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Hudson Strode Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS-1361

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of materials by and about Hudson Strode, a literature and creative writing professor at The University of Alabama from 1916-1963. Items are arranged into four series: Personal and Professional Materials, Correspondence, Writings, and Photographs.

The Personal and Professional Materials Series contains files relating to the family heritage of Strode and his wife Therese; awards, programs, clippings, and scrapbooks; and other items recounting Hudson Strode's personal life and career. The files in this series also include materials about the publications of some of Strode's creative writing students at The University of Alabama, as well as artifacts, Civil War memorabilia, prints, and artwork. The oldest item in the collection is a 1753 etching by William Hogarth.

Strode corresponded heavily with fellow authors, publishers, politicians, former students, and friends. The Correspondence Series includes letters between Strode and a large number of prominent literary figures and political leaders of his day, including a letter from Nelle Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird. In particular, the series includes a sizable amount of correspondence from Scandinavian friends and literary figures, including Norwegian novelist Sigrid Undset and Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), author of Out of Africa. Therese Strode’s correspondence is also in this series.

The Writings Series contains short stories, poems, research notes, and items relating to each of Strode's published books, including proofs, manuscripts, reviews, and dust jackets. Strode studied Jefferson Davis extensively for the four books he wrote on Davis, and a large part of this section contains items relating to his research for these books. The Writings Series also contains correspondence regarding an effort by Strode and others to have Jefferson Davis inducted into the Civil War Hall of Fame at New York University.

The Photographs Series includes pictures of Strode's travels in the United States and abroad. It also contains several files of photographs depicting the Strodes' wooded home near the campus of The University of Alabama. The pictures include images of family, friends, and notable literary and political figures. One file contains a decade's worth of photo greeting cards from King Bhumibol of Thailand. Another includes black-and-white photographs of Mexico taken by German-Mexican photographer Hugo Brehme. The series also includes photographs taken of Strode for promotional purposes, as well as some negatives and slides.

The Hudson Strode Papers contain a number of oversize materials, including page proofs, prints and artwork, large newspaper clippings, and a Confederate flag. More detail can be found in the Scope and Contents notes for each series.

Dates

  • 1753-1986

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials are primarily in English. Some correspondence and printed material in Spanish, German, Norwegian, Finnish, and Swedish.

Conditions Governing Access

Portions of the collection are open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. 

Access to and use of materials that were created by Nelle Harper Lee in this collection require written permission from the Lee estate. Patrons may not use cell phone cameras or any other recording devices when accessing restricted portions of this collection. University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections staff will not photocopy or digitize letters written by Nelle Harper Lee without written permission from the Lee estate. For information contact The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections staff at archives@ua.edu.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to and use of materials that were created by Nelle Harper Lee in this collection require written permission from the Lee estate. University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections staff will not photocopy or digitize letters written by Nelle Harper Lee without written permission from the Lee estate. Patrons may not use cell phone cameras or any other recording devices when accessing restricted portions of this collection. For information contact The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections staff at archives@ua.edu.

Researchers are responsible for using the materials in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright claimants in collection materials. The library claims only physical ownership of many manuscript collections. Anyone wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights. Please contact Special Collections staff at archives@ua.edu with questions regarding specific manuscript collections. For more information about copyright policy, please visit: https://www.ua.edu/copyright/. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal implications, for which The University of Alabama assumes no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

Eugene Hudson Strode was born in Cairo, Illinois, on October 31, 1892. His family moved to Demopolis, Alabama, when he was twelve. Strode received his AB degree from The University of Alabama in 1913 and his MA from Columbia University, New York, in 1914; he wrote his master's thesis on the stage history of Hamlet. Strode taught at Syracuse University before returning to teach at The University of Alabama in 1916, where he was a professor of literature until his retirement in 1963. During his early years at the university, Strode was involved with an acting troupe called “The Blackfriar Players.” He married Therese Cory on December 19, 1924, in Birmingham, Alabama.

Strode was known for teaching classes on Shakespeare. In 1936, he began to offer a class in creative writing. Strode’s creative writing students would publish over 55 novels, 101 short stories, and numerous articles. The London Times once referred to his creative writing class as “brilliantly effective." Between 1941 and 1945, publishing company J. B. Lippincott awarded a $1,000 annual prize to the best novel submitted for publication from his class. His creative writing students included Borden Deal, Elise Sanguinetti, and Lonnie Coleman, among others. Nelle Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, was a student in Strode’s Shakespeare class while she was at The University of Alabama in the 1940s.

Though he wrote some short stories and plays, most of Strode's own writing was in the realm of nonfiction. From 1932-1975, he wrote or edited sixteen books, many of them travel commentaries on foreign countries including Bermuda, Cuba, Mexico, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and various South American and Asian nations, such as Colombia, Thailand, and Cambodia. During his travels--sometimes accompanied by his wife Therese, who helped him type and edit his manuscripts--he met and corresponded with numerous literary and political figures. He was knighted by King Gustav Adolph of Sweden in 1961 for his contributions to US-Swedish relations with his book Sweden: Model for a World. Strode also edited and wrote the introduction to Immortal Lyrics (1939), a collection of Early Modern poetry; and Spring Harvest: A Collection of Stories from Alabama (1944), which featured short stories by his Southern creative writing students. He later wrote a three-volume biography of Confederate President Jefferson Davis (published between 1955-1964), and edited a volume of Davis’s letters (1966). While he was researching the books, Strode was the first person outside the Davis family to see some of Jefferson Davis's private letters. After the books were completed, the Davis family donated 639 letters written by and to Jefferson Davis to The University of Alabama Library. Strode’s last major work, The Eleventh House, was an autobiography covering the years of his life from 1882 to 1939. In the book, Strode told of encounters with such literary figures from the 1920s and 1930s as Eugene O’Neill, F. Scott Fitzgerald, H. L. Mencken, and Ernest Hemingway. Strode planned another volume of the work that would trace his life from 1939 to the present, but because of failing health, he did not complete the task.

Hudson Strode died on September 22, 1976, at age 83. In 1982, he was inducted to the Alabama Academy of Distinguished Authors. Therese Strode died on April 1, 1986.

Extent

39 Linear Feet ; 53 Boxes

Overview

Hudson Strode (1892-1976) was a literature and creative writing professor at The University of Alabama from 1916-1963, and a writer of more than a dozen nonfiction books. This collection includes correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, artifacts, prints, newspaper clippings, and other materials related to his travels and literary career.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Hudson and Therese Strode, 1976.

Related Materials

See:

O. B. Emerson Papers, The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections, MSS 0485;

Elise Ayers Sanguinetti Papers, The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections, MSS 0098

Processing Information

Processed by Amanda Presnell, 2009. Additional processing by Erin Ryan, 2018.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Hudson Strode Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Amanda Presnell; updated by Erin Ryan
Date
August 31, 2009; updated December 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266
205.348.0500