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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the John Leggett Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1933-1987
Creator: Leggett, John (1917-)
Extent: 5.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0503
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Manuscripts and correspondence of the editor, writer, and director of the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop, 1969-1987. Papers include research files and drafts for Ross [Lockridge] and Tom [Heggen]: Two American Tragedies (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974), including three hundred Ross Lockridge letters and 40 interviews; copies of newspaper articles and book reviews; 446 letters by and about Tom Heggen, 95 interviews, copies of stories and articles written by Heggen; copies of newspaper and magazine articles written about Heggen and Mr. Roberts; official reports concerning Heggen's death; and general research and miscellaneous Items. This collection also includes materials for A Daring Young Man: A Biography of William Saroyan (New York: Knopf, 2002), and other books and stories.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs: Boxes 4 and 10; Audio Material: Box 3

Access: This collection is open for research. However, copyright to the work of William Saroyan is controlled by the William Saroyan Foundation; and some photocopies among the Saroyan research files are marked to prevent further photocopies being made from them.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: These materials were donated to the University of Iowa Libraries by John Leggett from 1970 to 2003.

Preferred Citation: John Leggett Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman
Email: lib-spec@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc

John Leggett was born November 11, 1917, in New York, NY. He was the son of Bleecker Noel and Dorothy (Mahar) Leggett. Leggett attended Andover, received an A.B. at Yale University in 1942, and served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1942 -- 1945, becoming a lieutenant. He married Mary Lee Fahnestock in 1948, with whom he had three children. They divorced in 1986, and Leggett married Edwina Bennington of San Francisco.

Leggett was an editor and publicity director for Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts from 1950 -- 1960 and an editor at Harper & Row Publishing in New York from 1960 -- 1967. In 1969 Leggett became a professor of English and the director of the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, serving in those capacities until 1987.

Leggett's published writings include Wilder Stone, The Gloucester Branch, Who Took the Gold Away, Ross and Tom: Two American Tragedies, and Gulliver House. His most recent book is A Daring Young Man: A Biography of William Saroyan (New York: Knopf, 2002), and his research files and drafts for it constitute the 2003 Addendum.

The Legget Papers primarily document Leggett's published books, stories and other writings, but the files for the Writers' Workshop period, 1969-1987, contain significant correspondence files and notable letters are found among drafts and reseach materials as well. The collection contains two unpublished William Saroyan manuscripts.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL
Series 2: 1986 ADDENDUM
Series 3: 1988 ADDENDUM
Series 4: 2003 ADDENDUM

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Sub-Series: Interview
  • Box 1:
  • John Hemesath's interview with John Leggett, November - 1975
  • Sub-Series: Not the Very Button, unpublished
  • Box 1:
  • Typescript draft with corrections
    2 folders
  • Typescript draft with corrections, carbon
    2 folders
  • Sub-Series: "Small Change," unpublished
  • Box 1:
  • Typescript draft with corrections
  • Sub-Series: "Tokyo Rose"
  • Box 1:
  • Correspondence - 1976
  • Notes
  • Background/research materials - 1944-1976
  • First typescript draft with revisions, carbon
    2 copies
  • Second typescript draft with revisions, carbon
  • Semi-final typescript draft with revisions, carbon
  • Typescript draft, carbon
  • Typescript draft with revisions
    2 photocopies
  • Article in New York Times Magazine, December - 1976
  • Sub-Series: "The Tutor," unpublished
  • Box 1:
  • Typescript draft with corrections
  • Sub-Series: Who Took the Gold Away
  • Box 1:
  • Printer's typescript with revisions, photocopy
    3 folders
  • Sub-Series: Gulliver House
  • Box 1:
  • First draft, notes, and revisions, July 25 - 1975
  • Draft and revisions, Fall - 1977
    2 folders
  • Typescript, unrevised, July 6 - 1978
    2 folders
  • Typescript, unrevised, July 6 - 1978
  • Critical comments and notes
  • Critical comments, draft, and revisions
  • Box 2:
  • Drafts and revisions
    3 folders
  • Drafts and revisions
    6 folders
  • Drafts and revisions
  • Handwritten notes, drafts, and revisions
    3 folders
  • Notes, drafts, and revisions
  • Notes - miscellaneous
  • Galley proof
  • Box 3:
  • Master proofs
  • Original manuscript
  • Sub-Series: Ross and Tom
  • Box 3:
  • Audio Tapes
    2 folders
  • Correspondence - 1964-1967
    Including a letter from Wallace Stegner
  • Correspondence - 1968
  • Correspondence - 1969
  • Correspondence, January-May - 1970
    Including letters from Wallace Stegner
  • Correspondence, June-December - 1970
    Including a letter from Wallace Stegner
  • Correspondence - 1971-1974
    Including letters from Wallace Stegner and Merle Miller
  • Correspondence, undated
  • Correspondence regarding permission to quote or paraphrase - 1973
  • Lockridge, Ross: Clippings - 1947-1948
  • Lockridge, Ross: Obituaries - 1948
    And correspondence with his widow
  • Box 4:
  • Correspondence - 1933-1947
    Photocopy copies of letters by Ross Lockridge, Jr.
