Collins, Seward, 1899-1952

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Seward Collins was born in 1899 in Syracuse, New York. He was editor and publisher of The Bookman (1926-1933) and its successor The American Review (1933-1937). He died in Laconia, New Hampshire, on December 8, 1952.

From the description of Seward Collins papers, 1918-1952 (inclusive) 1927-1937 (bulk). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702131698

Seward Bishop Collins was born in Syracuse, New York, on April 22, 1899, the heir to a national chain of tobacco shops. In 1901 his family moved to New York City. He attended Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania and Princeton University. In 1918 he served on the staff of the Committee on Public Information, Madrid Office. A few years later, he held editorial positions with The Brooklyn Daily Eagle and Vanity Fair .

At Princeton Collins developed a strong interest in H. L. Mencken, Havelock Ellis, and Bertrand Russell. The works of these and several modernist writers contributed significantly to the formation of Collins's liberal philosophical and political views at the time. Collins contracted tuberculosis in 1922 and spent the next three years convalescing in Colorado and California.

In 1926 Collins moved back to New York City, where he began having an affair with Dorothy Parker. They spent the spring of that year traveling in France and Spain, visiting the Murphys, the Stewarts, the MacLeishes, the Seldeses, and the Fitzgeralds. By 1927 the affair, which had had its ups and downs, was over; however, the two of them settled into a nonsexual friendship. In that same year Collins bought The Bookman, a respected, high-caliber monthly journal founded in 1895, devoted mainly to books and literary matters. The following summer he underwent a philosophical conversion after reading the works of the humanist writer, Irving Babbitt. Collins quickly came under the influence of Babbitt and the other leading humanist author of the day, Paul Elmer More. Soon he renounced the tenants of modernism and proclaimed himself a humanist. Around the same time, Collins's politics changed from leftist to ultra-conservative and, in certain aspects, pro-fascist, and his new philosophical and political views became more and more evident in the pages of The Bookman .

In April 1933 The Bookman was succeeded by The American Review . This new monthly became a vehicle to publish the views of the revolutionary or conservative right, as Collins sought to present an Americanized version of fascism as a solution to the politically troubled 1930s. The journal was devoted to contemporary American economics, politics, philosophy, and literature, and for a little over four years served as a major forum for several "conservative-traditionalist" movements, notably the Humanists, the Neo-Scholastics, the Distributists, and the Agrarians. Relations were particularly close with the Agrarians. The American Review ceased publication after the October 1937 issue.

In October 1936, Collins married his long-time associate editor, Dorothea Thompson Brande, a respected writer and critic. They moved to a farm near Wonalancet, New Hampshire, in 1941. Dorothea Brande died in December 1948. Seward Collins died in Laconia, New Hampshire, on December 8, 1952.

From the guide to the Seward Collins papers, 1918-1952 (inclusive), 1927-1937, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Seward Collins papers, 1918-1952 (inclusive), 1927-1937 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Yaddo records, 1870-1980 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Chapman, John Jay, 1862-1933. Additional papers, 1841-1940 Houghton Library
referencedIn Gannett, Lewis, 1891-1966. Papers, 1681-1966 (bulk 1900-1960) Houghton Library
creatorOf Collins, Seward, 1899-1952. Seward Collins papers, 1918-1952 (inclusive) 1927-1937 (bulk). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn The Nation, records, 1879-1974 (inclusive), 1920-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn J. B. Matthews Papers, 1862-1986 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Franklin P(Franklin Pierce), 1881-1960. person
associatedWith Agar, Herbert, 1897-1980. person
associatedWith Babbitt, Irving, 1865-1933. person
associatedWith Belloc, Hilaire, 1870-1953. person
associatedWith Benchley, Robert, 1889-1945. person
associatedWith Besterman, Theodore, 1904-1976. person
associatedWith Brande, Dorothea, 1893-1948. person
associatedWith Brooks, Cleanth, 1906- person
associatedWith Calverton, V. F(Victor Francis), 1900-1940. person
correspondedWith Chapman, John Jay, 1862-1933 person
associatedWith Clark, Harry Hayden, 1901-1971. person
associatedWith Coomaraswamy, Ananda Kentish, 1877-1947. person
associatedWith Cowley, Malcolm, 1898-1989. person
associatedWith Cram, Ralph Adams, 1863-1942. person
associatedWith Crowinshield, Frank, 1871-1947. person
associatedWith Davidson, Donald, 1917- person
associatedWith Davidson, Donald, 1917- person
associatedWith Elliott, George Roy, 1883-1963. person
associatedWith Ellis, Havelock, 1859-1939. person
associatedWith Farrar, John Chipman, 1896-1974. person
associatedWith Fletcher, John Gould, 1886-1950. person
associatedWith Foerster, Norman, 1887- person
associatedWith Follett, Wilson, 1887-1963. person
correspondedWith Gannett, Lewis, 1891-1966 person
associatedWith Knickerbocker, William Skinkle, 1892- person
associatedWith Lowes, Marvin McCord. person
associatedWith Lowes, Marvin McCord. person
associatedWith Lytle, Andrew Nelson, 1902- person
correspondedWith Matthews, J. B. (Joseph Brown), 1894-1966 person
associatedWith More, Paul Elmer, 1864-1937. person
associatedWith Munson, Gorham Best, 1896-1969. person
correspondedWith Nation (New York, N.Y. : 1865). corporateBody
associatedWith Nickerson, Hoffman. person
associatedWith Owsley, Frank Lawrence, 1928- person
associatedWith Parker, Dorothy, 1893-1967. person
associatedWith Penty, Arthur Joseph, 1875- person
associatedWith Ransom, John Crowe, 1888-1974. person
associatedWith Rascoe, Burton, 1892-1957. person
associatedWith Sanger, Margaret, 1879-1966. person
associatedWith Shafer, Robert, 1889-1956. person
associatedWith Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968. person
associatedWith Stone, I. F(Isidor F.), 1907- person
associatedWith Tate, Allen, 1899-1979. person
associatedWith Warren, Austin, 1899-1986. person
associatedWith Warren, Robert Penn, 1905-1989. person
associatedWith West, Rebecca, 1892-1983. person
associatedWith Wilson, Edmund, 1895-1972. person
associatedWith Yaddo (Artist's colony) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Authors, American
National socialism
Poets, American
Monasticism and religious orders
Literary critics, American


Birth 1899-04-22

Death 1952-12-08



Ark ID: w6zw5pz6

SNAC ID: 73999609