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Finding Aid to the Charles Caldwell Dobie Papers, [circa 1905-1943]
BANC MSS C-H 31  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Correspondence; manuscripts of books, short stories, plays and articles; notes; clippings; biographical material and personalia; royalty statements; collected theater and opera programs, 1869-1941; announcements and invitations; Christmas and greeting cards. Correspondents include George Arliss, Gertrude Atherton, Robert Ernest Cowan, George Creel, Ina Coolbrith, Lion Feuchtwanger, Herbert Hoover, Fannie Hurst, Owen Lattimore, Benjamin H. Lehman, W. Somerset Maugham, Carey McWilliams, H.L. Mencken, Ruth Comfort Mitchell, Kathleen Thompson Norris, Fremont Older, James D. Phelan, H.G. Wells, Harr Wagner, and Stefan Zweig.
Background
Charles Caldwell Dobie was born in San Francisco March 15, 1881, and unlike many California writers who went East after their first success, he continued to live in his native city. He attended local schools and, because of the death of his father and the necessity of contributing to family support, he never went beyond grammar school in formal education. He went into insurance work, starting as an errand boy and eventually becoming office manager. When he was nineteen he joined a class in short story writing inaugurated by W. C. Morrow, the noted journalist and writer. Under his direction, Dobie learned the short story craft. Writing in his spare time, he worked for ten years without selling a line. In October 1910 his first story was published in the San Francisco Argonaut. In 1916 he resigned his insurance position to devote full time to writing. Thereafter he became a regular contributor to leading magazines, including Smart Set, Harper's, Scribner's and Pictorial Review. Many of his stories were selected for inclusion in "best short story" anthologies, notably the Edward J. O'Brien and O. Henry memorial collections. His first novel, The Blood Red Dawn, was published in 1920. Other novels include Broken to the Plow (ca. 1921), Less than Kin (1926) and Portrait of a Courtesan (1934). In addition, he wrote from time to time, a number of newspaper columns, the most famous of which was "The Caliph in San Francisco," appearing in the San Francisco Bulletin, 1925-1926. The books which permanently identified him in the public mind with San Francisco were San Francisco: A Pageant (1933) and San Francisco's Chinatown (1936). Dobie died in his home in San Francisco on January 11, 1943.
Extent
Number of containers: 12 boxes, 12 cartons, bound volume, and 1 portfolio
Restrictions
Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Availability
Collection is open for research.