Special Collections Department
Seán O'Faoláin Letters
Manuscript Collection Number: 141
Accessioned: Purchase, 1986.
Extent: .1 linear ft. (43 items).
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: 1993 by Anita A. Wellner.
Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
Table of Contents
O'Faoláin fought in the Irish Revolution from 1918-1921 and served as the director of publicity for the Irish Republican Army in 1923. During this period of Irish social and political upheavel O'Faoláin began to write.
During his early writing career O'Faoláin also served as a lecturer in English at Princeton University (1929); Boston College (1929); and St. Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, England (1929-1933).
Widely recognized for his novels and short stories, O'Faoláin filled his writing with images of modern Irish life, examining what it meant to be Irish and to be an Irish Catholic.
Both his novels and short stories have received critical acclaim as well as being widely popular. His first published collection of short stories, Midsummer Night Madness and Other Stories (1932), received a Femina Prize nomination in 1932. O'Faoláin continued to compose numerous short stories throughout his life, contributing to journals and popular magazines, such as Colliers, McCall's, and Playboy, and culminating in his Collected Stories in 1980.
Seán O'Faoláin's earliest and best known novels, A Nest of Simple Folk (1933) and Bird Alone (1936), explore the lives of common Irishmen at different stages of Irish history. Later novels continued his exploration of Irish life and issues.
In addition to writing short stories and novels, O'Faoláin authored biographies of Eamon de Valera, Constance Markievicz, Daniel O'Connell, Hugh O'Neill, John Henry Newman, as well as his own autobiography titled Vive Moi! (1964). He was also responsible for the establishing the Irish journal, The Bell, in 1940, continuing as its editor until 1945.
Seán O'Faoláin died April 20, 1991, in Dublin, Ireland.
Sources:Metzger, Linda (ed.) Contemporary Authors. New Revision Series, Volume 12. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1984. pp. 349- 351.
Trosky, Susan M. (ed.) Contemporary Authors. Volume 134. Detroit: Gale Research, Inc., 1992. p. 377.
Scope and Content Note
Prior to the book's publication in 1964, excerpts of Vive Moi! were published in the January and October, 1964, issues of Atlantic Monthly. The letters to Edward Weeks, Louise Desaulniers, and Mrs. Flint, concern the chapters of Vive Moi! excerpted in the Atlantic Monthly.
The letters which O'Faoláin wrote to Seymour Lawrence, Peter Davidson, Sarah Sherrill, Mr. Goodearl, and "Charles," are concerned primarily with Little, Brown's publication of Vive Moi! O'Faoláin's letters are filled with publication details, such as correcting the proofs, providing a portrait of himself for publicity purposes, laying out travel plans for the book promotion tour and for attending the publication party, expressing concerns about possible libel charges related to passages in the book, refusing to include a dedication or table of contents in his book, describing work on the final chapter, and expressing his feelings upon completing the project.
In addition to information related to Vive Moi!, O'Faoláin discussed his travels, including trips to Italy and Boston; his concerns over internal problems at Little, Brown; a reworking of a collection of short stories; Katharine Anne Porter and Sean O'Sullivan; and his social visits with Seymour Lawrence.
The collection is arranged in chronological order.
Related collections:Ms 99 Seán O'Faoláin Letters to Joel Wells
Ms 124 Signatures Archive
Ms 136 Frank Hugh O'Donnell Papers
Series I. Letters of Seán O'Faoláin to editors at Little, Brown and Atlantic Monthly, 1960-1964. F1 Letters, 1960-1961 1960 Apr 6 TLS To Edward Weeks 1p 1961 Jan 28 ALS To Seymour Lawrence 2p Note: Includes one page of answers to questions posed by Lawrence. Aug 11 ALS To Lawrence 4p Sep 16 ALS To Lawrence 2p Oct 3 TNS To Sarah Sherrill 1p Nov 18 ALS To Lawrence 2p  ALS To Lawrence 2p F2 Letters, 1963 1963 Oct 10 TLS To Weeks 2p Oct 14 ALS To Weeks 1p Oct 23 TLS To Weeks 2p Oct 29 TLS To Weeks 4p Nov 6 ANS To Weeks 1p Nov 21 TLS To Mrs. Flint 1p Dec 13 ALS To Weeks 2p Dec 23 ALS To Weeks 1p F3 Letters, 1964 Jan-Mar 1964 Jan 6 AL To Lawrence 1p Jan 15 ALS To "Charles" 1p Jan 21 ALS To Lawrence 1p Jan 26 TLS To Lawrence 2p Jan 29 ALS To Lawrence 1p Feb 1 TLS To Lawrence 2p Feb 1 ALS To Weeks 2p Feb 11 ALS To Mr. Goodearl 1p  Mar 21 TLS To Peter Davidson 2p F4 Letters, 1964 Jul-Aug 1964 Jul 4 TLS To Louise Desaulniers 1p Jul 6 TLS To Davidson 2p Jul 14 TLS To Mrs. Flint 2p Jul 14 TLS To Mrs. Marcus 1p Jul 16 TLS To Davidson 4p Aug 6 TLS To Davidson 2p [Aug 10] AL To Davidson 1p Note: Bottom of the page is torn off. Aug 12 TLS To Davidson 1p Aug 17 TLS To Davidson 1p  TLS To Davidson 1p  TLS To Weeks 2p F5 Letters, [n.d.] [n.d.] ALS To Lawrence 2p [n.y. Feb 26] ALS To Lawrence 1p [n.y. Mar] ALS To Lawrence 1p [n.y.] Apr 11 ALS To Lawrence 1p [n.d.] ANS To Lawrence 1p [n.y.] Sep 29 ALS To Lawrence 1p [n.y.] Oct 24 ALS To Lawrence 1p [n.y.] "A 17" ALS To Sherrill 1p
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