Loverne L. Morris and Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher Papers

Summary Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives
Loverne L. Morris and Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher Papers
Undated, 1952-1956, 1959, 1972-1974, 1976-1979, 1983-1994
0.5 Linear feet
This collection consists of book reviews, articles, biographical materials, an interview, correspondence, newspaper articles, postcards, and audiocassette tapes.

Preferred Citation note

Recommended citation: Loverne L. Morris and Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher Papers, Emporia State University Archives, Emporia State University.

Processed by: Shari Scribner and Jennifer Graves, January-March, 2012.

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Biographical/Historical note

Loverne L. Morris Born Loverna Lawton on September 23, 1896, in Americus, Kansas, the daughter of Wilbur Austin and Etta Little Lawton, Morris later changed her name to Loverne for writing purposes.

In 1900, Morris was adopted by Mary Angelina Linal Little, widow of her mother’s brother Charles. On request of Morris’ father, her aunt’s name was added to her name thus creating Loverna Lawton Little. While living with her aunt at 918 Exchange, Emporia, Kansas, Little attended Kansas State Normal School from 1915 to 1916 earning a Life Certificate in teaching. On February 22, 1920, Little married Herbert Iven Morris. On January 5, 1921 she gave birth to her daughter Helen and on January 8, 1924 she gave birth to her son Herbert.

During her career, Morris held a variety of jobs. She taught school before becoming an award-winning radio script writer shortly before World War II. In the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s, she was a reporter and editor for the El Monte, California, Independent, society editor and news editor for the  Temple City [California]  Times, and women’s editor, feature writer and historian for the Daily News of Whittier, California. Morris also wrote local history pieces for “Historical Publishers” and Children’s Press published her children’s books  The American Indian as Farmer and Frogs as Wild Pets. Morris’ articles include  Life at Red Rock 1900-1918,  I Remember Grandma, and a series of articles about  Pioneer Life in Lyon County.

Morris was the American Association of University Women Whittier Branch’s 1960 “Woman of the Year” and received numerous awards for serving the human needs of the communities in which she lived. Loverne L. Morris died on January 10, 1994 in Escondido, California.

Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher Mary Frances Kennedy was born July 3, 1908, in Albion, Michigan, to Rex Breton and Edith Holbrook Kennedy. Her family moved to Whittier, California, when she was two years old when her father became the editor of the  Whittier News. The majority of her writing education was informal, however, she did study English at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, from 1928 to 1929 where she met Alfred Young Fisher. They were married on September 5, 1929, and they spent the first three years of their marriage living in Dijon, France. Dijon was considered the gastronomical capitol of France and she expresses in her writings that this was one of the more influential times in her life. The couple returned to southern California in 1932 and divorced in 1939.

While separated from her husband, she traveled and lived with Dillwyn (Timmy) Parrish from 1937 until his death on August 6, 1941. They were married May 12, 1939. During this period, she wrote Serve it Forth (1937),  Consider the Oyster (1941),  How to Cook a Wolf (1942), and  The Gastronomical Me (1943). She worked for Paramount Studios as a gag writer from 1942 to 1944. On August 15, 1943, she gave birth to Anne Kennedy Parrish.

On May 12, 1944, she married Donald Friede, gave birth to her second daughter, Kennedy Mary Friede, on March 12, 1946, and later divorced Friede in 1950. During this time she translated The Physiology of Taste, Or  Meditations on Transcendal Gastronomy by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin from French to English and wrote  An Alphabet for Gourmets in 1949.

From 1954 to 1955 she and her daughters lived in Aix en Provence, France, while she worked on The Art of Eating (1954). While keeping a house in St. Helens, California, she proceeded to travel while working on writing projects from 1954 to 1970 such as  A Cordial Water (1961),  With Bold Knife and Fork (1968), and  Among Friends (1970). In 1970 she settled in Glen Ellen, California, in a home she called “Last House” on her friend David Pleydell-Bouvarie’s ranch where she completed works including  As They Were (1982),  Sister Age (1984),  The Boss Dog (1990), and  Long Ago in France (1991). She died from Parkinson disease on June 22, 1992 in her Glen Ellen house at the age of 83.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection documents the friendship between Loverne Morris and M. F. K. Fisher over a period of forty years. The letters are of two women discussing writing advice, manuscripts, opinions, experiences, life events, family members and family situations. There are book reviews, correspondence, obituaries, invitations, audiocassette tapes, greeting cards, articles by and about M. F. K. Fisher, postcards, and an interview with M. F. K. Fisher. The majority of the correspondence is between Loverne Morris and M. F. K. Fisher, but there is some correspondence to others as well. The letters from Loverne Morris are dated Month/Day/Year and the letters from M. F. K. Fisher are dated Day/Month/Year. The correspondence begins with undated correspondence and dated correspondence begins in 1952 and ends in 1988 but there are gaps in correspondence between 1956 to 1959, 1959 to 1972, 1974 to 1976, and 1979 to 1983. In folder 2 there is one undated letter that is circa 1952 or 1953 and in folder 3 there is an undated letter that is circa 1953. One of the two audiocassettes contains Loverne’s daughter, Helen Morris Fritz, reading some of the letters in this collection. Letters that were read on the tape are: Folder 2: Undated letter July 25, 1952 September 24, 1952 October 19, 1952 October 27, 1952 Folder 3: November 10, 1953 Folder 4: February 4, 1954 March 20, 1954 May 9, 1954 May 20, 1954 June 3, 1954 Folder 6: August 1, 1956

The other audiocassette tape is a recording of National Public Radio program Talk of the Nation. It is a rebroadcast of the August 22, 1996,  Book of the Air segment in which a group discusses Fisher’s book  Gastronomical Me.

