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Marjorie Bowen papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 454
Scope and Contents

The Marjorie Bowen Papers consist of the literary and personal papers of the British writer Gabrielle Margaret Vere Campbell, who published hundreds of works of fiction, historical fiction, and history, as well as reviews and opinion pieces, in the first half of the twentieth century under the pseudonyms Marjorie Bowen, Robert Paye, George R. Preedy, Joseph Shearing, and John Winch. The collection primarily contains manuscripts, typescripts, and printed versions of her writings, with some photographs, press cuttings, and correspondence files that include letters from authors Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Rebecca West. Also in the collection are papers of Bowen's mother, the author and playwright Mrs. Vere Campbell, and son Hilary Long, in particular more than three hundred letters from Bowen to Long.

Bowen was a remarkably prolific author who issued novels, biographical works, and plays in "astonishing profusion" (Times, December 27, 1952), and she had a special interest in romance, fantasy, occult, and supernatural themes and topics. The papers here contain drafts and other versions of certain titles but represent only a portion of her output. Aside from long-form works, Bowen wrote scores of book reviews, short stories, essays and articles, particularly on issues related to women, including education, character, independence, marriage, and child-rearing. Extremely successful and with a reputation as "outspoken," Bowen was often solicited for her opinion on current events and contemporary lifestyles; the collection holds many examples of those shorter writings. She was well regarded by her literary peers and by her great fans, and the collection holds correspondence from those in both categories.

Auxiliary material covers the lives of family members, including Bowen's mother, Josephine Bowen Ellis Campbell, who published under the name Mrs. Vere Campbell, and ancestors in the Bowen, Ellis, and Campbell families. Present are some of Mrs. Campbell's writings and press cuttings, and a small group of letters, photographs, and personal memoirs of the Ellises, who served as Moravian missionaries in the West Indies during the nineteenth century.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Box 41 (sound recordings): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Marjorie Bowen Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Bernard Quaritch, Ltd., on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2002.


Organized into three series: I. Writings, 1830-1951. II. Personal Papers, 1810-1951. III. Other Papers, 1889-1998.

1810 - 1998
Majority of material found within 1900 - 1951
16 Linear Feet (41 boxes)
Related Names
Bowen, Marjorie, 1888-1952
Language of Materials