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Collection Overview

Gordon, Caroline, 1895-1981
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Ashley Brown collection of Caroline Gordon
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1


Consists of selected manuscripts and letters of American novelist and literary critic Caroline Gordon, collected by Ashley Brown, a friend and fellow author.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection contains six manuscripts (1959-1972) by Gordon in typescript form with autograph corrections: "The Dragon's Teeth" (incomplete), "Horarium" (a daily plan), a book review of Katherine Anne Porter and the Art of Rejection by William L. Nance, "A Narrow Heart, the Portrait of a Woman" (incomplete), a lecture given at the University of Michigan, and a poem about Robert Fitzgerald entitled "To a Survivor of a Southern Literary Festival, A Tribute in the Form of an Admonition." There are also 77 letters (1956-1980) by Gordon to Ashley Brown, one letter (1957) by Malcolm Cowley to Gordon, and one letter (1963) by Allen Tate to Gordon.

Collection Creator Biography:

Caroline Ferguson Gordon was an American teacher, literary critic and novelist. Born on October 6, 1895, she grew up on a farm in Kentucky. Gordon graduated from Bethany College in West Virginia, in 1916 and began her career working as a writer for the Chattanooga Reporter until 1924. In 1925 she married Allen Tate, a poet and literary critic associated with the Southern Agrarian literary movement. Together they pursued their careers in writing, forging close bonds with other writers such as Robert Lowell, Hart Crane, Flannery O'Connor and Katherine Anne Porter. In 1931, Caroline published her first novel, Penhally, and in 1934 released her most popular work Aleck Maury, Sportsman. "Old Red," her best known story, published in Scribner's Magazine, was awarded a second-place O. Henry Award in 1934. She also received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1932. Her relationship with Tate grew volatile, and they divorced, remarried, and finally divorced permanently in 1959. Caroline continued to move around the country throughout her life, living at various times in North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, and Washington state. In 1978 she moved to San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico, to be with her daughter and died there on April 11, 1981.

Collection History


Purchased from Ashley Brown on July 5, 1984 (AM85-3).

Archival Appraisal Information:

No materials were separated during 2012 processing.

Processing Information:

Folder Inventory added by Jameson Creager (2015) in 2012.

Folder Inventory added by Jameson Creager (2015) in 2012.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Ashley Brown collection of Caroline Gordon; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184