Skip to content Skip to navigation

Anna Wright's books

A Wright family scrapbook in the archive of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park, Illinois, contains a three-page typewritten list of books identified as having belonged to Wright's mother, Anna Lloyd Wright (1838-1923).[1]  The list was likely drawn up shortly after her death.[2]   The present location of the books is not known, although several of them appear to be the same as books that are in existing collections of Wright's books or those of other Wright family members—suggesting that Anna's books were dispersed after the list was made.

The identification of the books on the list is very cursory.  Sometimes only a book title is given.  When an author is given, the exact work may be unclear because a short title or only a subject category may be given ("Goethe's Poems," "Essays - Emerson").  And no publication dates are given.  As a result, only a few of the books can be identified precisely; most of them involve some guess-work; and in some cases the identity of the book remains unknown.  The booklist is nevertheless significant, because of the important role that Anna Wright played in the education of her son and in promoting his love of reading.  Moreover, the two of them remained close, until nearly the time of Anna's death (with her living either in Oak Park or at Taliesin), so Wright would no doubt have been familiar with the books in her possession.  Notable on the list are authors known to have been among Wright's favorites, such as Emerson (at least nine books by or about him are on the list), Browning, Goethe, Meredith, Ruskin, Shakespeare, Shelley, and Whitman.

The following compilation includes some authors whose identities are uncertain, and gives probable book titles when they too are uncertain.  At the end are listed the book titles or descriptions whose authors have been impossible to identify.  In all cases, the actual form of the item on the original list is given in parentheses and quotation marks—e.g., ("On the Firing Line - Jones").  In compiling this material I have relied mainly on two sources: "Anna Lloyd Wright's List of Books," in Margaret Klinkow, The Wright Family Library (Oak Park, IL: The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation Research Center, 1994); and Richard Joncas, "A List of Books in Anna Lloyd Wright's Library," in Pure Form: The Origins an Development of Frank Lloyd Wright's Non-rectangular Geometry (Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 1991), pp. 371-75.  These two sources sometimes disagree on the identity of a specific author or book.  In such cases I note both of them, or choose the one I consider more probable; and in some cases I make a suggestion based on my own research.

[1] Information from: Margaret Klinkow, The Wright Family Library (Oak Park, IL: The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation Research Center, 1994), pp. 16-22.  Richard Joncas, "Pure Form: The Origins and Development of Frank Lloyd Wright's Non-rectangular Geometry" (Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 1991), Appendix A.

[2] Several of the books on the list were published close to the time of Anna's death, and it seems likely that the books were dispersed shortly after her death.



Andrews, Mary Raymond Shipman, The Perfect Tribute.  First published in 1906.  ("Perfect Tribute - Andrews")

Anon., Bhagavad-Gita.  One of the many English editions of the Sanskrit classic.  ("Bhangadvad-Gita")

Brontë, Charlotte, Jane Eyre.  First published in 1847.  ("Jane Eyre - Bronte")

Brooke, Stopford Augustus, Religion in Literature and Religion in Life, 1901.   ("Religious Literature - Brooke")

Browning, Robert, unidentified multi-volume ediition of Browning's works.   ("Browning, 6 vols.")

Browning, Robert, Selected Poems from Robert Browning, or Select Poems of Robert Browning  (both ca 1890).  ("Selected Poems of Robert Browning")

Browning, Robert, Men and Women.  First published 1855.  ("Men and Women - Browning")

Burroughs, John, Birds and Poets.  First published 1887.  ("Birds and Poet")

Burroughs, John, The Writings of John Burroughs.  Multi-volume, published beginning 1877.  ("John Burroughs, 15 vols.")   Note:  At Taliesin there are 13 volumes of a 15-volume edition of Works of John Burroughs (1904), with "Anna Lloyd Wright" written inside the cover of volume 1.  This is no doubt the set listed here.

Carpenter, Edward, Days with Walt Whitman.  First published 1906.  ("Days with Walt Whitman")

Carpenter, Edward, Towards Democracy.  First published 1883?.  ("Towards Democracy")  Other books had similar titles, but Carpenter's seems most probable.

Conway, Moncure Daniel, Emerson at Home and Abroad.  First published 1882.  ("Emerson at Home - Conway")

Cowper, William.  ("Cowper's Poetical Works")  Perhaps The Poetical Works of William Cowper, 1853.

