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Quiller-Couch family papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 551

Scope and Contents

The Quiller-Couch Family Papers consist of a photograph album and storybook by J. M. Barrie, postcards and postcard albums, scrapbooks, photographs, and a toy theater version of Peter Pan, all of which belonged to the family of Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch, and span the years 1878-1954. The papers are housed in eight boxes (including 3 oversize boxes) and are organized into five series: Writings of J. M. Barrie, Postcards, Scrapbooks, Photographs, and Peter Pan Toy Theater.

Series I, Writings of J. M. Barrie , contains "The Pippa and Porthos," a photograph album and storybook with 24 photographs taken January 1, 1895, at Fowey, with inscription, "Dedicated to Mrs. Quiller-Couch (without her permission). The Literary matter by J. M. Barrie. The drudgery by Mary Barrie." Photographs show Fowey, two unidentified women, Bevil Quiller-Couch, who Barrie nicknamed "The Pippa," and Barrie's dog Porthos, a St. Bernard. The story chronicles a walk taken by Bevil Quiller-Couch and Porthos around Fowey.

Series II, Postcards , contains postcard albums and loose postcards, probably collected by Foy Felicia Quiller-Couch. The postcard albums are arranged chronologically and the loose postcards are arranged alphabetically into places, people, and other postcards.

Postcard subjects, in both the postcard albums and loose postcards, include many cities, towns, and buildings across England and Europe, particularly France, Germany, and Italy. Postcards also contain pictures of animals, humorous and holiday illustrations, ships, sailboats, artwork, and people, including a series of female "Cinema Stars," English royalty, and others.

Postcard albums contain both blank and written postcards, including postcards sent to Foy Felicia, Bevil, and Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch, Lilian Quiller-Couch (Mrs. John Hay Lobban), and Juilles Couch, an unidentified family member. Most correspondents are unidentified but include Bevil Quiller-Couch and "Aunt Mamie" [Mabel Quiller-Couch?]. Most of the loose postcards are blank, but include postcards sent to Foy Felicia Quller-Couch, Lillian Quiller-Couch (Mrs. John Hay Lobban), and Juilles Couch.

Series III, Scrapbooks , contains two scrapbooks. The first scrapbook is labelled "Arthur Couch" and spans the years 1878-80. It includes forget-me-not, Valentine's Day, Christmas, and New Year's cards from Arthur Quiller-Couch and others, possibly collected by his wife, Louisa. Manuscript notes identify some of the correspondents. The second scrapbook contains miscellaneous engravings and other pictures, many of which were colored by an unidentified child. It includes several manuscript poems, including poems signed "Sarah Ann," "Clara," "Emily," and "Elle Williams."

Series IV, Photographs , contains two undated photographs, a photograph of a portrait of J. M. Barrie, with inscription, "Yours Ever, J. M. Barrie," and a photograph of an unidentified building.

Series V, Peter Pan Toy Theater , contains cutouts and boards from a toy theater for children depicting Barrie's Peter Pan, ca. 1905. The series is arranged alphabetically into Characters, Scenery, and Other Papers. Characters includes cutouts of all of the characters in Peter Pan, including the Darling family, Lost Boys, Mermaids, Peter Pan, Piccaninny tribe, and Pirates. Most characters are represented by more than one cutout. Most cutouts are labelled with the act and scene in which they appear. Some cutouts correspond to multiple scenes.

Scenery includes both cutouts and boards representing the Darling nursery, the Lost Boys's Home under the Ground, the Mermaid's Lagoon, and the pirate ship Jolly Roger. Other papers related to the toy theater include a manuscript note by Foy Felicia Quiller-Couch, which states that the toy theater was a gift to her from her godfather, J. M. Barrie.


  • 1878-1954


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Quiller-Couch Family 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

Gift of Frederick R. Koch, 2002.


5.68 Linear Feet (8 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Writings by J. M. Barrie, postcards, scrapbooks, photographs, and a toy theater version of Peter Pan related to the family of Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch. J. M. Barrie writings consist of a photograph album and manuscript storybook by Barrie, "The Pippa and Porthos," telling the story of Bevil Quiller-Couch and Barrie's dog Porthos on a walk in Fowey, Cornwall. Postcards consist of postcard albums and loose postcards, probably collected by Foy Felicia Quiller-Couch. Postcard correspondents include Bevil and Mabel Quiller-Couch and recipients include Foy Felicia, Bevil, Arthur Thomas, and Lilian Quiller-Couch. Two scrapbooks contain holiday cards, probably collected by Louisa Quiller-Couch, and miscellaneous engravings and clippings, many of which were colored by an unidentified child. Two photographs include a signed portrait of Barrie and an unidentified building. The Peter Pan toy theater includes paper cutouts and boards showing the characters and scenery from Peter Pan.


Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch, 1863-1944, was a writer and anthologist who published under the pseudonym "Q." Quiller-Couch wrote many novels and collections of short stories, and edited the first Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1900. In 1912, he was elected a fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge. Quiller-Couch was a friend of J. M. Barrie.

Quiller-Couch married Louisa Amelia Hicks (1861-1948), with whom he had two children, Bevil Brian (1890-1919) and Foy Felicia (1899-1986), whose godfather was J. M. Barrie. After 1892, the primary family home was The Haven, at Fowey, in Cornwall.

Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch had two sisters, Mabel and Lilian. Lilian married John Hay Lobban.

Quiller-Couch died at The Haven on May 12, 1944.

Guide to the Quiller-Couch Family Papers
Under Revision
by Michael Rush
March 2006
Description rules
Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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