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Edward Lucas White papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0056
Edward Lucas White (1866-1934) was a classics teacher and author of historical romances, short stories and poetry. The papers span the period 1885-1934 and consist of correspondence, writings, printed material, and personal papers.

Dates

  • 1885-1934

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. Permission to publish from this collection must be obtained from the estate of Ethel White:

The literary rights to Edward Lucas White's unpublished papers were retained by White's sister Ethel White (1868-1955). In her will (1949) Miss White left any royalties owed to her from the publication of Edward Lucas White's manuscripts to the Woodstock Theological Center in Washington, D.C. A copy of Miss White's will was deposited in the Woodstock College Archives located at Georgetown University. As of March 31, 1999, The Ethel White Estate was turned over to the Jesuit Seminary/Mission Bureau, which was later called the Ignatian Apostolic Partnerships Office located in Baltimore, MD.

Extent

22.69 Cubic Feet (56 letter size document boxes, 3 legal size document boxes)

Biographical Note

Edward Lucas White (1866-1934) was a classics teacher and author of historical romances, short stories and poetry. He was the son of Thomas Hurley White (1838-1902) and Kate Butler [Lucas] White.

White's early years were spent in Brooklyn and Ovid, New York. In 1877 the White family took up permanent residence in Baltimore. Edward attended several schools finishing his secondary education at the University School for Boys (the Marston School) from 1882-1884. White then attended the Johns Hopkins University. He received his B.A. in 1888 after taking one year off for travel to recover his health.

Edward Lucas White considered poetry his vocation, but realizing he could not support himself by poetry alone, he began studying for his doctorate in Romance Languages at Hopkins. He concentrated on Greek and Latin as a basis for later studies in romance languages. Again poor health, combined with financial problems, forced White to leave Hopkins before completing his doctorate. White then began his life-long career of teaching classics in Baltimore secondary schools. He taught at the Friends School (1892-95), the Boys Latin School (1899-1915), his alma mater the University School for Boys (1896-1899, 1916-30), and McDonogh School (1933-1934).

White believed his poetry was his best writing but that to write good poetry one must not be distracted by day to day cares as he was. He instead "turned more and more to prose, which can be turned out in any mood in any brief interval of leisure." ("Edward Lucas White as Viewed by Himself," 1919, p. 6, Box 65). White worked hard on his prose style, and in 1903 wrote the first story he considered "not bad enough to burn." He wrote stories, many of which were published, for the next seven years and in 1909 began what became his first romance El Supremo (1916). His other major works were The Unwilling Vestal (1918), The Song of the Sirens and Other Stories (1919), Andivius Hedulio (1921), Helen (1925), Lukundoo and Other Stories (1927), Why Rome Fell (1927), and Matrimony (1932). His one volume of poetry Narrative Lyrics was published in 1908.

In an autobiographical sketch White stated that "[t]he chief event in my life has been a singularly happy marriage." He married Agnes Gerry in 1900, and his book Matrimony was inspired by their marriage. Agnes died in 1927. White lived seven more years but after an unsuccessful attempt to begin a new teaching position at McDonogh School and with increasing financial difficulties, White committed suicide on March 30, 1934.

Scope and Contents

The papers span the period 1885-1934 and fall into four major series: Correspondence, Writings, Printed Material, and Personal.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers in this collection are those considered by Edward Lucas White to be his literary papers. He named Louis H. Dielman his literary executor, and in a letter to Dielman dated March 27, 1934 stated that his sister Ethel White was to turn over to Dielman "any and all of my manuscripts, letters, books and other papers not manifestly unliterary." A copy of this letter is in Box 25 of the collection. The letter also gives a detailed description of White's literary papers.

Dielman was at the time the Librarian of the Peabody Library which White believed was a suitable location for his literary output. It is not clear when the papers were given to the Milton S. Eisenhower Library.

Related Materials

There is related collection of White's papers at the Maryland Historical Society in the Edward Lucas White Manuscripts Ms. 892. Some of the papers of White's parents Thomas H.and Kate L. White and of his sister Ethel White are housed at the Maryland Historical Society in the Lucas-White Papers Ms.2277.

There is an allied collection of White's papers at the Maryland Historical Society in the Edward Lucas White Manuscripts Ms. 892. Some of the papers of White's parents Thomas H.and Kate L. White and of his sister Ethel White are housed at the Maryland Historical Society in the Lucas-White Papers Ms.2277.

Bibliography

A biography of Edward Lucas White was written by George T. Wetzel and serialized in three parts in Fantasy Commentator beginning in 1980. Copies of the first two parts are in the biographical file in Box 65. White wrote two autobiographical sketches (1919, 1925) for publication and these along with "How One Historical Novelist Collects His Material" (1925) are in Box 65. Some biographical material is also available in Matrimony.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Cynthia H. Requardt in 1987.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA