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Maine Women Writers Collection

Ruth Moore Collection, 1917-1995

Ruth Moore

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Volume: 8 linear feet

Organization/Arrangement: Organized into three series:
I. Writing
II. Review, publicity, and correspondence
III. Biographical material and memorabilia

Biographical Note: Ruth Moore (1903-1989) was the second of four children born to Philip and Lovina Moore of Gott's Island, Maine. Moore was raised and attended grammar school on the island, but left at the age of 14 to attend high school in Ellsworth. Soon after finishing high school, she entered the State Teacher's College in Albany, NY, graduating with a degree in English in 1925. Moore remained in New York after college, and her parents left Gott's Island in 1927. For four years, starting in 1926 Moore worked as a secretary for NAACP founder Mary White Ovington. In 1936 she worked for novelist Alice Tisdale Hobart, and in 1942, she became editor at Reader’s Digest until 1947.

Living primarily in Greenwich Village (but also as far away as California), she moved in literary circles, and wrote primarily unpublished poetry during these years. Moore wrote a number of novels before publishing The Weir (W. Morrow and Co.) in 1943. Her second novel, Spoonhandle (1946), was turned into the movie “Deep Waters” by 20th Century Fox, the proceeds of which allowed her to buy land in Bass Harbor, but Moore ultimately disliked the results. From 1947 onward, Moore lived in Maine with her friend Eleanor Mayo. Moore had published 13 novels by 1979, including The Walk Down Main Street (1960), The Sea Flower (1965), and The Gold and Silver Hooks (1969).

Although she disliked the designation, Moore is considered a regional writer, often identified as the strongest one that Maine has produced. Her works are emotionally, politically, and socially complex reflections of life in small-town Maine, written with vivid descriptions of the landscape, and including local dialect. In addition to her novels, Moore published three compilations of poetry, including The Tired Apple (Blackberry Books) in 1990.

Most of Moore's novels have been re-released by Blackberry Books, and she enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in the late 1980s. In 1976, she received an honorary doctorate from Unity College. Moore died in Bass Harbor in 1989. A collection of her letters, titled High Clouds Soaring, Storms Driving Low: The Letters of Ruth Moore, was edited by Sanford Phippen and published by Blackberry Press in 1993.

Description: This collection includes manuscripts of Moore's post-1955 novels and poetry collections, as well as editor's notes, advance copies and galleys of these works. Also included are scrapbooks and loose clippings of reviews and publicity, as well as fan mail and literary correspondence. The collection includes biographical material about Moore and some memorabilia.

Container list:

I. Manuscripts

This series includes typescripts of Moore's novels and poetry published after 1955.  For Speak to the Winds [1956] and The Walk Down Main Street [1960], a small amount of material is included.   For her later novels, from Second Growth [1962] through Sarah Walked Over the Mountain [1979], there are multiple drafts, including editors' notes, discarded material, and printers' galleys.  One unpublished, undated manuscript, "Dandelion Wine" is included, as well as copies of several published articles and reviews by Moore.

001.  "In Winter" ca. 1972.   Words: Ruth Moore [sheet music]
002.  "Lost Atlantis" [undated poem, draft]
003.  RM poetry in college publication [1926], 1926
003a.  Published articles/reviews by RM, 1945-64
004-008.  Dandelion Wine, Part I [ms unpublished]
009-014.  Speak to the Winds [typescript]
015.  Speak to the Winds [corrections]
016.  Walk Down Main Street [typescript - fragments]
017.  Walk Down Main Street [editorial comments]
018.  Second Growth - Part I [typescript]
019.  Second Growth - Part 2 [typescript w/ revisions]
020-021.  Second Growth - Part 3 [typescript w/ revisions]
022.  Second Growth - Part 4 [typescript]
023-024.  Second Growth - Part 5 [typescript]
025.  Second Growth - Part 6; Epilogue [typescript]
026-032.  The Sea Flower [draft w/ revisions]
033-036.  Cat’s Cradle [The Sea Flower - final draft w/ copyediting]
037.  The Sea Flower [front matter]
038-055.  Gold and Silver Hooks [typescript w/ revisions]
056-063.  Gold and Silver Hooks [ms w/ proofreader's marks]
064-070.  Lizzie and Carolyn [late draft]
071-076.  Lizzie and Carolyn [ms marked for printer]
077-086.  Lizzie and Carolyn [dead material]
087-092.  The Dinosaur Bite [original ms]
093-099.  The Dinosaur Bite [typescript with revisions]
100-105.  The Dinosaur Bite [ms marked for printer]
106-126.  Sarah Walked Over the Mountain [dead material]
127-133.  Sarah Walked Over the Mountain [draft with editor's notes and correspondence]
134-141.  Sarah Walked Over the Mountain [ms marked for printer]
142.  Ballads published in Cold as a Dog and The Wind Northeast
143.  Cold as a Dog copyright certificate
144-147.  Time’s Web [original ms]
148-151.  Time’s Web [first drafts, etc.]
152-154.  Tired Apple Tree [ms with marks]
155-157.  Tired Apple Tree [ms]
158-161.  Tired Apple Tree [ms]
162.  High Clouds tributes collected
163.  Copies of RM letters collected by S. Phippen [18 TLS. 1975-1988
164-175.  High Clouds Soaring, Storms Driving Low [publisher's photocopies]
176-179.  High Clouds Soaring, Storms Driving Low [completed manuscript]
180.  The Rockwood Tree [Sea Flower] - printer's proof
181.  The Sea Flower - printer's proof
182-183.  Gold and Silver Hooks - galley proof
184-185.  Gold and Silver Hooks - galley proof
186.  Lizzie and Caroline - galley proof
187.  The Dinosaur Bite - author's galley proof
188.  The Dinosaur Bite - reader's set
189.  The Dinosaur Bite - page proofs and memos
190.  The Dinosaur Bite - galley proof
191.  Sarah Walked Over the Mountain -  author's galley proof
192.  Sarah Walked Over the Mountain -  galley proof

II. Reviews, publicity, correspondence

This series is comprised primarily of clippings of reviews and advertisements for Moore's works.  Included are scrapbooks which Moore compiled for several of her books, which contain clippings and some fanmail.  Also included is correspondence with her publisher, William Morrow & Co., other correspondence pertaining to her work, and advertising posters.

