University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Katharine Pyle Papers

1904 - 1928

Manuscript Collection Number: 120
Extent: 1.33 linear ft.
Content: Autograph manuscripts, typescripts, correspondence, and photographs.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: By Kim Sebold. Revised in August 1993 by Rhonda Newton and January 1994 by Kelly Baum.

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Table of Contents

Biographical Note

Artist, illustrator, and author Katharine Pyle (1863-1938), was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. The youngest of four children, her brothers included well-known artist and writer Howard Pyle (1853-1911). She attended the Women's Industrial School and the Drexel Institute, where she studied with her younger brother. She also studied at the Philadelphia School of Design and the New York Art Students' League. She exhibited work at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago and was a member of the Wilmington Society of Fine Arts.

Pyle achieved recognition as an author through her short stories, poems, and plays for children. She also compiled and retold several volumes of fairy tales and myths. Her works include The Counterpane Fairy (1898), The Christmas Angel (1900), Once Upon a Time in Delaware (1911), Tales of Wonder and Magic (1920), Tales from Greek Mythology (1928), and Charlemagne and his Knights (1932). Pyle illustrated many of her own works as well as those of other authors, including her brother. She also painted portraits for prominent people, such as members of the DuPont family.


Burke, W.J. and Will D. Howe, ed. American Authors and Books: 1640 to the Present Day. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1972. 521.

Falk, Peter Hastings, ed. Who Was Who in American Art. Sound View Press, 1985. 498.

Who Was Who in America. Vol. 1. Chicago: The A.N. Marquis Company, 1942.

Scope and Content Note

The Katharine Pyle Papers, spanning approximately 1904-1929, consists of material related to her artistic, business, and personal affairs. The collection contains typed and handwritten manuscripts of her plays, poetry, short stories, and longer works; examples of her illustrations; and correspondence. The manuscripts provide insight into the early stages of Pyle's many works, recording corrections and alterations. The correspondence between Pyle and her publishers and editors notes disagreements on style, theme, deadlines, and payments. Many letters also concern research she conducted on Charlemagne for her short story. The collection includes photographs as well, possibly of models Pyle studied for her illustrations.

Series I contains typed and handwritten manuscripts of the chapters to Charlemagne and his Knights. Not all the chapters from the published version are represented and others Pyle decided not to include. Series II consists of similar manuscripts pertaining to Pyle's work, Tales from Norse Mythology, while those to Greek Mythology comprise Series III. Found in Series IV are manuscripts of Pyle's poems, short stories, plays, larger books and essays, and commercial jingles. Series V consists of a manuscript by Margaret Churchman Paynter Pyle, and examples of Pyle's illustrations comprise Series VI. Series VII contains correspondence; Series VIII photographs and cancelled checks.

Related collection:

MSS 233 Howard Pyle Correspondence

Series Outline

I.   Charlemagne and His Knights 
II.  Tales from Norse Mythology
III. Greek Mythology
IV.  Manuscripts 
          1. Poems
          2. Short stories
          3. Plays
          4. Essays and books
          5. Commercial jingles
V.   Manuscript by Margaret Pyle
VI.  Illustrations
VII. Correspondence, 1904-1929
VIII.Photographs and checks, 1936

Contents List

Box -- Folder -- Contents

1         Series I.  Charlemagne and His Knights

     F1   Forward

     F2   Charlemagne and His Paladins

     F3   Charlemagne and Fastrada's Magic Ring (Chp 1)

     F4   The Story of Roland (Chp 2)

     F5   A Roland for Oliver (Chp 3)

     F6   Ogar the Enchanted Knight (Chp 4)

     F7   The Prince and Princess of Cathay (Chp 7)

     F8   The Jousting Bout (Chp 8)

     F9   Adventures of Rinaldo (Chp 9)

     F10  Rinaldo and Flordelis (Chp 11)

     F11  Roland Destroys Falenna's Gardens (Chp 12)

