Clarke Historical Library
Central Michigan University

Finding aid for
Robinson Jeffers Collection

Finding aid created by
Marian Matyn

Summary Information
Title: Robinson Jeffers Collection,
Creator: Jeffers, Robinson, 1887-1962.
Inclusive dates: 1914-1962, and undated
Extent: .25 cubic ft. (in 1 box)
Abstract:
The papers include biographical materials and publications by Jeffers and biographical materials and correspondence of his wife, Una Call Jeffers.

Call number: MSS.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
250 East Preston Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: 989-774-3352
Fax: 989-774-2160
Email: clarke@cmich.edu
Website: http://clarke.cmich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Acc# 2518

Access Restrictions:

Robinson Jeffers Collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Robinson Jeffers Collection, Folder # , Box #, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University


Arrangement

Arrangement is alphabetical.


History

Biography:

Robinson Jeffers was an American poet and dramatist. Born in Pittsburgh in 1887, he graduated from Occidental College in 1905. From 1914 until his death, Jeffers lived on the Big Sur section of California, where he was inspired by the stern beauty of the land. The building of their home, Tor House in 1919, caused an inner awakening and his moving towards identifying with rock, sea, and mountains. He viewed the world pantheistically as marred only by man, a doomed and inverted animal. Jeffers often used Greek myth to illustrate man’s tortured mind, his diseased introspection, and his alienation from nature. His poetry is virile, intense, and rich in elemental power.

Among his volumes of poetry are Tamar and Other Poems (1924), Roan Stallion (1925), The Woman at Point Sur (1927), Cawdor (1928), Dear Judas (1929), Give Your Heart to the Hawks (1933), Such Counsels You Gave to Me (1937), The Double Axe and Other Poems (1948), and Hungerfield and Other Poems (1954). Jeffers’ adaptations of Greek Tragedy Medea (1947), The Tower Beyond Tragedy (published in 1924, produced in 1950), and The Cretan Woman (1954) brought him wide recognition.

In 1905 he fell in love with Una Call Kuster, while both were students at the University of Southern California. After she divorced her first husband, Edward Kuster, she married Jeffers in 1913. Together they had three children: Maev (born and died in 1914), and twin sons, Donnan and Garth (born 1916- ). Robinson Jeffers died in 1962. (This information is from the Columbia Encyclopedia and the collection.)

Una Call was born in Mason, Michigan, on January 6, 1884, but lived most of her life in California. Her first husband was Edward Kuster, head of the Golden Bough Theater of Carmel, California. She married Robinson Jeffers in 1913 and had three children with him. Una earned a M.A. in Philosophy from the University of California-Berkeley. Of his wife, Robinson Jeffers said, “She gave me eyes, she gave me ears, and arranged my life.” Una died in California on September 1950 at the age of 65. Besides her husband, she was survived by her sons, grandchildren, and four sisters: Mrs. Edith Allen of British Columbia, Mrs. Carrie Wall and Mrs. Daisy Bartley of Mason (Mich.), and Mrs. Violet Hinkley of Lansing, Michigan. (This information is from her obituary, a copy of which is in the collection.)


Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection includes poems by and articles about Robinson Jeffers, 1928, 1941-1962, undated. Also included are obituaries of Una Jeffers, 1950, and her correspondence with two of her sisters in Michigan, 1914-1950.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Jeffers, Robinson, 1887-1962.
    • Jeffers, Una Call, 1884 or 1885-1950.
    • Bishop, Carlton, Mrs.
    • Bartley, Daisy.
    • Hinkley, Violet.
    • Poets, American--20th century--United States.
    • American literature--20th century.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
     
    Robinson Jeffers Collection is open for research. [series]:
    Box   1 F   1
    Robinson Jeffers, Biographical Materials (copies), 1941-1962, undated
    Box   1 F   2
    Robinson Jeffers, Publications, The Carmelite, the Robinson Jeffers supplement, December 12, 1928
    Box   1 F   3
    Una Call Jeffers, Obituary (copy), 1950
    Box   1 F   4
    Una Call Jeffers, Correspondence with her sisters: Mrs. Daisy Bartley (Mason, Michigan); Mrs. Violet Hinkley (Lansing, Michigan); and friend, Mrs. Carlton “Zelle” Bishop (Mount Pleasant, Michigan), 1914-1950