Longstreet (Stephen) papers Edit

Summary

Identifier
0175
Finding Aid Author
Sue Luftschein; additional data entry by Connor Beckner
Finding Aid Date
2013 October
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Dates

  • 1922 – 1995 (Creation)
  • 1970 – 1990 (Creation)

Extents

  • 121.08 Linear Feet (Whole)
    117 boxes

Agent Links

Subjects

Notes

  • Abstract

    Typescripts, manuscripts, galleys, artwork, letters, financial records, and personal material created and collected by writer and artist Stephen Longstreet (1907-2002) over the course of his long career.

  • Related Archival Materials

    Stephen Longstreet Papers (Collection 380). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles

    Stephen Longstreet Collection, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

    Stephen Longstreet paintings and drawings, Hoover Institution Archives

  • Acquisition

    8 document boxes of typescripts and manuscripts were donated by Stephen Longstreet, 1978 and 1985. The remainder (and bulk) of the collection was donated by Ben and Lou Weinstein, Heritage Book Shop, 2007.

  • Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder# or item name], Stephen Longstreet papers, Collection no. 0175, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

  • Conditions Governing Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

  • Scope and Content

    The Stephen Longstreet papers consists of typescripts, manuscripts, galleys, correspondence, artwork, scrapbooks, financial records, ephemera, and clippings, 1922-1995, created and collected by Stephen Longstreet. The collection documents Longstreet's long and prolific career as a writer of fiction, non-fiction, plays, screenplays, and poetry, and as an artist. Typescripts and manuscripts of most of Longstreet's written work can be found in the papers, as can either originals or reproductions of a large percentage of Longstreet's artwork. Also included is some material created and collected by Longstreet's wife, Ethel.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

  • Biographical note

    Stephen Longstreet (1907-2002) was a prolific author and artist. Born Chauncey Weiner in New York in 1907, his family moved to New Brunswick, New Jersey when he was a child. As a schoolboy, Longstreet changed his name from Chauncey to Henry, and then again to Henri when he began his professional career as an artist in the early 1930s. The family name was originally Wiener-Longstrasse, and Longstreet's first submitted manuscript (to Random House in 1940) was as Stephen Wiener-Longstrasse. It was Bennett Cerf at Random House who suggested Longstreet drop the Wiener and anglicize the Longstrasse. Longstreet also adopted and used the pen names Paul Haggard (circa 1938), Thomas Burton, David Ormsbee, Monte Redmond, W.W. Windstaff, and Lucas Webb.

    As Henri Wiener, Longstreet studied in Paris and at Rutgers and Harvard Universities; he graduated from the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (Parsons) in 1929. On his return to the United States from Paris, his artistic style was considered "too modern" to sell (he identified as a surrealist), and he thus pursued a career as a commercial and magazine artist and cartoonist. His work was published in the New Yorker, Life, Colliers, and the Saturday Evening Post. Longstreet continued to produce art after turning to writing; in addition to creating illustrations for a number of his own books, in particular his publications on jazz, Longstreet was also a prolific producer of collages and drawings.

    In 1933 Longstreet began writing radio shows for John Barrymore, Bob Hope, and Rudy Vallee, thus launching his career as a writer. He published over a hundred books, including the novels Decade 1929-1939 (1940), The Pedlocks (1951), and The Flesh Peddlers (1962).

    In addition to novels, Longstreet also wrote a number of scripts and plays. He was under contract at Warner Bros. in the 1940s and penned "The Jolson Story" and "Stallion Road", based on his novel of the same name and starring Ronald Reagan. He also wrote a screen adaptation of his novel The Gay Sisters (1941) and the book for the musical "High Button Shoes", adapted from his semi-autobiographical novel, The Sisters Liked Them Handsome.

    Longstreet also wrote a number of non fiction books, many of them on one of his favorite topics, jazz. He was introduced to jazz by Paul Robeson, whom he met in 1918 while Robeson was an undergraduate at Rutgers University.

    Longstreet died in 2002.

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