Scope and Contents
The collection consists of letters addressed to Christopher Morley by well-known people, relating mostly to books and literary affairs. Letter writers include Sherwood Anderson, David Belasco, Hilaire Belloc, William Rose Benet, Earl Derr Biggers, Louis Bromfield, Pearl S. Buck, Robert P. Tristram Coffin, Joseph Conrad, Walter De La Mare, Amelia Earhart, T. S. Eliot, St. John Ervine, John Galsworthy, Joseph Hergesheimer, Herbert Hoover, Julian Huxley, Jerome Kern, Rudyard Kipling, Stephen Leacock, Vachel Lindsay, Don Marquis, John Masefield, Ogden Nash, Jules Romains, Carl Sandburg, Upton Sinclair, Hugh Walpole and others.
Christopher Darlington Morley (1890-1957), was born in Haverford, Pennsylvania, to Frank Morley and Lilian Janet Bird Morley. In 1900 the family moved to Baltimore, Maryland, but Morley returned to Haverford when he enrolled at Haverford College in 1906. There, he published in the school's Haverfordian, was on its editorial board, edited his class yearbook, helped write, produce, and act in plays, and was a member of the cricket and soccer teams. After graduating in 1910 as valedictorian of his class, he became a Rhodes Scholar at New College, Oxford University, where he studied modern history. Returning to the United States, Morley began a versatile career as poet, novelist, essayist, critic, and editor, supporter of theatrical ventures, book-club judge, and friend of neglected old writers and emerging new ones. In 1914 he married Helen Booth Fairchild; they had four children. They moved to Philadelphia in 1917, and moved permanently to Roslyn Heights, Long Island, in 1920. Morley's career began with an editorial position at Doubleday, Page and Co., publishers, on Long Island, New York. He also edited the Ladies' Home Journal, and cofounded and edited the Saturday Review of Literature. Morley wrote for many papers, including the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger and the New York Evening Post. Though he thought of himself as a poet first, Morley was a prolific author of novels and poetry, publishing his first book of poems in 1912 while he was at Oxford. In total, Morley published at least ten books of verse, and many celebrated novels including Kitty Foyle (1939), which made the bestseller list and was the basis of a 1942 movie starring Ginger Rogers and The Man Who Made Friends With Himself (1949). Morley wrote introductions and prefaces for works by other authors such as Walt Whitman, H.H. Munro, William Shakespeare, and Laurence Sterne, and edited material by Whitman, Sir Francis Bacon, and his close friend, humorist Don Marquis. In addition to volumes of published essays, Morley gave countless lectures, some of which were published. Morley was involved in the Book-of-the-Month Club and cofounder of the Baker Street Irregulars, a club for lovers of Sherlock Holmes.