Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

A volume like this incurs many debts for its authors. We are particularly grateful to Julie Cyzewski for her expert and dedicated research assistance in the project’s early stages. Libraries and librarians were equally essential to our work, particularly the Interlibrary Loan division of the University of Connecticut Libraries, ...

Chronology

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pp. xiii-xx

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Introduction

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pp. 1-6

The life of Eugene O’Neill has long been shrouded in myth. After the extended series of interviews with Barrett H. Clark that resulted in Eugene O’Neill: The Man and His Plays (1926), the first book about its subject, O’Neill rarely gave personal interviews and was not forthcoming about the details of his life. ...

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Part 1. New London, School, and Wandering (1888-1913)

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pp. 7-8

Eugene O’Neill was born in a hotel in New York, the city where his father James O’Neill, a well-known actor-manager, was performing. As a small child, Eugene was often brought along on tour with his father’s company. The first reminiscences record O’Neill’s early life in the theater and in New London, Connecticut, ...

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1. George C. Tyler

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pp. 9-10

George C. Tyler (1868–1946) was a very active Broadway producer from 1902 until 1935. Among his producing credits were popular comedies such as Dulcy (1921) and Merton of the Movies (1922) by George S. Kaufman (1889–1961) and Marc Connolly (1890–1980), as well as serious plays like The Plough and the Stars (1927) by Sean O’Casey (1880–1964), ...

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2. Warren H. Hastings and Richard F. Weeks

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pp. 11-17

Warren H. Hastings (1888–?) spent his career working for the advertising agency Folkard and Lawrence, representing British mills in the woolen industry. He retired to Princeton, where he wrote the following piece with Richard F. Weeks (1888–1971), who was retired and living in California after a career of practicing customs law in New York. ...

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3. Kathleen Jenkins Pitt-Smith

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pp. 18-19

Kathleen Jenkins (1888–1982) was the daughter of Katie Shaw Camblos and Charles E. Jenkins. She met and fell in love with Eugene O’Neill when they were both twenty years old. In October 1909, after Kathleen became pregnant, they were married in New Jersey but never lived together. ...

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4. William Lee

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pp. 20-21

There are several accounts of O’Neill’s stint as an actor with James O’Neill’s company in 1912. This story is from the point of view of a stagehand who witnessed his performances as well as his interaction with his father backstage. The editors found no further information about William Lee. ...

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5. Pierre Loving

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pp. 22-24

Pierre Loving (1893–?) was a writer, critic, and editor who wrote a biography of Baudelaire and a study of German theater, as well as novels, plays, and poetry. His play The Stick-Up (1922) was produced by the Provincetown Players. Here he tells of his first meeting with O’Neill in a bar in Greenwich Village. ...

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6. Mabel Haynes

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pp. 25-27

Mabel Haynes was a nurse who cared for Ella Quinlan O’Neill (1857–1922) briefly in 1912 in New London when she was suffering one of her episodes of morphine addiction. This incident occurred at exactly the time when Long Day’s Journey Into Night is set, and Haynes’s description of the O’Neill family bears a striking resemblance to the play’s Tyrone family. ...

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7. Clayton Hamilton

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pp. 28-30

Clayton Hamilton (1881–1946) was a playwright and the author of many critical books about drama and fiction, including The Theory of the Theatre (1910) and the popular “So You’re Writing a Play!” (1935). His plays The Big Idea (1914) and A Friend Indeed (1926) were produced on Broadway, but without much success. He taught at Columbia University and Barnard College. ...

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8. Irvin S. Cobb

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pp. 31-32

Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb (1876–1944) was an author, humorist, and columnist who once hosted the Academy Awards ceremony. He said that he wrote upward of sixty books, “some of which never should have been published in the first place.” An enthusiastic clubman, he became acquainted with James O’Neill at the Lambs Club in New York. ...

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9. Frederick P. Latimer

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pp. 33-35

Frederick Palmer Latimer (1875–1940), known in New London as Judge Latimer, was born in Montville, Connecticut, and lived a colorful life, which included farming in Florida and meteorology, before he became a lawyer in 1902 and settled down to practice in New London, ...

