Mailing Address:
Special Collections
College of Charleston Library
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424

(843) 953-8016

Title: Ludwig Lewisohn Papers

Collection #: 0028

Dates: 1903-1980s (bulk 1940s)

Size: 0.75 linear feet

Biographical Note: Author, critic and Zionist leader, Lewisohn emigrated from Berlin, Germany, to St. Matthews, S.C., with his parents, ca. 1890. The family moved to Charleston, S.C., in 1892 where Lewisohn graduated from Charleston High School and the College of Charleston. He eventually became a college professor, translator, cultural and literary critic, novelist, and wrote three autobiographies. His first wife, Mary Childs, would not grant him a divorce; he moved to Europe with singer Thelma Spear, who mothered his only child Jim. Obtaining a divorce from Mary Lewisohn, he married Edna Manley, and later remarried again.

Scope and Content Note: Papers document mostly Lewisohn's friendship and early homosexual love affair with poet George Sylvester Viereck and Lewisohn's later marriage to Edna Manley. Correspondence (1903-1955) between Lewisohn and Viereck is mostly on literary matters; but early holograph poems by Lewisohn refer to their love affair. Other poems include printed and typescript copies and his English translations of some poems by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Most of the collection documents the relationship of Lewisohn and Edna Manley, with mostly photocopies of her diaries (ca. 1940-1942) which describe her relationship with Lewisohn, her perceptions of him, the custody battle for his son James, his memories of many people and parts of his life, exiled Jewish and other writers fleeing Europe, and other subjects. Present are photocopies of correspondence (1936-1940) regarding the financial arrangements of Lewisohn's divorce from his first wife Mary Childs Lewisohn (who published books under the pseudonym Bosworth Crocker.)

Other literary manuscripts include poems by Lewisohn set to music by Thelma Spear and an unknown composer; and photocopies of an unpublished novel and play by Edna Manley, as well as clippings of her newspaper columns (1934-1936) for a Rochester, NY, newspaper. Lewisohn printed matter includes an inscribed offprint (1904) of his article on the poetry of George Sylvester Viereck, and brochures advertising his lecture tours and his biography of Goethe.

Photographs of Ludwig, James, and Edna Manley Lewisohn and many of her friends and family, including two photographs (ca. 1940s) of Henry Miller and his family at Big Sur. Also included is an audiocassette of a lecture by Lewisohn and materials (1992) from a College of Charleston exhibit on Lewisohn.

Subject Headings:

Lewisohn, Ludwig, 1882-1955.
Lewisohn, Ludwig, 1882-1955 -- Correspondence.
Lewisohn, Ludwig, 1882-1955 -- Exile.
Lewisohn, Edna, 1908-
Viereck, George Sylvester, 1884-1962.
Miller, Henry, 1891-1980.
Jewish authors -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- History.
Spear, Thelma.
Lewisohn, James, 1933-
Wise, Stephen Samuel, 1874-1949.
Feuchtwanger, Lion, 1884-1958.
Perdix, Elizabeth.
Melnick, Ralph.
Rilke, Rainer Maria, 1875-1926 -- Translations into English.
Jervey, Theodore D. (Theodore Dehon), b. 1859.
Homosexuality -- Poetry.
Custody of children -- United States.
Marriage -- United States.
American literature -- 20th century.


Box # / Folder #

I. Ludwig Lewisohn Papers

A Correspondence (1903-1955) of Ludwig Lewisohn mostly to poet and friend George Sylvester Viereck in English and German (with translations) with one unsigned letter (1952) from Viereck. Photocopies of letters (1903) asking and getting recommendations for teaching positions; letters to his wife Edna Manley Lewisohn and one from her. One image of Lewisohn (1905) on postcard. A few letters from Louise Lewisohn to Viereck; and a fragment (c. 1900) of a College of Charleston examination of Lewisohn’s. 1/1

