Creator: Walker, Mildred, 1905-1998

Provenance Note: A manuscript draft and galley of the novel If A Lion Could Talk were donated to Montana State University by Mildred Walker Schemm of Burlington, Vermont on September 5, 1971.

Historical Note: Mildred Walker was born on May 2, 1905, in Philadelphia, PA; daughter of Walter M. and Harriet (Merrifield) Walker. She graduated from Wells College, Aurora, New York in 1926 and earned a master's degree in English literature from the University of Michigan in 1934. She married a Great Falls, Montana physician, Ferdinand Ripley Schemm, on October 25, 1927. Following his death in 1955 she worked as a as a professor at Wells College and as a Fulbright lecturer in Kyoto, Japan. Walker wrote thirteen novels over the course of her career, most of which were intended for an adult audience; however, one of her novels was written for young adults. She was awarded the Avery Hopwood Award in 1934 for Fireweed. Her novel The Body of A Young Man was nominated for a National Book Award in 1960. She died in Vermont 1998.

Content Description Note: : This collection consists of Walker's manuscript draft and galley proof for If A Lion Could Talk. This novel, which is a story about a young clergyman and his wife who travel to the upper Missouri River in Montana Territory to serve as missionaries to the Indians, was published in 1970 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Walker's novel was not received as well as she would have liked, suggesting that the additional material not included in the finished copy of the book would have improved it. Critics claimed that portions of the novel are similar in tone to Conrad's Heart of Darkness and are "perilously near a parody." The collection consists of Walker's manuscript typewritten draft of the novel, with extensive editorial markup annotations, and the galleys of the published work.


Box 1
1-7. If A Lion Could Talk manuscript draft
Box 2

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Updated: 8/27/09