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Cott mss., ca. 1977-1985

Summary Information

Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Lilly Library
Indiana University
1200 E. Seventh St.
Bloomington, IN 47405-5500
Phone: 812-855-2452
Fax: 812-855-3143

Cott, Jonathan

Cott mss., ca. 1977-1985

Collection No.
LMC 2593

ca. 55 items

Materials are in English.

The Cott mss., ca. 1977-1985, consists of correspondence and other materials relating to Jonathan Cott's book Pipers at the Gates of Dawn: the Wisdom of Children's Literature (Random House, 1983).

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Biographical Note

Writer, editor and poet Jonathan Cott, was born in 1942, the day before Christmas, in New York City. He attended Columbia University for his undergraduate work, received an M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1966 and studied at the University of Essex, England as a Fulbright fellow, 1967-1969. Returning to the United States in 1970 he became an editor at Rolling Stone until 1975 when he returned to New York to be executive editor of Stonehill Publishing Company. In 1976 Cott wrote a long piece on Maurice Sendak based on extensive interviews with the author, that was published in Rolling Stone in December 1976. The success of that article led Cott to consider interviewing other "giants" of children's literature for a full-length book. Pipers at the Gates of Dawn was the result.

Scope and Content Note

The Cott mss., ca. 1977-1985, consists of correspondence and other materials relating to Jonathan Cott's book Pipers at the Gates of Dawn: the Wisdom of Children's Literature (Random House, 1983). Present in the collection are files for five of the seven authors that Cott interviewed for this book: Theodore Geisel, Astrid Lindgren, Iona and Peter Opie, William Steig, and P.L. Travers. The two interviewees not represented are Chinua Achebe with whom Cott apparently dealt in person or by telephone, and Maurice Sendak as the chapter in the book is a reprint of the original Rolling Stone piece.

Also present in the collection are three periodical issues: Rolling Stone dated December 30, 1983 containing Cott's article on Maurice Sendak, "King of All the Wild Things," and the two issues of The New Yorker magazine containing pre-publication versions of the Lindgren (February 8, 1983) and Opie (April 4, 1983) profiles.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Acquired: 2007
Usage Restrictions
Prior arrangements are not necessary before coming to the Library, however, patrons from out of town are encouraged to communicate with the Library in advance of their visits to ascertain availability of materials.

Photocopying permitted only with permission of the Curator of Manuscripts, Lilly Library.

Preferred Citation
Cott mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Series: Collection

Folder 1 Theodor Geisel ("Dr. Seuss")

Two letters to Jonathan Cott: 1981, Jan. 19, TLS, 1 p.;undated but probably 1982, ALS, 2 p.

Geisel: Commencement Address Lake Forest College, June 4, 1977.

T(copy)DS. 1 p. signed Dr. Seuss

"Wilder Award Acceptance Speech by Dr. Seuss."undated.

T(copy)D. 3 p.

Folder 2 Astrid Lindgren

Letters to Jonathan Cott1981, Feb. 6; Mar. 30; Apr. 10; June 9 (enclosure).

All TLS's. 1983, Mar. 8 TLS 1p.; 1985, Jan. 4 TLS, 1 p.

Shawn, William. To Jonathan Cott, 1982, May 11.

TLS, 1 p. Sends check for the Lindgren profile published in The New Yorker

"Dear Girls and Boys." by Lindgren.

Form letter on Puffin Books stationery explaining how "Pippi Longstocking" came to be written.

Portrait photograph of Lindgren. undated

Black & white, 4.25 in. x 5.75 in.

Folder 3 Opie, Iona and Peter^(all in a single chronological file)

Letters to Jonathan Cott from Iona Opie: 1981, July 3 (enclosures); 1982, Apr. 19, May 12, Oct. 2; 1983, June 16; 1983? all ALSs from Peter Opie: 1979, Aug. 21; Season's Greetings: 1980, Jan. 28; 1981, Feb. 3, Apr. 7 All ALSs from Nancy Franklin ( The New Yorker letterhead) 1983, Apr. 13 TLS (enclosing a copy of a letter from Iona Opie to Franklin, 1983, Apr. 6.) from William Shawn: 1982, June 8 TLS, 1p. Sends check for the Opie profile

Folder 4 William Steig

Letters to Jonathan Cott: 1980, Jan. 26,  2 p.; 1981, Nov. 19; 1982, Apr. 16, Dec. 13;  1983, Jan. 14, 28, Feb. 28, May 21. All ALSs

Folder 5 P.L. Travers

Letters to Jonathan Cott: 1979, May 18, June 8, Nov. 23, Dec. 6, 15 (enclosing 2 poems). 1980, Jan. 19,  24,  Mar. 24,  Apr. 26,  July 10,  Dec. 8;  1981, May 6,  Nov. 15;  1982, May 12;  1983, Apr. 22;  1984, Oct. 28;  1985, Dec. 14. Mixture of ALSs and TLSs

Folder 6 P.L. Travers

Cott, Jonathan. "The Wisdom of Mary Poppins: Afternoon Tea with P.L. Travers"

T(copy)D, 28cm. 65 p. Heavily annotated and corrected in Travers hand.

Folder 7 The New Yorker. February 28, 1983.

"Profiles" (Astrid Lindgren) p. 46

Folder 8 The New Yorker. April 4, 1983.

"Profiles" (Iona and Peter Opie) p. 47

Folder 9 Rolling Stone. December 30, 1976.

"Maurice Sendak - King of all the Wild Things" p. 48