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Robert McAlmon letters to Edward Titus

Identifier: MSS 0099-F0152

Scope and Content Note

American author and publisher Robert McAlmon (1896-1956) wrote ten letters to the publisher and magazine editor Edward Titus (born 1880) between 1928 and 1930, concerning several works that McAlmon hoped to distribute through Titus's bookstore.

McAlmon and Titus formed part of the network of modernist writers and publishers living and working in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s. In particular, McAlmon discussed at length the work of American author and illustrator Djuna Barnes (1892-1982), whose Ladies Almanack (1928) was central to their conversation. McAlmon also attempted to promote the work of his friend Ken Sato (1942-2004), specifically his 1928 translation of Saikaku Ihara's Quaint Stories of the Samurais and his novel The Yellow Jap Dogs . McAlmon referenced other books that he hoped to distribute, including Edwin Lanham's Sailors Don't Care (1929).

McAlmon also responded to Titus's requests to publish in This Quarterly and offered updates about his writing process, particularly his revised and expanded edition of Distinguished Air (1925). McAlmon discussed his struggles in the publishing world and finding commercial success, and in the later letters, he described the burgeoning publishing scene in America and his plans to publish in the new little magazines, including Richard Johns's Pagany .


  • Creation: 1928-1930


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Robert McAlmon

American author and publisher Robert McAlmon (1896-1956) was a central figure in the expatriate art community in France during the 1920s and 1930s. His network of authors and publishers was instrumental in the publication and distribution of many modernist classics, including William Carlos Williams's Spring and All (1923), Ernest Hemingway's Three Stories and Ten Poems (1923) and Djuna Barnes's Ladies Almanack (1928).

Shortly after establishing himself in Greenwich Village, Robert McAlmon began working with William Carlos Williams on the short-lived Contact magazine, publishing poets Ezra Pound, H. D., and Kay Boyle, among others. He married H. D.'s then-lover, Bryher (Annie Winifred Ellerman), before departing together for Europe. In France, he created the Contact Publishing Company, which specialized in modernist works deemed too controversial for the mainstream commercial market.

Throughout the 1920s, he continued to publish his own work, including the collection of short stories, Distinguished Air (1925). Despite a downturn in his career, he remained in Europe during the 1930s with exception of short trips to the United States and Mexico. In 1940, he was able to escape German-occupied France and return to the United States, where he worked at his brother's surgical supply company until he retired in 1951. His early years as a writer are chronicled in his autobiography, Being Geniuses Together , which was revised with additional chapters by Kay Boyle in 1968.

Cisco, Michael. "Robert McAlmon." Contemporary Authors Online (reproduced in Gale Biography In Context). (accessed September 2014).Smoller, Sanford J. "McAlmon, Robert Menzies." American National Biography Online. February 2000. (accessed September 2014).

Edward Titus

Edward Titus (born 1880) owned and operated the Black Manikin Press and a rare bookstore, At the Sign of the Black Manikin, in Paris that attracted many American expatriate authors as well as distributed their works.

In 1929, he became the editor of This Quarter , a little magazine known for publishing innovative modernist literature, including work by Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, and Kay Boyle. Under his guidance, the magazine became relatively more conservative with an emphasis on prize-winning poems.

Hoffman, Frederick John, Charles Albert Allen, and Carolyn F. Ulrich.The Little Magazine: a history and a bibliography. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1946.


10 item


American author and publisher Robert McAlmon (1896-1956) wrote ten letters to the publisher and magazine editor Edward Titus (born 1880) between 1928 and 1930, concerning several works that McAlmon hoped to distribute through Titus's Paris bookstore.


Purchase, April 1977.

Related Materials in this Repository

This item forms part of MSS 0099 Miscellaneous Literary and Historical Manuscripts.

MSS 0110 Archive of Pagany

Shelving Summary

  • Box 7, F0152: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes


Processed and encoded by Sean Lovitt, September 2014.

Finding aid for Robert McAlmon letters to Edward Titus
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2014 September 11
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Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

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