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Robert Payne Collection
Collection 293


Pierre Stephen Robert Payne was born December 4, 1911, in Saltash, County of Cornwall, England; attended St. Paul's School, London.

Attended the Diocesan College, Rondebosch, South Africa and the University of Capetown, 1928-1930.

Worked as a shipwright's apprentice at Cammell, Laird's Shipbuilding Company, Birkendhead.

Attended Liverpool University.

Worked for the Inland Revenue as an Assistant Inspector of Taxes in Guilford.

Attended the University of Munich in summer.

Attended the Sorbonne, in Paris, 1938.

Traveled in Europe.

1938 (summer)
Covered the Civil War in Spain for the London News Chronicle.

Returned to Barcelona, Spain.

Visited his parents in Singapore.

1939-1941 September
Worked as a shipwright at the Singapore Naval Base and in 1941 he became an armament officer and chief camouflage officer for British Army Intelligence there.

1941 December
Was sent to Chungking, China, to serve as Cultural Liaison Officer at the British Embassy.

1942 January
Covered the battle of Changsha for the London Times.

Taught English literature at Fuhtan University, near Chungking.

1942 August 13
Married Rose Hsiung, daughter of Hsiung Hse-ling, a former prime minister of China.

1943-1946 September
Moved to Kunming and taught English poetry and naval architecture at Lienta University. Together with Chinese scholars and poets, compiled and co-translated The White Pony. Met General George C. Marshall, Chiang Kai-shek, and Mao Tse-tung.

1946 Summer
Briefly visited India. Interviewed Jinnah and Nehru.

1946 November
Came to the United States. Lived in Madison Square Hotel, 26th Street and Madison Avenue.

1946 December
Spent Christmas in Boston.

1947 January
Went to California. Mailing address c/o Mary Pritchard, New York City. Visited San Francisco.

1947 May
Traveled to Santa Monica, California. Rented a room from Anna Mae Wong, 236 San Vicente Boulevard.

1947 June
Rented a room from Mrs. Jessie Carmak, 1422 San Vicente Boulevard, Santa Monica.

1947 July
Rented a room from Mrs. Ivy Wilson, 643 North Hayworth Boulevard, Los Angeles.

1947 August
Moved to 1538 North McCadden Place, Hollywood.

1947 September
Moved to 1321 South Hudson Avenue, Los Angeles.

1949 (spring)
Visited Persia with the Asia Institute Expedition.

1949 May
Traveled with Arthur Upham Pope to Paris, Constantinople, Baghdad, and London.

Professor of English and Author-in-Residence at Alabama College, Montevallo. Founded the Montevallo Review.

1950 June
Visited New York City.

1950 August
Letters addressed to Lyman Wyman Spalding, 11577 Missouri Avenue, Los Angeles.

1951 February
Received an honorary M.A. degree from the Asia Institute.

1951 August
Mailing address. R.R. 1, Box 379A, Topanga, California.

Divorced Rose Hsiung Payne.

Visited Charles Olson at Black Mountain College, North Carolina.

1952 May
Mailing address 21324 Hillside Drive, Topanga, California.

1953 June-July
Lived at Royalton Hotel, New York City.

Address Hollywood Athletic Club, 6525 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood.

1953? December 9
Became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

1954 May, October
Visited Rex Stead in Miami Beach, Florida

1954 October-November
Shared apartment with James Putnam, 31 West 12th Street, New York City

1955 August, September
Hollywood Athletic Club

1956 July
Traveled in Europe.

1956 November
Hollywood Athletic Club.

210 Riverside Drive, New York City

1958 August
Visited Greece and Rhodes.

1959 January-March 1960
Van Cortland Hotel, New York City

2 West 67th Street.

Visited Israel.

Visited Rome.

Bought 2 West 67th Street Apartment

Became the series editor of The Russian Library, issued by New York University's Washington Square Press.

Chairman of the Translation Committee of P.E.N.

Founded the Translation Center at Columbia with Frank MacShane and William Jay Smith.

Married Sheila Lalwani.

1983 February 18, 1983
Died while on vacation in Bermuda.

1983 March 3
Memorial service at the chapel at Columbia University.