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Mencken's Correspondence

H.L. Mencken wrote well over 100,00 letters and, like all his other writing, his correspondence ranged across many subjects. He discussed government and the law, philology and economics, politics (local, regional, national, and international), literature and music, and food and drink. A complete list of authors is in the Mencken Room and the curator is always available to answer questions. A small selection of letters is also available in the H.L. Mencken Collection on Digital Maryland.

Mencken's typewriter on display in the H. L. Mencken Room

Mencken's typewriter, on display in the H. L. Mencken Room

Personal Correspondence

Mencken had a wide range of contacts across Maryland. He wrote to, among others, authors, judges, senators, governors, physicians and artists. The collection includes correspondence with A. Aubrey Bodine, Dr. Louis Cheslock, Gerald W. Johnson, Governor William P. Lane, Governor Theodore McKeldin, Judge Eugene O'Dunne, Governor Albert Ritchie, Walter Sondheim, and Senator Millard E. Tydings.

A large collection of Mencken's correspondence with non-Marylanders is in the New York Public Library but this collection has letters from Theodore Dreiser, long-time love Marion Bloom, the poet George Sterling and many others. The collection includes correspondence with Marquis Childs, William Feather, Edgar Kemler, Joseph Wood Krutch, Clare Leighton, George Sterling, Dorothy Taylor, Anthony Turano, and Burton Rascoe.

Additional Correspondence

Alfred A. Knopf Correspondence: Knopf was Mencken's longtime publisher and good friend. This is a large collection that covers both their personal friendship as well as the business of two of the most powerful literary figures of the period. Covers the years 1919- 1956.

August Mencken Correspondence: August was the youngest of the four Mencken siblings and was a successful engineer as well as editor and author. After H. L. Mencken's stroke in 1948, he retired to care for his brother full-time. This is an extensive collection, often referencing his brother in some way.

Mencken Family Correspondence: The Menckens were a close-knit family who corresponded frequently. This collection also includes postcards from family members.