B Photocopies of correspondence (1936-1940) of Lewisohn patron and benefactor Louis Asher. With letters from and to Lewisohn and attorney Arthur Garfield Hays re financial terms of Lewisohn’s divorce from Mary Childs Lewisohn; with mentions of Rabbi Stephen S. Wise’s involvement in the financial arrangements 1/2

C Poetry by Ludwig Lewisohn, including printed, typescript and early holograph poems, the latter being love poems to his early lover George Sylvester Viereck. 1/3

D Translations by Ludwig Lewisohn of poems by Rainer Maria Rilke. Typescripts by Edna Manley Lewisohn. 1/4

E Printed materials re Ludwig Lewisohn’s career include offprint of article (1904) from the Sewanee Review on George Sylvester Viereck; torn dust jacked from Among the Nations; advertising brochures for his lecture tours and his book Goethe: The Story of a Man. 1/5

F Printed sheet music of poem "Out of the Blue" by Ludwig Lewisohn, music by his wife Thelma Spear; with two typescript poems by Spear. 1/6

G Holograph music (by unknown composer) for Ludwig Lewisohn poem "The Ascent" for Edna Manley 1/7

H Typescript of reply (1922) of Theodore Jervey to Ludwig Lewisohn’s article, "South Carolina: A Lingering Fragrance;" with article re Lewisohn and Charleston from an unknown (Charleston?) newspaper 1/8

I. Biographical clippings and misc. re Ludwig Lewisohn 1/9

II. Edna Manley Lewisohn Papers

A Correspondence (1944-1963) of Edna Manley Lewisohn includes 2 letters (1944) and a card from friends; and two letters (1958,1963) from her in the United Kingdom. 1/10

B Clippings of newspaper columns (1934-1936) by Edna Manley for Rochester (NY) Times-Union re Rochester people in NYC; with clippings re her brother, Guy Manley 1/11

C Photocopy of diary (May-June 1940) of Edna Manley Lewisohn re their married life and custody battle for Lewisohn’s son James; with her thoughts on Lewisohn, and many direct quotes of his thoughts and conversation. 1/12

D Photocopy of diary (June-October 1940) of Edna Manley Lewisohn re married life, custody battle with Thelma Spear for James Lewisohn, and many of her husband’s comments and memories; with her drawing of Lewisohn 1/13

E Photocopy of diary (October 1940 – April 1941) of Edna Manley Lewisohn re married life, custody battle, and her impressions of writers Thomas Mann, Elizabeth Perdix, and Lion Feuchtwanger; she records her husband’s thoughts and memories of Sherwood Anderson, Arthur Symonds, and other people and subjects. 1/14

F Diary and notebook (1940-42) of Edna Manley Lewisohn re married life, etc. She records many of Lewisohn’s comments and memories. With notes for promotional material for their joint book Haven, and thoughts for short stories, articles and plays. 1/15

G Typescript of novel "The Time of the Singing" by Edna Manley Lewisohn 1/16

H Agent and publisher’s correspondence (1942-1963) re Edna Manley Lewisohn’s unpublished novel. 1/17

I Photocopy of typescript of play "A Family Affair" by Edna Manley Lewisohn; script is autobiographical and offers a view of Ludwig Lewisohn 2/1

III Photographs and images

A Black and white photographs (ca. 1940s- 1950s) of Ludwig Lewisohn, some inscribed; and photos of bust and portrait of Lewisohn. 2/2

B Pencil and ink sketches by Edna Manley Lewisohn, including a self-portrait 2/3

C Black and white photographs mostly of Edna Manley Lewisohn, but with images of Ludwig and James Lewisohn as well; with photo of Henry Miller and his family at Big Sur. Places include Rochester, Tucson, AZ and Santa Fe, NM. Also photos of Walker Winslow, Manley’s husband. Color photos (c. 1980s) of Lewisohn biographer Ralph Melnick and Edna Manley Lewisohn. 2/4

IV Audio Cassettes

A Recording of speech of Ludwig Lewisohn on "Is An American Culture Possible?" With use copy 2/5