193.  The Weir [scrapbook pages], 1943
194.  The Weir - clippings, 1943
195.  Spoonhandle [scrapbook]
196.  Spoonhandle [scrapbook inserts]
197.  Spoonhandle clippings, 1946-1948
198.  William Morrow & Co. correspondence, 1947-1962
199.  The Fire Balloon [scrapbook], 1948
200.  The Fire Balloon [scrapbook inserts]
201.  Candlemas Bay [scrapbook], 1951
202.  Candlemas Bay [scrapbook inserts]
203.  A Fair Wind Home [scrapbook], 1951
204.  A Fair Wind Home advertising poster - located in OVS Box 2
205.  Man, Time, and Fossils – review, 1953?
206-207.  Speak to the Winds - reviews/press releases, 1956
208.  Wings: The Literary Guild Review, [Speak to the Winds featured], September, December 1956
209.  Cold as a Dog - reviews, 1959
210.  Walk Down Main Street - press releases and reviews, 1960
211.  TLS from [Maryann?], 1960
212.  Second Growth - reviews/publicity, 1962
213.  "Deep Water" movie poster, 1963
214.  Sea Flower - reviews/publicity, 1965
215.  Gold and Silver Hooks - reviews/publicity, 1969
216.  Lizzie and Caroline - reviews, 1972
217.  Correspondence with C.W. Scholl [re: Sea Flower], 1975
218.  The Dinosaur Bite - reviews, 1976
219.  Sarah Walked Over the Mountain - reviews, 1979
220.  Correspondence RM with David Phillips, 1986
221.  Letters from E. Trask to Gary Lawless, 1990-2001
221a-c. Correspondence with Mary Elizabeth Vedder Kamenoff, 1950s--1980s
221d-e.  Correspondence with Mary Elizabeth Vedder Kamenoff from Sanford Phippen and Jennifer Pixley, 1990s

III. Biographical material and memorabilia

This series includes student essays and research papers on Moore and her writing.  Also included is correspondence and clippings relating to Moore's life and career.  Memorabilia includes several of Moore's diplomas and her Hermes 3000 typewriter.

222.  Tremont Grammar Schools diploma, 1917
223.  N.Y.S. College for Teachers (B.A.) diploma, 1925
224.  N.Y.S. College for Teachers - Commencement program, 1925
225.  Gott’s Island manuscript map, F.L.G. 1941 - located in OVS Box 2
226.  Copy of resume - [194?]
227.  University of Maine - Commencement program, 1947
228.  List of manuscripts, galley proofs, editions sent to University of Texas, 1964
229.  TLS to RM from H.M. Houghton [re: Moore genealogy], 1967
230.  Unity College - Honorary doctorate, 1976
231.  "Ruth Moore - Lively Lady of Modern Maine Literature" by Isabel Currier [typescript]
232.  Correspondence from RM to Gary Lawless [19 TLS], 1983-89
233.  David Philips - notes for Down East Magazine article, 1987
234.  "Ruth Moore, Maine Novelist and Poet" by Margaret Andrews [student paper], 1987
235-236.  "Vision of Small Town America Exemplified Through Ruth Moore's The Weir" by Veronika Mayr [thesis], 1990
237.  "Ruth Moore, A Modern American Writer" by Ellen McMahan [student paper], 1992?
237a.  "Loaves and Fishes" by Rev. Marc Stewart, 1987
238.  Sandy Phippen/J.C. Pixley correspondence re: RM biography, 1995
239.  "Spoonhandle: Education and Knowledge in the Green World" by Jennifer C. Pixley, 1996
240.  "Homesick For That Place: Ruth Moore Writes About Maine" by Jennifer C. Pixley, ca. 1997
241.  Articles on RM and Maine fiction, 1947-1979
241a.  Articles on RM and Maine fiction, 1983-2011
242.  Ruth Moore revival/re-releases, 1986-93
242a.  Ruth Moore revival/re-releases, 1990-2004
243.  Abbe Museum - clippings, 1994
243a.  Publicity mailer for "An Evening With Ruth Moore" presented by Abbe Museum; story and song by Dennis Damon and Jackson Gillman 8/11/??, undated
244-244a.  Obituaries/memorials, 1989-93
245.  Copy photographs - RM portrait; at typewriter; in Jeep
245a.  Photos, ca. 1925 (2)
245b.  Hand-painted island scene by R. Moore, 1925
246.  Ruth Moore Weekend - fliers
247.  "I Read Ruth Moore" bumper sticker
248.  Hermes 3000 typewriter - on display
249.  Chellie Pingree letter to Gary Lawless, undated
250.  High Clouds Soaring, Storms Driving Low correspondence Sanford Phippen, ed., 1993
251.  Review of High Clouds Soaring, Storms Driving Low: The Letters of Ruth Moore, 1993
 


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