  • Correspondence - 1946-1948
    Photocopy copies of letters between Lockridge and his publisher
  • Early compositions and academic records - 1929-1948
    Photocopies
  • Interviews
  • Notes relating to Lockridge
  • Photographs
  • Publishers miscellaneous items
  • Heggen, Tom: Clippings - 1946-1963
  • Heggen, Tom: Obituaries, medical reports, and autopsy - 1949-1972
  • Heggen, Tom: Correspondence - 1946-1948
    Photocopies of letters by Tom Heggen
  • Heggen, Tom: Correspondence - 1945-1947
    Photocopies of letters between Heggen and his publisher
  • Heggen, Tom: Early compositions - 1936-1947
  • Heggen, Tom: Interviews
    2 folders
  • Heggen, Tom: "Mister Roberts" playbill - 1949
  • Heggen, Tom: Notes relating to Heggen - 1949-1968
    Including some correspondence
  • Miscellaneous background and research material - not directly related to Lockridge or Heggen
    2 folders
  • Outline. Typescript with corrections
  • Opening and "Ross" section. Typescript with corrections and revisions
  • Opening and "Ross" section. Typescript with corrections and revisions
  • "Ross" section: Typescript with corrections and revisions, photocopy
  • "Ross" section: Typescript with corrections and revisions, with carbon
  • "Tom" section: Typescript pages with corrections and revisions
    4 folders
  • Box 5:
  • "Tom" section: Typescript pages with corrections and revisions
  • "Tom" section: Typescript drafts (3) with corrections and revisions
  • "Tom" section: Typescript draft by Lee Leggett with corrections, revisions, and notes
  • "Tom" section: Typescript draft with notes added by Lee Leggett
  • "Tom" section: Typescript, second draft with corrections and revisions
    2 folders
  • "Tom" section: Partial typescript draft
  • Early draft (incomplete) with numerous corrections and revisions
  • First complete typescript draft with corrections and revisions
    2 folders
  • Typescript draft copy with corrections and revisions
    2 folders
  • Typescript draft carbon with corrections and revisions
    4 folders
  • Typescript draft carbon with corrections
    4 folders
  • Box 6:
  • Typescript final revision with corrections
    3 folders
  • Typescript final revision epilogue with corrections
  • Printer's typescript with corrections
  • Printer's typescript with corrections
    3 folders
  • Page proofs
  • Series 2: 1986 ADDENDUM
  • Sub-Series: "Metamorphosis of the Campus Radical"
  • Box 6:
  • Correspondence - 1971
  • Research material
  • Holograph notes and tentative incomplete drafts
  • Typescript of early drafts and notes
  • Early typescript draft, with corrections and revisions (titled: The Hulk)
  • Galley proof
  • Published copy. New York Times Magazine, January 30 - 1972
  • Sub-Series: Making Believe
  • Box 6:
  • Correspondence - 1981-1984
  • Research material
  • Incomplete holograph drafts, notes, and character sketches
    2 folders
  • Incomplete holograph drafts, notes, and character sketches
  • Typescript drafts of incomplete and revised chapters with notes
    3 folders
  • Box 7:
  • Typescript drafts of incomplete and revised chapters with notes
    3 folders
  • Typescript drafts of chapters submitted to others for critiques, including criticisms
  • Typescript draft of revisions sent to the editor, together with the editor's comments
  • Tentative early draft, with critiques by colleagues and students
    3 folders
  • Tentative early draft
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 1
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 1
    3 folders
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 2
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 3
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 4
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 4
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 5
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 6
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 7
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 9
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 12
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 13
