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Ludwig Lewisohn papers

Identifier: Mss 0028

Collection Overview

Papers document mostly Lewisohn's friendship and early homosexual love affair with poet George Sylvester Viereck and Lewisohn's later marriage to Edna Manley. Correspondence (1903-1955) between Lewisohn and Viereck is mostly on literary matters; but early holograph poems by Lewisohn refer to their love affair. Other poems include printed and typescript copies and his English translations of some poems by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Most of the collection documents the relationship of Lewisohn and Edna Manley, with mostly photocopies of her diaries (ca. 1940-1942) which describe her relationship with Lewisohn, her perceptions of him, the custody battle for his son James, his memories of many people and parts of his life, exiled Jewish and other writers fleeing Europe, and other subjects. Present are photocopies of correspondence (1936-1940) regarding the financial arrangements of Lewisohn's divorce from his first wife Mary Childs Lewisohn (who published books under the pseudonym Bosworth Crocker.)

Other literary manuscripts include poems by Lewisohn set to music by Thelma Spear and an unknown composer; and photocopies of an unpublished novel and play by Edna Manley, as well as clippings of her newspaper columns (1934-1936) for a Rochester, NY, newspaper. Lewisohn printed matter includes an inscribed offprint (1904) of his article on the poetry of George Sylvester Viereck, and brochures advertising his lecture tours and his biography of Goethe.

Photographs of Ludwig, James, and Edna Manley Lewisohn and many of her friends and family, including two photographs (ca. 1940s) of Henry Miller and his family at Big Sur. Also included is an audiocassette of a lecture by Lewisohn and materials (1992) from a College of Charleston exhibit on Lewisohn.


  • Creation: 1903-1980s
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1940s


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

Author, critic and Zionist leader, Lewisohn emigrated from Berlin, Germany, to St. Matthews, S.C., with his parents, ca. 1890. The family moved to Charleston, S.C., in 1892 where Lewisohn graduated from Charleston High School and the College of Charleston. He eventually became a college professor, translator, cultural and literary critic, novelist, and wrote three autobiographies. His first wife, Mary Childs, would not grant him a divorce; he moved to Europe with singer Thelma Spear, who mothered his only child Jim. Obtaining a divorce from Mary Lewisohn, he married Edna Manley, and later remarried again.


0.75 linear feet (1 document box, 2 slim document boxes)

Language of Materials


Inventory of the Ludwig Lewisohn Papers, 1903-1980s (bulk 1940s)
Processed by: Special Collections staff; finding aid created by: Special Collections staff
Description rules
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
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Charleston South Carolina 29424
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