Jeffers, Robinson, 1887-1962

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1887-01-10
Death 1962-01-20
US
English

Biographical notes:

Poet. Married Una Call Kuster in 1913.

From the description of Papers of Robinson Jeffers, 1924-1941 (bulk 1924-1926). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71130961

Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962) was an American poet and dramatist. Born in Pittsburgh in 1887, he graduated from Occidental College in 1905. He married Una Call Jeffers (1884-1950) in 1913, and they had three children. His inspiration came from his wife, their home that he built in 1919, Tor House, and the rugged Big Sur section of Calif. where he lived, 1914-1962. His adaptions of Greek tragedies brough him wide recognition. Una was born in Mason (Mich.) in 1884. She earned a M.A. in Philosophy from University of Calif.-Berkeley. She married Edward Kuster, whom she divorced before marrying Jeffers in 1913. (Information from the collection.).

From the description of Collection, 1914-1962. (Clarke Historical Library). WorldCat record id: 44692723

Robinson Jeffers, playwright.

From the description of Medea: typescript, n.d. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122466830

American poet.

From the description of Letters regarding Robinson Jeffers's "Stars," [manuscript], 1930-1936. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647844369

From the description of Papers of Robinson Jeffers, [manuscript], 1930-1945. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647874271

From the description of One page from "First Book" [manuscript], 1932. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 277016807

Robinson Jeffers, poet.

From the description of Robinson Jeffers collection, 1922-1951 (bulk 1922-1933). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702188571

The poet Robinson Jeffers was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1887. His father, a Presbyterian minister, saw to it that the young Jeffers received a classical education, tutoring him in Greek and Latin at an early age. The family spent a good deal of time in Europe as well, and Jeffers attended several boarding schools in France and Switzerland. In 1903, the family settled in Los Angeles, California, where Jeffers would soon graduate from Occidental College. In school, Jeffers began submitting his poems to student publications, and would continue to do so after entering graduate school at the University of Southern California. After a year of studying literature, however, he returned to Switzerland to study philosophy at the University of Zurich.

Robinson Jeffers' first commercially published work, "Californians", came in 1916, but his reputation did not begin to develop until he found his true voice in "Tamar and Other Poems" (1924). Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Jeffers reputation grew as he explored the philosophy he termed "Inhumanism", which held that humanity needed to recognize that it held little significance compared with the beauty of the universe.

Frank H. Armstrong began to collect the works of Robinson Jeffers in 1930, when he was a sophomore at Yale, and within a decade had acquired most of what was available to the public. Hoping to find rare books or manuscript materials, he opened a correspondence with Una Jeffers in 1943. Born in 1910 in Winnetka, Illinois, Frank was the son of Horace Armstrong, chairman of the board of the giant Chicago canned goods corporation Reid- Murdock & Company.

After graduating from Yale and attending the Sorbonne in Paris, Frank Armstrong received a law degree from Michigan Law School in 1936. He then moved to Los Angeles to work as an attorney for the firm of Mitchell, Silberberg, Roth & Knupp.

From the description of Robinson Jeffers / Frank H. Armstrong Collection, 1926-1980. (University of California, Santa Barbara). WorldCat record id: 62255847

Biography

The poet Robinson Jeffers was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1887. His father, a Presbyterian minister, saw to it that the young Jeffers received a classical education, tutoring him in Greek and Latin at an early age. The family spent a good deal of time in Europe as well, and Jeffers attended several boarding schools in France and Switzerland. In 1903, the family settled in Los Angeles, California, where Jeffers would soon graduate from Occidental College. In school, Jeffers began submitting his poems to student publications, and would continue to do so after entering graduate school at the University of Southern California. After a year of studying literature, however, he returned to Switzerland to study philosophy at the University of Zurich.

Around this time, Jeffers met Una Kuster, a woman three years older and married to a prominent Los Angeles attorney. As their friendship deepened over the next few years, they would discover intellectual and emotional connections that led them to fall in love. Jeffers returned from Zurich to enter medical school at USC. He soon dropped out and enrolled in the forestry program at the University of Washington in Seattle. After a year, however, he abandoned this course as well and returned to Los Angeles and Una. Throughout, he had continued to write poetry, mainly derivative love poems to Una that he had privately printed in 1911 under the title Flagons and Apples. Finally, in 1913, Una was divorced from her husband and immediately married Jeffers. They moved to Carmel and started a family.

Robinson Jeffers' first commercially published work, Californians, came in 1916, but his reputation did not begin to develop until he found his true voice in Tamar and Other Poems (1924). Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Jeffers' reputation grew as he explored the philosophy he termed "Inhumanism," which held that humanity needed to recognize that it held little significance compared with the beauty of the universe. He began to fall from favor during World War II, and his career was in decline when Una died of cancer in 1950. Jeffers remained at "Tor House," the rugged retreat on the California coast they had lived at for more than thirty years, until his death in 1962.

