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Elizabeth Foster collection

Identifier: 0129

Collection Scope and Content

This collection consists predominantly of typescripts of the author's published and unpublished novels, novelettes, short stories, and pages from works. It is possible Foster intended to expand upon them at a later time. A few of the works exist in various editions and some typescripts include synopses and a listing of the publications to which the pieces were submitted. There is information that indicates some of Foster's agents submitted their copies of her works to this collection. The collection also contains some interesting pieces of correspondence to the author from her editor, fans and individual letters from some of the significant writers of her time such as Vita Sackville-West, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Somerset Maugham, Kenneth Roberts, Art Buchwald and Thomas Costain. There is some biographical information about her personal life, newspaper articles and reviews, and notices sent by clipping services; also one photograph.


  • 1942-1994



Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Curator of the Maine Women Writers Collection.

Biographical/Historical Note

Elizabeth Foster (Mann) was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1905 to Elizabeth Dickson and well-known writer/playwright Maximilian Foster. She attended Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut, the Art Students League in New York, and the Columbia School of Journalism, New York. In 1929 she married Lloyd Onderdonk Vernon Mann, living first with him in Cold Spring Harbor and later in Oyster Bay, New York. Their two daughters were Mariana Vernon and Nancy Lloyd. Foster was a prolific freelance writer, composing short stories and poems for publications such as Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Home & Garden, and Trout and Stream. She also became editor of the North Shore Almanac, a supplement to a Long Island newspaper chain. After her divorce in 1939 she began her first novel, Singing Beach (1941), set on an island off the coast of Maine. In 1942 her second novel, The Days Between, was published and bought by Warner Brothers for $25,000. Foster published her first children's novel, Gigi, The Story of a Merry-Go-Round Horse in 1943, followed by Dirigo Point, with a background of Franklin County in Maine. A second Gigi novel, Gigi in America, was published in 1945, and is set in another Maine location, Old Orchard Beach. The Islanders, her most important Maine-centered novel, was published in 1946 and became a bestseller. It is a family saga focused on her maternal grandfather, Frederick Stoever Dickson, and the home he built on Rangeley Lake. Children of the Mist, published in 1960, is based on an actual eighteenth century English scandal. Elizabeth Foster died on February 9, 1963, and is buried at the family plot in Evergreen Cemetery, Rangeley, Maine.


3 linear feet (2 boxes (85 folders))

Language of Materials



This collection is organized into two series: Professional career and Manuscripts.

Guide to the Elizabeth Foster collection, 1942-1994
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Maine Women Writers Collection Repository

Abplanalp Library
University of New England
716 Stevens Avenue
Portland Maine 04103 United States