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Prepared by Cara Gilgenbach, May 23, 2002; Last Updated: March: 2020
Inclusive Dates: 1961-1966
Extent: .5 cubic foot (2 document cases)
Physical Location: 11th floor
Biographical Note: Poet, short story writer, novelist, biographer, and publisher August Derleth was born February 24, 1909 in Sauk City, Wisconsin, a country village on the Wisconsin River where he lived the majority of his life. Derleth began his prolific writing career as a teenager and had hundreds of his works published up until his death in 1971. His formal education included earning a B.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1930. In 1939, Derleth and Donald Wandrei founded the Arkham House publishing house which specializes in mystery and occult titles including posthumous publications of some works by H. P. Lovecraft with whom Derleth had a long friendship through correspondence.
One of Derleth's major writing projects, Sac Prairie Saga, included 38 books all of which contributed to his telling of the "life story of his area of Wisconsin from the early 1800s to the 1950s."* Walden West, included in this collection in manuscript form, is part of the Sac Prarie Saga.
American Novelists, 1910-1945. Edited by James J. Martine. Dictionary of Literary Biography, v. 9. Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research Co., 1981, p. 204.
Scope and Content: This collection contains correspondence and manuscripts, including the only complete manuscript of Walden West, by August Derleth. Materials date from 1961-1966, but many items are undated.
Box 1: Correspondence, various typed manuscripts
Folder -- Contents
Box 2: Walden West, manuscript
Folder -- Contents
Note: "The final draft of Walden West--and the only complete ms." Corrections and printers directions throughout. Signed by the author. Accompanied by a set of galley proofs and a set of page proofs, heavily corrected and signed by the author. Proofs of Grisha Dotzenko's woodcuts included in the page proofs. Published in New York by Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1961.