Drummond, William Henry, The Habitant, and Other French-Canadian Poems.  First published 1897.  ("The Habitant - Drummond")

Drummond, William Henry, Johnnie Courteau, and Other Poems.  First published 1901.  ("Johnnie Courteau - Drummond")

Drummond, William Henry, The Voyageur and Other Poems.  First published 1905.  ("The Voyageurs - Drummond")

Dunbar, Paul Laurence, Poems of Cabin and Field.  First published 1899.  ("Poems of Cabin and Field - Dunbar")

Echegaray, José, Mariana, an Original Drama in Three Acts.  First English translation, 1895.  ("Mariana Echegarey")  ("Mariana")

Emerson, Edward Waldo, Emerson in Concord: a Memoir.  Published 1889.  ("Emerson in Concord - Emerson")

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, Essays.  Various editions, beginning ca. 1841.  ("Essays - Emerson")

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, Poems.  Various editions, beginning ca. 1847.  ("Poems - Emerson")

Emerson, Ralph Waldo.  ("Memoirs of Emerson, 2 vols.")  ("Ralph Waldo Emerson, Life, etc.")  It is unclear what specific books these refer to.

Fiske, John, A History of the United States for Schools.  First published 1894.  ("History of the United States - John Fiske")

Fiske, John, Old Virginia and Her Neighbors, 1898.   ("Old Virginia and Her Neighbors, 2 vols.")

Gatty, Margaret, Parables from Nature.  Various 19th-century editions.  ("Parables from Nature")

Gilman, Nicholas Paine, Conduct as a Fine Art: the Laws of Daily Conduct.  First published 1892?  ("Conduct as a Fine Art")

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, Goethe's Poems, 1899, or other similar English editions.  ("Goethe's Poems")

Haldeman-Julius, Emmanuel, The Color of Life, 1916.  ("Color of Life")

Hall, John,  Questions of the Day, 1873 and later editions.  ("Question of the Day - Hall")

Hart, Albert Bushnell, American History.  First published 1897.  ("American History - Hart")

Hemans, Felicia, The Works of Mrs. Hemans (1844), or another of this author's books.  ("Heman's Works")

Holmes, Oliver Wendell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1884 and later editions.  ("Ralph Waldo Emerson - Holmes")

Hubbard, Sara A., Catch Words of Cheer.  First published ca 1900?   ("Catch Words of Cheer")

Irving, Washington, Irving's Sketch Book.  Various 19th-century editions.  ("Irving's Sketch Book")

James, William, Varieties of Religious Experience.  First published 1902.  ("Varieties of Religious Experience - James")

Jones, Jenkin Lloyd, A Chorus of Faith as Heard in the Parliament of Religions, 1893.  ("Chorus of Faith - Jones")

Jones, Jenkins Lloyd, Nuggets from a Welch Mine: Selections from the Writings of Jenkin Lloyd Jones, 1902.  ("Nuggets - Jones")

Jones, Jenkin Lloyd, On the Firing Line in the Battle for Sobriety, 1910.  ("On the Firing Line - Jones")

Keats, John, The Poetical Works of John Keats, 1881, or any similar edition of Keats's poems.  ("Keats Poems")

Key, Ellen, The Woman's Movement, 1912.   ("Woman's Movement - Key")

Kingsley, Charles, The Heroes.  First published 1855.   ("The Heroes - Kingsley")

Kipling, Rudyard, Ballads and Other Verses, 1900, or similarly-titled works by Kipling.  ("Ballads - Rudyard Kipling")

Kipling, Rudyard, The Seven Seas.  Various editions, ca 1890-1910.   ("Seven Seas - Kipling")

Knight, William Allen, The Song of Our Syrian Guest.  First published 1904.  ("Song of the Syrian Guest")

Lowell, James Russell,  The Poetical Works, 1853, or other editions of Lowell's poems.  ("Lowell's Poems")

Macaulay, Thomas Babington, Lays of Ancient Rome.  First published ca. 1840.  ("Lays of Ancient Rome")   Note: Wright's library at Taliesin West contains a copy of this work, which is likely the copy Anna had.

Maeterlinck, Maurice,  Monna Vanna: a drama, 1904.  ("Monna Vanna, Maeterlinck")

Maeterlinck, Maurice, Wisdom and Destiny, 1898 and later editions.  ("Wisdom and Destiny - Maeterlinck")

Meredith, George, Short Stories, 1903, or another edition of Meredith's stories.  ("Short Stories - Meredith")

Morris, William, The Poetical Works of William Morris, 1898-1910.  ("Poetical Works of William Morris")   Note: A copy of this work, signed by Anna Wright, is among the books at Taliesin.

