O'Connor, Frank [Michael Donovan] (1903-1966)
Scope:
The Frank O’Connor collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, and other material.

Correspondence in the collection is extensive, and is divided into personal and professional letters. The personal correspondence forms the bulk of the material, and includes several hundred letters from O’Connor to Evelyn Bowen, his first wife (ca. 1937-1958). Family correspondence consists of letters from O’Connor to his son Myles and from other relatives to O’Connor and each other. Several letters pertain to O’Connor’s divorce from Evelyn Bowen; these date ca. 1953-1955. Also present are a few letters written to Evelyn O’Connor from friends (1932-1969), as well as several letters from O’Connor to his mistress Joan Knape (1944-1948). Other notable items include four letters from William Butler Yeats (1930, 1931, 1937, undated), one of which returns a poem with corrections, and a letter from George Yeats (1939), the wife of W. B. Yeats.
Professional correspondence in the collection is mainly concerned with organizations and causes important to O’Connor; these include the Abbey Theatre, the Cuala Press, and the city of Dublin. The Abbey Theatre correspondence (1937-1941) includes letters from Sean O’Faolain, F. R. Higgins, J. Garland, W. H. McCarthy, Lennox Robinson, and others. The Cuala Press correspondence (1938-1948) includes several letters from the family of William Butler Yeats. The Dublin file is especially extensive, containing approximately four hundred fifty letters from various individuals (1929-1949), all related to Irish society. These figures include journalists, poets, playwrights, publishers, broadcasters, editors, and others, including staff at the Dublin Gate Theatre. Additional professional correspondence is also present in the collection.

Another significant group of letters are those from Sean O’Faolain. They number over one hundred, and date from 1939 to 1948. They include letters from O’Faolain to O’Connor, Evelyn O’Donovan, Hugh Hunt, and others, as well as letters from individuals associated with publication of The Bell, the periodical which O’Faolain edited from 1940 to 1945.

Manuscripts by O’Connor in the collection include his book The Big Fellow: Michael Collins and the Irish Revolution (Thomas Nelson, 1937); his play Times Pocket (first performed at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, 1938); and numerous short stories, articles, and poems.

Manuscripts by others in the collection include the plays A Gay Good Night by Cecil Salkeld, Stranger In Aran by Elizabeth Rivers (Cuala Press, ca. 1941-1945), and Strange Guest by Francis Stuart.

Other items in the collection include financial material (1940-1955); O’Connor’s will (1956); Abbey Theatre documents (balance sheets, reports, contracts, memos, etc., 1936-1938); and Cuala Press documents (financial statements, notes, royalty statements, etc., 1930s).

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Notable Figures
1. O'Connor, Frank, 1903-1966
Associated Subjects
1. Irish Collections Subject Guide