Elisabeth May Ogilvie Collection, 1985-2003

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Volume: .50 linear feet

Organization/Arrangement: Organized into seven series:
 I. Biographical Material
II. Writings
III. Manuscript Material
IV. Interviews and Reviews
V. Correspondence
VI. Photographs
VII. Notes and Research

 Biographical Note: Elisabeth Ogilvie was born in Boston on May 20, 1917, to Frank and Maude Ogilvie. She was raised in Dorchester and Wollaston, Massachusetts, summering on the island of Criehaven in Maine. The family spent nearly every summer in Maine, which would make a strong impression on Elisabeth as she grew up. Her childhood was happy and creative, as she was involved with both ballet and Scottish Highland dancing. Her family’s love of words was also very influential in shaping Elisabeth’s career. Her mother Maude wrote for her school magazine, and later for the Boston Post. Her brothers enjoyed writing plays and poetry, and her father was a voracious reader.

Even though Elisabeth loved to make up stories, her true passion for writing did not fully emerge until her English classes with Frank Smoyer at North Quincy High School. He encouraged Elisabeth to write for the school’s literary magazine, The Manet. After her first story was published in the journal, she wrote a new piece every two weeks, and continued to contribute works to The Manet from eighth grade through her senior year. Elisabeth graduated at the height of the Depression, so a college education was not an option. She was determined, however, to improve herself as a writer, so she enrolled in a “Writing for Publication” course at Harvard University in 1936. Shortly thereafter, her first story was published in a Massachusetts newspaper Sunday supplement. Her instructor, Donald MacCampbell, became a staunch supporter, and offered to be her agent when the course ended. Elisabeth’s stories were published in several publications, such as Woman’s Day, Redbook, and Good Housekeeping.

In 1944, she published her first novel, High Tide at Noon, about a lobstering family who lived on fictional Bennett’s Island. Shortly after she moved to Cushing, Maine, and wintered in a farmhouse – called Tide’s Way – on 33 acres on Gay’s Island where she lived with longtime companion (and another Maine writer) Dorothy Simpson for fifty years. Dorothy and her husband, Guy, were great friends to Elisabeth, and often gave her advice and inspiration for her writings.

With the critical and public success of High Tide at Noon, it did not take long for Elisabeth to write the second installment, Storm Tide (1945), which won the New England Press Association Award for Best Novel in 1945 and the Northeast Woman’s Press Association Award in 1946. The Bennett’s Island series eventually grew to include eight books, the last in the series, The Day Before Winter, being published in 1997. She wrote 46 adult, young adult, and children's books.

Though most of her novels are set in Maine, her Jennie Glenroy series is set in Scotland, the place she called her second favorite after Maine, to which she traveled extensively throughout her life. Elisabeth also wrote several mystery and suspense novels, including No Evil Angel (1956) and The Devil in Tartan (1980), as well as historical fiction. She became involved with several writers organizations, such as the Authors Guild and Mystery Writers of America, as well as lecturing at schools, libraries, and professional organizations, like Maine Media Women.

Elisabeth garnered many fans throughout her long career for her rich descriptions of setting, heartwarming storylines, and great attention to characterization. She died in 2006 on the ninth of September.

Description: The collection includes biographical information, manuscript material, interviews, reviews, newsletters, photographs, correspondence, notes, and research materials. Ogilvie's manuscripts are typewritten, many with her own notations and corrections. Her notes are wide-ranging, and include ideas for stories, character development, historical background, and more. Her research materials include books and newspaper/periodical articles, and serve as a supplement to her notes.  Also included is a series of newsletters for Ogilvie readers, a companion book for her fans, a book of recipes from her many novels, and her typewriter.

Access Restrictions: None

Please cite as: Elisabeth May Ogilvie Collection, Maine Women Writers Collection, University of New England, Portland, Maine

Container List:

I. Biographical Material
This series includes a newsletter for fans of Ogilvie; a collection of recipes from her novels; obituaries; and articles remembering the author after her death in 2006.
001-002.  "A Mug-Up With Elisabeth" The Newsletter for Readers of EO [1998-2003]
003-004.  “Mug-Ups and Mouthwatering Foods from Ogilvie Novels,” 2001
005.  Obituaries and Memorials, 2006
006.  Obituary, September 14, 2006
007.  Obituary from Working Waterfront (Island Institute), October 15 2007

II. Writings

This series includes original 1940s to 1960s issues of Woman's Day magazine with stories written by Ogilvie and original 1980s issues of The Writer magazine with articles written by Ogilvie. Also included is a 1933 issue of The Manet, the literary journal of North Quincy High School, to which Ogilvie contributed.

001-002.  Extended Works of EO, undated
003.  The Manet - Literary Magazine of North Quincy H.S., 1933
004.  Photocopied Stories from Woman’s Day, July 1944 to August 1959
005.  Issue of Woman’s Day with EO Story, July 1947
006.  Photocopy of “My World is an Island,” McGraw Hill, 1950
007.  Issue of Woman’s Day with EO Story, March 1950 
008.  Issue of Woman’s Day with EO story, August 1951
009.  Issue of Woman’s Day with EO Story, July 1952
010.  Issue of Woman’s Day with EO Story, August 1952
011.  Issue of Woman’s Day with EO Story, July 1954
012.  Issue of Woman’s Day with EO Story, August 1954
013.  Issue of Woman’s Day with EO Story, July 1955
014.  Issue of Woman’s Day with EO Story, July 1956
015.  Issue of Woman’s Day with EO Story, August 1959
016.  Issue of Woman’s Day with EO Story, July 1966
017.  Issue of The Writer with EO Article, Sept 1981
018.  Issue of The Writer with EO Article, April 1985
019.  Photocopies of EO's Writings in The Manet, 2000

III. Manuscript Material

This series includes the typewritten manuscripts of Ogilvie, many with her own notations and corrections. Manuscripts for novels, articles, and short stories are included. Highlights are the manuscripts for Bennett's Island and Tom's Story.

