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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 167

Edward Knoblock papers


Compositions and correspondence of American dramatist Edward Knoblock.


  • Creation: 1893-1945

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.


23 linear feet (46 boxes)

Contains 325 manuscripts of plays, stories, novels, lyrics, and an autobiography, in various drafts, outlines, notes, scenarios, and parts. Also includes diaries, correspondence, scrapbooks of clippings and articles, photographs, a few sketches for sets, and nine manuscripts by others. The manuscripts are mostly typescripts of plays, some with autograph revisions.

Biographical / Historical

Edward Knoblock (born Edward Gustav Knoblauch; April 7, 1874 - July 19, 1945) was an American-born British playwright and novelist most remembered for the often revived 1911 play, Kismet. Knoblock was born in New York City of German parents and was the grandson of the Berlin architect Eduard Knoblauch. He graduated from Harvard College in 1896, but he spent much of his professional life in Europe, first in France, then in Great Britain. In 1912, his Milestones, written with Arnold Bennett, became a hit at the Royalty Theatre, playing for over 600 performances. He became a British subject in 1916 during World War I, anglicized the spelling of his name, received a commission as a captain in the British Army and served in the Secret Service Bureau in the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and Greece. In 1917 he bought and subsequently restored the Regency Beach House, Worthing, Sussex. Knoblock was a lifelong collector of Regency style furniture and furnishings and kept much of the celebrated Thomas Hope collection intact. His London bachelor apartment was at The Albany. Knoblock wrote many screenplays, perhaps the best known being Douglas Fairbanks' Robin Hood (1922), though he was uncredited, and The Three Musketeers (1921). [Source: Houghton reader, Mark Scoble.]


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Compositions by Edward Knoblock
  2. II. Compositions by others
  3. III. Correspondence

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

66M-5. Purchased with the Amy Lowell fund; received: 1966 May.

2016MT-67. Purchased from Richard M. Ford Ltd with funds from the Richard C. Marcus Theatre Fund, 2017 April 2.

Knoblock, Edward, 1874-1945. Edward Knoblock papers, 1893-1945: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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