The correspondence component of the Todd Collection contains handwritten and typed letters, postcards, telegrams, and greeting cards written by or to Williams, as well as third-party correspondence between friends and family members—usually about Williams. Among the correspondence from Williams is a November 29, 1941, letter to William Saroyan in which Williams discusses the Second World War: “I think there is going to be a vast hunger for life after all this death—and for light after all this eclipse—People will want to read, see, feel the living truth and they will revolt against the sing-song Mother Goose book of lies that are being fed to them. A layer of thick, dull and insensitive epidermis is gradually being blasted off the public hide—I hope!”

A September 6, 1952, letter from Williams to Dr. Ercole Graziedei concerns European public reaction to The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone: “I live according to fairly strict moral principles, and the predominant tone of all my work is deeply and instinctively moral.” Also of note is a 1949 letter from Williams to the producers of the first film version of The Glass Menagerie evaluating a screening of the film; correspondence with his literary agent, Audrey Wood, with Frank Corsaro regarding The Night of the Iguana, with Joseph Losey regarding the film Boom, with Marion Black Vaccarro regarding Tennessee’s relationship with Frank Merlo; and letters to Paul Bigelow.

Significant among the third-party correspondence is a group of letters between Marion Black Vaccaro (Tennessee’s close friend and traveling companion) and her family. The letters, purchased by Todd from the Gotham Book Mart, had been acquired from Richard Leavitt through a member of the Vaccaro family; they document in detail some of Vaccaro’s travels with Tennessee in 1958, 1960, 1961, and 1964 to such places as Rome, Taormina, Paris, Havana, Madrid, Athens, and Tangier. The letters mention encounters with a variety of people: frequent visits with actress Ana Magnani, visits with Paul and Jane Bowles in Tangier, and a meeting between Tennessee and Fidel Castro.

Another important group of third-party correspondence is a group of letters from the Williams family. Letters from Edwina Dakin Williams, Tennessee’s mother, include a number from Audrey Wood discussing Tennessee’s activities and an April 23, 1945, letter from Edwina to her husband Cornelius telling him that she had received half of the royalties to The Glass Menagerie. Also included is correspondence from Tennessee’s sister, Rose, after her lobotomy, as well as correspondence of Tennessee’s father, Cornelius Coffin Williams, and brother, Dakin. The Gotham Book Mart, having acquired the material at a Sotheby’s auction, sold it to Todd. View the finding aid [127KB PDF] organized alphabetically by correspondent.