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COLLECTION Identifier: A/P352b

Papers of Josephine Preston Peabody, 1902-1953 (inclusive), 1902-1922 (bulk)


Poems and biographical material of poet and playwright Josephine Preston Peabody.


  • 1902-1953
  • Majority of material found within 1902-1922


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. The papers created by Josephine Preston Peabody are in the public domain. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


3 folders

Collection consists of biographical information on Josephine Preston Peabody; reviews of her work; playbills for the performance of one of her plays; drafts of her poems; photographs of her and her children; and a letter written by her husband.


Poet and playwright Josephine Preston Peabody was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1874, the daughter of Charles Kilham Peabody and Susan Josephine Morell Peabody. She had two sisters, Marion and Florence. (Her parents had another daughter, Maud, who died before Peabody was born.) After the death of her father in 1882, the family moved to Dorchester, Massachusetts. She attended Girls' Latin School in Boston, Massachusetts, and was a special student at Radcliffe College from 1894 to 1896. From 1901 to 1903 she was an instructor in English at Wellesley College. In 1906, she married Lionel Simeon Marks, a British engineer and professor at Harvard University; they had two children, Alison and Lionel. In 1909 she won the Stratford Prize Competition for her verse play The Piper: A Play in Four Acts, based on the pied piper legend. The play was performed at Stratford-upon-Avon's Memorial Theatre in 1910 as part of its Shakespeare Summer Season and was also produced in London in 1910 and at the New Theatre in New York City, in 1911. Her other works include The Wayfarers: A Book of Verse (1898); Fortune and Men's Eyes: New Poems, with a Play (1900); In the Silence (1900); Marlowe: A Drama in Five Acts (1901); The Singing Leaves; a Book of Songs and Spells (1903); The Wings (1905); The Book of the Little Past (1908); The Singing Man (1911); The Wolf of Gubbio (1913); New Poems (1915); and Portrait of Mrs. W.: A Play in Three Acts (1922), a play about Mary Wollstonecraft. Peabody was a pacifist and feminist and much of her work addressed issues affecting women, children, and working people. Peabody joined the British socialist organization the Fabian Society in 1909. She died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1922.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 1371

The papers of Josephine Preston Peabody were deposited in the Radcliffe College Library by her husband, Lionel Simeon Marks, in June 1936, and transferred to the Schlesinger Library in 1968. Theater programs were transferred from Harvard College Library. The papers were given to the Schlesinger Library by her son, Lionel P. Marks, in March 1976.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see the Papers of Josephine Preston Peabody, 1913 (A/P352); Letters of Josephine Preston Peabody, 1917-1921 (A/P352a); the Papers of Josephine Preston Peabody, 1910-1981 (A/P352c); Collection of Josephine Preston Peabody posters, 1905-1910 (A/P352d); the Papers of Josephine Preston Peabody, undated (A/P352e); and Collection of printed material on Josephine Preston Peabody, 1903-1994 (A/P352f).

Processing Information

Processed: February 1976

By: Laurie A. Cadigan

Updated and additional description added: March 2022

By: Susan Earle with the assistance of Paula Aloisio

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by Carl & Lily Pforzheimer Fund, Pforzheimer Fund for the Schlesinger Library, Sybil Shainwald Fund at the Schlesinger Library, and Class of 1955 Manuscript Processing Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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