The Shippey Letters

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René Gamer

The Shippey Letters: The Saga of a Love Affair and a Divorce

ISBN 978-3-86821-163-4, 308 S., 224 Abb., € 26,00 (CD-ROM, 2009)

(Cultural Studies in the Heartland of America, Bd. 19)

What started as an attempt to reconstruct the subjective reality and world-view of a group of correspondents through the analysis of personal letters soon became the description of an extremely complex multifaceted ‘world’. The reality of the Shippey Letters is not a microcosm inhabited by a group of family members, their homes, their acquaintances, feelings, sorrows, daily routines, domestic troubles, and petit bourgeois social activities. The ‘Shippey-World’ has many boundary points with greater, historical events such as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Great Depression, and the end of prohibition. Three of the correspondents, namely the L.A. Times columnist Lee Shippey, the natural-gas pioneer Carl Stuart Shippey and the lawyer Arthur Leonard Howell Street, are even renowned themselves and constitute a puzzle piece in a greater historical context. The thesis at hand documents the reconstruction of a complex framework, and provides several glossaries, transcriptions for each letter, pedigree charts and over 200 images.