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|Size||About 150 items (1.0 linear feet)|
|Abstract||Charles Mills (1914-1975) was born in 1914 in Griffin, Ga. He married his wife Marguerite around 1935. In 1936, the Millses traveled to Italy where Charles studied singing and began his first book The Choice, which he completed in 1943. Mills's next book, The Alexandrians (1952), was written while he and his family were living Chapel Hill, N.C., where Mills studied languages at the University of North Carolina. This book was a panorama of life in the small Georgia town of Alexandria from the time of its settlement in 1839 until its centennial. Both of Mills's books were bestsellers. The collection includes mainly letters to Charles and Marguerite Mills from literary and academic colleagues and from personal friends. Significant correspondents include Walter Baxter, Lewis White Beck, Warren Pendleton Carrier, Elizabeth Henderson Cotten, Robert Fitzgerald, Allan H. Gilbert, Katharine Everett Gilbert, Paul Elliot Green, Archibald Henderson, Helmut Kuhn, Clare Leighton, Milton Charles Nahm, Betty Smith, and Nathan Comfort Starr. Also included are typed copies of writings of a few correspondents, probably sent to the Millses for review and a war journal Warren Carrier kept while serving in the American Field Service in Burma in 1944 and 1945.|
|Creator||Mills, Charles, 1914-1975.|
|Curatorial Unit||Southern Historical Collection|
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.
Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.
Charles Mills was born in 1914 in Griffin, Ga. He studied at the University of Virginia, the University of Florence (Italy), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He married his wife Marguerite around 1935. In 1936, the Millses traveled to Italy where Charles studied singing and began his first book, The Choice. The Millses left Italy in 1945 (just before the invasion of Munich, Germany) to return to the United States. In 1943 Charles Mills completed The Choice which was on the New York Times bestseller list for a time. Perhaps paralleling Mills's own life to an extent, the book depicts a young Southern man rebelling against the narrowness of his small-town Georgia life by traveling to Italy where he becomes more aware of his independence, passion, love of tradition and culture, and creative writing abilities.
Mills immediately began work on another novel, The Alexandrians. During this time he and his wife, young son, and two baby daughters lived in Chapel Hill, and he studied languages at the University of North Carolina. He served briefly in the military during World War II. By 1952 Mills had completed The Alexandrians, a novel on the South, also on bestseller lists. It is a panorama of life in the small Georgia town of Alexandria from the time of its settlement in 1839 until its centennial. Following the life of a central character, the book develops such themes as the struggle over slavery, religious intolerance, changing social customs, and the decline of the plantation economy. After Charles Mills's death in 1975, his wife lived in Penfield, N.Y.Back to Top
The collection includes mainly letters to Charles Mills and Marguerite Mills from literary and academic colleagues and from personal friends. Significant correspondents include Walter Baxter, Lewis White Beck, Warren Pendleton Carrier, Elizabeth Henderson Cotten, Robert Fitzgerald, Allan H. Gilbert, Katharine Everett Gilbert, Paul Elliot Green, Archibald Henderson, Helmut Kuhn, Clare Leighton, Milton Charles Nahm, Betty Smith, and Nathan Comfort Starr. Also included are typed copies of writings of a few correspondents, probably sent to the Millses for review and a war journal Warren Carrier kept while serving in the American Field Service in Burma in 1944 and 1945.Back to Top
Arrangement: alphabetical by correspondent or subject, then chronological within each file.
Mainly correspondence to Charles and Marguerite Mills from colleagues and personal friends. Subjects include writing and publishing, traveling, professional service, religion, reviews of Charles Mills's books, family and social life, Italy, and World War II.
Notable correspondents include Elizabeth Henderson Cotten, Paul Green, and Archibald Henderson. Walter Baxter, English author of The Image and the Search, ca. 1953, wrote of his travels, Charles Mills's writings, and his own work. Warren Carrier, instrumental in starting the "Quarterly Review of Literature" in Chapel Hill in 1943, talked about his and Mills's writings and sent a war journal recorded while serving in the American Field Service in Burma in 1944 and 1945. Robert Fitzgerald, translator of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, spoke of his writings; university service, presumably at Harvard; family; and travels.
Allan and Katherine Gilbert, both professors at Duke University during the 1950s, wrote of family activities, writing, traveling, Venetian art and history, and professional service. Clare Leighton, author of Tempestuous Petticoat and an outstanding artist, wrote about many of the same subjects and also her work with engravings, mosaics, and writings. She spoke of Truman Capote in a letter dated 2 July 1948. Letters from poet Nathan C. Starr, scholar of the King Arthur Collection, relate work experience gained in the State Department during World War II. His letters also talk about his work, Mills's writings, and include a draft review of The Alexandrians.
Also included are a few printed items and an occasional press release or book review relating to the correspondents.
Marguerite (and Charles?) Mills annotated items and placed notes throughout the papers about who people were and, at times, giving background information.
Lewis W. Beck
Elizabeth Henderson Cotten (Mrs. Lyman)
Allan and Katharine Gilbert
Milton and Elinor Nahm
Nathan C. Starr
Roland Von Weber
Arrangement: alphabetical by author.
Mainly typed copies of writings of correspondents listed in Series 1, probably sent to the Mills for their comments. Subjects include history, art, and biography. folder 29 includes undated writings by Lewis W. Beck and a convocation address delivered by him at the University of Rochester in 1979. folder 30 includes an article (written by Anthony Farrow of Saint Bonaventure University) praising and eulogizing Charles Mills; an autographed article and a review by Helmut Kuhn; an autographed preface by Claire Leighton to Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth; and an autographed essay by Milton Nahm of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.
Acquisitions Information: Accession 97026
Miscellaneous correspondence between Clare Leighton, William Schenck, and Marguerite Mills. Included is a signed typescript by Clare Leighton.
Acquisitions Information: Accession 100950
Papers include the 1952 Literary Achievement Award for Fiction and a poster about The Choice by Charles Mills.
|Oversize Paper Folder OPF-04270/1||
Acquisitions Information: Accession 101075