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EDWARD FENTON PAPERS

de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
The University of Southern Mississippi


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Creator: Fenton, Edward
Title: Edward Fenton Papers
Dates: 1950-1975
Dates: [bulk 1966-1974]
Quantity: 3.00 cubic feet (9 boxes)
Identification: DG0316

Abstract: The Edward Fenton Papers contain typescripts, galleys, correspondence, and clippings created and accumulated by Edward Fenton between 1950 and 1975. Fenton's papers were created from his composition of six published works of original fiction, two translations of fiction from Greek, and two unpublished works. Fenton is best known for his juvenile mysteries; books on Greek mythology, history, and culture; and English translations of the works of Greek children's author, Alki Zei.

Biographical Note

Edward Fenton was born in New York City on July 7, 1917, to Henry and Fannie (Golden) Fenton. At various times, he attended Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts; worked for the New York Herald Tribune; and ran a bookshop. He served in North Africa during World War II with the American Field Service and the British Eighth Army. About the same time, Fenton began publishing poems and stories in several periodicals. His first novel, Us and the Duchess (1947), first appeared as a serial in a children's magazine. Fenton worked in the department of prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City between 1950 and 1955, but left his position to write full time. He purchased a 143-acre farm in Duchess County, New York, with the revenue from the sale of the movie rights for The Golden Doors (1957). The farm served as the setting for The Phantom of Walkaway Hill (1961) and its sequel, The Riddle of the Red Whale (1966). The former earned the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best juvenile mystery in 1962.

When his house burned to the ground in 1960, destroying both his possessions and literary papers, Fenton moved to Greece with his beagle, Kate. He had first visited Greece in 1946 and set two of his early works in that country. Fenton adored Greece and wrote several children's books on Greek mythology, history, scenery, and life. He also translated three books by Greek children's author, Alki Zei, into English. All three translations received the Mildred L. Batchelder Award for best children's book in translation. Fenton also lived in Italy for a time and set The Golden Doors (1957) and A Matter of Miracles (1967) in that country. He spoke fluent Greek, Italian, and French.

Fenton married Sophia Harvati, a Greek child psychologist and children's book author, in 1963. They lived in both Athens and Washington, D.C. Edward Fenton died on December 24, 1995.

Sources:
Third Book of Junior Authors, ed. Doris de Montreville and Donna Hill (New York: H. W. Wilson, 1972): 82-83.
Something About the Author, ed. Alan Hedblad (Detroit: Gale Research, 1997), 89:67.


Scope and Content Note

The Edward Fenton Papers contain typescripts, galleys, correspondence, and clippings created and accumulated by Edward Fenton between 1950 and 1975. Fenton's papers were created from his composition of six published works of original fiction, two translations of fiction from Greek, and two unpublished works. The material is organized into four series: literary works, reviews, correspondence, and biographical material.

The papers in the literary works series are organized into three subseries: fiction, translation, and unpublished works. In each subseries, the papers are arranged alphabetically by title and the material for each composition is arranged chronologically in order of creation when known. The papers contain primarily typescripts and galleys for most works. While the later typescripts of individual works are complete and easily comprehensible, some early typescripts appear somewhat disordered. The first complete typescript of Duffy's Rocks (1974) contains many pages of chapter plot sketches and rewritten pages inserted into the main body of the text, giving an appearance of disorder within an overall progression from one chapter to the next. The second complete typescript contains similar additions in its last chapters. Similarly, when composing the first typescript of The Riddle of the Red Whale (1966), Fenton frequently rewrote individual pages without revising the entire typescript.

The papers contain five early typescripts for A Matter of Miracles (1967). Their order of creation is not at all clear, so each has been assigned a letter, A-E. These tags should not be taken to imply an order of creation, although typescript D certainly followed C. Typescripts B and D both show signs of being the penultimate typescript for the book. Fenton also combined fragments of typescripts to create new ones. Typescript B seems to have incorporated and modified half of an unknown early typescript beginning with page 79. Likewise, typescript D borrowed the first two chapters of typescript B. Thankfully, an undisputed final typescript, edited and marked for publication, exists.

Material for Fenton's translations of the books of Greek children's author, Alki Zei, is orderly, complete, and easily intelligible. It includes typescripts in both English and Greek.Clippings of reviews and correspondence are arranged chronologically. Fenton's reviews and correspondence come from his own slim files. The letters sent to Lena de Grummond were selected and photocopied from the correspondence file of the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection because they provide information on the progress of Fenton's writing and his donations of material to the collection. Biographical material has been both created and collected by Edward Fenton.


