Gladys Adelina Lewis Papers, 1909-1975

Collection Number: 7763

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
Gladys Adelina Lewis papers, 1909-1975
Collection Number:
7763
Creator:
Gladys Adelina. Lewis
Quantity:
5.9 cubic feet.
Forms of Material:
Manuscripts
Repository:
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Manuscripts, correspondence, and other materials of early 20th century writer Gladys Adelina Lewis.
Language:
Collection material in English


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Gladys Adelina Lewis was born in Los Angeles on May 23, 1891 and died in 1975 in San Francisco. She was a writer and forceful personality who lived in Paris, New York, San Francisco, Hollywood, and Portland, Oregon, moving in artistic and queer circles in the first half of the twentieth century. The child of a prominent Los Angeles family, Lewis was the guinea pig for her mother Selma's experimental and, at the time, well-publicized child-rearing methods, which included mandatory reading of Byron, vigorous exercise, and a stringent diet. Lewis published a poem in a local Los Angeles newspaper at age nine, and at thirteen a poem she wrote attracted the attention of American poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox. From that early age she went on to write fiction, poetry, musicals, and film scripts, using the pseudonyms Georges Lewys and Serge G. Wolsey. Lewis achieved notoriety with The Temple of Pallas-Athenae (which she claimed to have written at age nineteen), a defense of eugenics which violated contemporary obscenity laws and was subsequently banned from the mails. Call House Madam (1942), a fictionalized tell-all of Hollywood madam Lee Francis, suffered the same fate, but was reprinted and reissued numberous times for 20 years. Lewis' collection of poetry, The Epic of Verdun and Ballads of France, was enshrined with great pomp and ceremony in the war monument at Verdun in 1931, a publicity stunt that Lewis herself masterminded.
Lewis was a prolific writer and a shameless self-promoter. She honored libraries world-wide with presentation copies of her books; her correspondence includes letters showing that she nominated herself for the Nobel Prize; she was given the Key to the City of San Francisco in 1935; she adored photographic portraits of herself; she embellished; and she died in obscurity. In life, she was best known for frank works that sorely tried American attitudes about sex, and for a litigious streak that frequently placed her in court, most notably on the losing end of a $1,250,000 plagarism lawsuit against Eugene O'Neill. In numberous interviews included in the collection, Lewis refers to herself as a classicist, but the breadth of her work reveals a truly multi-faceted artist, with early poetry published in Pagan magazine demonstrating a deciededly modern and experimental slant. Additionally, Lewis was a patriot, and staunch defender of Allied forces; there are many rousing war poems in her early work. As much interested in monetary gain and fame as she was in literary virtuosity, Lewis' archive includes drafts for scores of films and plays intended to appeal to the masses, many of them rendered not saleable by racy content. Later work documents Lewis' exploration of gender role reversals and the sexual subculture of the 1940s and 1950s. A self-identified lesbian, at least in later life, Lewis' papers provide valuable insight to the large but mostly invisible queer community of the straitlaced post-war years, and her writings on the psychoanalytic theories of the day serve to illuminate some of the birth pains of that system of ideas.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Drafts and revisions of works published and unpublished, correspondence, and contractual material relating to Lewis' many and various pursuits (as a publisher, an impresario, and the president of the Freudian Society). There is also printed materal--her own self-published works, articles on lawsuits in which she appeared, interviews, and reviews of her work. Also included are a number of photographs, copperplate engravings with designs for the jacket of Call House Madam, other stamps, a "Key to San Francisco", and her business or "calling" cards.
SUBJECTS

Names:
Lewis, Gladys Adelina.


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Cite As:
Gladys Adelina Lewis papers, #7763. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
SERIES LIST

Series I. Manuscripts
About Gladys Adelina Lewis' Work
Box 1
Adelina Patti: Her Life, Loves, and Letters
Box 1, 4
Big Doll
Box 1
Call House Madam
Box 1, 4, 6, 7
Cerebral Love
Box 1
The Charmed American
Box 2, 4
"Don Juan of the Rose"
Box 2
The Epic of Verdun and Ballads
Box 2, 4, 5
Every Woman Does
Box 2
Gay People
Box 2
The House of Love
Box 2, 4
Kings and Courtesans
Box 2, 3, 6
Love Sonnets
Box 3
Merry-Go-Round
Box 3, 4
"Mexicali"
Box 3
The Temple of Pallas-Athenae
Box 3, 4
A Woman of Fifty
Box 3
Unpublished and Minor Works
Box 3, 4
Series II. Correspondence Box 4
Series III. Organizations
The Martin Tudordale Corporation
Box 5
The Freudian Foundation
Box 5
Lavater-Dorette
Box 5
Dramatists Guild of the Authors League of America
Box 5
Series IV. Photographs Box 5, 8
Series V. Ephemera Box 5, 6