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10. Arthur B. McGinley

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pp. 36-38

Arthur B. McGinley (1890?–1974) was born in New London, Connecticut, and was a boyhood friend of O’Neill’s. Ah, Wilderness! (1933) is said to be based on the McGinley family. McGinley worked with O’Neill on the New London Telegraph, and went on have a sixty-eight-year career in journalism, working in Providence, New York, and Boston before settling in Hartford, ...

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11. Robert A. Woodworth

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pp. 39-42

Robert A. Woodworth (1881–1945) was a native of New London, Connecticut, and a reporter on the New London Telegraph and the Day, which bought the Telegraph, from 1900 until 1915, when he moved to Providence, Rhode Island, and went to work for the Providence Journal-Bulletin, where he remained for thirty years, retiring in 1945. ...

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Part 2. Cambridge, Provincetown, and Greenwich Village (1914-1917)

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pp. 43-44

O’Neill spent the winter of 1913–1914 in New London and had a romance with Beatrice Ashe, a locally prominent singer. He left her there to attend the famed playwriting workshop of George Pierce Baker (1866–1935) at Harvard in 1914–1915. After this he lived in a New York hotel and began to frequent the seedy “Hell Hole” saloon, ...

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12. Beatrice Ashe Maher

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pp. 45-46

Beatrice Ashe Maher (1896–1974) was born in Norwich, Connecticut, and lived most of her life in New London, where she became well-known for her singing. When she was in her teens, in 1914 and 1915, she was Eugene O’Neill’s love interest. He proposed marriage to her and wrote to her often while he was studying with George Pierce Baker at Harvard. ...

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13. John V. A. Weaver

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pp. 47-50

John Van Alstyn Weaver (1893–1938) was a poet and novelist and had one successful play produced after he attended George Pierce Baker’s Harvard workshop with Eugene O’Neill. Love ’Em and Leave ’Em (1926), on which he collaborated with George Abbott (1887–1995), was directed by Abbott and produced by Jed Harris (1900–1979). ...

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14. Susan Glaspell

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pp. 51-52

Susan Keating Glaspell (1876–1948), from Davenport, Iowa, was a writer of fiction and plays. Already a well-known novelist when she went with her husband, George Cram Cook (1873–1924), to live in New York’s Greenwich Village and spend summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, she was one of the founders of the Provincetown Players in 1915, ...

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15. Mary Heaton Vorse

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pp. 53-55

Mary Heaton Vorse (1874–1966), an heiress to a shipping fortune, was born in New York City and grew up in a twenty-four-room mansion in Amherst, Massachusetts. After traveling extensively as a child, she studied at the Art Students League in New York and married journalist Albert White Vorse (1866–1910) in 1898. ...

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16. Hutchins Hapgood

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pp. 56-58

Hutchins Hapgood (1869–1944), a self-styled philosophical anarchist, studied with William James at Harvard and became a journalist, social critic, and author of several influential books, including An Anarchist Woman (1909) and his memoir, A Victorian in the Modern World (1939). ...

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17. Harry Kemp

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pp. 59-65

Harry Kemp (1883–1960) was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and went to sea at the age of seventeen, traveling to Australia and China before coming back to the United States, where he rode the rails as a hobo before getting his degree at the University of Kansas. As an aspiring poet, he gravitated to Greenwich Village and Provincetown and became part of the Provincetown Players group, ...

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18. Adele Nathan

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pp. 66-69

Adele Gutman Nathan (1889–1986), a writer, director, and producer, was born and brought up in Baltimore. She graduated from Goucher College and was active in the theater throughout her life. Besides Baltimore’s Vagabond Players, of which she was a founder, she also directed plays for twenty years for the Cellar Players of the Hudson Guild, ...

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19. Dorothy Day

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pp. 70-73

Dorothy Day (1897–1980) was born in Brooklyn and briefly attended the University of Illinois before she moved to Greenwich Village and began to work as a reporter for the socialist paper the Call and to write for the Masses. She had many occupations in her life, including working as a nurse and as a screenwriter. ...

