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Elizabeth Crook Papers

Identifier: SWWC-060

Scope and Contents

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).


  • 1984-2000


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials from the Wittliff Collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user assumes responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish, and abiding by U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical Notes

Elizabeth Crook was born in 1960 in Nacogdoches and raised in San Marcos, Washington DC, where her father directed VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) under Lyndon B. Johnson, and Australia, where her father served as ambassador. 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 an 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. 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, 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). Crook currently lives in Austin, with her husband, Marc Lewis, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas, and their son.


19 Linear Feet

31 boxes

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

  • The descriptive data created for this finding aid is licensed under the CC0 Creative Commons license and is free for use without restriction.


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).

Physical Location

Materials may be stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use:

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Elizabeth Crook, 1995 and 2001.

Guide to the Elizabeth Crook Papers
Amanda York
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2021: Revised for ArchivesSpace by Susannah Broyles.

Repository Details

Part of the The Wittliff Collections Repository

601 University Drive
San Marcos Texas 78666 USA