Peter Hillsman Taylor Papers
Scope and Contents
The Peter Hillsman Taylor Papers date from 1955 to 1966 and contain handwritten and typed manuscripts of Taylor's works. A few of the manuscripts are only fragments; several others are represented in more than one draft. A small number of letters from publishers are housed with the manuscripts to which they refer.
- 1955 - 1966
- Taylor, Peter, 1917-1994 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.
Biographical or Historical Information
Peter Taylor was born 8 January 1917 in Trenton, Tennessee. He enrolled at Vanderbilt University in 1936 and studied literature and creative writing with poets John Crowe Ransom and Allen Tate, then transferred to Southwestern College in Memphis before completing his undergraduate work at Kenyon College in Ohio. It was at Kenyon that Taylor began lifelong friendships with fellow students Robert Lowell and Randall Jarrell.
In 1940 Taylor entered Louisiana State University as a graduate student. There, he studied with both Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren; however, he only completed two semesters. Warren would later call Taylor one of the twentieth century's "real, and probably enduring, masters of the short story."
Taylor served with the United States Army in England during World War II. After the war, he joined the faculty of Woman's College (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro). Taylor taught at Woman's College intermittently from 1946 to 1952 and from 1963 to 1967. He also taught at numerous other institutions, including Indiana State (1948-49), the University of Chicago (1952), Kenyon College (1952-57), Ohio State (1957-63), Harvard University (1964) and the University of Virginia (1967-1994), where he headed the creative writing program.
Taylor published short stories in numerous periodicals, including Harper's Bazaar and McCall's, but was best known for his contributions to The New Yorker. He authored seven collections of short stories, the novella A Woman of Means, and many experimental one act plays. His work won many awards, including a Pulitzer Prize in 1967 for his novel A Summons to Memphis.
In 1943 Taylor married Eleanor Ross, a poet and 1940 graduate of the Woman's College. They had two children. Taylor died 2 November, 1994 at the age of 77 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
0.80 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
Language of Materials
Peter Hillsman Taylor (1917-1994) was a professor of creative writing and an acclaimed author, best known for his short stories published in the New Yorker and for the 1967 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Summons to Memphis.
The folders in each box are arranged alphabetically by title. When a folder contains more than one title, the arrangement is based on the first title in the folder. The box divisions are Taylor's.
Method of Acquisition
Gift of the author in 1966.
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Processed by Linda Jacobson, June 1997 Encoded by Michelle Belden, July 2007
- Peter Hillsman Taylor Papers
- Linda Jacobson; Michelle Belden
- Processed by Linday Jacobson, June 1997, encoded by Michelle Belden, July 2007
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