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Carolyn G. Heilbrun papers

Identifier: MRBC-MS-00011

Scope and Contents

The Carolyn G. Heilbrun Papers consist of 1.25 linear feet of material, dating from 1846 to 1979, relating to her works: The Garnett Family (1961) and Christopher Isherwood (1971). Types of materials include correspondence, newspaper articles, photographs of the Garnett family, notes, and interviews. This collection was donated to Smith College by Carolyn Heilbrun in November 1989. The papers are arranged in four series.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1846-1979


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that they own copyright, Carolyn Heilbrun has retained full ownership of any and all copyrights currently controlled by Heilbrun in these materials. Copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, or which may regard materials in the collection not created by Heilbrun, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical / Historical


In 1993, Carolyn Heilbrun became Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities Emerita at Columbia University, after thirty-three years of teaching there. She had fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, and from the NEH. In 1984, she was President of the Modern Language Association. She was a visiting professor at Princeton, Swarthmore, Yale, Union Theological Seminary, the University of California, and at Columbia and Yale Law schools and has received many honorary degrees from colleges and universities. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Modern Language Association in 2000, and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000. Heilbrun published: The Garnett Family, Christopher Isherwood, Toward a Recognition of Androgyny, Reinventing Womanhood, Writing a Woman's Life , Hamlet's Mother and Other Women, The Education of A Woman: A Life of Gloria Steinem, The Last Gift of Time, and the University of Toronto Alexander Lectures, Women's Lives: The View from the Threshold, and When All Our Models Were Men: My Teachers Barzun, Fadiman, Trilling. She published numerous articles and reviews. Under the name Amanda Cross, she published fourteen mystery novels. Heilbrun died on October 9, 2003.


Richard Garnett was an English librarian and writer. He served on the staff of the British Museum (1851-1899) as keeper of printed books (1890-1899); and director (from 1880). In 1905 Garnett published a general catalogue of the British Museum. He also wrote Relics of Shelley (1862), The Twilight of the Gods (1888, fables), History of Italian Literature (1897), and several biographies. Richard Garnett was the father of Edward Garnett.


Constance Garnett was the wife of Edward Garnett and mother of David Garnett. Her translations of many Russian writers, such as Dostoevsky, achieved great popularity in the first two decades of the twentieth century and had a profound influence on modernist writers. Garnett studied classics at Newnham College, Cambridge University, and began to learn Russian in the early 1890s.


Edward Garnett was the father of David Garnett, husband of Constance Garnett, and son of Richard Garnett. As a publisher's reader and critic, he discovered, advised, and tutored many British writers, including Conrad, Galsworthy, Ford Maddox Ford, D.H. Lawrence, and W.H. Hudson. Garnett also authored plays, including The Breaking Point (1907), The Feud (1907), and The Trial of Jeanne d'Arc (1912).

DAVID GARNETT, 1892-1981

David Garnett was the only child of Edward and Constance Garnett, and was known almost universally as "Bunny." Although trained at the Royal College of Science as a botanist, he later turned to a highly successful literary career. Among his twenty-one works of fiction, Lady into Fox (1922) is notable for having won both the Hawthornden and Tait-Black prizes for 1923. The unexpected success of this novel led Bunny to withdraw in 1924 from the bookshop he had established in 1920 with Francis Birell to devote more time to his writing. From 1923 to 1935 he was partner in the Nonesuch Press, and from 1932 to 1935 he was literary editor of the New Statesman and Nation. He wrote several memoirs.


Christopher Isherwood was an American-English novelist, poet and playwright. He authored autobiographical and quasi-autobiographical works including the short-story collection Goodbye to Berlin (1939), the novels: The World in the Evening (1954), Down There On A Visit (1962), A Meeting by the River (1967), and Christopher and His Kind (1976). His work included screenwriting for various film studios (from 1939). As a convert, Isherwood wrote, edited, and translated works on Vedantism.


Hussey, Mark. Virginia Woolf A to Z. New York, 1995.

Merriam-Webster's Biographical Dictionary. Merriam-Webster Incorporated, 1995.


1.313 linear feet (3 containers)


Professor and decorated writer who wrote The Garnett Family (1961) and Christopher Isherwood (1971). Includes correspondence, newspaper articles, photographs of the Garnett family, notes, and interviews relating to the two aforementioned works.


This collection is organized into four series:

  1. I. Garnett Family, 1846-1960
  2. II. The Garnett Family by Carolyn G. Heilbrun, 1955-1960
  3. III. Christopher Isherwood by Carolyn G. Heilbrun, 1974-1979
  4. IV. Interview with Alice G. Fredman, 1977


The papers are arranged in four series.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated to Smith College by Carolyn Heilbrun in November 1989.

Carolyn G. Heilbrun papers
Finding Aid
Compiled by Rachel Dwyer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2005-09-23: manoscmr6 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).

Repository Details

Part of the Mortimer Rare Book Collection Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063