Audrey White Beyer Papers, 1935-1985

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Volume: 2 linear feet
Organization/Arrangement: Organized as a single series. Arranged chronologically.

Biographical Note: Audrey White Beyer was born on November 12, 1916 in Portland, Maine and was raised in South Portland. She attended Westbrook Junior College, graduating in 1937 and received her B.A. in 1939 from the University of Maine. While at Westbrook College, Beyer was an Associate Literary Editor of The Tower, the College’s magazine. She also contributed several pieces of poetry and short essays to The Tower. Beyer studied with Adelaide Field in an Adult Education Course and also studied under May Sarton in a Radcliffe Seminar at Harvard University.

Beyer was an English teacher at several academies in New England, including Westbrook Junior College (1939-43), Milton Academy Girls’ School (1956), Waynflete Summer School (1957-59), Northeastern University (1968-73), and Milton Academy Boy’s School (1973-74). In 1940 she was married to Walter A. Beyer, and eventually had two children, Bill and Ned. The Beyer family summered in Cape Elizabeth and settled there after retirement.

Child Life Magazine published her story, “Under Pirate Fire,” in 1956. She is best known for her historical fiction for young adults. Her first novel, Dark Venture, was published in 1958, won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. Capture at Sea (1959), which tells the story of two Yankee boys in the British naval service during the War of 1812, won the Jack and Jill Award in 1959, for which she was awarded $1000. In 1961, Beyer was one of the first Westbrook College alumnae to win the Tower Award for Alumnae Achievement. Her other novels include The Sapphire Pendant (1961) and Katharine Leslie (1963). She died in 1985 at age 69.

Description: This collection includes typescripts of Beyer's early poetry and prize-winning articles, as well as of her four young adult novels, published from 1959-1968. Page proofs, dummies, advertisements, reviews, and correspondence with publishers and readers are included. A small amount of biographical material is included, as well as several photographs of Beyer and a pencil portrait.

Access Restrictions: None

Please cite as: Audrey White Beyer Papers, Maine Women Writers Collection, University of New England, Portland, Maine

Container List:
001.  Typescripts of early poems
002.  The Tower, Westbrook Junior College, Dec.  1935
003.  Under Pirate Fire - typescript and acceptance letter, 1956
004.  Under Pirate Fire - Child Life, Jan., Feb.  1957
005.  Jack and Jill, Prize - articles, 1958
006.  Capture at Sea - first manuscript pages
007.-008.  Capture at Sea - typescript
009.  Capture at Sea - part 1, Jack and Jill, Sept.  1958
010.  Capture at Sea - dust jacket
011.  Capture at Sea - articles 1959
012.  Child Life - Feb.  1960, "A Gun for General Washington"
013.-015.  Sapphire Pendant - typescript carbon
016.  Sapphire Pendant - dust jacket
017.  Sapphire Pendant - reviews, ads
018.  Sapphire Pendant - printer's dummy
019.  Katherine Leslie - manuscript of initial writing
020.  Katherine Leslie - typescript Chaps.  V; IX
021.-024.  Katherine Leslie - typescript
025.  Katherine Leslie - page proofs
025a.  Katherine Leslie - printer's dummy - located in OVS Box 49
026.  Katherine Leslie - dust jacket
027.  Katherine Leslie - reviews
030.-032.  Dark Venture - typescript
033.  Dark Venture - dust jacket
034.  Dark Venture - reviews, 1968
035.  Dark Venture - correspondence, 1973
036.  Dark Venture - printer's dummy - located in OVS Box 49
037.  Article about Audrey White Beyer, 1958 - 1965
038.  The Tower Award, 1961
039.  1961 Book Fair
040.  Knopf publicity, 1957
041.  Correspondence from publishers, 1958 - 1964
042.  Correspondence from readers, 1959 - 1964
043.  Correspondence from student readers, 1962 - 1968
044.  Letters from students, 1972
045.  Correspondence with manuscript repositories, 1966-1971
046.  Correspondence with MWWC, 1966-1967
047.  Biographical copy - interviews, obituary
048.  Photographs, 1958 - 1962
049.  Pencil Portrait of AWB by Noriko, 1967 - located in OVS Box 50