Naomi Burton Stone Chronology

Naomi Burton Stone (1911-2004)

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1911 March 15: Born Naomi Burton in England, daughter of Claude & Katherine (Dell) Burton, the youngest of 7 children.


1935: Future husband Melville (Ned) Stone opens a shop in Manhattan specializing in sporting books, paintings & prints; in operation until 1964.


1939: Moves to New York City to work as a literary agent for Curtis Brown Ltd. The agency had offices in London and New York. Had been hired in London, but asked to work in the New York office.


1940 Spring: Met Thomas Merton when he brought his first novels to Curtis Brown (The Labyrinth, The Man in the Sycamore Tree, and later Journal of My Escape from the Nazis [published by Doubleday in 1969 as My Argument with the Gestapo); she was unable to interest a publisher in them at the time. (see More Than Sentinels 238-240 & My Argument with the Gestapo 8-11)


1940 September: Merton begins teaching for 3 semesters at St. Bonaventure College.


1941 December: Merton leaves St. Bonaventure College to enter the Trappist Order at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky.


1944: Merton’s first published book by New Directions Thirty Poems consisting mainly of poems written while at St. Bonaventure College & edited by Mark Van Doren.


1946: Merton’s second published book by New Directions A Man in the Divided Sea (poetry)


1946: December: After 6 years of not hearing from him, Merton send Burton the text of Seven Storey Mountain, which she then sends to Robert Giroux at Harcourt, Brace; it is accepted for publication. The book was ready to be issued in July of 1948, with the official publication date being October 4, 1948. (see More Than Sentinels 242-246)


1949 December: Burton’s first visit to Gethsemani. (see More Than Sentinels 249-253)


1950: returns as a regular Communicant to the Anglican Church.


1951: Marries Melville E. (Ned) Stone, adding his last name to her own. Ned has 2 daughters from a previous marriage.


1954: Begins process of entering the Roman Catholic Church.


1956 February: Visits Gethsemani (see ‘I Will Miss Thomas Merton’ 221-222)


1956 May: Confirmation in Roman Catholic Church.


1956: Visits St. Bonaventure University.


1956 September: Visits Gethsemani with husband Ned  (see ‘I Will Miss Thomas Merton’ 222)


1959 November: Resigns as head of Curtis Brown’s Book Department to take a job as senior editor at Doubleday. Sends files from Curtis Brown to Fr. Irenaeus Herscher at St. Bonaventure University. She continues as Merton’s literary agent.


1961: Becomes a lay affiliate of the Dominican Third Order.


1965: Moves to York Harbor, Maine, where she and her husband have built a house, and from where she continues working at Doubleday, travelling to NYC occasionally.


   1965 August: Merton moves into a hermitage.


1967 November: Becomes one of the first 3 members of the Merton Legacy Trust, established at her suggestion; the other 2 being James Laughlin and Thomasine O’Callaghan. Bellarmine College is named as the archival repository for Merton materials from Gethsemani.


   1968 December: Thomas Merton dies in Thailand.


1969 July: Visits St. Bonaventure University & gives a talk.


1971: Retires from Doubleday altogether.


1989 March: Husband Ned Stone dies.


2004 November 16:  Naomi Burton Stone dies at the Mark Wentworth Home in Portsmouth, NH where she had been living for some time.

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