Munchausen, Baron von, The Surprising Travels and Adventures of Baron Munchausen, 1822 or other 19th-century English editions.   ("Baron Munchausen")   Note: Wright's library at Taliesin West contains a copy of the 1822 edition, which is no doubt the book from Anna's library.

Münsterberg, Hugo, The Americans, 1904 and later English editions.  ("The Americans - Munsterberg")

Payne, William Morton, Little Leaders, 1895 and later editions.   ("Little Leader - Payne")

Phillips, Stephen, Ulysses,  a Drama, 1902 and later editions.  ("Ulysses - Phillips")

Raine, Allen, Under the Thatch, 1910.   ("Under the Thatch - Raine")

Riley, James Whitcomb, Home-Folks, 1900.   ("Home Folks - Riley")

Rostand, Edmond, The Story of Chanticleer, 1913 or other English editions.  ("Chanticleer - Rostand")

Ruskin, John, The Crown of Wild Olive, 1866 and later editions.  ("Crown of Wild Olive")

Ruskin, John, The Ethics of the Dust, 1866 and later editions.   ("Ethics of the Dust")

Ruskin, John, Sesame and Lilies, 1865 and later editions.  ("Sesame and Lilies")

Sand, George, Consuelo, 1882 and later English editions.   ("Consuelo - Sand")

Schiller, Friedrich, Poems and Plays, 1889, or other English editions of Schiller's works.  ("Schiller's Poems")

Shakespeare, William, Merchant of Venice.   ("Merchant of Venice")

Shakespeare, William, Romeo and Juliet.   ("Romeo and Juliet")

Shakespeare, William, The Tempest.   ("The Tempest")

Shakespeare, William, Tragedy of Hamlet.   ("Tragedy of Hamlet")

Shelley, Percy Bysshe, Poems of Shelley, 1887, or other editions of Shelley's poetry.  ("Poems by Shelley")

Shelley, Percy Bysshe, With Shelley in Italy, 1907.   ("With Shelley in Italy")

Simmons, Henry M., New Tables of Stone, and other essays, 1904.   ("New Tables of Stone - Simmons")

Stevenson, Robert Louis, A Child's Garden of Verses, 1885 and later editions.  ("Child's Garden of Verses - Stevenson")

Sterne, Laurence, A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy.  First published in 1768.  ("Sentimental Journey")    Note: Wright's library at Taliesin West contains a 1776 edition of the work, which is very likely Anna's copy.

Tennyson, Alfred, Tennyson's Poems, 1866, or other editions of his works.  ("Tennyson's Poems")

Thackeray, William Makepeace, The History of Henry Esmond, 1884, or other editions.  ("Henry Esmond - Thackeray")

Thackeray, William Makepeace, The Virginians, 1858, or later editions.   ("The Virginians - Thackeray")

Van Dyke, Henry, The Mansion, 1911.   ("Mansion - VanDyke")

Van Sickle, James (and Maginel Wright Barney et al.), The Riverside Readers: First Reader, 1911.  ("Riverside First Reader")

Warner, Charles Dudley (and Oliver Wendell Holmes), Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1886.  ("Ralph Waldo Emerson - Warner")

Watson, William, Poems by William Watson, 1892 and later editions.   ("Poems by William Watson - 2 vols.")

Whipple, Edwin Percy, Essays and Reviews, 1848-49.   ("Essays and Reviews - Whipple - 2 vols.")

Whitman, Walt, Selected Poems, 1892, or other editions of Whitman's poems.   ("Selected Poems - Whitman")

Whitney, Adeline, Mother Goose for Grown Folks, 1882.   ("Mother Goose for Grown Folks")

Whittier, John Greenleaf, Poems of John Greenleaf Whittier, 1847, or other editions of Whittier's poetry.   ("Whittier's Poems")

Wilde, Oscar, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, ca 1800 or later editions.   ("Ballad of Reading Gaol")

Wilson, Anne, Boggy Solitudes of Nantucket, 1908.   ("Boggy Solitudes, Nantucket")

Woodbury, Charles Johnson, Talks with Emerson, 1890.   ("Talks With Emerson")

Wordsworth, William, Poems or Wordsworth, 1880, or other editions of Wordsworth's poetry.  ("Poems of Wordsworth")

Zangwill, Israel, Dreamers of the Ghetto, 1898.   ("Dreams of the Ghetto - Zangwill")


Items with no author or an ambiguous author

("Achilles")   Unidentified.

