Dorothy Dudley Harvey (July 23, 1884 - August 19, 1962) was an American poet.
The daughter of Ernelius Clark Dudley, a wealthy Chicago gynecologist, Dorothy Dudley, after graduating from Bryn Mawr in 1905, returned to the Midwest. She and her sister Helen Dudley were part of the literary set around Harriet Monroe and Poetry magazine, and Harvey published poems and reviews in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse beginningin 1915 and throughout the twenties. It was during this period that Harvey became acquainted with many of the correspondents represented in the collection: Carl Sandburg, Edgar Lee Masters and Sherwood Anderson. Other periodicals in which work by Harvey appeared were Dial, American Magazine of Art and Nation. The sisters were "were famous in Chicago’s literary circles for their wit, exuberance, and talent. Both published verse in the first issue of Poetry.
She met Theodore Dreiser in New York during the fall of 1916, and a friendship developed that endured until Dreiser's death. Correspondence between the two in the Dreiser Papers at the University of Pennsylvania suggests that Dudley, always respectful and at times worshipful, made the greater effort. Dreiser was apparently flattered by her attention and suggested she write about him. In an undated letter, Dudley indicated her approach—”Shall I take your isolate position in American letters—a man who has made huge excavations alone with no one over you and never in a gang?"
For many years Harvey lived in France with her husband, Henry Blodgett Harvey, an advertising executive, and two children, Anne and Jason, both of whom became artists. In 1925 the Harvey family moved to France to further the education of their daughter Anne, who at age nine was showing signs of being a prodigy in art, and them Dudley expanded her circle to include Matisse, Brancusi, and other modernists.
In 1932 she published a biography of Theodore Dreiser, Forgotten Frontiers: Dreiser and the Land of the Free. This first biography draws upon extensive interviews with Dreiser and his acquaintances, access to his papers, and the experience of editing six of the sketches in Twelve Men; her task is to portray Dreiser in the context of his times, with the writer standing as a titan among his contemporaries. As the book neared publication, the publisher sent him galleys of the volume. Drelser apparently read only parts of the book, delegating to three assistance the task of examining proofs of the book for any objectionable material. "Regardless of my one part in it," he wrote to the publisher, "it is a very interesting reaction to and interpretation of the American scene". Dudley was disappointed by the poor reviews of the book but continued writing, moving to the left, politically, as did many writers during the difficult years of the 1930s, writing, for example, for Vanguard billed as "A Libertarian Communist Journal."
Many of the letters in the Dorothy Dudley Harvey Papers at the Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester, contain the reactions of Harvey's correspondents to her book on Dreiser.
She died in Paris in 1962.
My published books:
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