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GEORGE SELDEN PAPERS

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


Creator: George Selden Thompson [George Selden]
Title: George Selden Papers
Dates: 1963 - 1968
Quantity: .30 cubic feet (1 box)
Identification: DG0978

Abstract: George Selden is the author of almost twenty books for children and intermediate readers, but is best known as the author of The Cricket in Times Square (1960), a modem classic of children's literature. The George Selden Papers contain typescripts and a galley for three books published between 1963 and 1968.

Biographical Note

George Selden Thompson, who wrote as George Selden, was born in Hartford, Connecticut in May 1929. He studied English and classical literature at Yale, won a Fulbright scholarship to Italy in 1950-1951, and spent an entire year on a grand tour of Europe. Selden always knew he wanted to be a writer, and upon his return to the United States tried his hand at writing plays. A friend at Viking suggested Selden try writing a children's book instead. Although his first book was not his best, it inspired Selden to write The Garden under the Sea (1957), later reprinted as Oscar Lobster's Fair Exchange. In this well-received book, animal characters use humor and witty dialogue to satirize human behavior. Selden used this same technique to write his most famous work, The Cricket in Times Square (1960), a story about a homesick cricket and his friends. The Cricket in Times Square became an instant favorite, was named a Newbery Honor Book in 1961, and earned a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award two years later. Selden eventually wrote several sequels to The Cricket in Times Square as well as many other fiction and nonfiction works for children and intermediate readers. He died in New York City in 1989.

Sources:
Fourth Book of Junior Authors and Illustrators, ed. Doris de Montreville and Elizabeth D. Crawford (New York: H.W. Wilson Co., 1978), 313-4
Major Authors and Illustrators for Children and Young Adults, ed. Laurie Collier and Joyce Nakamura (Detroit: Gale Research, 1993), 6:2294-7


Scope and Content Note

The George Selden Papers contain typescripts and a galley for three books published between 1963 and 1968. The material is organized into a single series for books and is arranged alphabetically by title.


Series and Subseries

A. Books (1963 - 1968)

The Dunkard (1968)

The Mice, the Monks, and the Christmas Tree (1963)

Oscar Lobster's Fair Exchange (1966)


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.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), George Selden Papers, de Grummond Children's Literature Collection, University of Southern Mississippi Libraries, (cite the item's box/folder numbers).

Provenance

These papers were donated to the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection of the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries by George Selden Thompson in 1966 and 1968.

Processing Information

Processed by C. Alder, June 2003. This finding aid is the product of a grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Container Listing

Box/Folder

 

Books

The Dunkard by George Selden, illustrations by Peter Lippman (New York: Harper & Row, 1968)
1/1

Carbon copy of typescript for chapters 1-4, 12 pp.

The Mice, the Monks, and the Christmas Tree by George Selden, illustrations by Jan Balet (New York: Macmillan, 1963)
1/2

Carbon copy of early typescript titled "The Mice in the Monastery: A Christmas Story," 9 pp.

 

Oscar Lobster's Fair Exchange by George Selden, illustrations by Peter Lippman  (New
York: Harper & Row, 1966)

1/3-4

Galley for chapters 1-13, edited and labeled 'Master Proof,' 23 March 1966, 55 sheets


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Contact:
The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
Box 5148
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
(601) 266-4349
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