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Josephine Preston Peabody (1874–1922)

Author of Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew

Includes the names: J P Peabody, Josephine P. Peabody

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Josephine Preston Peabody was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents Charles Kilham Peabody and Susan Josephine Morril were avid theatergoers who shared their interest with her. She loved reading and began writing at a young age. When she was about 10 years old, her father died, and the family moved into the home of her maternal grandmother in Dorchester, Massachusetts. She published her first poem in The Woman’s Journal at age 14. She graduated from Girls' Latin School in Boston, and after more of her poems were published by the Atlantic Monthly and Scribner’s Magazine in 1894, she acquired a patron who paid for her to attend Radcliffe College. Her first book of poems, The Wayfarers (1898), was followed by a play, Fortune and Men’s Eyes (1900), based on Shakespeare’s sonnets, and Marlowe (1901), a verse play about Christopher Marlowe. From 1901 to 1903, she lectured on poetry and English literature at Wellesley College. In 1906, she married Lionel Simeon Marks, a British-born engineering professor at Harvard University, with whom she had two children. In 1909, she won the Stratford Play Competition for her play The Piper, which was produced in London in 1910 and in New York City in 1911. Other works included the poetry collections The Singing Man (1911) and Harvest Moon (1916); The Wings (1907), a verse drama; The Wolf of Gubbio (1913), a play about St. Francis of Assisi; The Chameleon (1917), a comedy; and Portrait of Mrs. W. (1922), a play about Mary Wollstonecraft. Many of her writings focused on women's issues. She died of illness in 1922, at age 48.
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