Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Taylor, F. mss., 1932-1984, consist of the correspondence, papers, business files and memorabilia of independent publisher, and film producer Frank Eugene Taylor, 1916-1999. Born in Malone, New York, Frank Taylor graduated from Hamilton College, took some graduate psychology courses at the University of Minnesota, but soon decided upon a publishing career. He began with the New York publishers, Reynal & Hitchcock, first as a salesman, then advertising manager and publicity director, and in 1944 became editor-in-chief and vice president of the firm. Among his literary discoveries while with Reynal & Hitchcock were Lillian Smith, Arthur Miller, and Karl Shapiro. In 1948 Taylor moved to Random House as editor, scout and project director while under simultaneous contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. In 1950, after making one first-rate, award-winning, low-budget film, Mystery Street , he left Hollywood and returned to book publishing only to be asked by old friends John Huston and Arthur Miller to produce their film, The Misfits, starring Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and Montgomery Clift. Taylor became publisher and executive officer of Avon Books, then a division of Hearst Corporation, in 1962 and then returned to hard cover publishing with his move to McGraw Hill two years later. During the 70s and 80s Taylor was involved in various publishing projects, acted as an independent literary agent, and worked to promote and develop art, cultural and publishing projects with China from the very beginning of the resumption of U.S./China relations. Among the correspondents in the collection are Samuel Hopkins Adams, James Agee, John Bainbridge, Alan Paul Bell, Matthew Joseph Bruccoli, Charles Spencer Chaplin, Oona (O'Neill) Chaplin, Eldridge Cleaver, Kathleen Neal Cleaver, Norman Cousins, Ralph Ellison, Richard M. Elman, Guy Endore, Leslie Aaron Fiedler, Maxwell David Geismar, Fred Lawrence Guiles, John Richard Hersey, John Huston, Clifford Michael Irving, Christopher Isherwood, Dorothy Jeakins, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Joe Klaas, Joseph Losey, Malcolm Lowry, Herbert Marshall McLuhan, Robin Maugham, Warren Miller, Desmond Morris, Vladimir Nabokov, John Pearson, Leo Calvin Rosten, Francis Russell, Dore Schary, Mark Schorer, Lillian Eugenia Smith, Stephen Spender, Ch'ing-ling Sung, Frank Eugene Taylor, and Charles Lincoln VanDoren.

Also present in the collection are files relating to the publication of autobiographies by Charlie Chaplin and Stephen Spender, manuscripts by and other materials about Eldridge Cleaver, Malcolm Lowry's unproduced film script for Tender is the Night , materials re: production of the movies The Misfits and Mystery Street, as well as several folders of research, travel notes and memorabilia, and descriptions concerning Taylor's various China projects.

There is a box contents list in the Vertical File.

Gift. 1980, 1983

Collection size: 1,650 items

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.