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Henry James's "splendid American summer"

Celebrating the July 4th holiday in New Hampshire, I was reminded of Henry James’s sojourn in the White Mountains in the summer of 1865. In his Notes of a Son and Brother, published almost fifty years after that memorable visit, he would recall it as a “splendid American summer,” spent in the company of his witty and gregarious cousin Minny Temple and her sisters, and his close friend Oliver Wendell Holmes.

“A Curious Associational Electricity”

Sixty years ago today, John Steinbeck wrote this letter to Frederick Adams, the Director of the Pierpont Morgan Library. Steinbeck was an old friend of Adams and his letter, followed by the author’s subsequent visit to the Library, brought about a rekindling of their personal relationship and the beginning of Steinbeck’s scholarly and philanthropic relationship with the Morgan. This letter (MA 6432.1) conveys Steinbeck’s intellectual excitement at the prospect of closely examining the Library’s medieval manuscripts and books from the incunable period.

Paging Dr. Baldwin

This past summer I spent some time researching the Morgan’s collection of manuscripts and letters by Henry James for an essay to be published next year in the book accompanying the exhibition Henry James and American Painting.