Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Book: The Letters of Sylvia Beach

The Letters of Sylvia Beach. Edited by Keri Walsh and with a foreword by Noël Riley Fitch. Columbia University Press, 2010.

Sylvia Beach (1887-1962) was born in Baltimore, Maryland, settled in Paris in 1916, and opened the Shakespeare and Company bookshop and lending library in 1919. This collection documents Beach's day-to-day activities as a bookseller and publisher, her affair with Adrienne Monnier, and her efforts to prevent the piracy of James Joyce's Ulysses in the United States.

Columbia University Press offers a wealth of information about the book; the excerpts section includes Beach's letters to Ernest Hemingway, Marianne Moore, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and others.

For additional biographical information, see Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation: A History of Literary Paris in the Twenties and Thirties (Norton, 1983) by Noël Riley Fitch.

Princeton University holds the Sylvia Beach Papers. See the Finding Aid for the collection, a small selection of images of Sylvia Beach, and the recent blog post from Rare Books Collection @ Princeton that covers The Dispersal of Sylvia Beach's Books.

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