Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Jenny S. Bradley papers, 1964-1983

Summary Information


The collection consists of monthly correspondence from Jenny S. Bradley to poet and playwright Susan Sherman from 1964 to Bradley's death in 1983. Bradley, a literary agent and scout, is best known for her work in sponsoring James Joyce's career, as well as introducing notable French authors such as André Gide, Albert Camus to an American audience. Her letters include reflections on the later period of her life, personal anecdotes, and commentary on Sherman's literary work.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1454
Bib ID 5477062 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Bradley, Jenny S., 1886-1983
Title Jenny S. Bradley papers, 1964-1983
Physical Description 0.5 linear feet (1 box)
Language(s) English .

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.



This material is arranged chronologically.



The collection includes personal letters and postcards dealing primarily with travel updates, discussions of books and writers, family issues, and commentary on current literary projects. The letters are often three or four pages in length, and are mostly written on Bradley's delicate blue onionskin paper.

In addition to Bradley's letters, the collection includes one file of correspondence between Sherman and Genevieve Serruys (Bradley's niece), Francis Steegmuller, and "Barry" all of which was sent to Sherman after 1983. These letters concern legacy issues, making reference to a biography and a memorial service following Bradley's death.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of Manuscripts, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Jenny S. Bradley papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Materials

William Aspenwall Bradley Papers, 1900-1966. Columbia University; William A. Bradley Literary Agency Records, 1909-1982. University of Texas, Austin

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Katie Gradowski, GSAS 2012.

Finding aid written by Katie Gradowski in June 2008.

Collection is processed to folder level.

Revision Description

2008-11-07 File created.

2009/01/12 xml document instange created by Patrick Lawlor

2009-04-22 ead document instance edited by Carrie Hintz

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
French literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Literary agents -- Europe -- Correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sherman, Susan Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

1964 marked the year in which Jenny S. Bradley--Mrs. William Aspenwall Bradley--and Susan Sherman began corresponding; a relationship which lasted until Bradley's death, at age 97, in 1983. Bradley had made a name for herself in publishing as the literary agent who encouraged James Joyce's efforts and brought him to the front of the literary scene. In addition to professional encouragement, Bradley gave Joyce money, sheets, blankets, and even a table. Following World War II, she played a key role in promoting Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Simone de Beauvoir, and others to American audiences abroad.

Bradley was a serious literary presence of the "old guard"; an entity that was clearly dying, in her opinion, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As a die-hard "insulaire", Bradley cultivated relationships with Charles de Gaulle, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Rainer Marie Rilke, Charles Seignobos, and others, many of whom paraded through weekly literary salons in her apartment on the Ile-St. Louis in Paris. Her letters reflect a continued interest with the French literary scene and in the literary relationships developed over the years through her work with Harcourt, Brace, with Macmillan, and with Gallimard (Bradley's husband had worked as the Paris agent for Harcourt, Brace, and Macmillan up until his death in 1939). Bradley herself had been approached to complete the French translation of "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man", and later went on to translate and produce Joyce's play "Exiles".

Susan Sherman was introduced to Bradley through the literary agent Paul R. Reynolds. Sherman is a poet, playwright and essayist based in New York City. She is a founding editor of IKON magazine and is a member of the faculty at Parsons School of Design and Eugene Lang College, where she teaches in the culture and media program.