Letter 100

To Gwen Davenport

Gwen Davenport (1909–2002) published numerous novels, one of which, Belevedere (1947) was adapted into three films and a television sitcom (Mr. Belvedere). Davenport was also one-half of the writing team that constituted the author “Michael Hardt.”

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139 East 35th Street
New York City

October 21, 1943 

Dear Miss Davenport: 

Thank you very much for the copy of A Stranger and Afraid and for your lovely inscription. I enjoyed your novel immensely. The suspense in it did get to be almost unbearable. That is a beautiful job of construction. I believe that good plot construction is the most important part of a good novel, and the most difficult part. So—my congratulations on your craftsmanship, and my compliments to both “halves” of Michael Hardt.

But I owe a personal gratitude on behalf of Mr. Hardt. Archie Ogden has told me of what you wrote to Bobbs-Merrill about “The Fountainhead,” and that your “missionary work” for it put it on the best seller list in Louisville. As an author, you know that nothing one can do would mean more to an author than this. So you will understand how deeply I appreciate it. 

Sincerely yours,


Ayn Rand