A Guide to the Edwin Turner Bowden, Jr., Papers, 1924-2006
The son of Col. Edwin T. and Allie Myrick Bowden, Edwin Turner Bowden, Jr. (1924-2006) graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy before entering Harvard University in 1942. From 1943 through 1946, he served in the U. S. Army Air Forces as a weather observer in the American Theater of Operations, attaining the rank of corporal by the time of his honorable discharge. Following the war, Bowden graduated from Harvard in 1948, studied at Cambridge University on a Fulbright Fellowship from 1949 through 1950, and received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University in 1949 and 1952, respectively.
Bowden taught at Yale until 1956, when he joined the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of English. His teaching and research focused on American literature, including the work of Henry James, Washington Irving, and Peter De Vries. From 1967 through 1986, Bowden also edited the English Department’s journal Texas Studies in Literature and Language. As an editor and author, Bowden published numerous works, including The Themes of Henry James (1956), The Satiric Poems of John Trumbull (1962), and Peter De Vries: A Bibliography, 1934 to 1977 (1978). After his retirement in 1994, he served as secretary of the Austin Paleontological Society and volunteered at the El Buen Pastor Food Pantry.
In 1948, Bowden married Ann Haddon, and the couple had three children before divorcing in 1969. The next year, Bowden married Mary Weatherspoon, with whom he had two children.
Comprising correspondence, military and school records, writings, legal records, and photographs, the Edwin Turner Bowden, Jr., Papers, 1924-2006, document Bowden's military and academic career. The bulk of the collection, correspondence to his parents, 1942-1972, discusses his activities while training and serving as a weather observer in the U. S. Army Air Forces; his education at Harvard, Yale, and Cambridge universities; and his work as a professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Additional correspondence, 1932-1993, illuminates Bowden’s work with writer Peter De Vries, the publication of Introduction to Prose Style and other writings, and his friendships with fellow servicemen. The collection also contains military records and reunion newsletters related to his service in the U. S. Army Air Forces as well as school records, diplomas, and college papers. Publications and printed material include Bowden’s and his father’s stories recalling their service in the First and Second World Wars, 1942-; copies and reprints of Bowden’s articles and reviews, 1960-1988; and a resolution from the University of Texas at Austin memorializing Bowden upon his death in 2006. Legal records include Bowden's birth certificate, his parents' marriage license, and his father's death certificate. Finally, marriage and divorce papers, 1948, 1969, document the relationship of Bowden and his first wife Ann Haddon, and photographs, [ca. 1924-1950s], 1987, [ca. 1990s], depict Bowden from infancy through adulthood as well as a painting by John Reese Rothgeb.
Also included is a 1976 manuscript by UT English professor Warren Roberts written following the memorial service of Harry Huntt Ransom, chancellor of the University of Texas System.
This collection is open for research use.
Edwin Turner Bowden, Jr., Papers, 1924-2006, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Laurel Rozema, May 2011.
Subsequent revisions were made by Colleen Hobbs, October 2016.
Detailed Description of the Papers