de Grummond Collection

McCain Library and Archives
University Libraries
University of Southern Mississippi

ESTHER AVERILL PAPERS

Collection Number
Collection Dates
Collection Volume
DG0045
1953-1971
.40 cu.ft. (1 box)

Biographical Sketch | Scope & Content | Related Collections | Series & Subseries | Box Inventory

Provenance

Material was donated by Esther Averill in 1966 and 1971.

Restrictions

Noncirculating; available for research.

Copyright

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.

Biographical Sketch

Esther Averill was born July 24, 1902 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. As a teenager, she worked as a cartoonist for a local newspaper. In 1923, she graduated from Vassar College and went to work in the editorial department of Woman's Wear Daily, a fashion newspaper in New York. She moved to Paris in 1925 working as a free-lance photographer. Ms. Averill decided to write and set up her own publishing company, The Domino Press, in 1931 and published Daniel Boone, illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky. In 1934, she published her last book in France, The Fable of a Proud Poppy under the pseudonym, John Domino. After a ten year stay in Paris, she moved back to the United States, started The Domino Press, New York, worked in the New York Public Library and studied painting at the Brooklyn Museum Art School.

Ms. Averill is most noted for The Cat Club series, 13 stories about a black cat named Jenny Lensky that wears a red scarf in all of her adventures. The characters were all based on cats Ms. Averill owned or knew. Jenny's Birthday Book (1954),written and illustrated by Esther Averill, was awarded the Best Children's Book of the Year by the New York Times. Some of the cat stories have been published in other languages throughout the world. Esther Averill died on May 12, 1992 in New York.

Sources:


Scope and Content

The collection contains two dummies from Ms. Averill's The Cat Club series, How the Brothers Joined the Cat Club (1953) and The Fire Cat (1960). Both have some original paste-ups and notes from the author in them. Also included are some letters to the de Grummond Collection that detail some of her work and art technique on Daniel Boone (1931) and The Fire Cat (1960). The Fire Cat (1960), is the story of a cat named Pickles who dreams of living in a firehouse. The other book, How the Brothers Joined the Cat Club (1953) is the story of how Jenny's two new brothers are accepted into the cat club.

Related Collection

The Feodor Rojankovsky Papers (DG0834) has original illustrations for Daniel Boone(1931).




Series and Subseries

A. Correspondence (1966-1971)

B. Books (1953-1960)


Box Inventory


Box/Folder

A. Correspondence

1/1 Correspondence to the de Grummond Collection with attached biography note from Harper & Row, 3 items.

B. Books

The Fire Cat written and illustrated by Esther Averill (New York: Harper & Row, 1960). Dummy with watercolor and ink paste-ups, edited with typesetter's marks, undated; front matter (4 pp.), pp 5-63. How the Brothers Joined the Cat Club written and illustrated by Esther Averill (New York: Harper & Row, 1953). 1/3 Dummy with watercolor and ink paste-ups, edited, dated 1953; pp. 7-10.


Processed: November 12, 1997

Biographical Sketch | Scope & Content | Related Collections | Series & Subseries | Box Inventory
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Contact:
The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
Box 5148
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
(601) 266-4349
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