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Dolly And Zane Grey

Letters From A Marriage

Candace Kant

Publication Year: 2008

Published by: University of Nevada Press

Series: Western Literature Series

Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. ix-x

List of illustrations

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pp. xi-xii

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pp. xiii-xiv

Almost as many words have been written about Zane Grey as he wrote himself. There are literary analyses of his work, anecdotal tales of his adventures, magazine articles about various aspects of his life from his birthplace to the fishing spots he frequented, catalogs of his many books and articles ...

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pp. xv

Many people have contributed to this work, and I thank them. Loren Grey’s constant helpfulness was indispensable. He and Zane Grey, Inc., made the letters available, but Loren did more than that. He shared his memories, sometimes pleasant and sometimes painful, with me, ...

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pp. 1-8

It is impossible to estimate the impact that Zane Grey had on the reading and movie-viewing public in the early years of the twentieth century without resorting to anecdote. His first successful novel, Heritage of the Desert (1910), sold over eight hundred thousand copies. His second, Riders of the Purple Sage (1912), ...


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pp. 9

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Chapter 1 The Brown-Eyed Rose and the Black-Eyed Devil

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pp. 11-30

Lackawaxen village lies on a peninsula of meadow framed by the blue water of the Delaware River and the ripples of Lackawaxen Creek. The river boasts trout, smallmouth bass, and walleye, and, in the late spring, shad.1 On either side are hills thick with forest and alive with wildlife of all varieties. The region still attracts ...

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Chapter 2 The Eternal Feminine

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pp. 31-43

A more passionate declaration of love would be hard to find, and Dolly and Zane began to plan marriage in earnest. This was to be a complete commitment not just to each other, but also to a literary life. Zane would close his dental office and move to Lackawaxen, where he would work on his second novel. ...

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Chapter 3 The Hermits of Cottage Point

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pp. 44-68

Outside the river froze and chilly winds brought snow, but Zane and Dolly hardly noticed. The frigid temperatures were braved when wood was chopped or water hauled from the icy river, but inside the old farmhouse they were warm and dry, and for the first time totally alone. R.C. and Reba spent the winter in the city, ...

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Chapter 4 Marriage Is for Children

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pp. 69-82

He stayed in the city for several days to get the first copies of Field and Stream (with “A Trout Fisherman’s Inferno”) and to talk to the editors there about another article. Zane’s name was featured so often in sporting magazines that he had gained a reputation as an authority, and the editors accorded him due respect. ...


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pp. 83

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Chapter 5 The Great Bitterness

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pp. 85-101

Middletown was a prosperous inland community with a population of twenty thousand or so. It was the hub of Orange County in southeastern New York State, lying somewhat between the rustic isolation of Lackawaxen and the metropolis of New York City. Middletown offered the comforts of city life, electric lights, telephones, ...

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Chapter 6 Tempests and Storms

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pp. 102-117

Zane stayed with Dolly in Middletown through the rest of November and December. The time was spent writing, and with Lillian and Elma in New York, there were few distractions. Dolly was restricted to bed rest, and the household centered on her and the new baby. But cold weather depressed him, and the writing stopped. ...

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Chapter 7 A Hyena Lying in Ambush

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pp. 118-131

Zane’s anger had cooled by the time he reached Lackawaxen. Dolly was not the cause, but frustration with Emmeline and worry about indiscrete letters falling into the wrong hands. He reached Cottage Point in mid-October, stayed with Dolly until January, and this time, when he went to Long Key, he took Dolly with him. ...

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Chapter 8 Your Only, Wife

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pp. 132-152

The winter of 1918 was the coldest on record. New Year’s Day the temperature fell to fourteen below in New York City, rising in the day only four degrees. The only place anyone could stay warm was in bed. Coal shortages caused by wartime demands aggravated conditions and there was terrible suffering all over the city. ...


