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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Papers of Laurence Davis Lafore
Collection Dates: 1929-1973
39 linear ft.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Copyright: Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Acquisition and Processing Information: These materials were donated to the University Archives from Mr. Lafore in February 1974 and from the History Department in September 1994. Guide created and posted to the Internet by Denise Anderson, March 2007.

Photographs: Photographic postcards in Box 60; Travel photographs and book research photographs in Box 65

Laurence Davis Lafore

Laurence Davis Lafore, 1971

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of Laurence Lafore's manuscripts, memoir, correspondence, and records of his academic career (including travel).  The correspondence series includes both personal and professional contacts.  The papers are housed in 66 boxes; boxes 60-66 should be regarded as almost entirely unprocessed..

Biographical Note

Laurence Davis Lafore was born September 15, 1917, in Narbeth, Pennsylvania.  He earned his B.A. in 1938 at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.  He took his M.A. (1939) and Ph.D. (1950) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Massachusetts.  Dr. Lafore taught at Swarthmore until 1969, when he joined the History Department faculty at the University of Iowa.  Lafore published works about the origins of the two world wars.   He retired in May 1985 and died November 24, 1985.

[D. Anderson; 03/2007]

Related Materials

Folder, "Lafore, Laurence," in Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG 01.15.03).

Publications by Laurence Lafore include:

Press and diplomacy in liberated France; a study of French attitudes toward international affairs as revealed in Paris newspapers, 1944-1947. [Microform; see also Box 59].

Learner's Permit. Garden City: Doubleday, 1962. 308 pp.

The Devil's Chapel. Garden City: Doubleday, 1964.

Philadelphia; the Unexpected City. Garden City: Doubleday, 1965.

Stephen's Bridge. Garden City: Doubleday, 1968.

Nine Seven Juliet, a Mystery Novel. Garden City: Doubleday, 1969. 300 pp.

"In the Sticks," Harper's Magazine 243, no. 1457 (October 1971): 108-9, 112-15

 American Classic. Iowa City: Iowa State Historical Society, 1975. 95 pp., illus. Includes UI buildings. Copies located in Main Library; Art Library; Law Library; x- collection; and Archives books. 

Correspondence from Laurence Lafore dated 1982 appears in John Leggett Papers; 1977-1980 in the Minnette Doderer Papers (Iowa Women's Archives); some letters from Edith Page Mather are cataloged to MsL.

Box Contents List


Series I: Published Manuscripts

Box 1 

Modern Europe, a History Since 1500.  With Paul H. Beik. New York: Holt, [1959].

Box 2 

Modern Europe, cont.

Box 3 

The Long Fuse, an Interpretation of the Origins of World War I. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1965, [1971].

Box 4 

The End of Glory, an Interpretation of the Origins of World War II. Philadelphia: Lippincott, [1970].

Box 5 

The End of Glory, cont.

Boxes 6-13 

Days of Emperor and Clown: the Italo-Ethiopian War, 1935-1936. Garden City: Doubleday, 1973.

Boxes 14-17 

Learner's Permit. Garden City: Doubleday, 1962.

Boxes 18-21 

The Devil's Chapel. Garden City: Doubleday, 1964.

Boxes 22, 23, 23a, and 24 

Stephen's Bridge. Garden City: Doubleday, 1968.

Box 24a 

Stephen's Bridge, cont.

---. First full draft.

---. Envelope of reviews.

Boxes 25-28 

Nine Seven Juliet. Garden City: Doubleday, 1969.

Series II: Memoir (unpublished) and other Manuscripts:

The Keys to the House. [Narrative from childhood to the death of his father in the 1940s.]

Box 28a

Complete final photocopy; folder marked "Fifth Copy."

---. Complete final photocopy with two pages provided from Penultimate Draft.

Box 29  

Penultimate Draft. Typescript.

---. Introduction. "The Finger Bowl and the Stereopticon." Most recent draft (partial), corrected page 10. 12pp.

---. uncorrected copy. 12pp.

---. Chapter I. "A Good Address." 16pp.

---. Chapter II.  "A Place in the Country." 37pp.

---. Chapter III. "Help!" 28pp.

---. Chapter IV. "A Bestiary." 47pp.

---. Chapter V. "Golden Rule Days." 32pp.

---. Chapter VI. "Portraits from Life." 51pp.