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20. William Carlos Williams

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pp. 74-76

William Carlos Williams (1883–1963) was born in Rutherford, New Jersey. He received his MD from the University of Pennsylvania and returned to New Jersey, where he practiced medicine. He was also dedicated to the arts, primarily as a poet, and he became one of the most celebrated American modernists. ...

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Part 3. Provincetown Playhouse, Peaked Hill Bar, Ridgefield, Broadway (1918-1927)

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pp. 77-78

In 1918 Eugene O’Neill brought his bride, Agnes Boulton, to the house at Peaked Hill Bar on the Provincetown dunes that his father had bought them as a wedding present (see figure 7). She describes this in her memoir, as well as the good times and the bad in the O’Neills’ relationship, including a detailed account of his drinking. ...

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21. Hazel Hawthorne Werner

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pp. 79-83

Hazel Hawthorne (1901–2000) was a poet and the author of two novels: Salt House (1934), based on the time she spent at Eugene and Agnes O’Neill’s Peaked Hill Bar house when she rented it from O’Neill, and Three Women (1938). After her divorce from the artist Celian Ufford (1896–1982), she married Morris Robert Werner (1897–1981), ...

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22. Juliet Throckmorton

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pp. 84-87

Juliet Brenon Throckmorton (1895–1979) was a stage and screen actor in the 1920s. She married Cleon Throckmorton, who became the chief designer for the Provincetown Players after rescuing the set of The Emperor Jones from the amateur efforts of the Players in 1920. In her later years she wrote about several of her Greenwich Village contemporaries for Yankee Magazine. ...

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23. Manuel Zora

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p. 88

Manuel Zora (1895–1979) was born in Olhão, Portugal, and immigrated to the United States in 1910, settling in Provincetown, where he became a fisherman, rumrunner, and local character. It was said that no man in Provincetown could handle a dory in the surf as well as Manny Zora. ...

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24. Edmund Wilson

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pp. 89-91

Edmund Wilson (1895–1972) was a well-known writer and critic who wrote many books about American life and letters, as well as fiction and drama. He graduated from Princeton and served in World War I before entering into the literary and intellectual life of Greenwich Village and Provincetown. ...

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25. Charles O’Brien Kennedy

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pp. 92-93

Charles O’Brien Kennedy (1879–1958) was born in Waltham, Massachusetts. He was an actor who performed with John and Lionel Barrymore, as well as a playwright, writer, and editor. He wrote several popular one-act plays while employed by Samuel French, as well as the plays Boys Will Be Boys: A Comedy of the Soul of Man Under Prosperity (1919) and The Mighty Nimrod (1931), ...

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26. Agnes Boulton

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pp. 94-101

Agnes Boulton (1892–1968) was born in England, a daughter of painter Edward W. Boulton, and grew up in Philadelphia and New Jersey. She had enjoyed some success as a pulp fiction writer when she met Eugene O’Neill in 1917. They were married in 1918 and at first divided their time between Greenwich Village and Provincetown, where they lived first in John Francis’s “flats,” ...

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27. Jasper Deeter

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pp. 102-103

Jasper Deeter (1894–1972) was born in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. After being expelled from Dickinson College, Deeter was inspired to try acting by one of James O’Neill’s performances. A member of the Provincetown Players, he originated the role of Smithers in The Emperor Jones and became a lifetime friend of Eugene O’Neill. ...

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28. Stark Young

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pp. 104-109

Stark Young (1881–1963) was born in Como, Mississippi, and was educated at the University of Mississippi and Columbia University. After sixteen years of university teaching, he moved to New York to become an editor of Theatre Arts and drama critic for the New Republic, a post he retained until 1947. ...

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29. Malcolm Cowley

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pp. 110-117

Malcolm Cowley (1898–1989) grew up in Pittsburgh and graduated from Harvard. He served in the American Field Service as an ambulance driver in World War I and, as an aspiring poet, was part of the expatriate circle of American writers in Paris, which he wrote about in his well-known memoir Exile’s Return (1934). ...

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30. Hart Crane

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pp. 118-120

Harold Hart Crane (1899–1932) was born in Garretsville, Ohio, of a well-to-do family. He did not complete high school but went to New York and lived in Greenwich Village, working in advertising as a copywriter. In the 1920s he was considered by many critics to be the best poet of his generation. ...

