Mary Lavin Papers
UCD Special Collections holds the papers of Mary Lavin.
Reference code IE/UCD/SC/LAV
Mary Lavin Papers.
Level of Description
Mary Lavin (1912-1996).
- Mary Lavin was born in East Walpole, Massachusetts, to Irish parents.
- When she was ten the family returned to Ireland.
- Mary attended Loreto Convent School in Dublin and University College Dublin, where she studied English and French.
- She received her M.A. in English from UCD in 1936 and wrote her first short story, Miss Holland on the back of a typed draft of her Ph.D. dissertation on Virginia Woolf.
- The story was published in the Dublin Magazine in 1939.
- In 1940 her short story The Green Grave and the Black Grave appeared in the American publication Atlantic Monthly.
- Lavin’s first collection of short stories, Tales from Bective Bridge, was published in 1942, and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.
- Mary Lavin married William Walsh in 1942. The couple moved to County Meath and had three daughters before Walsh’s death in 1954.
- During this period Lavin continued her prolific career, publishing several collections of short stories and a novel, Mary O’Grady.
In 1969, Lavin married again to Michael Scott, a former Jesuit priest.
- She received several awards including the Guggenheim Fellowship (1959, 1961), the Katherine Mansfield Prize (1961) and an honorary Doctorate of Literature from UCD (1968).
- Her short stories appeared in many prestigious periodicals such as the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, and the Kenyon Review.
- In 1992 the members of Aosdána elected Mary Lavin as Saoi (the highest honour the organisation can bestow) for achieving ‘singular and sustained distinction’ in literature.
Source of Acquisition
- 38 boxes - Author's bequest 1997, 2017
- 2 boxes - gift of Maureen Murphy, 2013
- 6 letters purchased, 1998.
Scope and Content
- Drafts of short stories and poems [1938-87]
- Personal correspondence, publishing agreements and examination certificates [1926-87?]
Access and Use
The materials in this collection are available by appointment only to research students, reaching staff and scholars. Research students should have a letter of recommendation from their supervisor.
Photocopying or digital photographing of this material is not permitted.
Partial descriptive list; requires revision.
Find information on Mary Lavin in the Dictionary of Irish Biography (UCD only).