneous topics.

Also included in the collection is a silver napkin ring that belonged to William Beebe; hotel receipts; a Cunard Line boat's sailing time table; and a map of South America embroidered by Elswyth Thane.
Notable Figures
1. Thane, Elswyth, 1900-1984
Associated Subjects
1. Women's Studies Collections -- Novels and Short Stories Subject Guide
2. Literary Collections Subject Guide
3. Helen Deutsch Research Section