Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Bradbury mss. II, 1949-1976, consist of letters from science-fiction writer Ray Douglas Bradbury, 1920-2012, to his editors at Doubleday & Company.

Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, IL. In 1922 he married Marguerite McClure; together they had four daughters, and stayed married until her death in 2003. At the age of sixteen Bradbury began a distinguished literary career that spanned eight decades and included novels and stories such as: "Pendulum," Dark Carnival; The Martian Chronicles; Fahrenheit 451; The Illustrated Man; Something Wicked This Way Comes; and numerous other works. He died on June 5, 2012. In his obituary, The New York Times wrote: "By many estimations, Mr. Bradbury was the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream."

Most of the letters are addressed to "Brad", Walter I. Bradbury, 1914- . Topics discussed include current manuscripts, films based on Ray Bradbury's books, including Fahrenheit 451 and The Illustrated Man, illustrations and book jackets, and various reprinting of certain titles, particularly and most often The Martian Chronicles. Bradbury also comments occasionally on his screenplay and theater writing, providing particular detail about the script for Moby Dick, filmed in 1954. Much of the later correspondence is concerned with Doubleday's advertising and handling of his books.

Sometime in 1959 Walter Bradbury left Doubleday, so that Ray Bradbury's letters are primarily to Timothy Seldes from June of that year until June 1963. In late 1964 or early 1965, Walter Bradbury returned to Doubleday and the letters are once again addressed to him. There are also a few letters during the mid-1960s to other people in the firm seeking specific information about sales or numbers of copies of a title remaining in stock.

An inventory is available.

Acquired: 1982

Collection size: 123 items

Related manuscripts: Bradbury mss., Bradbury mss. III

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.