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 15
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 15a
  • Box 8:
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 16, with notes and criticisms by others
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 17
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 18
  • Typescript drafts of chapter # 19
  • First draft typescript (titled: Train)
  • Early typescript drafts (titled: Roy Train)
    2 folders
  • Typescript draft, pages 1-300
    2 folders
  • Typescript draft, pages 301-356
  • Typescript draft
    3 folders
  • Penultimate typescript draft, pages 1-150
  • Penultimate typescript draft, pages 151-391
    2 folders
  • Final typescript draft
    3 folders
  • Page proof
    2 folders
  • Box 9:
  • Printer's copy
    3 folders
  • Series 3: 1988 ADDENDUM
  • Box 9:
  • "All Right" by Blair Fuller. Photocopy of a short story
  • Authors Guild Bulletin - 1964-1969
  • Bell, Marvin - 1972-1914
  • Biographical material about John Leggett
  • "The Conspiracy" by John Leggett. Typescripts of a short story
  • "China Diary" by John Leggett
  • Galley proofs of an article for Horizon
  • Correspondence - 1954-1965
    Including letters from Rex Stout, Vance Bourjaily, and John V. Lindsay
  • Correspondence - 1966
    Including a letter from McGeorge Bundy
  • Correspondence - 1967
    Including a letter from Vance Bourjaily
  • Correspondence - 1968
    Including letters from Sterling Lord and Rex Stout
  • Correspondence, January-June - 1969
    Including letters from Louis S. Auchincloss, Vance Bourjaily, George Starbuck, John Hersey, and Sterling Lord
  • Correspondence, July-December - 1969
    Including letters from Joshua Logan and John V. Lindsay
  • Correspondence - 1970
    Including letters from Sterling Lord, Louis S. Auchincloss, George Roy Hill, Richard Yates, John C. Gerber, and Jerzy Kosinski
  • Correspondence - 1971
    Including letters from John C. Gerber, John Barth, Willard L. Boyd, Sterling Lord, and Daryl Henderson
  • Correspondence - 1972
    Including letters from Curtis Harnack, Bruce Bliven, Sterling Lord, Morty Sklar, Vance Bourjaily, and Paul Engle
  • Correspondence - 1973
    Including letters from Sterling Lord, Seymour Krim, D.C. Spriestersbach, Oakley Hall, Gail Godwin, and Willard L. Boyd
  • Correspondence - 1974
    Including letters from Sterling Lord, George Roy Hill, Oakley Hall, Louis S. Auchincloss, James A. Michener, Dick Clark, Harold E. Hughes, Gail Godwin, Joshua Logan, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Robert Anderson, Willard L. Boyd, Angus Wilson, William Styron, Philip Roth, Seymour Krim, Wallace Stegner, Budd Schulberg, Bruce Bliven, and Curtis Harnack
  • Correspondence - 1975-1976
    Including letters from Gail Godwin, John C. Gerber, Willard L. Boyd, Vance Bourjaily, and R.V. Cassill
  • Correspondence - 1977
    Including letters from Sterling Lord, James A. Michener, and John Irving
  • Correspondence - 1978
    Including letters from Sterling Lord, Vance Bourjaily, and Richard Lloyd-Jones
  • Box 10:
  • Correspondence - 1979
    Including letters from Sterling Lord and Marvin Bell
  • Correspondence - 1980-1981
    Including letters from Sterling Lord, Richard Lloyd-Jones, James McPherson, Marvin Bell, and Charles M. Schulz
  • Correspondence - 1982
    Including letters from John Updike, Sterling Lord, Laurence Lafore, and James O. Freedman
  • Correspondence - 1983
  • Correspondence - 1984
    Including letters from Marvin Bell, Berkley Bedell, James McPherson, Sterling Lord, Angus Wilson, Doris Grumbach, Brooks Landon, and Richard Lloyd-Jones
  • Correspondence, January-June - 1985
    Including letters from Doris Grumbach, Richard D. Remington, and Gail Godwin
  • Correspondence, July-December - 1985
    Including letters from John Updike, James O. Freedman, Gail Godwin, and John Ciardi
  • Correspondence, January-May - 1986
    Including letters from Robert Anderson, Louis S. Auchincloss, Oakley Hall, and Nicholas Meyer
  • Correspondence, June-December - 1986
