University of Texas at Austin

Elizabeth Dewing Kaup:

An Inventory of Her Papers at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Kaup, Elizabeth Dewing, 1885-1966
Title: Elizabeth Dewing Kaup Papers
Dates: 1892-1966
Extent: 8 boxes (7.42 linear feet)
Abstract: Correspondence, diaries, literary productions, printed material, legal and financial documents, maps, drawings, and photographic materials make up the bulk of the collection of American novelist Elizabeth Dewing Kaup.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-02246
Language: English
Access: Open for research. Researchers must create an online Research Account and agree to the Materials Use Policy before using archival materials. Part or all of this collection is housed off-site and may require up to three business days’ notice for access in the Ransom Center’s Reading and Viewing Room. Please contact the Center before requesting this material:
Use Policies: Ransom Center collections may contain material with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in the collections without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Ransom Center and The University of Texas at Austin assume no responsibility.
Restrictions on Use: Authorization for publication is given on behalf of the University of Texas as the owner of the collection and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder which must be obtained by the researcher. For more information please see the Ransom Center's Open Access and Use Policies.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation Elizabeth Dewing Kaup Papers (Manuscript Collection MS-02246). Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
Acquisition: Gift, 1974
Processed by: Susan Brady, 1986; Kevin O’Sullivan, 2010

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Elizabeth Bartol Dewing Kaup was born in New York City on November 26, 1885, the daughter of artists Maria Oakey and Thomas William Dewing. She spent her youth in New York, Cornish, New Hampshire, London, and Paris, but lived in New York City for most of her adult life. During her early literary career, Kaup wrote under the name Elizabeth Dewing. After her marriage to Kaup she used the name Elizabeth Dewing Kaup, and continued to do so throughout her life.
Kaup first achieved literary success in 1909, when her book Other People’s Houses was published by MacMillan. MacMillan also published her next work in 1911, A Big Horse to Ride. These novels were followed by My Son John, published by Minton, Balch and Company in 1926, Eagles Fly High, published by Frederick A. Stokes Company in 1929, Not for the Meek, published by MacMillan in 1941, Seed of the Puritan, published by Dial Press in 1943, and Repeat with Laughter, published by Appleton-Century-Crofts in 1948.
In addition to her novels, Kaup had numerous short stories and articles published in magazines which included Pagan Magazine, the Century Magazine, Writer’s Digest, Harper’s Magazine and House and Garden. A stage play, Don’t Bother Mother, co-authored by Courtenay Savage, was produced at the Little Theatre in New York in 1925. In addition to her literary work, Kaup had a short stage career following World War I, appeared on a lectured circuit in the 1940s, and was a New York radio personality.
Although Kaup’s popularity as a novelist waned after 1948, she continued to write and submit to publishers a wide variety of literary works. She died in Savannah, Georgia in 1966.

Scope and Contents

The papers of Elizabeth Dewing Kaup contain correspondence, diaries, literary productions, printed material, legal and financial documents, maps, drawings, and photographic materials related to both her personal life and her literary career. The papers are arranged into two series: I. Personal and II. Literary. Letters dated 1909-1966 between Kaup and her family and friends not directly involved in her literary career form the bulk of the materials relating to her personal life. Five-year diaries dating from 1924 to 1958 and 1964 to 1966, undated family photographs, legal documents dating from 1911 to 1966, and financial documents dating from 1956-1957 relating to the estate of Kaup’s daughter, Elizabeth Dewing Richmond, chronicle the details of Kaup’s life as a daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother. A small body of undated poetry, reminiscences, and typed and handwritten notes illuminate Kaup’s close familial ties. Correspondence and printed material reveal her involvement in New York City politics as an electee to New York City Judicial District Conventions in 1953, 1954, and 1958, and her association with the Theosophical Society of Savannah, Georgia as a member and guest speaker during the 1950s and 1960s.
Over two-thirds of the Kaup papers consist of materials relating to her literary career. A large body of correspondence between Kaup and her literary colleagues, agents, and publishers detail the development of Kaup’s career from 1909-1966. Over one hundred undated manuscripts are contained in the collection. These include published and unpublished novels, short stories, poetry, stage and radio plays, and articles on a variety of subjects including women and careers, theosophy, and gardening. Resumes, autobiographical sketches written for publicity purposes, and typed transcriptions of radio interviews provide insight into how Kaup viewed her life as a professional writer. Newspaper and magazine clippings, publisher’s catalogs, pamphlets, and flyers provide information on the critical reception of Kaup’s publications throughout her career. A small body of legal and financial documents, including contracts and royalty notices, date intermittently from 1909 to 1958.

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