The M. F. K. Fisher books mentioned in the letters are: Among Friends A Considerable Town Cordial Water Gastronomical Me Here Let Us Feast Not Now but Now Physiology of Taste Sister Age Two Towns in Provence

The Loverne Morris books mentioned in the letters are: Frogs as Wild Pets Little Girl From Across the Street The American Indian as Farmer

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Arrangement note

The collection is arranged chronologically. Folders 1-20 consist of correspondence between Loverne Morris and M. F. K. Fisher. Folder 21 consists of Loverne Morris’ materials which contain biographical materials, correspondence to/from Loverne to her daughter Helen, correspondence from Helen to Sandy Pasqua, and invitations sent to Loverne. Folder 22 consists of M. F. K. Fisher’s materials, which contains biographical materials, articles written by or about M. F. K. Fisher, newspaper articles written by or about M. F. K. Fisher, and correspondence from M. F. K. Fisher to Helen Fritz and Jean August. Folder 23 consists of the audiocassette tape recording of Helen Morris Fritz reading some of the letters in the collection. Folder 24 consists of audiocassette tape recording of National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation rebroadcast of the August 22, 1996,  Book of the Air segment.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives January-March, 2012

1200 Commercial St
Campus Box 4051
Emporia, KS, 66801
(620) 341-6431

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Additional materials about Loverne Morris can be found in the Loverne Morris Collection (NA1980.0002). Loverna Lawton Little is pictured in the 1916 Sunflower yearbook, which can be accessed through the record group (NA1980.0002) or the William Allen White Library circulating collection. Published books of M. F. K. Fisher’s are available via the William Allen White Library circulating collection.

Separated Materials note


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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Aix-en-Provence (France)--Description and travel.
  • Aix-en-Provence (France).

Personal Name(s)

  • August, Jean--Correspondence.
  • Fisher, Alfred Youn, 1902-.
  • Fisher, Jean--Correspondance.
  • Fisher, M.F.K. (Mary Frances Kennedy), 1908-1992 -- Interviews.
  • Fisher, M.F.K. (Mary Frances Kennedy), 1908-1992.
  • Fisher, M.F.K. (Mary Frances Kennedy).--Correspondance, 1908-1992.
  • Friede, Donald Sergey.
  • Fritz, Helen MOrris--Correspondance.
  • Fritz, Hellen Morris.
  • Glen Ellen (Calif.).
  • Hemet (Calif.)
  • Kennedy, Rex Breton
  • Marseille (France)--Decription and travel.
  • Marseille (France).
  • Morris, Herbert Ivan.
  • Morris, Herbert Mortimer.
  • Morris, Loverne L.
  • Parrish, Dwillwyn, 1894-1941
  • Pasqua, Sandra
  • Saint Helena (Calif.).


  • Aging -- Philosophy.
  • Aging.
  • Cooking, French.
  • Cooking.
  • DIvorce.
  • Food writing.
  • Food.
  • Gastronomy -- Anecdotes.
  • Gastronomy.
  • International cooking.
  • Materia medica.
  • Old age -- Philosophy.
  • Old age.
  • Parkinson's disease.
  • Political science.
  • Short stories.
  • Traditional Medicine.
  • Writing.

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Correspondence, undated. 

1 1

Correspondence, 1952. 

1 2

Correspondence, 1953. 

1 3

Correspondence, 1954. 

1 4

Correspondence, 1955. 

1 5

Correspondence, 1956. 

1 6

Correspondence, 1959. 

1 7

Correspondence, 1972. 

1 8

Correspondence, 1973. 

1 9

Correspondence, 1974. 


Correspondence, 1976. 

1 11

Correspondence, 1977. 

1 12

Correspondence, 1978. 

1 13

Correspondence, 1979. 

1 14

Correspondence, 1983. 

1 15

Correspondence, 1984. 

1 16

Correspondence, 1985. 

1 17

Correspondence, 1986. 

1 18

Correspondence, 1987. 

1 19

Correspondence, 1988. 

1 20

Loverne Morris materials, undated, 1954, 1987-1988, 1992-1993. 

1 21

Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher materials, undated, 1953, 1972,1977-1978, 1983. 1986-1988, 1992-1993. 

1 22

Audiocassette – Helen Fritz Morris, undated. 

1 23

Audiocassette – Talk of the Nation, 1996. 

1 24