Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Norton mss. II, 1943-1960, consist primarily of letters from author Max Forrester Eastman, 1883-1969, to assistant magazine editor, Florence Norton. Also present are a few letters and telegrams from Eastman's second wife, Eliena Krylenko, 1895-1956, and a few from his third wife, Yvette Szekely (b.1912), following their marriage in 1958. Through 1956 these letters complement those found in the Norton mss. That is, this is the Eastman side of the correspondence while the Norton mss. are Florence Norton's letters to Max. The Lilly Library does not have Norton's letters to Eastman following 1956 except in those few cases where she retained carbon copies that are present in this collection.

The letters are arranged chronologically, with those from Eliena and Yvette interfiled appropriately. As in the case of the Norton mss., the content deals with personal relations, social and writing activities, financial matters both of Norton and Eastman, and discussions of editorial policies, content, and personnel of The Reader's Digest . Many of the letters were written from various European cities as Eastman traveled in his position with The Reader's Digest Association and, especially from the 1950s on, were often sent c/o American Express as Norton also traveled and worked for The Reader's Digest in their various European offices.

The first item in the collection is a contract for a speaking engagement by Eastman, dated 22 July 1933. According to Miss Norton's note with the contract, his talk, delivered February 27, 1934 in Norfolk, Virginia, was "where I first encountered him and was overwhelmed (he gave it [the contract] to me years later)." Two folders of dried flowers, labeled and dated by Miss Norton, an envelope with locks of her hair dated 1946, and an unsigned, undated typescript, "Prelaborial Poem," complete the collection.

Gift. 1998

686 items

Additions to the collections include nine journal or diary volumes, ca. 1933-1980 but chiefly 1933-1949, and three volumes Ms. Norton calls "Book of Thoughts," 1945-1947.

Gift. 2002

12 items

Collection size: 12 items

Related manuscripts: Norton mss.

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.