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John Clellon Holmes letter to Shirley Allen


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. 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

American writer and educator John Clellon Holmes, author of novels, short stories, essays, and poems, was best known as a chronicler of the ideology and lifestyle of the "Beat generation writers."

Holmes's semi-autobiographical novel Go, published by Scribner in 1952, and later in England as The Beat Boys, is considered to be the first published novel depicting the Beat generation.

Born March 12, 1926, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Holmes died on March 30, 1988, in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.

Shirley Allen married Holmes on September 9, 1953. She was his second wife.

Contemporary Authors Online (reproduced in Biography Resource Center). (accessed April 2010).

American author John Clellon Holmes typed this four-page letter to his future wife, Shirley Allen.

Holmes's letter was written from St. Louis, Missouri, where he was visiting Jay and Fred Landesman. Holmes, who had previously contributed to Jay Landesman's periodical, Neurotica, and knew the brothers from New York City, offered his current observations on the Landesmans. Holmes also described at length the town of St. Louis, with which he was less than impressed. His letter continued with comments on the short stories of Fitzgerarld which he had recently read and ended with words of endearment for his future wife.

Box 60, F0864: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.

Purchase, December 2009.

Processed and encoded by Anita Wellner, April 2010. Further encoded by George Apodaca, October 2015.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2010 April 8
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

John Clellon Holmes letter to Shirley Allen, 1953 June 23.
Box 60 Folder F0864

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