Series and Subseries

A. Literary Works (1966-1974)

1. Fiction

2. Translation

3. Unpublished Works

B. Reviews (1950-1957)
C. Correspondence (1966-1975)
D. Biographical Material (1972-1975)


Restrictions

Restrictions on Use

Noncirculating; available for research.

Copyright Restrictions

The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials, other than that noted above.


Related Material

Sophia Harvati Fenton Papers (DG0317)


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item and cite the series), Edward Fenton Papers, de Grummond Children's Literature Collection, University of Southern Mississippi Libraries.

Provenance

These papers were donated to the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection of the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries by Edward Fenton between 1966 and 1975.

Processing Information

Processed by Hans Rasmussen, November 2001. Encoded into EAD Version 1.0 by Danielle L. Bishop. This finding aid is the product of a grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Container Listing

Box/Folder

.

Literary Works

Fiction
The Big Yellow Balloon by Edward Fenton, illustrated by Ib Ohlsson (New York: Doubleday, 1967)
1/1Photocopy of first typescript, edited, (6 pp.)
1/2Second typescript, edited, (6 pp.)
1/3Third typescript, edited, (5 pp.)
1/4Fourth typescript, edited, 5 pp.; photocopy of fourth typescript, further edited, 5 pp.
1/5Fifth typescript, edited, 7 pp.; typescript of possible titles, 1 p.
1/6Yellow balloons printed " The Big Yellow Balloon by Edward Fenton; Doubleday Books for Young Readers," (2 items)
1/7Braille edition of The Big Yellow Balloon transcribed under the sponsorship of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American National Red Cross for the Braille Book Fair at the Library for the Blind in the Cleveland Public Library, 1970
Duffy's Rocks by Edward Fenton (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1974)
1/8Composition notes, (33 pp.)
1/9Assorted early typescript sheets and carbon copies for chapter 2, incomplete and very disorganized, (59 pp.)
1/10Assorted early typescript sheets and carbon copies for chapter 2, incomplete and very disorganized, (59 pp.)
1/11Final typescript for chapter 2 before first complete typescript
1/12First complete typescript, edited with rewritten pages, chapters 2-5
1/13First complete typescript, edited with rewritten pages, chapters 6-7
1/14First complete typescript, edited with rewritten pages, chapters 8-10
1/15First complete typescript, edited with rewritten pages, chapters 11-21
1/16Carbon copy of typescript of chapter 2 from first complete typescript
1/17Second complete typescript, edited, chapters 2-4
1/18Second complete typescript, edited, chapters 5-9
1/19Second complete typescript, edited with rewritten pages, chapters 10-21
1/20Photocopy of second complete typescript, chapters 2-4
1/21Photocopy of second complete typescript, chapters 5-10
2/1Photocopy of second complete typescript, chapters 11-21
2/2Assorted early typescript sheets and carbon copies for chapter 1, (9 pp.)
2/3Typescript, edited, chapter 1; carbon copy of same typescript
2/4Third complete typescript, edited and marked for publication, front matter and chapters 1-3
2/5Third complete typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 4-7
2/6Third complete typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 8-11
2/7Third complete typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 12-21
2/8Galley, labeled "author's set," edited, front matter and chapters 1-21
A Matter of Miracles by Edward Fenton (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1967)
3/1Typescript A, edited, chapter 2 (pp.12-15, 19-23), early chapter 5, chapter 5, early chapter 7, chapter 6, early chapter 9, chapters 8-11
3/2Typescript B, edited, chapters 1-11
3/3Typescript B, edited, chapters 12-21
3/4Photocopy of typescript B, chapters 3-21
3/5Typescript C, edited, chapters 1-9
3/6Typescript C, edited, chapters 10-21
4/1Photocopy of typescript B, edited, chapters 1-2; typescript D, edited, chapters 3-8
4/2Typescript D, edited, chapters 9-21
4/3Carbon copy of typescript D, edited, chapters 3-10
4/4Carbon copy of typescript D, edited, chapters 11-21
4/5Typescript E, edited, front matter, chapters 1-4, early chapter 5
4/6Typescript page, edited, chapter 6 (pp. 61-62)
4/7Final typescript, edited and marked for publication, front matter and chapters 1-7
4/8Final typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 8-15
4/9Final typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 16-21
