Menu Bar

 

acknowledgments

First of all I want to express my gratitude to Shane O'Neill; elsewhere I have detailed his contribution to this book. I am also indebted to Cathy Givens O'Neill, Shane's wife, who was of immense help. Shane's mother, Agnes Boulton Kaufman, and her husband, Mac Kaufman, know how grateful I am to them not only for information but for actual food and lodging.

As always, fellow writers were more than generous, particularly Marc Brandel, Bessie Breuer, Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant, Russel Crouse, Stark Young, Robert Manning, Jane Burnside, Peggy Baird Conklin. I am grateful to drama critics John Mason Brown, Walter Kerr, and John Chapman for their advice and information. To Brooks Atkinson I am indebted not only for his observations in a quarter century of reviews of O'Neill's plays but also for the material he gave me by letter and in person. I want to give special thanks also to the patient editors, Bob Gutwillig, Ed Kuhn, and Ed Schneider, who worked on the book at my publisher's.

Attorney Joseph Trachtman, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, sent me to see Silvio Bedini, who had played with Shane at Brook Farm in Ridgefield when they were little boys. Silvio and his mother were, of course, helpful with information. Frederick P. Latimer, Jr., whose father had been an intimate friend of Eugene O'Neill in New London, was helpful, as was his sister, Mrs. Daniel Fairchild Porter, of Darien. I am grateful to Mrs. Samuel Green and Mrs. Eugene Northrup; and to Mrs. Barrett H. Clark, of Briarcliff, New York, and Mrs. Clayton Hamilton, of New York City, both widows of distinguished drama authorities. Mrs. Clark was particularly generous with letters and papers belonging to her late husband. James Light and Susan Jenkins were especially helpful on O'Neill's Provincetown days. In my own town of Sherman, Connecticut, Muriel and Malcolm Cowley were helpful in a number of directions. In the theater Florence Eldridge, Fredric March, Gusti Huber, Lawrence Langner, and the late Mary Welch, helped and encouraged me. Although Dr. Merrill Moore of Boston died before I was able to visit him, we carried on an extensive correspondence.

The libraries were especially important in this project and it is fortunate that so many of them have shown foresight in assembling O'Neill materials. At Princeton, Alexander Clark, Curator of Manuscripts, made a special effort to help me with the George Tyler letters. Marcus A. McCorison, Chief, Rare Books Department of the Baker Library at Dartmouth College, did similar yeoman service for me with the Landauer Collection of O'Neilliana. William L. Lucey, S.J., Librarian of the College of the Holy Cross, arranged for me to see the Michael Earls, S.J., Collection of O'Neill and Richard Dana Skinner letters located in the Dinand Library. At the Library of Congress Robert H. Land, Acting Chief, Manuscript Division, and Frederick R. Goff, Chief of the Rare Book Division, helped greatly. Marion McCandless, Secretary Emeritus of Saint Mary's College at Notre Dame, Indiana, Ella Quinlan O'Neill's alma mater, provided me with reams of material. Sister Mary Madeleva, distinguished poet and president of the college, helped in my research and wrote me continually. I thank May Davenport Seymour, curator of the theater and music collections of the Museum of the City of New York. The Berg Collection, the manuscript division, and the theater collection at the New York Public Library all provided help. I am especially grateful to Donald Gallup, Curator of American Manuscripts, and James Babb, Director, of the Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University.

Allen V. Heely, headmaster of the Lawrenceville School, and a number of his faculty members helped in re-creating Shane's prep school days. Art McGinley, staff writer for the Hartford Times, was most generous in supplying information about O'Neill, with whom he grew up in New London and whom he continued to see until the early 1930s. Sophus Keith Winther, of the University of Washington, was helpful with material concerning O'Neill's life on the West Coast.

To the late Saxe Commins I am especially grateful for reading the entire manuscript and saving me from some bad errors, and to Dorothy Commins, his wife, who supplied both information and strength to carry on. I want to thank William Glover, Associated Press drama writer, who also read the manuscripts and recommended corrections. Dr. Doris Alexander of Staten Island College was most generous despite the fact that she is in process of writing her own book on O'Neill. Dr. Alexander Renner, who knew O'Neill in China, was helpful. So were Helen P. Duffy, Secretary of St. Mary's Cemetery in New London, and Mrs. Eva Chang, Secretary of the Euthanasia Society of America.

To Winfield Aronberg and his wife Mary, I am grateful for a variety of things too numerous to list here.

In Chappaqua, I am grateful to Bob Aylesworth, who let me use part of his office to write the book, and Janet Scilipoti and Florence Smith who spent so many hours typing the manuscript.

As for the contribution of Hamilton Basso, I cannot adequately express my gratitude not only for letting me see his working notes made during his O'Neill interviews, but for aid and encouragement throughout the project. Mary Heaton Vorse spent several afternoons at the Overseas Press Club giving me her recollections of O'Neill and Provincetown and letting me record them on tape. When he was a senior at Dartmouth College and for a time after he was graduated, Carl W. Schmidt gave invaluable service as interviewer and researcher. Others who helped were Betty and Carl Carmer, Bennett Cerf, the late Samuel Hopkins Adams, and Pauline Turkel.

I know I have failed to mention others to whom I am grateful, and I ask their forgiveness.

Because such complete bibliographies have been done on O'Neill and his work and because an up-to-date bibliography would be out of date when this book is published, I see no point in publishing another one at this time. I am now compiling complete footnotes to all materials contained in this book and hope to print this in later editions.
 

prologue: Homecoming
 

Copyright 1999-2009 eOneill.com