Gerald Clifford Weales writings
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Gerald Clifford Weales, born in Connersville, Indiana on June 12, 1925, was a professor of English and Drama. In 1958, he completed his Ph.D. at Columbia University, the same institution where he also earned his A.B. and M.A. Shortly after his graduation he became a faculty member at the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania, a position that he held until his retirement in 1987.
Weales was widely recognized as an expert on English and American drama, and wrote extensively on these subjects. He published historical monographs on British and American drama, along with biographies of American playwrights, a book on American film comedy of the 1930s, and commented editions of plays by authors such as Arthur Miller and William Wycherley. Weales also wrote many works of fiction, including a novel, several plays, and two children's books.
As a theater reviewer, Weales worked for the Reporter magazine from 1964 to 1968, and the Commonweal magazine from 1968 to 1993, and also collaborated with the Georgia Review, for which he wrote the annual section "American Theater Watch" from 1978 to 2010. His reviews appeared on The Atlantic, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Harper's Magazine, Life, The Village Voice, and The Nation. Weales received a George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism in 1966, and a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Grant in 1981, which supported his research for the book Canned Goods as Caviar: American Film Comedy of the 1930s (1985).
Weales was married for 40 years to Nora Magid (1925-1991), an English and writing instructor who also taught at the University of Pennsylvania from 1970 to 1991. Weales died in a nursing facility in Easton, Maryland, in 2013.
The collection consists of two separate series: drafts of published material, and unpublished material.
Series I includes the typescript drafts of historical and critical monographs, such as American Drama Since World War II, Canned Goods as Caviar, and Religion in Modern English Drama. The draft of Weales's novelTale for a Bluebird may also be found in the series, as well as the drafts and galley proofs of the commented editions of Arthur Miller's playDeath of a Salesman and of the plays of William Wyckerley. This material offers insight into the genesis and writing process of those books, as well as possible evidence of intervention of external reviewers – most notably, English instructor (and Weales' wife) Nora Magid.
Series II contains four unpublished plays by Weales, three of which are part of a series titled "Explorations." These typescripts allow for a better assessment of Weales' production as a writer of dramatic and fiction works.
Gift of Gerald Clifford Weales, circa 2004
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Siel Agugliaro
- Finding Aid Date
- June 1, 2016
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.