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31. Harold De Polo

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pp. 121-129

Harold De Polo (1888–1960) was a popular writer who claimed to have written three thousand western and detective stories, as well as several novelettes. His acquaintance with O’Neill began in his Greenwich Village days when they were both hard drinkers. Dorothy Day (chapter 19) says that she and Eugene used to go out with De Polo and Agnes Boulton before Agnes became involved with Eugene. ...

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32. Brooks Atkinson

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pp. 130-131

Justin Brooks Atkinson (1894–1984) was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard in 1917. He was the preeminent American drama critic in the mid-twentieth century, writing for the New York Times from 1925 to 1960. He was among the first critics to recognize the exceptional quality of playwrights Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams, ...

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33. Calvin Hoffman

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pp. 132-140

Calvin Hoffman (Leo Hochman) (1905–1986) was an American theater press agent, drama critic, and writer. His book The Man Who Was “Shakespeare” (1955), reissued as The Murder of the Man Who Was “Shakespeare” (1960), was highly influential in promoting the argument that the playwright Christopher Marlowe (1564–1593) ...

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Part 4. Europe, Georgia, the Theatre Guild, California (1928-1937)

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pp. 141-142

In 1928 O’Neill left his second wife, Agnes. He sailed to Europe with Carlotta Monterey and, after spending some time in a rented villa in southern France, they traveled to China. They settled into the Château du Plessis (the name of which they frequently abbreviated to “Le Plessis”), near Tours, France, in June 1929, and were married in Paris the following month. ...

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34. Louis Fladger

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p. 143

Louis Fladger (1894–1963) was born in Boston and served in World War I. After the war he lived in San Francisco and served as a purser for several shipping lines. In 1929 he moved to the Hartford area, where he spent most of his time before moving to Miami, his final home. ...

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35. John Lardner

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pp. 144-145

John Abbott Lardner (1912–1960) was a son of the famous writer Ring Lardner (1885–1933). Like his father, he was a humorist who wrote mostly about sports. His sportswriting has been collected in the John Lardner Reader (2010), edited by John Schulian. ...

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36. Bennett Cerf

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pp. 146-149

Bennett Alfred Cerf (1898–1971) was born and brought up in New York City, receiving his BA from Columbia University and a Litt B from the Columbia School of Journalism. He worked briefly as a reporter, and was made vice president of Boni & Liveright publishers after investing in the business in the early 1920s. There he became acquainted with Eugene O’Neill. ...

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37. Lawrence Langner

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pp. 150-157

Lawrence Langner (1890–1962) was born in Great Britain but lived most of his life in the United States He was a patent attorney who had a great interest in the theater and in 1914 was one of the founders of the Washington Square Players. In 1918 the Players disbanded, but Langner, along with Philip Moeller (1880–1958), Helen Westley (1875–1942), ...

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38. Brooks Atkinson

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pp. 158-160

With Ah, Wilderness! off his chest and the notices enthusiastic and the prospects cheerful, Mr. O’Neill felt like talking about anything. He was even willing to listen; and from the point of view of the interviewer that was bad. Mrs. O’Neill efficiently intercepted the telephone calls, the messengers and the waiters, thus isolating a corner of New York where an amiable dramatist could call his soul his own. ...

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39. Rouben Mamoulian

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pp. 161-164

Rouben Mamoulian (1897–1987) was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, at that time under Russian rule. He immigrated to England in 1922, where he began directing plays, and moved to the United States the following year to direct plays and opera for the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. ...

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40. Theresa Helburn

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pp. 165-186

Theresa Helburn (1887–1959) grew up in New York City and graduated from Bryn Mawr College, where she directed and acted in plays, afterward attending George Pierce Baker’s Drama 47 Workshop at Harvard. She was a founder of the Theatre Guild, the preeminent Broadway producer of literary plays, along with Lawrence Langner, ...

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41. George Jean Nathan

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pp. 187-197

George Jean Nathan (1882–1958) was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and grew up in Cleveland. His mother attended the same convent school as O’Neill’s mother, Ella Quinlan, and the two women remained friends. After graduating from Cornell University in 1904, Nathan moved to New York and did newspaper work before joining the Smart Set as drama reviewer in 1908. ...

