Eileen B. Simpson papers
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
Eileen Simpson was an American memoirist, author, and psychotherapist. Born Eileen Patricia Mulligan in 1918, she published under her married names, Eileen Berryman and Eileen Simpson. In addition to academic works, reviews, and articles for popular magazines, Simpson wrote five books:The Maze (1975), Reversals: A Personal Account of Victory Over Dyslexia (1979), Poets in Their Youth: A Memoir (1982), Orphans: Real and Imaginary (1987), and Late Love: A Celebration of Marriage After 50 (1994).
Simpson was married to John Berryman, an American poet. The two were legally married for 14 years, although Simpson left Berryman three years before their official divorce. While she was married to John Berryman (1942-1956), her name was Eileen Berryman. Simpson had earned her degree in psychology from Hunter College before she met Berryman, and worked as a psychotherapist during their marriage to support the both of them. Simpson wrote two books about her marriage to Berryman, one fictional (The Maze) and one biographical (Poets in Their Youth: A Memoir). Poets in Their Youth: A Memoir provides insight into her marriage and into the personal lives of other poets in her husband's circle.
Simpson also wrote about her personal struggles. Her booksReversals: A Personal Account of Victory Over Dyslexia, and Orphans: Real and Imaginary deal with Simpson's experiences of having dyslexia and being an orphan. Simpson's background as a psychotherapist greatly influenced her works, as psychology is the framework through which she understood and wrote about her life.
Throughout her life, Simpson wrote articles and book reviews for magazines and newspapers. Common topics covered in her writing include psychology and travel.
Eileen Simpson died on October 21, 2002
Eder, Richard. "Orphans: REAL AND IMAGINARY by Eileen Simpson (Weidenfeld & Nicolson: $16.95; 259 pp.)" The Los Angeles Times. The Los Angeles Times. July 5, 1987. Accessed October 13, 2022. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1987-07-05-bk-2111-story.html. Siegel, Lee. "The Poet's Keeper." The New York Times. The New York Times Company. February 6, 2015. Accessed October 13, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/08/books/review/rereading-eileen-simpsons-poets-in-their-youth.html?_r=0. Smith, Dinitia. "Eileen Simpson, 84, Memoirist Of Life With John Berryman." The New York Times. The New York Times Company. October 24, 2002. Accessed October 13, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/24/arts/eileen-simpson-84-memoirist-of-life-with-john-berryman.html. Yardley, Jonathan. "In the Beginning, Such a Happy Couplet." The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. October 16, 2006. Accessed October 13, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/15/AR2006101501018.html.
The Eileen Simpson papers reflect her work as a writer and consist of published copies of her work, drafts, research materials, letters, and financial documents. This material mostly relates to Simpson's books, articles, and reviews. This collection includes files related to all five of Simpson's books:The Maze (1975), Reversals: A Personal Account of Victory Over Dyslexia (1979), Poets in Their Youth: A Memoir (1982), Orphans: Real and Imaginary (1987), and Late Love: A Celebration of Marriage After 50 (1994). The rest of the collection is arranged in four sections: short works, correspondence, business files, and articles by others.
Papers pertaining to Simpson's books include letters between Simpson and her editors, her publishers, and fans of her books; financial information on her advance and the royalty earnings; reviews; advertising; research material; and manuscripts of speeches she gave about her books. The files for Simpson's bookReversals: A Personal Account of Victory Over Dyslexia include a contract, licensing the television rights to CBS. The collection does not have full manuscripts of her books, and any edits recommended by editors are featured in letters instead of manuscripts written by Simpson.
Simpson's short works consist of articles, book reviews, academic papers, and short stories. Files about short works feature published copies of these works, drafts, research papers, and related correspondence. Correspondence files contain incoming letters, some copies of Simpson's outgoing letters, and a small amount of reference and research material. Business files comprise Simpson's bibliography, information on rights to her works, letters addressed to editor Nan Talese, and correspondence with the Georges Borchardt literary agency. Finally, there are clippings of articles by others that are not tied to any specific work of Simpson's.
Simpson's original file names have been retained.
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Boxes 1-3: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons
Purchase, Eileen B. Simpson, August 2001
Processed and encoded by Edward Redmond, June-October 2022.
- University of Delaware Library Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
- Finding Aid Date
- 2022 October 12
- 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 Department, University of Delaware Library, https://library.udel.edu/static/purl.php?askspec
Article titled "What Ailed Willie?" that theorizes William Butler Yeats might have had dyslexia.
This file contains several academic articles published by Simpson under the name Eileen Berryman.