    Including letters from Nicholas Meyer, James O. Freedman, Sam Becker, and Willard L. Boyd
  • Correspondence - 1987
  • Correspondence, undated
    Including letters from Sterling Lord, Louis S. Auchincloss, and Maxwell Perkins
  • Correspondence, undated
    Including letters from Richard Lloyd-Jones, Angus Wilson, Vance Bourjaily, and Marvin Bell
  • "Dengue" by Richard Wiley. Typescript of a short story
  • "Expectations" by John Leggett. Typescripts and published version of an article
  • "Fiction" by John Leggett. Typescripts of an article
  • Fiction Workshop at the University of Iowa - 1972-1973
  • Gloucester Branch by John Leggett
  • Royalty statement, reviews, etc. - 1966, 1973
  • Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Application, correspondence, etc. - 1966-1967
  • Gulliver House by John Leggett. Miscellaneous notes and revisions - 1977
  • "An Imaginary Garden Recollected in Term of Toads" by John Givens. Short story
  • "Leggett's California Trip" by John Leggett. Typescripts - 1960
  • "Letter from the Midwest" by John Leggett. Typescript of an article
  • Literary agents. Notes clippings, etc. - 1966-1967
  • "The Little Flames of Genius" by John Leggett. Typescripts of a short story
  • Making Believe by John Leggett. Incomplete typescript
  • "Mrs. Neily" by Mary Lee Leggett. Typescript
  • Notes regarding a trip to Egypt, taken by John Leggett
  • O'Zark, Seamus. Fiction written for Leggett's GFW class - 1973
  • P.E.N. Membership lists - 1965-1966
  • Photographs
  • "Picnic" by J. Chris Anderson. Typescript of a short story
  • Publishing and writing. Miscellaneous notes articles, etc. - 1951-1964
  • Reviews written by John Leggett - 1970-1986
  • Ross and Tom by John Leggett: Miscellaneous notes
  • Ross and Tom by John Leggett: Reviews - 1974
  • "Running and Gunning the Muse on Publisher's Row" by John Leggett
  • Typescript of a short story
  • Unidentified typescripts
  • "The Wasp Novel" by John Leggett. Typescripts of an article
  • "What the Young are Thinking Tonight. A Report From Iowa City" by John Leggett. Photocopy of an article
  • Who Took the Gold Away by John Leggett. Typescripts (possibly of jacket copy)
  • Wilder Stone by John Leggett: Condensed version of the novel published in the Newark Sunday Times, September 25 - 1960
  • Wilder Stone by John Leggett: Contract - 1964
  • Wilder Stone by John Leggett: Correspondence - 1959-1964
  • Wilder Stone by John Leggett: Miscellaneous typescript pages and notes
  • Wilder Stone by John Leggett: Reviews - 1960
  • "The Writers' Workshop" by John Leggett. Typescript of an article
  • "Writing a Roman a Clef" by John Leggett. Typescripts of an article with correspondence - 1979
  • "You Take the Easy Road to Success in Writing" by John Leggett. Article published in Harpers, vol. 232: #1389, February - 1966
    Pages 49-52
  • Clippings and articles
  • Correspondence - 1961-1978
  • "Doors." Short story
  • Series 4: 2003 ADDENDUM
  • Box 1:
  • Addendum contains Drafts and Research files for A Daring Young Man: A Biography of William Saroyan. New York: Knopf - 2002
  • 1. Draft of first 75 pages for discussion with Nan Talese, Doubleday books. June - 1990
  • 2. Draft, lightly revised in pencil by JL, pages 1-185 (Chapters I-VIII) - 1995
  • 3. Draft, lightly revised in pencil by JL, pages 186-393 (Chapters IX-XV) - 1995
  • 4. Draft, lightly revised in pencil by JL, pages 394-583 (Chapters XVI-XX) - 1995
  • 5. Draft, returned by Fran Kiernan, unmarked, pages 1-185 (Chapters I-VII) - 1995
  • 6. Draft, returned by Fran Kiernan, unmarked, pages 196-382 (Chapters VIII-XIII) - 1995
  • Box 2:
  • 1. Draft, returned by Fran Kiernan, unmarked, pages 383-534 (Chapters XIV-XVI) - 1995
  • 2. Draft, returned by Fran Kiernan, unmarked, pages 535-688 (Chapters XVII-XX) - 1995
  • 3. Draft, returned by Alan D. Williams, heavily revised, pages 1-152 (Chapters I-V) - 1995
  • 4. Draft, returned by Alan D. Williams, heavily revised, pages 153-336 (Chapters VI-X) - 1995
  • 5. Draft, returned by Alan D. Williams, heavily revised, pages 356-540 (Chapters XI-XV) [sic: continuous but lacking pages 337-355] - 1995
