Speare, Florence Lewis. Papers of Florence Lewis Speare, 1911-1968: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: MC 210
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Florence Lewis Speare
Title: Papers of Florence Lewis Speare, 1911-1968
Quantity: .42 linear feet (1 file box)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Published copies of plays, correspondence, programs, photographs, etc., of Florence
Lewis Speare, playwright and teacher.
Accession number: 1473
The papers of Florence Lewis Speare were deposited with the Schlesinger Library in
October 1968 by M. Edmund Speare.
Processed: January 1975
By: Suzanne McLaughlin
Access. Collection is open for research.
Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Florence Lewis Speare as well as copyright
in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
Florence Lewis Speare Papers, 1911-1968; item description, dates. MC 210, folder #.
Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Florence Lewis Speare was born in 1886. As an undergraduate at Radcliffe College,
she was president of Professor G. P. Baker's "English 47" drama club and wrote two
prize-winning plays, "Jones vs. Jones" and "Let's Go A-Gardening." After graduation
in 1913 she continued to write plays and novels; several of her plays were published
and some produced in Boston and elsewhere. She also taught, in 1919-1920 founding
the Department of Drama and Expression at Goucher College and lecturing at Johns Hopkins
University, and teaching at the Breadloaf Graduate Summer School of English at Middlebury
College in 1925. As president of the New York Radcliffe Club and chairman of the entertainment
committee of the New York Town Hall Club, she organized dinners in honor of Professor
Baker and Radcliffe Presidents Le Baron Russell Briggs and Ada Comstock.
The papers of Florence Lewis Speare consist primarily of published copies of her plays
including Jones versus Jones (1913), written when president of the Radcliffe Drama Club; The Star Gleams: A Community Christmas Choral (1919); and The Bride and the Burglar (1922). Also included are correspondence, programs, photographs, a biographical sketch
by her husband, and clippings. The collection was arranged by her husband, M. Edmund
Speare, after her death in 1965.
- A:. Three photographs of Florence Lewis Speare: (1) Bachrach portrait at her prime creative
powers; (2) as lecturer in Middlebury College; (3) Plymouth Theatre opening of her
first long play-a dramatization of her first novel inspired by Radcliffe
- B:. A 2-page biographical sketch prepared by Florence Lewis Speare's husband, in brevity,
May 3, 1968.
- C:. Dedicatory page (photocopy) in George Bernard Shaw's Plays & Dramatic Opinions, a gift to Florence Lewis Speare as President of the "English 47" Club, by Radcliffe
members of the Drama Workshop.
- D:. Published copy of "Jones versus Jones", product of the "47 Workshop", which won the
Keith Theatres' award for The First One Act Harvard Prize Play, 1913
- E:. Part program of the Plymouth Theatre, Boston, week of November 3, 1913, of Florence
Lewis Speare's first long play "Let's Go A-Gardening", winner of the Repertory Theatre
$1500 prize--a dramatization in "English 47" of Florence Lewis Speare's first novel-"Climbing
Up to Nature".
- F:. Published copy of "The Star Gleams: A Community Christmas Choral" first presented
in manuscript form Christmas Eve, 1919, to dedicate the Christmas Tower in front of
the Emmanuel Church, Baltimore.
- G:. Published Copy of "The Bride and the Burglar", one of Florence's many one-act comedies,
issued in both the USA and England, 1922.
- H:. Three units of Florence Lewis Speare's production in 1920 of "The Birth of America"--an
historical pageant commemorating the James Towne Colony in 1619, and the Plymouth
Landing in 1620. The program of the play, and two letters in praise of Florence Lewis
Speare's creative abilities.
- I:. Published copy of "The Birth of America" with the dedicatory letter to Florence Lewis
Speare by the Author.
- J:. Florence Lewis Speare as a university teacher: (1) 'Breadloaf' School of English,
Middlebury College, Vermont; (2) Goucher Coll. Baltimore; (3) Johns Hopkins University,
Florence Lewis Speare's first year.
- K:. Town Hall Club dinner, February 15, 1931, to honor Professor G.P. Baker--program and
- L:. Photograph of the Reception Committee at the Baker dinner, February 15, 1931.
- M:. New York Radcliffe Alumnae Luncheon to President Ada Comstock-photograph and telegram.
- N:. Three items: In Memory of President Briggs; Baker Scholarship; Reception to Professor
- O:. A Few Discovered Programs of Florence Lewis Speare's activities in the Town Hall &
Women's University Clubs, New York City.
- P:. Two letters from Johns Hopkins University officials expressing gratitude for the receipt
of Florence Lewis Speare's 55 typed lectures on Modern & Contemporary Drama she delivered there
- Q:. A 2-page photocopy of The Florence Lewis Speare Memorial Collection requested by the Curator of the Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard, given
by Florence Lewis Speare's husband, March 21, 1966, and graciously acknowledged by
Helen D. Willard, Curator.
- R:. The Story of Florence Lewis Speare's Ancestry and a Glimpse of her Social Life: (1)
Armorial Ensign of the Scottish Lewises & Morrisons; (2) her relationship with the
Younger Pitt; (3) a devoted many-years' friendship with Sir William and Lady Craigie;
- S:. Washington D.C. newspaper obituaries
Baker, George Pierce, 1866-1935
Briggs, Le Baron Russell, 1855-1934
Comstock, Ada Louise
Radcliffe College--Alumni and alumnae