001-003.  Bennett's Island
004.  Cassie
005-008.  The Day Before Winter
009.  Down East Books - EO Book Covers
010-012.  Fractured Light
013.  The Fugitive & The Almost Empty Heart
014.  Jupiter Effect
015.  Miscellaneous Manuscript Corrections, undated
016.  “The Story Behind High Tide at Noon/A Matter of Coincidences”
017.  Suddenly a Stranger
018.  Tom's Story, Ch. 1-3
019.  Tom's Story, Ch. 3-5
020.  Tom's Story, Ch. 6-12
021.  The Trip, undated
022.  Ogilvie's Typewriter
023.  The Unlucky Blaine Woman
024.  We Become Vandals to Fight a Vandal, 1967
025.  Book Galleys
026.  Book Cover for The Seasons Hereafter
027.  Map Illustrations for Books

IV. Interviews and Reviews

This series includes articles written about Ogilvie's life and work.

001.  "Elisabeth Ogilvie" by Joan Mitchell, 1987
002.  1985-2000
003.  Clippings, 1994-1998
004.  "Elisabeth Ogilvie: Factual Fiction from Coastal Maine" from Maine Life, March 1988
005.  "The Scriveners" from Down East 1994

V. Correspondence

This series includes correspondence between Ogilvie and poet and publisher Gary Lawless (1991-99), as well as other miscellaneous correspondence from the 1950s and 1990s. There are also several letters from child sponsorship/foster parenthood organizations and the children associated with them.

001.  Correspondence, 1950s
002.  Correspondence, 1990s
003.  ALS to Gary Lawless, 1991-1999
004.  Correspondence Re: Foster Children, 1995-96

VI. Photographs

This series includes photographs from Ogilvie's collection.

001.  Photographs B&W, undated
002-005.  Foster Child Photos, undated
006.  Production Stills from “High Tide at Noon,” 1957
007.  Photos of On Board QE2, 1979 and 1986
008.  Photographs of Windham Library, June 16, 1987
009.  Photographs from "Mug-Up" Subscriber Luncheon 10/7/2000
010.  Large B&W Portrait

VII. Notes and Research

001.  Notes for Jamie Bennett
002.  Cassie
003.  Clippings for Research
004.  Criehaven/Matinicus Clippings & Research
005.  Notes for Down East Review by David Phillips, undated
006.  Notes for Fractured Light, 1965-2000
007.  Fractured Light Notes on Physician's Progress Sheet, 1987
008.  Fractured Light Notes on Page Proofs, undated
009.  Fractured Light (from legal pad), 1991-1999
010.  Fractured Light, undated
011.  Background for Griam, 2001
012.  Background for Griam - Furbish, 1998-2003
013.  Background for Griam - Saga
014.  The Legacy Notes from Legal Pads Inside Envelope
015.  The Legacy Loose Notes from Envelope
016.  The Legacy Notes from One Envelope
017.  The Legacy/Dog & Pony Show Notes from One Envelope
018-020.  The Legacy Loose Notes
021.  The Legacy Notes from Legal Pad
022.  Miscellaneous Notes, undated
023.  Miscellaneous Research Material
024.  Miscellaneous Story Ideas
025.  Miscellaneous Story Ideas Envelope One
026.  Miscellaneous Story Ideas Envelope Two
027.  Miscellaneous Story Ideas Envelope Three
028.  Notes for Mort Main
029.  Mysteries - New Story Ideas/Notes
030.  "Mystery/Suspense" Notebook
031.  "A Pocket Guide: The History of Wales" 1990 [w/ inserts]
032.  Notes for Stalking
033.  Tom's Story, Dragons, & Fractured Light
034.  Tom's Story Titles
035.  Tom's Story or Whirligigs
036-039.  Winds of Summer Fields Notes from Legal Pads
040.  Whirligigs
041.  "Punch's Almanack for 1882"
042.  "An Age of Barns" 1967
043.  Miscellaneous 1970s
044.  "A Welcome to Gaelic" 1977 [w/ inserts]
045.  "New England Indians" 1978
046.  1980 J.R.R. Tolkien Desk Calendar
047.  1981 J.R.R. Tolkien Desk Calendar
048.  Articles for Background on Griam, 1981-86
049.  Newspapers for Reference 1989, 1991, & 1998
050.  1991 Calendar
051.  Jupiter Effect Miscellaneous, 1993
052.  Jupiter Effect Notes from Legal Pad, 1993
053.  Winds of Summer Fields Miscellaneous Notes, 1993-94
054.  Winds of Summer Fields Notes in Down East Books Envelope 1993-94
055.  Fractured Light Notes On and Inside Mystery Writers Notebook 1993-94
056.  Winds of Summer Fields Notes from One Folder
057.  Fractured Light Notes on Scrap Papers 1994
058.  Fractured Light 1995
059.  "Evergreen" Summer 1995
060.  Miscellaneous 2001
061.  Miscellaneous Undated Notes from Notebook
062.  The End of Summer Notes from Notebook
063.  Miscellaneous Story Notes, undated
064.  Miscellaneous Notes, undated
065.  Notes from Book Labeled "Plots (Miscellaneous)"
066.  Miscellaneous Undated Notes
067.  Dog & Pony Show Notes, undated
068.  Notes Labeled "Book List, Bennetts and Bridgport People"
069.  Miscellaneous Undated Notes
070.  Notes: November 1, 1983
071.  Notes: March 5, 1982-October  31, 1983
072.  Mailers (envelopes) with notes
073.  Notes from large file folder (photocopies)