5/1Galley, labeled "Printer's Proof," edited, front matter and chapters 1-21
The Mystery of the Mad Millionairess by Edward Fenton, The Partridge Family # 13 (New York: Curtis Books, 1973)
5/2Carbon copy of letter sent concerning projected novel, 5 June 1972; composition notes and early typescript pages, ( 26 pp.)
5/3Carbon copy of typescript, chapters 1-19
Penny Candy by Edward Fenton, drawings by Edward Gorey (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1970)
5/4Carbon copy of first typescript, edited, (pp. 7-47)
5/5Second typescript, edited, (pp. 7-46)
5/6Third typescript, edited, (pp. 7-34)
5/7Fourth typescript, edited, pp. 7-34; carbon copy of fourth typescript with earlier editing, pp. 7-34; carbon copy of fourth typescript with earlier and additional editing, pp. 7-47; two typescript pages of earlier version of text for pp. 44-47
5/8Fifth typescript, edited, (pp. 7-8)
5/9Sixth typescript, edited, (pp. 7-14)
5/10Seventh typescript, edited, pp. 7-47, with a revised ending for pp. 40-43
5/11Page proofs for illustrations, pp. 3, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 22, 23, 25, 27, 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41, 44, 45, 47
The Riddle of the Red Whale by Edward Fenton (New York: Doubleday, 1966)
5/12First typescript, edited with rewritten pages, chapters 1-7
6/1First typescript, edited with rewritten pages, chapters 8-12
6/2First typescript, edited with rewritten pages, chapters 13-16
6/3First typescript, edited with rewritten pages, chapters 17-20
6/4Editor's notes, 3 pp.; second typescript, edited, chapters 1-7
6/5Second typescript, edited, chapters 8-13
6/6Second typescript, edited, chapters 14-21
6/7Carbon copy of third typescript, edited, chapters 1-21
7/1Third typescript, edited and marked for publication, front matter and chapters 1-11
7/2Third typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 12-21
7/3Galley, labeled "Reader's Set," edited, front matter, chapters 1-21, back matter, 6 July 1966
Translation
Petros' War by Alki Zei, translated from the Greek by Edward Fenton (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1972)
7/4Carbon copy of typescript in Greek, edited in English, chapters 1-25
7/5First typescript in English, edited, chapters 1-13
7/6First typescript in English, edited, chapters 14-25
8/1Second typescript in English, edited and marked for publication, front matter and chapters 1-12
8/2Second typescript in English, edited and marked for publication, chapters 13-25
8/3Galley, labeled "Translator's Set," edited, front matter and chapters 1-25
Wildcat Under Glass by Alki Zei, translated from the Greek by Edward Fenton (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1968)
8/4Unidentified typescript in Greek by Alki Zei, edited, 4 pp.; carbon copy of same typescript, edited,
8/5First typescript in English, edited, part 1
8/6First typescript in English, edited, part 2
9/1Second typescript in English, edited, parts 1 & 2
9/2Carbon copy of second typescript in English, parts 1 & 2
9/3Carbon copy of third typescript in English, [1967], parts 1 & 2
9/4Carbon copy of "About Greece and Freedom" preface, [ca. January 1968], (2 pp.)
9/5Third typescript in English, edited and marked for publication, preface and part 1, 14 November 1967-9 January 1968
9/6Third typescript in English, edited and marked for publication, part 2, 14 November 1967
9/7Dust jacket, 1968
9/8Review, 5 May [1968], (3 pp.)
Unpublished Works
Mystery [ca. 1967-1974]
9/9First typescript, edited, (1 p.)
9/10Second typescript, edited, (4 pp.)
9/11Carbon copy of third typescript, (5 pp.)
Untitled Work (a very brief history of Ancient Rome) [n.d.]
9/12Photocopy of edited typescript, (pp. 3-39)



.

Reviews

9/13Clippings of reviews for Hidden Trapezes (1950), 1950-1951, (12 items)
9/14Clippings of reviews for The Golden Doors (1957), 1957, (2 items)



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Correspondence

9/15Correspondence, 1967-1973, (4 items)
9/16Selected letters sent to Lena de Grummond, 1966-1975, (8 items)



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Biographical Material

9/17Carbon copy of typescript of autobiographical sketch for Third Book of Junior Authors, ed. Doris de Montreville and Donna Hill (New York: H. W. Wilson, 1972): 82-83, (2 pp.)
9/18Photocopy of entry in Something About the Author, ed. Anne Commire (Detroit: Gale Research, 1975): 7:86-87, (2 pp.)

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Box 5148
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
(601) 266-4349
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