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COLLECTION Identifier: 82-M96

Additional papers of Helen Howe, 1872-1975


Addenda to the papers (77-M218, 78-M104) of Helen Howe, monologuist and author.


  • 1872-1975

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research, with the exception of folder #21, which is closed.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Helen Howe 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.


3.42 linear feet ((3 cartons, 1 file box) plus 1 folio+ folder, 2 folio folders, 1 object)

These addenda include business correspondence, accounts, programs, publicity, fan mail and clippings documenting Helen Howe's theatrical career, 1925-1961; correspondence from publishers and the public about her first books; short stories, drafts, working notes for novels and a play; family correspondence; engagement books and diaries; photographs of Howe and family.


Helen Howe, monologuist and author, was born in Boston on January 11, 1905, the daughter of Mark Anthony DeWolfe Howe, biographer and author, and Fanny Howe, essayist. She was the sister of Quincy Howe, editor and radio commentator, and of Mark DeWolfe Howe, professor of law at Harvard University. Howe attended Milton Academy and Radcliffe College x'27, and studied acting with Georges Vitray in France. She taught at the Fiske School in Boston for one year and then went to the New York Theater Guild in 1926. There her talent for monologues was encouraged and she began performing, at first for friends and then in public. She was acclaimed in London in 1936 and ranked with Ruth Draper and Cornelia Otis Skinner for her pungent satirical sketches. During World War II she toured the country for "Community Concerts." Her first novel The Whole Heart was published in 1943, followed by We Happy Few (1946), The Circle of the Day (1950), The Success (1956), and The Fires of Autumn (1959). The Gentle Americans, 1864-1900: Biography of A Breed, a family history that focused on her father, Mark Anthony DeWolfe Howe, was published in 1965. In 1946 Howe married Reginald Allen, Curator of the Gilbert and Sullivan Collection of the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York, and former administrator of the Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 82-M96

These addenda were given to the Schlesinger Library in May 1982 by Reginald Allen.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Helen Howe papers, 1872-1975 (77-M218, 78-M104).


  1. Carton 1: 1-50
  2. Carton 2: 51-87v
  3. Carton 3: 87-114
  4. Box 4: 115-126

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: June 1982

By: Jane S. Knowles, Liza Vorenberg

Howe, Helen, 1905-1975. Additional papers of Helen Howe, 1872-1975: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

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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