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COLLECTION Identifier: A/P352c

Papers of Josephine Preston Peabody, 1910-1981 (inclusive), 1910-1922 (bulk)


Letter describing funeral of poet and playwright Josephine Preston Peabody and a news clipping regarding a prize she won for her play The Piper: A Play in Four Acts. Letter describing contents of collection is also included.


  • 1910-1981
  • Majority of material found within 1910-1922


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

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.

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Josephine Preston Peabody as well as 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.


1 folder

Collection includes a handwritten letter from Abbie Brooks Hunt to her daughter Edith Hunt Aldridge, describing the funeral of Mrs. Lionel Marks (Josephine Preston Peabody.) She notes that "Mr. Marks and the two poor dear little children did seem so forlorn," and also comments on the presence of Harvard presidents Charles William Eliot and A. Lawerence Lowell at the funeral, Lionel Marks's devotion during Peabody's long illness, and the fact that an autopsy was performed. She also discusses social matters and notes that on her daughter's recommendation, she read and enjoyed Sheila Kay-Smith's novel Joanna Godden, adding "I can see why it is not considered a fit book for a public library." Also included are a clipping reporting on Peabody's winning of the Stratford Prize and a typed letter from the collection's donor, Josephine Preston Babbitt, identifying some of the individuals mentioned in Hunt's letter.


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: 81-M289

The papers of Josephine Preston Peabody were given to the Schlesinger Library by Katherine M. Babbitt in 1981.

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, 1902-1953 (A/P352b); 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


By: Schlesinger Library staff

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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