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Thomas A. Flanagan (AC 1945) Papers

Identifier: MA.00171

Scope and Contents

Literary manuscripts, correspondence, photographs and related materials documenting the professional career of Thomas Flanagan, Irish-American novelist and professor of English. The collection also includes a small amount of personal material. Literary materials include research notes, manuscript drafts, typescripts, proofs, clippings, reviews and correspondence related to Flanagan's published books: The Irish Novelists, 1800-1850 (1959), The Year of the French (1979), The Tenants of Time (1988), and The End of the Hunt (1994). Manuscripts and typescripts of his published non-fiction articles, reviews, speeches and lectures, as well as his earlier and later fiction and non-fiction writing, are included also. Correspondence includes letters to and from Richard Bridgeman, Richard Elman, Seamus Heaney, Ben Kiely, Conor Cruise O'Brien, Darcy O'Brien, Kevin Sullivan and others.


  • Creation: 1866-2002
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1946-2001


Conditions Governing Access

Access to Series 23 is restricted for privacy reasons, pending review. Otherwise, there are no restrictions on access to the Thomas Flanagan Papers for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes. This collection is housed in off-site storage and requires advance notice before use. Please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the Thomas Flanagan Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Bonner Flanagan, historical novelist, literary critic and educator, was born in Greenwich, Connecticut on November 5, 1923. All of his grandparents were immigrants to the United States from County Fermanagh in Ireland. He attended Greenwich High School. After his studies were interrupted by service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he graduated from Amherst College in the Class of 1945. He received a Master's degree (1948) and PhD (1959) in French and English literature from Columbia University. Flanagan was an assistant professor of English at Columbia (1949-1960), professor of English at the University of California Berkeley (1960-1978), and professor of English at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1978-1996). In 1959 he published a scholarly book, The Irish Novelists, 1800-1850, which was based on his doctoral dissertation. He is the author of a trilogy of historical novels set in Ireland: The Year of the French (1979), The Tenants of Time (1988) and The End of the Hunt (1994). Flanagan's literary honors include the National Book Critics' Circle Award.

Tom Flanagan married Jean Parker in 1949 and was the father of two daughters. After retiring from teaching in 1996, he moved to Berkeley, California and continued to write criticism for numerous publications. He died on March 21, 2002 in Berkeley.


42 Linear feet (37 records storage boxes, 7 archives boxes, 1 half archives box, 3 flat boxes, 2 card boxes)

Language of Materials



Literary manuscripts, correspondence, photographs and related materials documenting the professional career of Thomas Flanagan, Irish-American novelist and professor of English.


This collection is organized into twenty-three series:

  1. Series 1: Professional Correspondence, 1947-2001 and undated
  2. Series 2: Professional Affairs, 1946-2002 and undated
  3. Series 3: Personal Correspondence, 1921-2001
  4. Series 4: Personal Affairs, 1905-1998
  5. Series 5: Amherst College, 1979-2000
  6. Series 6: Photographs, circa 1930-1994
  7. Series 7: Non-Fiction Writing: Articles, Reviews, Speeches, Lectures, 1956-2002
  8. Series 8: The Irish Novelists, 1800-1850, 1958-1960
  9. Series 9: The Year of the French, 1974-1982 (bulk 1979)
  10. Series 10: The Tenants of Time, 1979-1992 (bulk 1986-1988)
  11. Series 11: The End of the Hunt, 1989-1997 (bulk 1994)
  12. Series 12: Other Fiction Writing, 1951-1966 and undated
  13. Series 13: Notebooks, 1953-1983 and undated
  14. Series 14: Calendars, 1980-2002
  15. Series 15: Appointment books, 1983-1995 and undated
  16. Series 16: Teaching Materials, 1951-1988
  17. Series 17: Research Materials, 1866-1998 (bulk 1971-1995)
  18. Series 18: Maps, 1988 and undated
  19. Series 19: Video and Audio Recordings, ca. 1990-1998 and undated
  20. Series 20: Objects, 1986-1994 and undated
  21. Series 21: Writings by Others, 1882-2001 (bulk 1961-2001)
  22. Series 22: Miscellaneous Printed Matter, 1953-1997 and undated
  23. Series 23: Restricted Materials, 1970-1995

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were the gift of Caitlin Flanagan-Hudnut and Ellen Klavan in June 2004 (accession 2004-091). Additional literary manuscripts were received from the Robin Straus Agency in July 2004 (accession 2004-108).

Related Materials

Alumni Biographical Files - Class of 1945 - Flanagan, Thomas

Peter A. Nelson, Assistant Archivist
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299