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42. Maxine Edie Benedict

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pp. 198-200

Maxine Edie Benedict (?–2007) was O’Neill’s private duty nurse in San Francisco in 1936 when he had his appendix removed. She was a 1936 graduate of the Samuel Merritt School of Nursing in Oakland, California, and nursed both Eugene and Carlotta at various points throughout their lifetimes. ...

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Part 5. California and New York (1938-1948)

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pp. 201-202

After the move to Tao House in 1937, despite his deteriorating health, O’Neill worked on the cycle plays and wrote The Iceman Cometh, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, A Moon for the Misbegotten, and Hughie. Unable to complete the cycle plays, O’Neill burned his notes and several of the manuscripts for unfinished plays. ...

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43. Carlotta Monterey O’Neill

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pp. 203-210

Carlotta Monterey O’Neill (1888–1970) was born and educated in California, and first became publicly known as the winner of a beauty contest representing that state. She became an actor, making her Broadway debut in the play Taking Chances (1915). She met O’Neill in 1922, when she played the role of Mildred Douglas in his play The Hairy Ape (see figure 16). ...

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44. Marcella Markham

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p. 211

Marcella Markham (1922–1991) was a stage and screen actor. Her first Broadway role was in the farce Vicki in 1942, and her biggest role was as Betty in The Threepenny Opera at the Theatre de Lys in 1954. She did a good deal of television work between 1963 and 1984, playing Nancy Astor in the miniseries Winston Churchill in 1981. ...

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45. Ingrid Bergman

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pp. 212-214

Ingrid Bergman (1915–1982) is best known for her role as Ilsa in the film Casablanca (1942). During her long acting career, she won three Oscars, two Emmys, and a Tony Award for Best Actress. She appeared in “Anna Christie” in Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and Maplewood, New Jersey, in 1941. Carlotta O’Neill went to see her performance in San Francisco. ...

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46. Sean O’Casey

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pp. 215-219

Sean O’Casey (1880–1964) was born in Dublin, Ireland, to a poor Protestant family, and began working at manual labor at the age of fourteen. He joined the Gaelic League in 1906 and learned the Irish language, becoming a passionate Irish nationalist, labor union activist, and member of the paramilitary Irish Citizen Army. ...

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47. Karl Schriftgiesser

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pp. 220-223

Karl Schriftgiesser (1904–1988) was born in Boston and educated at the Goddard Seminary in Barre, Vermont. As a journalist he worked for the Boston Transcript, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, where he served as acting drama editor during World War II. He also wrote a dozen books, including Families: From the Adamses to the Roosevelts (1940), ....

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48. S. J. Woolf

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pp. 224-228

Samuel Johnson Woolf (1880–1948) was born in New York and educated at the City College of New York and the Academy of Design. He built a unique career as an artist-journalist by drawing and interviewing famous people, including Mark Twain, George Bernard Shaw, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Winston Churchill, and every American president from Theodore Roosevelt to Harry Truman. ...

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49. Max Gordon

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pp. 229-230

Max Gordon (1892–1978) was a well-known theatrical producer. He began his producing career in the 1920s, forming the firm of Lewis and Gordon with his partner, Albert Lewis (1885–1978). He went out on his own with Three’s a Crowd in 1930, however, and produced many plays, from musicals, revues, and operettas to such literary works as Dodsworth (1934) by Sinclair Lewis, ...

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50. Herbert J. Stoeckel

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pp. 231-236

Herbert J. Stoeckel (1896–1967) was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and had a career as a journalist and popular historian, writing books like The Strange Story of John Hanson, First President of the United States (1956). A collection of his notebooks is housed in the Hartford History Center of the Hartford Public Library. ...

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51. Saxe Commins

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pp. 237-248

Saxe Commins (1892?–1958) was born in Rochester, New York, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a dental degree, although he had literary aspirations and had a play, The Obituary, produced by the Provincetown Players in 1918. He gave up a thriving practice in Rochester to come to New York and begin working as an editor for Horace Liveright. ...

