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Joseph Stanley Pennell

Joseph Stanley Pennell


the History of Nora Beckham

Rome Hanks


Biography  
          

    Joseph Stanley Pennell was born in 1903 in Junction City, where he graduated from high school. The son of pioneer stock, his mother "did a lot of travelling in covered wagons" while his father came to Kansas from North Carolina when he was 16. There was an array of grandfathers, great-grandfathers, and great uncles among his antecedents who fought - some for the Union and some for the Confederacy - in the Civil War. Pennell entered KU in 1922, and, impressed with English literature, went to Britain, was accepted at Oxford and studied there for three more years. Returning to the US, he worked as a newspaperman. In the mid- 1930s, he abruptly returned to Junction City to reflect on "what it was I wanted." He read all the books he could get about the Civil War. He took copious notes for two years and spent the next five writing. In 1942 Pennell went into US Army gaining the rank of lieutenant in an anti- aircraft batallion. A Junction City librarian submitted his manuscript, The History of Rome Hanks and Kindred Matters, to Scribners, where it was accepted by the famous editor Maxwell Perkins. Its publication was the literary event of 1944. In 1947, Pennell moved to Oregon, living there for 16 years until his death, at the age of 60, in 1963.

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Bibliography ( - housed in Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection)  
 
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Jacket from The History of Rome Hanks  
 
jacket from history of rome hanks


 
Jacket from The History of Nora Beckham
 

jacket information from Nora Beckham

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Photos

 

Pennell

Pennell in Uniform

Pennell

From the Inside Cover of Rome Hanks

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An Understanding of Pennell's Life and Work, by
Thomas Fox Averill
 

Click to read an essay about Joseph Stanley Pennell, written by Topeka author Thomas Fox Averill, and presented at the George Smith Public Library, Junction City, Kansas, in 1980

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"On the Way to Somewhere Else"-- A Short Story  
 

Click to read "On the Way to Somewhere Else," originally published in Harper's Bazaar, and republished in The Best American Short Stories of 1945

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Primary Documents
 

Letter from Joseph Stanley Pennell to Beulah Pennell, 27 June, 1946

Letter from Elizabeth to Beulah Pennell, 27 June, 1946
     - Page One
     - Page Two

Letters from Joseph Stanley Pennell to Beulah Pennell, 6 April, 1959, & 21 March 1960
     - Page One
     - Page Two
     - Page Three

Letter from Joseph Stanley Pennell to Beulah Pennell, 5 March, 1960

Letter from Beulah Pennell to John Jefferies, 1 January 1979
     - Page One
     - Page Two

Letter from Beulah Pennell to Jefferey Loeb, 5 March, 1979

Letter from Beulah Pennell to Jefferey Loeb, 24 March, 1979
     - Page One
     - Page Two

Letter from Beulah Pennell to Tom Averill, 5 January, 1980
     - Page One
     - Page Two
     - Page Three
     - Page Four

Letter from Beulah Pennell to Tom Averill, 30 January, 1980
     - Page One
     - Page Two

Postcard from Beulah Pennell to Tom Averill, February, 1980

Letter from Beulah Pennell to Tom Averill, 29 February, 1980
     - Page One
     - Page Two

Letter from Beulah Pennell to Tom Averill, 9 March, 1980

Letter from John Mitchell reguarding Pennell to Tom Averill, 16 July, 1980

Letter from Eric A. Stahl reguarding Pennell to Tom Averill, 13 September 2004
     - Page One
     - Page Two

Letter from Beulah Pennell
     - Page One
     - Page Two
     - Page Three
     - Page Four

Letter to Beulah Pennell
     - Page One
     - Pages Two through Twelve

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