It's Raining Books Sale

Recently Viewed clear list

Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel

There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
  1. $18.19 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

Qualifying orders ship free.
List price: $29.95
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Local Warehouse AMERC- WEST

More copies of this ISBN

The Selected Letters of Bernard Devoto and Katharine Sterne


The Selected Letters of Bernard Devoto and Katharine Sterne Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Bernard DeVoto (1897–1955) was a historian, critic, editor, professor, political commentator, and conservationist, and above all a writer of comprehensive skill. As a contributor for more than thirty years to Harper’s and other magazines, he was known for his forceful opinions. His essays were often brash and opinionated and kept him in the public limelight. One stinging essay even led the FBI to create a file on him. His five serious novels are forgotten today, but his magazine short stories and the well-paid potboilers that he wrote under a pseudonym (John August) subsidized the first of the significant works of American history that brought DeVoto lasting fame. Four of his historical works, all still in print, are The Year of Decision: 1846, a Book-of-the-Month Club selection in 1943; Across the Wide Missouri, which won the Pulitzer Prize in history in 1948; 1953 National Book Award–winning The Course of Empire; and his popular abridged edition of the Journals of Lewis and Clark, which also appeared in 1953.

A busy man with a busy life, DeVoto found time to write and answer letters in abundance. In 1933 he received a fan letter from Katharine Sterne, a young woman hospitalized with tuberculosis; his reply touched off an extraordinary eleven-year correspondence. Sterne had graduated with honors from Wellesley College in 1928 and had served as an assistant art critic at the New York Times before her illness. Despite her enforced invalidism she maintained an active intellectual life. Sterne and DeVoto wrote to each other until her death in 1944, sometimes in many pages and as often as twice a week, exchanging opinions about life, literature, art, current events, family news, gossip, and their innermost feelings. DeVoto’s biographer, Wallace Stegner, states that in these letters DeVoto “expressed himself more intimately than in any other writings.” Although their correspondence amounted to more than 868 letters (and is virtually complete on both sides), DeVoto and Sterne never met, both of them doubtless realizing that physical remoteness permitted a psychological proximity that was deeply nourishing.

This volume contains 140 of their letters. They have been selected by DeVoto’s son Mark, who has also provided detailed notes clarifying ambiguities and obscure references. Readers will enjoy these letters for their wit and literary flair, but they will also gain insight into the cultural and historical crosscurrents of the 1930s and ’40s while taking an intimate and engaging look at a friendship forged entirely through words.

About the Author

Mark DeVoto, a son of Bernard and Avis DeVoto, is professor emeritus of music at Tufts University and a staff writer for the Boston Musical Intelligencer, with numerous publications in analysis of nineteenth- and twentieth-century music to his credit.

Table of Contents



1. 1933 Letters

2. 1934 Letters

3. 1935 Letters

4. 1936 Letters

5. 1937 Letters

6. 1938 Letters

7. 1939 Letters

8. 1940 Letters

9. 1941 Letters

10. 1942 Letters

11. 1943 Letters

12. 1944 Letters

Appendix A. The Bucolics of Decadence

Appendix B. Kent Potter Story



Product Details

Devoto, Mark
University of Utah Press
Devoto, Mark
Edition Description:
1st Edition
Publication Date:
24 b/w illus.
9 x 6 x 2 in 2 lb
Age Level:
from 18 up to 80

Other books you might like

  1. Celebrating the Stitch: Contemporary... Used Hardcover $9.50

Related Subjects

Biography » Literary
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » General
History and Social Science » Americana » Western States
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

The Selected Letters of Bernard Devoto and Katharine Sterne Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$21.00 In Stock
Product details 528 pages University of Utah Press - English 9781607811886 Reviews:
  • back to top
Follow us on...

Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at