Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Letter From Judy

One is repeatedly surprised by unexpected human connections that come to light among our manuscript holdings, to wit, a short letter from Judy Garland to the author, Charles Jackson, thanking him for a Christmas gift and a poem he wrote just for her. Jackson met Garland in Hollywood in 1944 when he was there for several months during the filming of The Lost Weekend, the movie version of his bestselling novel of the same title, which remains an iconic example of the literature of addiction. (One wonders if Judy read it?)

Jackson lived from 1944 - 1954 in Orford, New Hampshire, and during that time, became friends with Herbert West, Class of 1922, long a Professor of Comparative Literature here at the College and founder of the Friends of the Dartmouth College Library. That connection led to the presentation of the original manuscript of The Lost Weekend to the Dartmouth College Library in 1949.

Judy's signed letter, as well as Jackson's poem for her, and the manuscript of The Lost Weekend are now exhibited in the Class of 1965 Galleries in Rauner Special Collections Library as part of the exhibit, "The Lost Weekend and Dartmouth; selections from the Papers of Charles R. Jackson exhibited in commemoration of the 64th anniversary of Jackson’s presentation of the manuscript of his best-selling novel to the Dartmouth College Library on October 28, 1949."

The exhibit will be on view through November 30, 2013.

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