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Series I. Manuscripts
Box 1 Folder 1
About Gladys Adelina Lewis' Work
Adelina Patti: Her Life, Loves and Letters
Box 1 Folder 2
Bound Manuscript
Box 1 Folder 3
Notes
Box 1 Folder 4
Letters of Adelina Patti
Box 1 Folder 5
Drafts of Short Pieces
1943
Box 1 Folder 6-7
"The Kiss Waltz" Script
Box 1 Folder 8
"Lavara y Patti: Sunrise on the Moon" Screen Treatment
Box 4 Folder 5
Publicity and Newsclippings
1943-1967
Big Doll
Box 1 Folder 9-10
Manuscripts
Box 1 Folder 11
Two Summaries
Box 1 Folder 12
Two 34 Page Manuscripts
Call House Madam
Box 1 Folder 13-14
Bound Manscripts
1940
Box 1 Folder 15
Draft
1939
Box 1 Folder 16
Revisions: Two Incomplete Drafts
Box 1 Folder 17
Notes
Box 1 Folder 18
Synopsis for Motion Picture
Box 1 Folder 19
"The Madam: A Musical Comedy"
Box 1 Folder 20
Publishing Numbers and Bills
Box 1 Folder 21
Rights and Contracts
Box 1 Folder 22-23
Obscenity Case
Box 4 Folder 6
Publicity and Newsclippings
1943-1962
Box 6
Paperback Copy of Call House Madam
1963
Box 6 Folder 3
Scrap Book
1928-1960
Box 7
Copperplate Engravings (Designs for Call House Madam book jacket)
Cerebral Love
Box 1 Folder 24-25
Manuscripts
The Charmed American
Box 2 Folder 1
Bound Manuscripts
Box 2 Folder 2
Legal Agreements
Box 4 Folder 7
Publicity
"Don Juan of the Rose"
Box 2 Folder 3
Notes and Manuscript
The Epic of Verdun and Ballads
Box 2 Folder 4
Bound Manuscript
Box 2 Folder 5
Tipped-In Material
Box 2 Folder 6
Notes
Box 2 Folder 7
Legal Agreements
Box 2 Folder 8
Postcards
Box 4 Folder 8-9
Publicity and Newsclippings
1918-1963
Box 4 Folder 10-11
Verdun Brochures and Monument Ceremony
1920-1930
Box 5
Published Copies
Every Woman Does: The Story of a Social Lion Who Came out of the West
Box 2 Folder 9-10
Bound Manuscripts
Box 2 Folder 11
Notes and Synopses for Motion Picture
Gay People
Box 2 Folder 12-14
Manuscript
Box 2 Folder 15-16
Early Draft
Box 2 Folder 17-18
Early Draft, Possibly the First
Box 2 Folder 19
Prologue Drafts
Box 2 Folder 20
Revisions
Box 2 Folder 21
Notes and Material
The House of Love
Box 2 Folder 22
Bound Manuscript
1919
Box 2 Folder 23
Tipped-In Material
Box 2 Folder 24
Frontispiece Illustration
1935
Box 2 Folder 25
Screen and Dramatic Treatments
1935-1962
Box 4 Folder 12
Publicity
1927-1935
Kings and Courtesans, or The American Noblesse. A Political Opera-Bouffe in a Prologue and Three Acts
Box 2 Folder 26-27
Bound Manuscripts
1925
Box 3 Folder 1
Notes
Box 6 Folder 1
Piano Score
Box 3 Folder 2
Copyright Documents
1910-1951
Love Sonnets
Box 3 Folder 3
Bound Manuscript
1928
Box 3 Folder 4
Manuscripts
1929
Merry-Go-Round
Box 3 Folder 5
Synopses for Stage and Screen
Box 3 Folder 6
Copyright and Legal Agreements
1923-1939
Box 4 Folder 13-14
Publicity and Newsclippings
"Mexicali: A Musical Melodrama by Georges Lewys"
Also titled: "Caliente," "A Lark at the Owl," and "Ensenada"
Box 3 Folder 7
Manuscript
Box 3 Folder 8
Synopses for Stage and Screen
The Temple of Pallas-Athenae (Posterite)
Box 3 Folder 9
Bound Manuscript
1929
Box 3 Folder 10
Notes
Box 3 Folder 11
Synopses for Stage and Screen
Box 3 Folder 12
Copyright and Legal Notes
1924-1951
Box 4 Folder 15-18
Publicity and Newsclippings
1924-1934
A Woman of Fifty
Also titled: A Courtesan of France
Box 3 Folder 13
Bound Manuscript
Box 3 Folder 14