Frank H. Armstrong began to collect the works of Robinson Jeffers in 1930, when he was a sophomore at Yale, and within a decade had acquired most of what was available to the public. Hoping to find rare books or manuscript materials, he opened a correspondence with Una Jeffers in 1943. Born in 1910 in Winnetka, Illinois, Frank was the son of Horace Armstrong, chairman of the board of the giant Chicago canned goods corporation Reid-Murdock & Company. After graduating from Yale and attending the Sorbonne in Paris, Frank Armstrong received a law degree from Michigan Law School in 1936. He then moved to Los Angeles to work as an attorney for the firm of Mitchell, Silberberg, Roth & Knupp. After the United States entered World War II, Armstrong worked as a civilian assistant to the Army in Washington D.C., before moving back to Winnetka. Later, he returned to California, and settled in Palm Springs with his family. His mother moved to Santa Barbara, as did his sister Jean when she married book collector and author Edwin Corle. When he died in 1969, Frank Armstrong was buried in Santa Barbara Cemetery, and his mother and sister donated his Robinson Jeffers collection to UCSB.

From the guide to the Robinson Jeffers / Frank H. Armstrong Collection, 1926-1980, (University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections)

Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962) was born John Robinson Jeffers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of the Reverend Dr. William Hamilton Jeffers and Annie Robinson Tuttle. He was educated by his father and at European boarding schools. In 1902, Jeffers entered the University of Western Pennsylvania (now the University of Pittsburgh), but was graduated from Occidental College, California, three years later. He pursued graduate studies in literature and philosophy at the Universities of Southern California and Zurich, before enrolling in the Medical School at the University of Southern California in September 1907. In 1910 he left medical school to study forestry for one year at the University of Washington.

While studying at the University of Southern California, Jeffers met Una Call Kuster, the wife of a prominent Los Angeles attorney. Their involvement and Kuster’s ensuing divorce was a public scandal that was widely reported. Jeffers and Kuster were married in 1913 and one year later settled in Carmel, California where Jeffers eventually built the stone cottage and tower he called “Tor House.” A daughter was born in 1914 but died in infancy; twin sons were born in 1916. In 1912 Jeffers privately published his first volume of poetry, Flagons and Apples . In 1916 his second volume, Californians, was commercially published. Tamar and Other Poems (1924), his third volume, proved both a formal and critical breakthrough and was reissued in an expanded edition the following year under the title Roan Stallion, Tamar and other Poems . Over a period encompassing five decades, Jeffers published nearly two-dozen volumes of poetry. In 1954 he published his last volume, Hungerfield and Other Poems, an expanded edition of his Hungerfield (1952) which included a eulogy for Una Jeffers who died in 1950. A volume of Jeffers’ uncollected poems, The Beginning and the End and Other Poems, was published posthumously in 1963.

From the guide to the Robinson Jeffers collection, 1922-1951, 1922-1933, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962) was an American poet best remembered for his works focusing on the California coast.

Jeffers was born on January 10, 1887 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to William Hamilton, a Presbyterian minister and scholar, and Anne Robinson Jeffers. He attended the University of Western Pennsylvania (presently the University of Pittsburgh) before receiving his A.B. from Occidental College in 1905. Jeffers pursued graduate study at the University of Zurich the following year and received his M.A. from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles around 1910. While in Los Angeles, Jeffers met Una Call Kuster, the wife of a prominent Los Angeles attorney. The two fell in love prompting Kuster to divorce her husband. The scandalous affair made the front page of the Los Angeles Times on March 1, 1913. In August 1913, the couple wed and together they had twin children, Donnan Call and Garth Sherwood. Jeffers had a successful poetic career. His works centered on the California coastal region, drawing much inspiration from his home area of Carmel, California. Jeffers died at his home on January 20, 1962.

  • 1912: Flagons and Apples
  • 1916: Californians
  • 1924: Tamar and Other Poems
  • 1925: Roan Stallion, Tamar and Other Poems
  • 1927: The Women at Point Sur
  • 1928: Cawdor and Other Poems
  • 1929: Dear Judas and Other Poems
  • 1931: Descent to the Dead: Poems Written in Ireland and Great Britain
  • 1932: Thurso's Landing and Other Poems
  • 1933: Give Your Heart to the Hawks, and Other Poems
  • 1935: Solstice and Other Poems
  • 1937: Such Counsels You Gave to Me and Other Poems
  • 1938: The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers
  • 1941: Be Angry at the Sun
  • 1948: The Double Axe and Other Poems
  • 1954: Hungerfield and Other Poems
  • 1963: The Beginning and the End and Other Poems
  • 1965: Selected Poems

From the guide to the Robinson Jeffers Letters, 1926-1929, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

Loading...

Loading Relationships

Constellation Information

Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6pz59kx
Ark ID:
w6pz59kx
SNAC ID:
24019239

Subjects:

  • Poetry
  • American poetry--20th century
  • Drama--Literary characters, Greek
  • Libraries
  • Wood engraivng
  • Drama--Promptbooks and typescripts
  • Poets, American
  • Poets, American--20th century
  • Literature--American Poetry
  • American literature--20th century
  • Authors, American
  • Book collecting
  • Drama (American)

Occupations:

  • Authors
  • Poets

Places:

  • For House (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Washington (D.C.) (as recorded)