Skip to Content

Elizabeth Crook


Photo by Christine Crook

A Guide to the Elizabeth Crook Papers
Collection 060

Click here for a PDF version of this finding aid

Descriptive Summary

Creator:    Crook, Elizabeth
Title:    Elizabeth Crook Papers
Dates:    1984-2000
Abstract:        Research notes, annotated typescripts, correspondence, photographs, and newsclippings make up the Elizabeth Crook papers, and relate mainly to Crook’s novels of historical fiction, Raven’s Bride (1991), and Promised Lands: A Novel of the Texas Rebellion (1994). The collection is arranged into the following three series: Works, Mailing Lists, and Clippings.
Identification:    Collection 060
Extent:    31 boxes (19 linear feet)
Language:    Materials are written in English
Repository:    Southwestern Writers Collection, Special Collections, Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos

Biographical Sketch

Elizabeth Crook was born in 1960 in Nacogdoches and raised in San Marcos, Washington DC, where her father directed VISTA under Lyndon Baines Johnson, and Australia, where her father served as ambassador. Ms. Crook went on to Baylor University, and received her B.A. in English from Rice University.

In 1985, she began intensely researching what would become a lengthy article in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly (July, 1990), focused on the 1828 marriage of Tennessee governor Sam Houston and the 20 year old Eliza Allen. This article became the touchstone of her best-selling first novel, Raven’s Bride, published in 1991 by Doubleday. The 750 page manuscript was accepted by the publisher after fifteen publishing houses had rejected it; Crook’s soon-to-be editor at Doubleday, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, called her personally to accept it. Award-winning journalist and author Bill Moyers writes that in Raven’s Bride, Crook “brought to life the great events of Texas past and turned them into a robust novel. The characters, the descriptions, and the drama are a panorama that only a fine historian or inspired novelist could handle to the reader’s delight, and Ms. Crook is both.”

In 1993, Ms. Crook was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters. A year later, she published her second novel, Promised Lands: A Novel of the Texas Rebellion, also edited by Ms. Onassis at Doubleday. “At a time when war is sanitized, televised, and intellectualized, Crook’s most important contribution may be her reminder of the insanity and sheer waste of it all… Though she probably did not intend it that way, her account of the slaughter at Goliad is one of the most powerful anti-war statements I’ve read” (Joyce Slater, Houston Post).

Ms. Crook currently lives in Austin, with her husband, Marc Lewis, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas, and their son.

For more information about Elizabeth Crook visit her author website

Scope and Content Note

Research notes, annotated typescripts, correspondence, photographs, and newsclippings in the Elizabeth Crook papers range in date from 1984-2000, and relate mainly to Crook’s novels of historical fiction, Raven’s Bride (1991), and Promised Lands: A Novel of the Texas Rebellion (1994).  Series include I. Works (1984-1994), II. Mailing Lists (n.d.), and III. Clippings (1990-2000).

Series Description

Series I: Works:

Subseries A: Raven’s Bride: This subseries includes extensive research files and many annotated typescripts of Crook’s first novel. The research files include clippings, handwritten notes, photographs, and correspondence with research assistant Eva B. Denning, of Gallatin, TN, 1984-90. The typescripts have been arranged in alphabetical order by the various working titles.

Subseries B: Promised Lands: This subseries includes research files and annotated typescripts of Crook’s second novel. The typescripts have been arranged in alphabetical order by the various working titles. Correspondence includes a letter from John Graves commenting on Promised Lands, editorial correspondence with Jackie Onassis, and correspondence regarding publicity. Also includes one black and white publicity photo of Crook by Dan Flores.

Subseries C: Essays and Articles

Series II: Mailing Lists (n.d.): The mailing lists in this series include personal and business contacts, as well as lists for publicity purposes, such as newspaper lists.   

Series III: Clippings (1990-2000): This series includes newsclippings, reviews, and select editorial correspondence, as maintained by Ms. Crook.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: Open for research.
Preferred Citation: Elizabeth Crook Papers, Southwestern Writers Collection, Texas State University-San Marcos
Acquisition Information: Gift donated by Elizabeth Crook, 1995 and 2001.
Processing Information: Processed by Amanda York, 2001. Finding aid revised by Maggie DeBrecht, 2011
Note to Researchers: Contact the archivist for information about additional materials from this writer that have not yet been fully processed.

