A Collection in
Special Collections, Virginia TechSpecial Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
©2015 By Virginia Tech. All rights reserved.
Processed by: Kira A. Dietz, Archivist, Special Collections
Collection is open for research.
Permission to publish material from Sherwood Anderson Correspondence with Llewellyn Jones must obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.
Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Sherwood Anderson Correspondence with Llewellyn Jones, Ms2015-044, Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Alternate Form Available
The collection has been digitized and is available online.
The Sherwood Anderson Correspondence with Llewellyn Jones was purchased by Special Collections in April 2015.
The processing, arrangement, and description of the Sherwood Anderson Correspondence with Llewellyn Jones was completed in August 2015.
Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941) was born in the small town of Camden, Ohio, to a large and impoverished family. An outstanding student, Anderson quit school at 14 to help support his family. In 1895 he volunteered for the Spanish-American War, then spent one year in Wittenburg College. He worked as a laborer in Chicago and later as a writer in an advertising agency. Unable to resist the urge to write and live a bohemian lifestyle, Anderson suffered an emotional breakdown and walked away from his family and his mail-order paint business. He had three children (two sons and a daughter) from his first marriage. Anderson eventually married three more times.
Anderson published 27 books, plays, and volumes of short stories, along with numerous articles in periodicals. Often controversial, he wrote about issues as diverse as the sexual awakening of adolescence to the alienation caused by industrialization. He was very active in the intellectual community of the day and was instrumental in helping both Faulkner and Hemingway to be published for the first time.
Anderson wrote to his daughter from Kansas City in March, 1933, "As you know, my dear, I never did domesticate well," but he always maintained relationships with his children. Later in life, Anderson embarked on his fourth marriage to Eleanor Copenhaver, a native of Marion, Virginia. They traveled extensively and spent summers on their rural farm, "Ripshin," near Marion. Anderson bought and operated both of Marion's local newspapers and eventually passed ownership along to his eldest son, Robert.
Sherwood Anderson died on the first leg of a long-anticipated trip to South America. He developed peritonitis and was hospitalized in Panama, where he passed away on March 8, 1941.
Llewellyn Jones (July 13, 1884-July 1, 1961) was an American editor and author. He served as the literary editor of the Chicago Evening Post from 1914-1932. He later worked for book publisher Willett, Clark, and Company. He authored three books on writing, criticism, and reading. His personal and professional papers are held by the Beinecke Rare Book and Mansuscript Library at Yale University. A guide to the collection, including a brief biography, can be found online.
This collection consists of eight letters written by American author Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941) to Llewellyn Jones (1884-1961) between 1916 and 1924 with three undated (but likely from the same period). Jones was the literary editor for the Chicago Evening Post. The correspondence primarily discusses the reviews of Anderson's earlier works by Jones and other critics. Anderson and Jones appear to have also been friends and a number of the letters include queries about Jones' wife and personal updates on Anderson and his second wife, Tennessee Claflin Mitchell (1874-1929). In the "Contents List" below, items showing as "c." are the date from the postmark on the envelope. In these cases, the letters themselves did not have dates.
Although Anderson never mentions specific titles, the 1916 letters refer to Windy McPherson's Son. The note from April 1918 probably refers to Anderson's collection of poetry published that year, Mid-American Chants. The letter dated only "October 3" was likely written in 1918, since records indicate that was the fall in which Anderson had Spanish influenza. He writes, "Have made the draft of a new novel and writen some fifty thousand words of it," probably referring to early work on the novel Poor White, which was published in 1920. This typed letter also describes a recent visit to Anderson by Carl Sandburg. The two letters from 1924 both include Anderson's comments on reviews of his 1923 novel, Many Marriages.
The collection also includes two undated letters, both of which can be placed in an approximate timeline. One was written from New York City. Although short, it mentions he will be there until the end of the year. This likely places the letter in in either late 1922 or 1923, during which time he was living there (before he moved to New Orleans with his third wife in 1924). The other undated letter laments that the reactions "I have seen, for the most part, [are] not intelligent criticism but long dissertations on someone’s notion of labor, writing, or intellectuality." This could place the letter in 1917, after the publication of Marching Men, which dealt with themes of labor issues and the intellectual figure in society.
Transcripts of the letters are available in print with collection and online with the digitized copies.
The correspondence in the collection is arranged in chronological order. In the "Contents List" below, items showing as "c." are listed by the date from the postmark on the envelope. In these cases, the letters themselves did not have dates. Undated letters that cannot be clearly placed in the timeline are at the end, with a note about the possible year(s).
Special Collections houses several collections containing materials by or about Sherwood Anderson:
- Anderson, Sherwood, 1876-1941
- Jones, Llewellyn, 1884-1961
- American Literature -- Virginia
- Authors, American--20th century
Genre and Form Terms:
This collection has been digitized and is available online.
July 26, 1916
c. September 9, 1916
c. April 26, 1918
October 3, 
c. July 22, 1924
c. December 11, 1924
Undated [possibly after the publication of Marching Men (1917)]
Undated, from New York City [possibly 1922 or 1923]
- Anderson, Sherwood, 1876-1941
- Jones, Llewellyn, 1884-1961