  • 6. Draft, returned by Alan D. Williams, heavily revised, pages 541-782 (Chapters XVI-XX) - 1995
  • Box 3:
  • 1. Draft, moderately revised in pencil by JL, prelims to page 187 (Chapters I-IX) and notes on sources - 2001
  • 2. Draft, pages 188-416 (Chapters X-XVII) - 2001
  • 3. Draft, pages 417-488 (Chapters XVIII-XX) - 2001
  • 4. Setting Knopf ms., partially typeset, mostly computer printout, heavily copy edited, pages 1-205 (Chapters I-IX)
  • 5. Setting Knopf ms., partially typeset, mostly computer printout, heavily copy edited, pages 206-395 (Chapters X-XVI)
  • 6. Setting Knopf ms., partially typeset, mostly computer printout, heavily copy edited, pages 396-502 (Chapters XVII-XX), plus notes and illustration captions
  • Box 4:
  • 1. Setting Knopf ms., partially typeset, mostly computer printout, heavily copy edited, photocopies of illustrations used and considered; returned by Knopf
  • 2. Setting Knopf ms., partially typeset, mostly computer printout, heavily copy edited, photographs and negatives, mostly used as illustrations
  • 3. Correspondence with publishers, agents, lawyers, Saroyan Foundations and others
  • 4. Correspondence with publishers, agents, lawyers, Saroyan Foundations and others - 1988
  • 5. Correspondence with publishers, agents, lawyers, Saroyan Foundations and others - 1993
  • 6. Correspondence with publishers, agents, lawyers, Saroyan Foundations and others - 1996
  • 7. Correspondence with publishers, agents, lawyers, Saroyan Foundations and others - 1997
  • 8. Correspondence with publishers, agents, lawyers, Saroyan Foundations and others - 1998
  • 9. Correspondence with publishers, agents, lawyers, Saroyan Foundations and others - 2001
  • 10. Correspondence with publishers, agents, lawyers, Saroyan Foundations and others - 2002
  • Box 5:
  • Box 5 contains research materials, including correspondence, clippings, JL transcripts of entries from Saroyan’s journals, photocopies, notes on interviews, etc.
    JL folder labels noted here; folder’s with JL notes have been retained
  • 1. Miscellany
  • 2. Psych - Army Record
  • 3. Saroyan -Leggett (contents relate primarily to the Fred Finch Orphanage)
  • 4. Acquaintance
  • 5. Papa (i.e., Ernest Hemingway), Kay Boyle
  • 6. Story magazine
  • 7. Nathan, [George Jean]
  • 8. Esquire magazine
  • 9. Matson, [Harold]
  • 10. Sourian, [Peter]
  • 11. Takoohi [Saroyan]
  • 12. Yvor’s ‘31 [Yvor Winter and Janet Lewis], [Mark] Schorer ’32
  • 13. Henry [Saroyan], Archie [Minasian], Mehran [Soroyan]
  • 14. Hairenik [Association, Boston]
  • 15. Critics [of WS works]
  • Box 6:
  • 1. [WS] Plays
  • 2. Irwin [Shaw]
  • 3. MGM- LA - B’Way - Hirschfield
  • 4. Random House/Harcourt
  • 5. Bill [i.e., WS] Psych-Med[ical]
  • 6. Saroyan [Foundation]
  • 7. Ross [Bagdassarian], Armen [Bagdassarian]
  • 8. Aram [Saroyan]
  • 9. Lucy [Saroyan]
  • Box 7:
  • 1. Carol [Saroyan]
  • 2. [WS] Journal
  • 3. WS [Journal] - 1942-1946
  • Box 8:
  • 1. WS [journal] 1947-1981 - 1947-1981
  • Box 9:
  • 1. The Secret of Lily Dafon or The Paris Comedy - 1959
    Typescript drafts by WS, heavily edited. See Leggett ADYM, pages 315-321 for an account of this work
  • 2. Settled Out of Court, a play by Henry Cecil. Rewritten and retitled by WS as Fair Trial at Gunpoint - 1959
    Typescript drafts by WS, heavily edited. See Leggett ADYM, pages 318-320 for an account of this work
  • Mailing wrappings for both manuscripts have been retained, with WS notes dated - 1967
  • Box 10:
  • Script for A Western Awakening from the University of Wyoming production. Inscribed to Sam Becker, who was in the play and whose script this is: "For Sam Becker with thanks for a fine Hawk Harrap & all good wishes. Bill Saroyan." Laid in is a tear sheet from a publication with a photograph of a scene from the play with Sam Becker identified, along with a program from the play. Also included are photocopies of photographs of the play, clippings about the play, a photocopy of the program, and an essay by Becker recalling his part in the play and how Saroyan became the de facto director of the play
    Donated by Sam Becker