James Lane Allen papers, 1892-1925

Descriptive Summary

Title
James Lane Allen papers, 1892-1925
Creator
Allen, James Lane, 1849-1925.
Extent
49W4, 49W5: 3.2 cubic ft, 87M52 .4 cubic ft.
Subjects
Hill, Alexander.
Wilson, Samuel M. (Samuel Mackay), 1871-1946.
Wiggin, Douglas.
Lafferty, Maude Ward, 1869-1962.
Howells, William Dean, 1837-1920.
Rowland, Orlando.
Rowland, Mrs.
Publishers and publishing--Biography.
Authors.
Clippings.
Correspondence.
Manuscripts (for publishing).
Kentucky author
Finding Aid Author
Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Author James Lane Allen was born near Lexington, Kentucky, December 21, 1849. He was the seventh and youngest child of Richard Allen, a Kentuckian, and his wife, Helen Foster Allen, a native of Mississippi. Lane Allen, as he was known in Kentucky until he became a distinguished figure in letters, was interested in books and nature when a boy under his mother's tutelage. He attended Kentucky University, later known as Transylvania, graduating valedictorian in 1872 and received an M.A. five years later. He was a teacher until 1884, when he became a writer. The first seven or eight years as a writer he divided between New York, Cincinnati, Ohio and Kentucky. After that time he resided in New York permanently and began writing short essays and poems for periodicals.
Success came in 1891 with the publication of his first book FLUTE AND VIOLIN: AND OTHER KENTUCKY TALES AND ROMANCES (reprinted distinctive stories). He was later known for his short stories, and his novels, notably THE KENTUCKY CARDINAL (1894), THE CHOIR INVISIBLE (1897) and THE REIGN OF LAW: A TALE OF THE KENTUCKY HEMP FIELDS (1900).
Scope and Content
The papers contain three groups of records; Allen's correspondence, holographic and typed manuscripts of some of Allen's writings and correspondence with Orlando and Mrs. Rowland 49W4 includes 23 holographic letters (1891-1897) Allen wrote from New York City to Alexander Hill of Robert Clarke and Co., Cincinnati, Ohio booksellers. The letters concern relations with publisher, lecture engagements and personal matters. Three other holographic letters are to Douglas Wiggin, 1899, a "Mr. Herdson", 1916, and to Samuel M. Wilson, 1921. The rest of the group of papers consists of book reviews, programs, clippings, and a photograph of Mr. Allen inscribed to Mr. Hill. 49W5, the second group, consists of holographic and typed manuscripts of drafts (some incomplete) of Allen's articles, stories and plays. More than thirty items bear titles.
The third and final accession (87M52) is largely comprised of letters (holographs) to Allen's friend Orlando Rowland and Mrs. Rowland in New York City. The letters focus on their friendship and in them Allen reveals his appreciation for Mr. and Mrs. Rowland's kindnesses of flowers, gifts, correspondence and hospitality.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.

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UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is open by appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Materials must be requested at least 5 days before your appointment.

Researchers must have an SCRC Researcher Account to request materials. View account set-up and use instructions here.

Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.

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You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.