When Sherwood Anderson began his correspondence with Eleanor Copenhaver in 1929, he was 53 years old, in the process of dissolving his third marriage, in some financial distress and worried about his literary efforts. In comparison, Eleanor was 33, unmarried and advancing in her career. Charles Modlin has selected for this book 224 of the more than 1,400 letters Anderson wrote to Eleanor, from the first reserved missive in 1929 through their courtship and their marriage in 1933, and continuing until shortly before his death in 1941. This correspondence illuminates that period of Anderson's emotional life. The letters trace the development of a largerly clandestine courtship and reflect the conflicting demands on Eleanor as she dealt on the one hand with her responsibilities to her job and her staid Virginia family and, on the other, with Anderson's emotional needs. Though the later years were marred at times Anderson's devotion to Eleanor as the "solid rock" of his life never waned. The correspondence also aims to provide evidence that the pursuit of Eleanor became a powerful influence on his writing. Her involvement in labour causes had the strongest impact, leading Anderson at the beginning of 1930 to an abrupt change of direction in his work that produced such books as "Perhaps Women" (1931) and "Beyond Desire" (1932).
Used availability for Sherwood Anderson's Love Letters to Eleanor Copenhauer Anderson
December 1989 : USA Hardback