---. Chapter VII. "Portraits in Pastel." 55pp.

---. Chapter VIII. "Portraits in Chiaroscuro." 65pp.

---. Chapter IX. "Ad Aeternitatem." 22pp.

---. Complete copy of Chapters I-IX in one folder.

Box 30

The Keys to the House.

---. Earlier drafts of introduction and Chapter VII.

---. of Chapter IV.

---. of Chapter V.

---. of Chapter VIII.

---. of Chapters I, II, III, and V.

Box 31

The Keys to the House, cont.

---. Notes, fragments, correspondence from readers of early versions.

---. Early draft of Chapter II.

---. of Chapter III.

---. of Chapter VII.

---. of Chapters I-IV

---. of Chapters V-VI.

---. of Chapters VII-IX.

---. of Introduction; correspondence.

---. Miscellaneous saved pages, mostly Chapter IX.

Box 32 The Keys to the House, cont.

---. Early version of Chapters V-VI.

---. Version of Chapter VI.

---. Letters from [Rickey?] about Chapter VI.

---. Various early typings of Chapter VI.

---. Complete relatively late typescript, Chapters I-IX, [immediately preceding "Penultimate Draft?].

----. Correspondence with the University of Pennsyvania Press regarding possible publication.

Box 32a 

Unpublished manuscripts

---. "Creative Writing: First Novel, 1930-1937." Title was not fixed but Mist in Twilight and The Sharp Tides Shift were considered. Typescript.

---. The Joyful Cousins. Appears to be plot outline for novel that becomes The Sea Between.

---. The Sea Between (circa 1950-1957).  Chapter I.  A novel set in London during WWII.

------. Chapter II

------. Chapter III

------. Chapter IV

------. Chapter V

------. Chapter VI

------. Chapter VII

------. Chapter VIII

------. Chapter IX

------. Chapter X

Box 32b

Unpublished manuscripts, cont.

---. First full draft, with title Cousins in Arms.

---. Final full draft, with title The Sea Between.

---.  Reader's Reports to G. P. Putnam's Sons recommending publication.  Unidentified fragment.

---. Hunter's Moon. An apparently unfinished novel set in a midwestern (largely Iowa) academic setting. Outline.

---. Notes for Chapters I and II.

---. First and Second drafts; folder marked "Obsolete."

---. Later typescript; folder marked "Latest Drafts."

Box 32c 

Unpublished manuscripts, cont.

---. Fourth and other drafts; folder marked "Obsolete."

---. Late draft of Chapter IV.

---. Final typescript of Chapters I-VI.

---. Photocopy of final typescript with Chapters I: "A Window in Cambridge" (20pp); II: "A Window in Siena" (23pp); III: "In the Fieldhouse" (19pp); IV: "The Old Campus" (18pp); V: "Feet and Sherry" (24pp); VI: "Ida Benton Page" (32pp).  With letter of comments from a reader, Judith Sutherland.

---. Two pages marked VIII that may be intended for Hunter's Moon.

---. "The British Peerage Before the Parliment Act."

---. Note for a preface to a work by Frederick Russell Bayard.

---. "Creative Writing: Poetry."  Drafts of about a dozen poems.

---. Drafts for articles or a book on cooking. The sections present discuss soups; salads; eggplant; concentrates, essences, extracts and glazes, and French words (2 versions).

---. Joke recipe for Ze Boppa ("ambrosia") stimulated by "a fantasmal visitation fom Mrs. Julia Child and Mr. Craig Claiborne."

---. Drafts of articles about Swarthmore.

---. Abstract of Lafore's Fletcher School thesis.

Box 33 

LDL writings on his WWII experiences: most have been scanned and are housed on two DVDs.

---. “Objects Dropped from the Air” (52 pages, photocopy typescript).

---. Another version which begins with 9pp edited typescript and then incorporates edited photocopy pages 10-59 of “The Flow of Adrenalin” below; first two pages follow text of version above.

---. I. “Port of Embarkation” (68pp; mixed typescript and photocopy).

---. II. “Pacific Enterprise” (20pp typescript + complete photocopy). “Second draft.”

---. III. "The Shop."  Various drafts and fragments, some labeled "Chapter D":  "Chapter III - The Shop (4pp); "Clip L - Loren & L'Woodpussy (9pp); "D" (22pp); "D" sheets, headed "SHOP," photocopies and carbons (13pp).

