William Claire collection related to James T. Farrell

Biographical and Historical Notes

James T. Farrell (1904-1979)

American novelist James T. Farrell, born February 27, 1904, in Chicago, Illinois, was best known for his Studs Lonigan trilogy.

Much of Farrell's fiction is set in his hometown of Chicago and addresses issues of the city's working class. Farrell published more than twenty-five novels during his lifetime, as well as numerous collections of stories and works of criticism. In addition to the Studs Lonigan trilogy, he wrote a series of five novels centered around the character Danny O'Neill.

Farrell was also active in contemporary politics and is generally associated with writers of the American left who emerged during the 1930s and 1940s. In his later years, Farrell devoted much of his writing to a cycle of novels titled A Universe of Time, which he began writing in the early 1960s and which he projected to include approximately thirty titles.

James T. Farrell died on August 22, 1979, in New York City.


"James T(homas) Farrell." Contemporary Authors Online (reproduced in Gale Biography In Context). http://ic.galegroup.com (accessed April 29, 2013).

William F. Claire (1935- )

American writer and editor William F. Claire was born October 4, 1935, in Northampton, Massachusetts.

William Claire was founding editor and publisher of Voyages, a national literary magazine published in Washington, D.C., during the 1960s and 1970s. Additionally, he has edited and published books relating to Alan Swallow, Mark Van Doren, the poetry of Michelangelo, and physicians as writers. He is also the author of several books of poetry, From a Southern France Notebook (1974), The Strange Coherence of Our Dreams: Poems (1973) and Poems: a Selection (2004).


"William Francis Claire." Contemporary Authors Online. Gale Biography In Context. http://ic.galegroup.com (accessed April 29, 2013).

Edgar M. Branch (1913-2006)

American writer and educator Edgar M. Branch wrote A Bibliography of James T. Farrell's Writings, 1921-1957.

Born on March 21, 1913, in Chicago, Illinois, Edgar Marquess Branch also wrote several biographical works on Farrell, as well as works on Mark Twain. Branch, who was the literary executor of the James T. Farrell estate, died on August 14, 2006.


"Edgar Marquess Branch." Contemporary Authors Online (reproduced in Gale Biography In Context). http://ic.galegroup.com (accessed April 29, 2013).

Scope and Content Note

American writer and educator Edgar M. Branch wrote to the editor of the literary magazine Voyages William Claire to request a recent issue, in which the first chapter of James T. Farrell's unpublished novel The Vast Present appeared.

Branch mentioned in the letter that James T. Farrell had written to him about the excerpt. William Claire, who donated Branch's letter, has included a copy of the Spring 1969 issue of Voyages.