PCL MS 067 Bernhardt J. Hurwood Collection
|Title||PCL MS 067 Bernhardt J. Hurwood Collection|
|Introduction||The Bernhardt J. Hurwood Collection, 1926-1987, is comprised of fifteen linear feet of correspondence, research files, literary productions, printed materials, photographs, and audiovisual resources chronicling the eclectic career of this popular writer of sexual and supernatural literature. Portions of the collection were first donated to the Browne Popular Culture Library beginning in 1974. After Mr. Hurwood’s death the remainder of the collection was transferred between 1989-1990, by his wife Marci Vitous-Hurwood. Eric Honneffer processed the collection and finished preparing the finding aid in April 2014.|
|Biographical Sketch||In 1965, upon release of his book The Golden Age of Erotica, Bernhardt J. Hurwood, was hailed “’The sex-conscious man’s H.G. Wells,’” by Playboy magazine. By 1962 Hurwood was a full-time freelance writer and author. At the time of his death in January 1987 he had published over sixty books. Sex and the supernatural were the topics that brought him notoriety, but he wrote on many other topics including crime, entertainment, travel, health, computers, and cooking, to mention a few.
Bernhardt J. Hurwood was born on July 22, 1926 in New York City and at the age of eight survived spinal meningitis when an attentive hospital aide injected him with adrenalin. Hurwood grew up in Chicago and Burlingame, California. While still in high school (Lake View High School in Chicago) he began broadcasting in Educational Radio when Chicago Soap Operas were popular. He enrolled at Northwestern University School of Speech. Between 1945-1947, however, he postponed his education to serve in the U.S. Merchant Marine. He traveled to South America, Europe, the Caribbean, Iceland, and in the process was shipwrecked in shark infested waters between Trinidad and Tobago on Friday, October 13, 1946. He returned to Northwestern and completed his Bachelor of Science degree in 1949. That same year he produced a short-lived radio program called “This Musical Planet,” a DJ show of what he called primitive music.
After graduation he became a film editor working on the West Coast, in Chicago, and in New York City. His first job in television/film was as editor working for Jay Ward on the animated cartoon, Crusader Rabbit. He would continue in film editing, working on various industrials, commercials, newsreels, and TV news specials. By 1950 he was hired at NBC-TV News and Special Events and was part of the staff of the original TODAY Show. In his next job he edited more than 200 short films, primarily animated cartoons imported from Eastern Europe. After working on these cartoons both as editor and script writer he decided to devote his entire career to writing. He would, however, continue to have a life-long interest in film and photography.
Hurwood admitted that he didn’t start out to be a writer. “I became a writer because I got fired from every legitimate job I ever had.” While editing film he tired of bad scripts and started writing his own around 1959. Hurwood began writing comic book adaptations of old Universal horror films for Dell Publications. Dracula was his first effort and inspired his first paperback publication in 1963, Terror by Night, an abbreviated history of vampires, werewolves, and ghouls. He published numerous edited anthologies, some for young adult readers, within the realm of the supernatural. In 1965 Monsters Galore was published, followed by Monsters and Nightmares (1967), Vampires, Werewolves and Ghouls (1968), Ghosts, Ghouls and Other Horrors (1971), Haunted Houses (1972), Vampires, Werewolves and Other Demons (1972) Chilling Ghost Stories (1973) and Eerie Tales of Terror and Dread (1973). Passport to the Supernatural would also include similar scary subject matter. He had additional works published on vampires including Dracutwig written under his pseudonym, Mallory T. Knight. My Savage Muse: The Story of My Life by Edgar Allan Poe, An Imaginative Work was written in 1980.
Hurwood admitted that his study of vampires and werewolves led directly to the subject of sex. While researching Terror by Night it became clear to him that there were “heavy sexual undertones” in the folklore of vampirism and lycanthropy. In the 1960’s he published A Psychiatrist Looks at Erotica with Franklin S. Klaf and The Golden Age of Erotica. One reviewer of Hurwood’s book The Bisexuals, commented that the author “made his name in the quick-buck business in the early seventies” when the “quick-sex-book market” was in full swing. Similar titles included The Girls, The Massage, and Everything, The Sensuous New Yorker, Joys of Oral Love, and The Whole Sex Catalogue. Under the pseudonym D. Gunther Wilde he would publish Deviation (1966) and When Maidens Were Deflowered and Knightly Lost Their Heads (1967). In addition to Mallory T. Knight and D. Gunther Wilde, Hurwood also used the pseudonyms Clay Grant and Father Xavier.
Among his more than sixty published books, are mysteries By Blood Alone and Rip-Off and nine Mallory T. Knight “spy spoofs” in The Man From T.O.M.C.A.T. His last book was Writing Becomes Electronic: Successful Authors Tell How they Write in the Age of Computers (1986).
In addition to his books and edited anthologies Hurwood wrote numerous short stories, articles, book and film reviews, and scripts. Film scripts included The Creatures from the Negative and the Garbitsch Affair (with Constance Willis). Between 1973-1975 he reviewed films for Gallery magazine and Genesis magazine. He published articles on a myriad of topics for such magazines as Vogue, Saturday Review, New York, and Penthouse. He traveled extensively as part of his research taking photographs and making many interviews.
He was a member of the Writers Guild of America (East), the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Mystery Writers of America, and the Computer Press Association.
In 1958 Hurwood married Laura Fenga in Chicago. She died in 1979. He then married Marci Vitous in 1983. Hurwood died in 1987.
Sources for Biography:
Computer Living, October, 1986
Hollywood Press, January 30, 1976, Section A – Page 4
The Bisexuals reviewed by The Rev, December 26, 2002 forThe Book Barn
|Scope and Content|
The Bernhardt J. Hurwood Collection documents his very active writing career, starting in the 1960’s and ending with his last project in 1986, Writing Becomes Electronic. Hurwood could be classified as a writer for hire. It is very evident in his correspondence with potential publishers that he was willing to write on almost any subject that a particular publisher might wish to pursue. He seemed to draw from an endless supply of diverse topics including sexuality of all kinds, the occult/supernatural, crime, torture, health, travel, the motion picture industry, animation, culinary arts, and computer technology to mention a few .
Manuscripts of Hurwood’s writings, proposal-outlines-synopses documents, and research files would be especially useful for anyone wishing to know more about his publications and his many ideas for future projects. In fact these documents comprise the bulk of the collection. For researchers wishing to know more about Hurwood personally, about his passions, and how he worked, his outgoing correspondence, family correspondence, journals, diaries, appointment books, and his wife Laura’s journals and notes offer significant insights. Hurwood’s travel and research are extensively documented in photographs he took abroad as well as during research for such books as The Girls, The Massage, and Everything and for The Whole Sex Catalog. Other photographs in the collection may have been produced to accompany various articles he wrote. Hurwood conducted many interviews while researching some of his books. Not only are there interview transcripts in the collection for certain works but there are also some audio tapes of certain interviews including some of Hurwood being interviewed on the radio while promoting some of his earlier works.
NOTE: Due to the size of the collection and length of the inventory, boxes 39-89 are listed on a separate page. It is recommended that you use the series links below when possible to locate specific folders.
Book Manuscripts – Supernatural
Book Manuscripts – Supernatural
Book Manuscripts – Supernatural
Part 2 of the Bernhardt J. Hurwood Collection Inventory