Manuscript
1928
Box 3 Folder 15
Manuscripts and Inspirational Newsclippings
Unpublished and Minor Works
Box 3 Folder 16
Short Stories
Box 3 Folder 17
Essays
Box 3 Folder 18-20
Screenplays and Dramas
1911-1946
Box 3 Folder 21
"The Jewels of Gonave"
Box 3 Folder 22-23
"Kitty, I'll Get You That!"
Box 3 Folder 24
"Love Dream"
Box 3 Folder 25-26
"Romance in Geneva"
ca. 1938
Box 3 Folder 27
"The Tiger-Lily"
ca. 1913
Box 4 Folder 19
Publicity and Newsclippings
1914-1963
Box 6 Folder 2
Brochures and Advertisements
Box 5
How to Fly by Gordon E. Revley, Arranged by Glad Lewis
1917
Box 6
A Pagan Anthology
Box 4 Folder 1
Poetry and Lyrics
Box 4 Folder 2
Musical Scores
Box 4 Folder 3
Notes and Fragments
Box 4 Folder 4
Copyrights and Legal Agreements
1910-1972
Series II. Correspondence
Box 4 Folder 20-24
Personal Correspondence
1906-1966
Arranged Chronologically
Box 4 Folder 25
Adelina Patti
1919-1953
Box 4 Folder 26
Call House Madam
1942-1977
Box 4 Folder 27
The Charmed American
1918-1925
The Epic of Verdun and Ballads
Box 4 Folder 28
Letters of Appreciation
1924-1936
Box 4 Folder 29
Letters of Appreciation (Copies)
1925-1936
Box 4 Folder 30
Arrangements for Monument Ceremony
1927-1929
Box 4 Folder 31
Iron Division
1922-1931
Box 4 Folder 32
Letters to and from Universities and Libraries (United States of America)
1924-1958
Box 4 Folder 33
Letters to and from Universities and Libraries ("Foreign")
1928-1958
Box 4 Folder 34
Letters to and from Mussolini and Advisors, Regarding an Italian War Epic
1931-1934
Box 4 Folder 35
Merry-Go-Round
1924-1930
Box 4 Folder 36
The Temple of Pallas-Athenae (Posterite)
1923-1928
Box 4 Folder 37
Mexicali: A Musical Melodrama by Georges Lewys
1926-1927
Box 4 Folder 38
Unpublished and Minor Works
1909-1945
Box 4 Folder 39-40
Fred de Gresac Estate
1943-1975
III. Organizations
Gladys Lewis was the President of the Martin Tudordale Corporation; a founding member of the Freudian Foundation; and her mother and brother, Selma and Paul Lewis, had a stake in Lavater-Dorette.
The Martin Tudordale Corporation
Box 5 Folder 1-3
Papers
1944-1969
Box 5
Martin Tudordale Corporation Seal
Box 5 Folder 4-6
The Freudian Foundation
1934-1947
Box 5 Folder 7-8
Lavater-Dorette
1925-1930
Box 5 Folder 9
Dramatists Guild of the Authors League of America
1936-1950
IV. Photographs
Gladys Adelina Lewis
Box 5 Folder 10-11
Gladys Adelina Lewis
Box 8
Oversized Photographs of Gladys Adelina Lewis (and one of Ted Shaw)
Box 5 Folder 12
Friends and Acquaintances
Box 5 Folder 13
Lewis' Work
V. Ephemera
Box 5
Calling Cards
Box 5
"Reading" Stamp
Box 6
Key to San Francisco

SEPARATED MATERIAL

The following materials have been separated from the collection. Some may have been cataloged individually:
Baldwin, James. Giovanni's Room. New York: Dell Publishing Company, 1964, c1956. HSX PS3552.A365 G48 1964
Bannon, Ann. I Am a Woman. New York: Fawcett Publications, [1959]. First Printing, January 1959. HSX PS3552.A615 I2 c.2
_________. Odd Girl Out. Greenwich, Connecticut: Fawcett Publications, 1960, c1957. (duplicate copy already in HSX)
Lawrence, D.H. Lady Chatterley's Lover. New York: Signet, c1962, 20th printing, 1963. HSX PR6023.A96 L1 1963
Rossiter, F.M. The Torch of Life: A Key to Sex Harmony. New York: Eugenics Publishing Company, c1939. HSX HQ31.R83 1939