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Leander Troy-James T. Farrell papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Troy-Farr

Scope and Content of the Collection

Photocopies of published and unpublished writings of James T. Farrell, collected and saved by Father Troy.

Included is material relating to Farrell’s love of baseball, his articles in the publication Thought, columns entitled “The World is Today,” reviews of new books, commentaries on such topics as politics, John Dewey, Theodore Dreiser and the Irish. Some of these copies have original hand-written notes attached, directed to Father Troy. There are copies of letters from some well-known people including Russell Baker, Pearl S. Buck, Hubert H. Humphrey, Lyndon B. Johnson and Adlai E. Stevenson, and copies of three outgoing letters. Also photocopies of many articles about Farrell and reviews of some of his works, a small amount of miscellaneous memorabilia and a collection of obituaries. Also in the collection is some Leander Troy material, including correspondence, notes and writings on Farrell.


  • Creation: 1932-2004



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Leander Troy-James T. Farrell papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 5 folders at a time maximum (Priority II).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Leander Troy-James T. Farrell papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biography of James T. Farrell

Twentieth century American author.

Born in southwest Chicago in 1904 to immigrant Irish parents, James T. Farrell was the first of his working-class family to attend college. His boyhood was tough, but once he pushed hard for an education and found some success in publishing short stories and newspaper articles, he became committed to a literary career.

Throughout his life Farrell was involved in socialist and liberal committees and causes and was well educated in political and social issues. He was a prolific writer, establishing himself as a realist in the naturalistic tradition of Theodore Dreiser and Frank Norris. He said himself about the consistent themes in his novels, sketches, short stories, articles and plays: “The purpose of these works is…to recreate a sense of American life as I have seen it, as I have imagined it, and as I have reflected upon and evaluated it.”

Perhaps Farrell’s greatest achievement is the Studs Lonigan trilogy, published as a unit in 1935 and then the five books about Danny O’Neill, published between 1936 and 1953. Although all his life he wrote every day and his published work continued to be concerned with capturing aspects of American experience as he perceived it, he is best remembered for the Studs novels.

Farrell was married twice to Dorothy Butler and once to actress Hortense Alden, with whom he had two sons, Kevin and John. In 1965 he settled down in Manhattan, where he had lived for many years, with his close friend Cleo Paturis.

Biography of Reverend Leander Troy

Rev. Troy, a Carmelite priest, taught at Mt. Carmel High School for a number of years and resided at the St. Cyril Priory. A good friend of James T. Farrell, he maintained close contact over the years.


0.8 Linear Feet (2 boxes)


Materials by and about James T. Farrell, collected by his friend, Rev. Leander Troy, including published and unpublished articles, columns, reviews and stories, together with copies of letters to Farrell from such individuals as Russell Baker, Pearl S. Buck, Hubert H. Humphrey, Lyndon B. Johnson and Adlai E. Stevenson, plus notes, obituaries and other memorabilia.


Papers are organized in the following series:

Series 1: Rev. Leander Troy, 1975-2001
Box 1
Series 2: James T. Farrell, 1932-2004
Boxes 1-2

Collection Stack Location

1 34 6


Gift of Rev. Leander Troy, 2004.

Processed by

Virginia Hay Smith, 2006.

Inventory of the Leander Troy-James T. Farrell papers, 1932-2004
Virginia Hay Smith
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States