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pp. 153

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Chapter 9 Penelope Has Taken a Wandering Streak

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pp. 155-169

California’s golden sunshine was paradise for Dolly. Romer, Betty, and little Loren romped all over the new house and lush yard, but their noise disturbed no one, because work was simply impossible at first. There was so much to discover, so much to do. The warmth called them all to play and seemed to diminish ...

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Chapter 10 The Froth of Enthusiasm

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pp. 170-202

When he awoke the city was quiet, the crowds dispersed. He called on Dolly’s grandmother and her uncle, then on Elma’s family. He saw Claire, newly engaged. Social obligations accomplished, he turned to the business that called him east, hoping to resolve it quickly and return to California sunshine. ...

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Chapter 11 The Female of the Species

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pp. 203-230

Despite his infidelities, distance, and misunderstanding, Dolly remained loyal to him. She endured his constant wandering in the world and in matters of the heart and rose above it, distancing herself from the torment as best she could. She was no longer young, and the years of strain and three babies had changed her appearance. ...


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pp. 231

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Chapter 12 To Know All Is to Forgive All

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pp. 233-259

The voyage to New Zealand took nineteen days including a stop at Papeete, the capital of Tahiti. Notes Zane made on this trip formed the basis of Tales of the Angler’s Eldorado: New Zealand. Arriving at Wellington on January 18, they were received with full honors by the New Zealand government. The Wellington papers reported ...

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Chapter 13 Dear Old Comrade of the Years

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pp. 260-292

By July 4 Dolly was declared out of danger, and Zane felt free to leave for a nine-month sojourn in the South Seas, missing Christmas with Dolly and the children. Dolly insisted her illness not stand in the way. Still in the hospital when he left, as her recovery took longer than expected, she was disappointed about not being able to see him off. ...

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Chapter 14 I Love You Till It Chokes Me

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pp. 293-324

Nevertheless Zane departed February 18 from San Francisco on the R.M.S. Makura, bound for Tahiti.1 He wrote Romer from on board ship about a two-part trip he planned for the fall of 1931. The premise of the trip rested on acquiring a new yacht to replace the Fisherman I and included stops at Cape San Lucas, Zihauntenejo, ...

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Chapter 15 Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread, O Paramount!

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pp. 325-370

Zane and Dolly were not immune to the disease that ravaged the country. The publishing houses, magazines, and motion-picture studios that had provided their prosperity in the twenties suffered as much as other businesses. Zane and Dolly’s fortune diminished and all but disappeared, as did almost everyone else’s. ...

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Chapter 16 You, Who Make Home

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pp. 371-390

The Australian government wanted Zane to publicize Australia as he had New Zealand and Tahiti. On his part he was anxious to explore thirteen thousand miles of coast line and was sure the Australian waters, especially on the Indian Ocean side, offered some of the greatest big-game fishing in the world. ...

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Chapter 17 I Never Before Loved You So Well

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pp. 391-400

He did not yet have the strength to fish. Recovery was the primary purpose of the trip and a constant theme in his letters. It was all he could do to write his name three times, but he doggedly worked at it.1 Letters were dictated to Brownie, and she typed them. Each day he walked from camp to the dock, requiring tremendous effort, ...

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pp. 401-404

Dolly’s work was far from over. The corporation needed her guidance and management. Twenty manuscripts were at Harper’s awaiting publication. She proofed the galleys and handled all the other miscellaneous arrangements concerning them. There were still motion-picture deals to be made. Twenty-three films were made ...


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pp. 405-420

Further Reading

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pp. 421-422


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pp. 423-426


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pp. 427-437

E-ISBN-13: 9780874177503
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874178623

Page Count: 472
Illustrations: 31 b/w photos
Publication Year: 2008

Series Title: Western Literature Series

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Grey, Zane, 1872-1939 -- Correspondence.
  • Authors, American -- 20th century -- Correspondence.
  • West (U.S.) -- In literature.
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