My Lifetime in Letters


In the course of sixty-five years as a professional writer, beginning at the age of fifteen, I accumulated a mass of papers. For the past forty-five of these years my wife mounted guard over this treasure, building four storerooms to protect it from fire and earthquake, silverfish moths, flying termites, and predatory friends. There were some two hundred and fifty cardboard cartons of files; the original manuscripts of some sixty books and as many pamphlets; and eight hundred volumes of foreign translations, from fifty-five countries and in sixty languages--each volume representing a separate edition, no duplicates.

Looking this collection over, I realized what a treasure it contained: letters from most of the great minds of our half century; and such oddly contrasted personalities--George Brandes and M. K. Gandhi, Jack London and Bernard Shaw, Edith Wharton and Thomas Mann, William Dean Howells and Maxim Gorky, Julia Ward Howe and Lin coln Steffens . . .

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Columbia
Publication year:
  • 1960


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