Barrett, William E. (William Edmund), 1900-1986

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Born November 16, 1900 Died September 15, 1986. Author of Lilies of the Field and The Left Hand of God. Barrett's writing career spanned 57 years and included short stories, biographies, novels, and non-fiction. Recipient of Colorado Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1979.

From the description of William Edmund Barrett papers 1785-1986. (Denver Public Library). WorldCat record id: 36063331

Author of books including The Lilies of the Field, The Left Hand of God, The Wine and the Music. He also wrote short stories that appeared in 17 collections and anthologies as well as in national magazines.

From the description of William E. Barrett papers, 1926-1975. (University of Denver, Penrose Library). WorldCat record id: 41288570

William E. Barrett was born November 16, 1900 in New York City, the son of John Joseph and Eleanor Margaret (Flannery). He attended Manhattan College in New York and worked as the Rocky Mountain advertising manager for Westinghouse from 1923-1929. In 1929 he became a free-lance writer (although he had published his first poem at age 15).

Mr. Barrett married Christine M. Rollman on February 15, 1925; they had two children, William E. Jr. and Marjorie Christine.

Mr. Barrett was an amateur pilot, a member of the National Press Club, the Denver Press Club, P.E.N., Colorado Authors League (of which he was president 1943-1944), Denver Athletic Club, and the Sierra Club. He received a citation from Regis College in 1956, and an Honorary Doctor of Literature degree from Creighton University in 1961.

William E. Barrett wrote the following published books: Woman on Horseback (biography), 1938; Flight From Youth, 1939; Aviation as a Business, 1945; The Evil Heart, 1946; The Number of My Days, 1947; To the Last Man, 1948; The Left Hand of God, 1951; The Shadows of the Images, 1953; The Sudden Strangers, 1956; The Empty Shrine, 1958; The First War Planes, 1960; The Edge of Things (collection of two novellas and two novels), 1960; The Lilies of the Field, 1962; The Fools of Time, 1963; The Shepherd of Mankind, 1964; The Glory Tent, 1967; The Red Lacquered Gate, 1967; The Wine and the Music (also under the title Pieces of Dreams), 1968; A Woman in the House, 1971; The Shape of Illusion, 1972; and Lady of the Lotus, 1975.

Mr. Barrett also wrote short stories which appeared in seventeen collections and anthologies and were published in many national magazines. His novel The Left Hand of God was translated into 10 different languages, while his other novels have been translated into an average of 5 different languages. Four of Mr. Barrett's books were purchased for films: The Left Hand of God (starring Humphrey Bogart), produced in 1955; The Lilies of the Field (starring Sidney Poitier), produced in 1963; The Wine and the Music, which was produced as Pieces of Dreams (starring Robert Forster and Lauren Hutton), produced in 1970; and The Man From Rome, which was purchased but never produced.

Mr. Barrett moved to Denver with his family at the age of 16, and resided there for many years. He passed away at his family home in Denver in 1986, at the age of 85.

From the guide to the William E. Barrett papers, 1926-1975, (Special Collections and Archives, Penrose Library, University of Denver, 2150 E. Evans Ave., Denver, CO 80208)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Barrett, William Edmund, 1900-1986. William Edmund Barrett papers 1785-1986. Denver Public Library, Central Library
creatorOf William E. Barrett papers, 1926-1975 Special Collections and Archives, Penrose Library, University of Denver, 2150 E. Evans Ave., Denver, CO 80208
creatorOf Lois Lister Collection. Landscaping project for William W. Barrett, 18 Oriole Gardens, Toronto, Ont. University of Guelph
referencedIn Alabama. Governor (1831-1835 : Gayle). Pardons, paroles and clemency files, 1831-1835. Alabama Department of Archives and History
referencedIn Ross-Barrett aeronautical collection, 1901- Denver Public Library, Central Library
creatorOf Poe, James, 1923-1980. The lilies of the field : shooting script / James Poe. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
creatorOf Barrett, William Edmond, 1900-. William E. Barrett papers, 1926-1975. University of Denver, University Libraries, Anderson Academic Commons
creatorOf Barrett, William E. (William Edmund), 1900-1986. Correspondence with Marian Anderson, 1963. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alabama. Governor (1831-1835 : Gayle). corporateBody
associatedWith Barrett, Christine. person
associatedWith Barrett, Christine M., person
associatedWith Barrett Jr., William E., person
associatedWith Barrett, Marjorie. person
associatedWith Barrett, William E. person
associatedWith Lois Lister Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Poe, James, 1923-1980. person
associatedWith Rollman, Edward A., person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Authors, American


Birth 1900-11-16

Death 1986-09-14





Ark ID: w67h4249

SNAC ID: 35918386