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Arthur Mizener letter to John S. Monagan


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 educator, biographer, and critic Arthur Mizener (1907-1988) is best known as the author of the first F. Scott Fitzgerald biography,

The Far Side of Paradise, which was published in 1951. The best-selling biography was credited with renewing interest in Fitzgerald and advancing Fitzgerald's reputation as a major American author.

Twenty years later, Mizener published a biography of Ford Madox Ford, the British novelist and founding editor of

Transatlantic Review and Two Worlds. In addition, Mizener published several other works, among them The Sense of Life in the Modern Novel and A Handbook of Analyses, Questions, and a Discussion of Technique for Use with Modern Short Stories: The Uses of Imagination; edited various other works, including a collection of Fitzgerald's miscellaneous writings; and wrote numerous essays and book reviews.

Mizener also taught at Yale University; Wells College in Aurora, New York; and Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. In 1951, Mizener accepted a position as Mellon Foundation Professor of English at Cornell University and remained there until his retirement in 1975.

Engar, Ann. "Arthur Mizener." Dictionary of Literary Biography; American Literary Biographers. Ed. Steven Serafin. Volume 103. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1991. pp. 184-191.

U. S. Congressman and author John S. Monagan (1911-2005) served from 1959 to 1973, as the Democrat representative from the Fifth District of Connecticut, in the U. S. House of Representatives.

After serving in Congress, John Monagan authored two biographies,

Horace, Priest of the Poor (1985) and The Grand Panjandrum: Mellow Years of Justice Holmes (1988).

"John S. Monagan." Contemporary Authors Online (reproduced in Gale Biography In Context). (accessed November 19, 2013).

In this letter dated June 11, 1971, American biographer Arthur Mizener (1907-1988) responded to a recent letter from U. S. Congressman John S. Monagan (1911-2005), who had written regarding Mizener's recently published book,

The Saddest Story: A Biography of Ford Madox Ford.

In answering Monagan's letter, Arthur Mizener commented on Eudora Welty's criticism of his book and noted that in writing of Ford's life he had tried to be "judicious" but wondered if he had "failed to achieve it."

In concluding his letter, Mizener mentioned teaching at Yale and remembering a colleague by the name of Dick Goss. This letter is accompanied by a form memorandum that bears the typed name of Richard W. Goss.

Box 66, F0951: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.

Gift of William F. Claire, September 2013.

Processed and encoded by Anita Wellner, November 2013. 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
2013 November 22
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The collection is open for research.

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Collection Inventory

Typed letter signed with attached memorandum, 1971 June 11.
Box 66 Folder F0951

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