Archival Collections
Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Irving Stone papers, 1945-1985 

Creator: 
Stone, Irving, 1903-1989
Phys. Desc: 
.5 linear feet (.5 linear feet 1 document box)
Call Number: 
MS#1560
Location: 
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
View CLIO Record and Request Material >>

Online information

Biographical Note

Irving Stone (born Irving Tennenbaum) was an American author born in San Francisco, CA on 1903 July 14. Stone was known for writing biographical novels depicting the lives of famous historical personalities such as Vincent Van Gogh (Lust for Life). Stone received his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1923 and a Master's Degree in Economics from University of Southern California in 1924. Stone began his writing career in 1926 as a playwright and supported himself by submitting stories to pulp magazines. In 1928, Stone began to write his first biographical novel, Lust for Life, based on the life of Vincent Van Gogh. The novel was published in 1934 and immediately became a bestseller. He would go on the publish works based on the lives of other famous historical figures such as Michelangelo (The Agony and the Ecstasy), Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln (Love is Eternal), Charles Darwin (The Origin), and Sigmund Freud (Passions of the Mind). Stone's biographical novels have the reputation of being thoroughly researched and based primarily upon source materials such as journals and collections of letters written by the subjects. Stone died in 1989 at the age of 86 in Los Angeles.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence between Irving Stone and his literary agency, Laurence Pollinger, Ltd, as well as related materials such as book reviews, receipts and letters from publishers. The majority of the correspondence is between Irving Stone and either Gerald or Laurence Pollinger. There are also letters from Jean Stone, Irving Stone's wife, written on behalf of her husband. This collection contains six autograph letters signed by Stone, 66 typed letters signed by Stone and 220 carbons of letters from Laurence Pollinger, Ltd. Also included is a collection of correspondence from 1973 between Laurence Pollinger and Lucy Moorehead, wife and estate administrator to Alan Moorehead. This collection consists of six typed letters signed by Moorehead and 14 carbons of letters from Laurence Pollinger.