Container List

Series I: Works, 1984-1994
Raven’s Bride

Box    Folder


1    1-3    Allen, Eliza and family
2    1    Allen, Eliza and family-continued
2   2    Architecture
2   3    Bledsoe, Anthony
2    4    Boyers, Blackmore
2    5    Campbell, John B. / Cryer
2    6    Cantrell, Stephen / Cannon, Newton
2    7    Carroll, William
2    8    Customs
2    9    Douglass Family
2    10    Eaton, John H.
2    11    Fashions
2    12    Foster, Robert C.
2    13    Gallatin, TN
2    14    Grundy, Felix
3    1    Guild, Judge Jo. C.
3    2    Hall, William
3    3    Horse breeding
3    4    Hume, Rev. William
3    5    Jackson, Andrew
3    6    Lewis, William B.
3    7    Maps
3    8    Martin, Robert and Robert McEwen
3    9    McGregor, Gen. John
3    10    Morris, Eastin
3    11    Nashville
3    12    Overton, John
3    13    Peyton, Bailie
4    1    Polk, James
4    2    Saunders / Donelson
4    3    Shelby, Isaac
4    4    Simon, Monkey
4    5    Trousdale family
4    6    Tyree, Clayton
4    7    Williams, Willoughby
4    8    White, W. and G. B. Williams


        “Notions of Honor”

5    1-3        Mary Beth’s manuscript (ca. 1984?)
5    4        Annotated typescript, n.d.
6    1-2        Annotated typescript, n.d.

        “Runaway Scrape”

6    3        Annotated typescript, n.d., pages 1-284
6    4        Annotated typescript with bibliographic notes, n.d.
7    1-2        Annotated typescript with bibliographic notes, n.d.- continued

        “Sam Houston and Eliza Allen”

7    3        Synopsis, with bibliographic notes, 47 pages
7    4        Synopsis, with bibliographic notes, 66 pages
7    5-6        Annotated typescript, n.d.
8    1        Annotated typescript, n.d.- continued

        “Without a Stone”

8    2-4        Annotated typescript, revised 12/1986
9    1-3        Typescript, 1987
9    4-5        Typescript, n.d.
10    1        Typescript, n.d.- continued
10    2-4        Old version, n.d.
11    1-2        Annotated typescript, n.d.
11    3-5        Typescript, n.d.
12    1        Typescript, n.d.- continued
12    2-3        Typescript, n.d.
12    4        Typescript, n.d.
13    1-3        Typescript, n.d.- continued
13    4        Typescript, n.d.


13    5        Typescript
13    6        Typescript fragment
14    1-3        Annotated draft, n.d.
14    4        Annotated draft, n.d.
15    1-3        Typescript, n.d.
15    4-5        Annotated draft, pencil and blue ink, n.d.
16    1-2        Annotated draft, pencil and blue ink, n.d.- continued
16    3-5        Annotated draft, n.d.
17    1-3        Annotated draft, n.d.
17    4        Annotated draft, n.d.
18    1-2        Annotated draft, n.d.
18    3        Typescript fragment, includes 1981 photo possibly of Crook
18    4        Annotated draft, n.d.
19    1-3        Annotated draft, n.d.
20    1-3        Annotated draft, n.d.- continued

        Raven’s Bride

21    1-4        Annotated typescript, n.d.
21    5        Typescript, n.d.
22    1-2        Typescript, n.d.- continued
22    3-5        Typescript, n.d.
23    1-2        Typescript, n.d.
23    3        Photocopied final proof
23    4        Afterword typescript, n.d.
23    5-6    Annotated page proofs (with blue notes)
24    1-2    Annotated galleys (with blue notes)
24    3    Annotated galley (photocopy)
24    4-5    Mock-up with typesetting annotations
25    1    Computer disks (6 5.5” floppy) “Sept-Oct. bound galleys”   
25    2    Computer disks (6 5.5” floppy, 2 3.5” 1 Mb) chapter drafts
25    3    Dustjacket quotes from Liz Carpenter and James Michener
25    4    Book design correspondence and proposed illustrations (1989-1990)
25    5    Publicity correspondence (1990-1994)
25    6    Clippings (1990-1994)

Promised Lands, 1990-1994

25    7    Research notes and correspondence (1990 and n.d.)
25    8        Gates of the Presidio, annotated typescript
26    1        Gates of the Presidio, annotated typescript- continued
26    2-4        Goliad, n.d. (includes note from Crook to Harrigan)
26    5        Untitled, n.d.
27    1        Untitled, n.d.- continued
27    2-6        Promised Lands, annotated typescript, n.d.
27    7        Revisions after Jackie Onassis’ 1/20/1993 suggestions
28    1-2        Revisions after Jackie Onassis’ 1/20/1993 suggestions- continued
28    3    Clippings and reviews (1993-1994)
28    4    Correspondence

Essays and Articles, 1994-1995, n.d.

28    5    Remembering Jackie Onassis, My Editor (Publishers Weekly, June 27, 1994) typescripts.
              Tribute to Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Butt given by Elizabeth Crook on March 26, 1995,
              Crossing Over (essay on Barton Springs), typescript, n.d.

Series II: Mailing Lists, n.d.

28    6    Mailing Lists

Series III: Clippings, 1990-2000

29        Photocopies (1990-2000)
30        Originals
31        Originals-continued