Preface to the chapter “Cambridge: 1815-1915” from The Flowering of New England and New England: Indian Summer, handwritten by Van Wyck Brooks, from the Cambridge Book and Author War Bond Rally Manuscripts (094).
The Cambridge Room is pleased to announce that the Cambridge Book and Author War Bond Rally Manuscripts, ca. 1940-1943 are now available to research.
During the Second World War, cities around America hosted Book and Author War Bond Rallies at which authors spoke and donated works to encourage the public to purchase war bonds. The city of Cambridge hosted one such rally on September 28, 1943. Several prominent authors spoke and donated manuscripts to the Cambridge Public Library. Local organizations raised money for war bonds to sponsor these donations. The event raised $1,125,163 in bonds for the war effort. The organizations that bought the greatest amount of war bonds were the Jewish Community of Cambridge ($122,461), the Cambridge Rotary Club ($53,852), and the American Legion Auxiliary ($35,065). The authors who spoke at the event were Roy Chapman Andrews, Van Wyck Brooks, Edna Ferber, and John Roy Carlson (also known as Arthur Derounian). This collection includes the manuscripts of Andrews, Brooks, and Ferber, as well as manuscripts of a poem by Robert Nathan.
Van Wyck Brooks (February 16, 1886-May 2, 1963) was a critic and historian who wrote extensively on the literary history of America. He won the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1937 for his book The Flowering of New England. Edna Ferber (August 15, 1885-April 16, 1968) was a writer of fiction and theater, as well as autobiographies. Often focusing on diverse American workers, several of Ferber’s works were adapted into musicals or films. She won a Pulitzer Prize in 1925 for her novel So Big. Roy Chapman Andrews (January 26, 1884-March 11, 1960) was an explorer and naturalist who became the director of the American Museum of Natural History. In addition to scientific articles, Andrews wrote popular accounts of his expeditions, including his work with dinosaur fossils in the Gobi Desert. Robert Nathan (January 2, 1894-May 25, 1985) was a writer of both fiction and poetry. Of the more than fifty books he published, the most well known if Portrait of Jennie.
This collection contains four manuscripts donated to the Cambridge Public Library as part of a Book and Author War Bond Rally. The first three manuscripts are for the following books: Under a Lucky Star (1943) by Roy Chapman Andrews; Cambridge 1815-1915 (1943) by Van Wyck Brooks, made up of passages of his books The Flowering of New England (1936) and New England: Indian Summer (1940); and Saratoga Trunk (1941) by Edna Ferber. The fourth is of the poem Winter Tide (ca. 1940) by Robert Nathan.