("After her Death")   Probably Lillian Whiting, After her Death, The Story of a Summer, 1897.

("American Anthology")   Perhaps Edmund C. Steadman, An American Anthology, 1900.

("Art of Living Alone")   Perhaps Amory H. Bradford, The Art of Living Alone, 1899.

 ("Common Prayer - Gylling")   Unidentified.

("Dante - Hart")   Unidentified.

("Doge's Palace")   Perhaps Antonio della Rovere, The Doge's Palace in Venice, ca. 1910.

("Duvy Works")   Unidentified.

("Encyclopaedia, 16 vols.")   Perhaps the New American Cyclopaedia (1857-63), which had sixteen volumes.

("English History for Americans")  Probably Thomas Wentworth Higginson, English History for American readers, 1893.

("The Garden of Allah")   This could be Robert Hichens, The Garden of Allah, 1904.

("Guide to American History")   Perhaps Edward Channing et al.,  Guide to the Study of American History, 1912.

("Guide to Chester")   Unidentified.

("Gytlyn Marler")   This is probably a mis-writing of Gwilym Marles, the author and title of a Welsh-language book published in 1905.  A copy of it, with Anna Lloyd Wright's signature in it, is in Wright's library at Taliesin West.

("Henrich Ibsen - Brand")   Perhaps Georg Brandes, Henrik Ibsen (if Ibsen is the book title) , or Henrik Ibsen's Brand (if Ibsen is the author).

("Holy Bible"), ("Matthew, Mark, etc."), ("New Testament"), ("Proverbs"), ("Welsh Psalms")   Unidentified editions of books of the Bible.

("Kokora")   Probably Lafcadio Hearn, Kokoro: Japanese Inner Life, 1896.

("Krishnu and Orpheum")   Possibly Edward Schuré, Orpheus and Krishna, 1909.

("Little Masterpieces")   This could be John Ruskin, Little Masterpieces (1898), or works with the same title by Henry Van Dyke (1905), William Makepeace Thackeray (1898), Washington Irving (1898), or others.

("Llandyssil")   No doubt a publication about the parish of Llandyssil (or Llandysul) in Wales, the home region of  Wright's Welsh ancestors.

("Martessa")   Unidentified.

("Memoirs of Emerson, 2 vols.")   Probably James Elliot Cabot, A Memoir of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 2 vols., 1887.

("Mrs. Browning")  No doubt one of the editions of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poems.

("Noble Womanhood")  Perhaps Charles F. Dole, Noble Womanhood, 1900.

("Pan Americanism")   Possibly books of this title by Joseph Burne Lockey (1920) or Roland Greene Usher (1915).

("Philosophy of Hope")   Probably David Starr Jordan, The Philosophy of Hope, 1907.

("Poems by Markham")  Probably one of the editions of Edwin Markham's poems.

("Poems Moody")   Probably William Vaughn Moody, Poems, 1902, or another edition of his poems.

("Ralph Waldo Emerson, Life, etc.")   Perhaps George W. Cooke, Ralph Waldo Emerson: His Life, Writings, and Philosophy, 1882.

("Right Giving as a Fine Art")   Perhaps Ellen H. Richards, The Art of Right Giving, 1904.

("Rosemary")   Possibly Jedediah Huntington, Rosemary; or, Life and Death.  Or Gertrude Hall, Rosemary: A Collection of Sacred and Religious Poetry.

 ("Singing Leaves")  Possibly a book of this title by Josephine Peabody, George Rathbone, or Frances McCollin.

("Story of Island Steamers")   Probably Harry Baker Turner, The Story of the Island Steamers, 1910.

("What does Christmas Really Mean")   Probably Jenkin Lloyd Jones and John T. McCutcheon, What does Christmas really mean?, 1908.

("Woman Movement in America")   Possibly Belle Squire, The Woman Movement in America (1900),  Caroline F. Corbin, The Woman Movement in America (1902), or other works with similar titles.

("Word of the Spirit")  Possibly Jenkin Lloyd Jones, The Word of the Spirit to the nation, church, city, home and individual, 1894.