---. IV. “London,  1944” (48pp photocopy).

---. Another photocopy, differently edited. [Later?]

---. VI. “The Flow of Adrenalin” (53pp typescript).

---. VII. “Getting Out.” (39pp typescript, heavily edited). “First draft.”

---. VIII. “Paris Liberated” (53pp typescript). “First Draft.” Edited. With LDL's French photo driving license.

---. VIII. “Paris Liberated” (66pp photocopy).

---. VIII. “Paris Liberated” (66pp photocopy with minor edits of above photocopy).

---. VIII. “Paris Liberated” (66pp photocopy as above but with later[?] editing).

---. XI. Untitled (2pp typescript only).

---. XII. “Goodbye, Goodbye” (8pp typescript).

---. Article for The Winds of War Newspaper Supplement (1982).  [untitled]. 5pp photocopy typescript.

---.  DVD with tiffs of "Port of Embarcation"; Winds of War; and "Great World."  DVD with tiffs ofChapters III, VI, VI, XI, and XII.

Box 33a  

LDL writings on his WWII experiences, cont.

---. "WWII Clips., Notes." Autograph notes, short typescripts, some pages from chapters above.

---. "The Great World, draft." Includes "The Great World" (34pp typescript essay and three edited photocopies, one quite heavily, two lightly, plus a photocopy of "Objects Dropped From the Air").

---. "In the Sticks."  Drafts and articles about this widely recongized essay.

---. Galley proofs and off-print of Harper's Magazine article; copies of later pamphlet reprints.

---. "The opportunity of a lecture for a journalist at a school of journalism..."  Typescript.

---. "World War I Posters from the Rae Murray Collection at the State Historical Society." Photocopy.

---. "The Foundations of Foreign Policy." Mimeograph.

---. "Education 60 -- The Governor's Presentation to the Committe on Education [in Pennsylvania]." LDL wrote one section.

---. Aydelotte, William O. "The Duties of a Department Chairman: Letter to My Successor." 1959. Photocopy.

Series III: Correspondence

Box 34  


Box 35  

Correspondence, cont.


Box 36 

Correspondence, cont.


Box 37  

Correspondence, cont.


Box 38  

Correspondence, cont.

Freedgood-Hunt, E.

Box 39  

Correspondence, cont.

Hunt, V.-Kirkland

Box 40  

Correspondence, cont.


Box 41  

Correspondence, cont.


Box 42  

Correspondence, cont.


Box 43  

Correspondence, cont.


Box 44   Partymiller-Shaw

Box 45

Correspondence, cont.


Box 46  

Correspondence, cont.


Box 47 

Correspondence, cont.


Box 48  

Correspondence, cont.


Box 49  

Correspondence, cont.


Box 50



Greeting cards

Birth and death announcements

Box 51 

Correspondence, professional

Box 52  

Speaker invitations

Thank you notes

Business letters

Letters while attending college

Box 53  

Loose material and correspondence from Benjamin Kirkland

Series IV: Academic career

Box 54 

Springback folders with typescript contents of Lafore's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, papers, 1939 -1940.

Press and Diplomacy in Liberated France, vol. I, II, II. Typescript thesis.

Helen Hynes Laurence. At Love's Command, a Novel. 216pp carbon typescript on onionskin paper.

Series V: Unprocessed

Box 55 

Photographic postcards of Montgomery School, 1929.

Drafts about cooking

Swathmore materials

Trinity College materials

Box 56

Travel brochures and postcards


Journals: Ladies Home Journal, 1956; Science, 1964

Swathmore, class of 1938 class reunion material

Box 57  

Academic correspondence

Box 58  

Travel material

Letters of reference

Box 59  

LDL book reviews

University diplomas

Cedar Rapids Gazette article and photographs, 1970

Iowa State University (Ames), and Grinnell College courses taught by LDL

Box 60  

Hitler greeting card

Travel photos of European cities



Travel journal, n.d.

Photographs for American Classic.

Box 61 

Drafts and correspondence for American Classic with other miscellaneous writing and correspondence.

Packet of miscellaneous short LDL writings (photocopies) and information on the disposition of LDL's estate sent by R. Giesey, November 2010.