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52. Bennett Cerf

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pp. 249-251

I continued to be O’Neill’s admirer, publisher and friend for the rest of his life, which became increasingly unhappy and difficult. Toward the end Gene developed Parkinson’s disease and his hands started shaking. He became more and more of a recluse because he was ashamed of the fact that when he’d eat, his food would fly all over the place. ...

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53. Paul Crabtree

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pp. 252-256

Paul Crabtree (1918–1979), a writer, director, producer, and actor, began his career in 1943 as a replacement performer in Oklahoma! He played Don Parritt in the Theatre Guild’s production of The Iceman Cometh (1946) and directed The Silver Whistle (1948) and the musical Texas, Li’l Darlin’ (1949) on Broadway ...

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54. Mary Welch

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pp. 257-262

Mary Welch (1922?–1958) was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and grew up in San Diego. She was an award-winning drama student at UCLA before moving to New York in 1944, where she made her Broadway debut in the role of Jo in Little Women. ...

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Part 6. Marblehead and Boston (1948-1953)

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pp. 263-264

In 1948 the O’Neills moved into an extensively renovated house in Marblehead, Massachusetts, leaving this in 1951 to move into the Shelton Hotel on the Charles River in Boston. The last five years of O’Neill’s life were physically and mentally torturous for him. Because of his degenerative brain disease, he was no longer able to write or to perform many physical tasks. ...

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55. Saxe Commins

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pp. 265-275

[In 1948] All communication was cut off and even matters pertaining to Gene’s work had to be transmitted through Miss Jane Rubin of the office of his literary agent, Richard Madden. I had been purged, as had all of his old friends and, most unfortunately as it turned out, his children, Shane, Oona, and Eugene, Jr. ...

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56. Carlotta Monterey O’Neill

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pp. 276-280

Source: Seymour Peck, excerpts from an interview with Carlotta Monterey O’Neill, 2 October 1956, transcript in Louis Sheaffer Collection of Eugene O’Neill Materials, Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Shain Library, Connecticut College, New London. ...

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57. Bennett Cerf

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pp. 281-282

As time went on, Carlotta became more and more irrational. There was no question about the fact that her mind was now affected. She had become obsessive about Gene. He couldn’t do anything without her, in her opinion. They finally left New York and moved to Boston. Then Carlotta bought a house in Marblehead, and it was there that things began to be even worse. ...

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58. Earle F. Johnson

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pp. 283-286

Earle F. Johnson (1907–?) was a popular interior designer in the Boston area. Carlotta and Eugene O’Neill met him when he worked at Carbone, Inc. in Boston and hired him to decorate their house in Marblehead. The relationship deepened into friendship, with Carlotta calling Johnson on the telephone and asking him to come for social visits. ...

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59. Frederic B. Mayo, MD

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pp. 287-289

Dr. Frederic Breed Mayo (1916–2000) was a young internist practicing in nearby Swampscott when he treated Eugene and Carlotta O’Neill in Marblehead. It was he who found Eugene when he fell and was left freezing in the snow. ...

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60. Sallie Coughlin

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pp. 290-294

Sallie Coughlin (1895?–?) was a nurse who worked in various hospitals in the Boston area. In 1951 she was assigned to O’Neill at Salem Hospital after he fell in the snow in Marblehead and broke his leg. ...

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61. Russel Crouse

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pp. 295-302

Russel Crouse (1893–1966) was born in Findlay, Ohio, and grew up in Oklahoma. After graduating from high school, he worked as a newspaper reporter before enlisting in the navy during World War I. After the war he worked at several newspapers in New York until he became a press agent for the Theatre Guild in 1931, when he got to know Eugene O’Neill. ...

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62. Carl Van Vechten

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pp. 303-306

Carl Van Vechten (1880–1964) grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and graduated from the University of Chicago, after which he began a newspaper career with the Chicago American. He moved to New York in 1906 and went to work for the New York Times, where he was soon made assistant music critic. ...

List of Reminiscences

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pp. 307-310

Additional Reminiscences

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pp. 311-312

Biographical Sketches of Important Names

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pp. 313-316

Permissions

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pp. 317-320

Notes

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pp. 321-350

Works Cited

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pp. 351-358

Index

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pp. 359-378

Illustrations

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