Special Collections Department
403 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2140

MS 248
Alexander Woollcott (1887-1943)
Letter, undated

Descriptive summary


Woollcott, Alexander (1887-1943)






0.21 linear feet (1 half-document box)

collection number:

MS 248


Special Collections Department, Iowa State University.


Administrative information


Open for research

publication rights:

Consult Head, Special Collections Department

preferred citation:

Alexander Woollcott Letter, MS 248, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library.



Alexander Humphreys Woollcott became famous in American literary and drama circles as an author, critic, and actor. Woollcott worked for several influential New York magazines and newspapers as well as radio. Woollcott wrote several novels and portrayed himself in Kaufman and Hart's "The Man Who Came to Dinner" (1940), a play based on Woollcott himself. The collection contains a single letter to a "little struggler" regarding work doing book reviews.


Biographical note

Alexander Woollcott (1887-1943) was an "American author, critic, and actor known for his acerbic wit". He graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York in 1909. Woollcott became a cub reporter and then a drama critic in 1914 for the New York Times. From 1917-1918, he reported for Stars and Stripes in the U.S. army. Afterwards, he returned to work for the Times and for several other publications: New York Herald, New York World and The New Yorker. In 1929, Woolcott established a reputation for himself in the radio field and became known as the "town crier" for his wit and gossip. Woollcott greatly influenced the nation's book-buying trends as a literary critic and was the self-appointed leader of the Algonquin Round Table, an informal luncheon group at New York City's Algonquin Hotel in the 1920s and 1930s. Woollcott played himself in the title role of "The Man Who Came to Dinner" (1940). He authored "Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting, and the Problems of Production" (1917), "Two Gentlemen and a Lady" (1928), and "While Rome Burns" (1934). Woollcott published two anthologies: "The Woollcott Reader" (1935) and "Woollcott's Second Reader" (1937).


Collection description

This collection (undated) contains a single letter from Woollcott to a "little struggler" regarding work doing book reviews.


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