University of Arizona

                                           In preparation for the Tucson Festival of Books (March 9 & 10), Special Collections will be closed on Friday, March 8th

Mary Louise Mabie Papers

Mary Louise Mabie School Photograph, circa 1910

Mary Louise Mabie was born in 1904 at the home of her maternal grandparents, James H. and Mary Kennedy, in St. Nicholas Place, NYC. Her father, Webster Boutelle Mabie, was a New York real estate broker and her mother, Louise Kennedy Mabie, was a prolific short story writer whose work regularly appeared in magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and Ladies' Home Journal. She enjoyed a privileged upbringing: holidays spent in fashionable resorts, a secondary education at a private girls' school in New Jersey, and a European tour in 1922. As a teen she began writing stories and, under the pseudonym Hall Pegg, poems, many of which were published in newspapers and magazines. The Kennedy-Mabie household moved to California in 1926 where both mother and daughter continued their literary efforts.

In 1928, Mary Louise Mabie's first novel, The Long Knives Walked, appeared in serial form (published in one volume in 1932); she would eventually produce a raft of short stories and four other novels: The Saints, the Devil, and the King (1930), The Pale Survivors (1934), The Root of the Lotus (1938), and Prepare Them for Caesar (1949). In 1948 she and her mother moved to Flagstaff, AZ and resided together until Louise Kennedy Mabie was confined to a sanitarium in the early 1950s. Around this time, Mary Louise Mabie began working as a reporter for The Arizona Republic, The Daily Sun, and Flagstaff's radio station KCLS. She was also briefly married to John "Slim" Ellis in the late 1950s; the union ended in divorce in 1960. After her mother's death in 1957, Mary Louise Mabie achieved little literary success although she worked assiduously on projects concerning George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Earl of Sandwich throughout the 1960s. She was declared mentally incompetent in 1971 and died the following year at the state hospital in Phoenix.

Papers, 1864-1975 (bulk 1904-1972). This collection consists of the papers of the author Mary Louise Mabie. The bulk of the papers contain personal and professional correspondence, published and unpublished manuscripts, short stories, novels, poetry, a play, articles, and diaries. Also included are research material, legal papers, photographs, and scrapbooks. The collection also contains material relating to other members of her family, primarily biographical material, writings, correspondence, photographs, and scrapbooks.