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George and Helen Papashvily Archives

 File
Identifier: SC MS 0090
George and Helen Papashvily Archives consists of twenty four manuscript boxes and 6 cartons of manuscripts, correspondence with publishers and agents, and clippings of articles by Helen Papashvily. (Section 1) Also included are photographs of George's sculptures, exhibition catalogs and programs, and correspondence concerning his ventures.(Section 2) The third section of the material includes cartons of fan letters, extensive correspondence to the couple from friends, a box of slides and other ephemera, including the two hoods from her honorary degrees.

Dates

  • 1996

Creator

Extent

17 Linear Feet

Overview

George and Helen Papashvily Archives consists of manuscripts, correspondence with publishers and agents, and clippings of articles Helen Papashvily wrote. Also included are photographs of George's sculptures, exhibition catalogs and programs, and correspondence concerning his ventures. The third section of the material includes cartons of letters from readers, fans, and friends; a box of slides and other ephemera, including the two hoods from their honorary degrees.

Biographical / Historical

George Papashvily was born in Caucasus, the village called Kobiantkari (Kartli region of Eastern Georgia), Georgia in August 23, 1898, and came to the United States in 1922. A series of jobs led him to California, where he met and married his wife, Helen. Helen Waite was born in Stockton, California, in 1906, educated in the public schools there, and The University of California, Berkeley (1924-1928), majoring in English literature. She worked in California, and opened her own antiquarian book store, where she specialized in children's books and the domestic novels of the 19th century. George and Helen met in 1931, and got married. He was, by now a sculptor. In 1935 they moved to Pennsylvania, where they bought Ertoba Farm outside Quakertown, and lived there until George’s death in 1978, and where Helen resided into the 1980's. She died in 1996 in California. When they lived in Pennsylvania, Helen bought an antiquarian bookstore in Allentown, renamed it Moby Dick, and maintained a general stock of old and out of print books, specializing in children's books, the domestic novel of the 19th century, and Pennsylvania. In 1945, they together wrote a small book, “Anything Can Happen,” detailing George's experiences as an immigrant, which was co-selected for the Book-of-the-Month Club and was a best-seller, selling more than 600,000 copies in the USA and 1.5 million worldwide. It was translated into 15 foreign languages. Hollywood made it into a movie in 1952, starring Jose Ferrer as George, and Kim Hunter as Helen. George and Helen collaborated on five other books; “Yes and No Stories,” a collection of Georgian folk tales; “Dogs and People,” “Russian. Cooking,” and “Home and Home Again,” the story of George's childhood and youth and his return visit after sixty years in the U.S.

Helen wrote “Louisa May Alcott,” a biography for younger readers; “All the Happy Endings,” a review of-the domestic novel in America in the 19th century. Between 1950-1970, she also wrote for many popular magazines of the day, including The Herald Tribune Sunday Magazine, N.Y. Times Magazine, Holiday, Gourmet, Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, as well as for several children's magazines, including Jack and Jill, American Girl and others.
Title
George and Helen Papashvily Archives
Date
1996

Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Lehigh University
Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA
610-758-4506
610-758-6091 (Fax)