     F12  The Saracens Prepare for Invasion (Chp 13)

     F13  Mandricardo's Story (Chp 15)

     F14  Angelica and the Orc (Chp 19)

     F15  Astolpho Destroys the Magic Castle (Chp 20)

     F16  Rogero's Combat with Braclamant (Chp 26)

     F17  Ogier Revolts Against Charlemagne (Chp 30)

     F18  Death of Rinaldo (Chp 31)

     F19  Ogier Returns to France (Chp 34)

     F20  The Pursuit of Angelica (Chp 10) and The Forest of

     F21  The Seizure of Albacca

     F22  Brunello Steals the Magic Ring

     F23  Unidentified handwritten notes and manuscripts

     F24  Additional notes, drafts, and manuscript material

2         Series II.  Tales from Norse Mythology

     F25  Rough plan of chapters

     F26  How the World Was Made (Chp 2)

     F27  Sif's Golden Hair (Chp 4)

     F28  How the Gods Once Made War and Peace with One Another
          (Chp 6)

     F29  Idun's Magic Apples (Chp 7)

     F30  Thor and Loki in Geirrod's House (Chp 8)

     F31  How Odin Became the Wisest of Wise (Chp 9)

     F32  How Loki Saved the Peasant's Son (Chp 10)

     F33  How Freya Won a Necklace for Herself (Chp 11)

     F34  The Charming of the Ferris Wolf (Chp 13)

     F35  How Frey Won a Bride and Lost a Sword (Chp 15)

     F36  How the Magic Mead Was Brought to Asgard (Chp 18)

     F37  Thor Loses and Finds His Hammer (Chp 19)

     F38  Thor, the Thunderer (Chp 20)

     F39  Thor Battles with Hrungnir (Chp 21)

     F40  The Fate of Balder (Chp 22)

     F41  The One Who Would Not Weep for Balder (Chp 23)

     F42  The Punishment of Loki (Chp 24)

     F43  Ragnarok, The Twilight of the Gods (Chp 25)

     F44  Unidentified manuscript material

3         Series III.  Greek Mythology

     F45  Forward
     F46  The War of the Gods and Titans

     F47  Deucalion and Pyrrha

     F48  Pyramis and Thisbe
     F49  Arachne

     F50  The Golden Touch

     F51  The Story of Thesus

     F52  Bellerophon and Pegasus

     F53  The Labors of Hercules

          Series IV.  Manuscripts
          Series IV.1.  Poems

     F54  The Prisoner

     F55  Baking Day

     F56  Failure

     F57  Playmates

     F58  Verses

     F59  Adam and Eve

     F60  Several untitled poems

     F61  Tear sheet from Prose and Verses for Children

     F62  Rhymed couplets on the Old Testament

          Series IV.2.  Short Stories

     F63  The Golden Bird

     F64  Rift in the Lute

     F65  An Episode

     F66  Ulysses

     F67  Uncle Eph and the Money Chest

     F68  The Green Bell

     F69  The Black-Eyed Puppy

     F70  Adventures of Elizabeth and Richard

     F71  Unidentified and incomplete stories

        Series IV.3.  Plays

     F72  The Witch's Daughter

     F73  The Grandmother of Wind

     F74  The Christmas Rose

     F75  The Garden of Make Believe

     F76  The Land of Nowhere 

4         Series IV.4.  Essays and Books

     F77  Dogs

     F78  Weather signs and old superstitions

     F79  Notes towards a Swedenborgian Parable

     F80  Epilogue

          Series IV.5.  Commercial Jingles

     F81  Jingles

          Series V.  Manuscript by Margaret Pyle

     F82  A Little Country Girl

          Series VI.  Illustrations

     F83  Drawing proof sheets

     F84  Original watercolor

     F85  Pen and ink drawing

4         Series VII.  Correspondence, 1904-1929

     F86  Correspondence

          Series VIII.  Photographs and Checks, 1936

     F87  Photographs and checks
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