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BISHOP, JOHN PEALE, Class of 1917 (1892-1944)

John Peale Bishop was a noted author, poet, and editor. Born in 1892 in Charles Town, West Virginia, Bishop entered Princeton University in 1913, where he edited the Nassau Literary Magazine. Upon graduation in 1917, he published his first volume of poetry, but his literary career was put on hold when he was commissioned in the United States Infantry during World War I. He returned to the United States in 1920 and joined the staff of Vanity Fair, where he later became managing editor. He began publishing his own poetry but met very little success, so he moved to a small town in France with his new wife. However, the European literary scene was similarly unreceptive to Bishop’s work, and he returned to the United States a few years later. Among his most known works are Many Thousands GoneNow with His LoveMinute ParticularsAct of Darkness, and The Hours, an elegy for his dear friend, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

  • A check-list of Bishop's publications can be found in the Chronicle. For particulars refer to: Max J. Patrick and Robert Wooster Stallman, "John Peale Bishop: A Checklist" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle VII, 2 (February, 1946) pp. 62-79 [full text] . Of the 20 editions of his works in the Library, 12 are in Ex.

  • The John Peale Bishop papers, 1916-1947 [(MSS) C0138], consists of manuscripts, correspondence, documents, drawings, printed materials, and memorabilia of Bishop (Princeton Class of 1917).

  • The Princeton University Archives holds files on all undergraduates. This file contains a number of newspaper articles from both the Daily Princetonian and Princeton Alumni Weekly as well as his alumni records and war records.

    The following is the text from John Peale Bishop's Nassau Herald entry.

    "He was born in Charles Town, West Virginia, May 21, 1892, and has lived in Charles Town, and Hagerstown, Md. He is the son of John Peale Bishop and Margret Miller Cochran. His father was a physician until his death in 1901, and graduated from the University of Maryland, '86. He has one sister. Bishop prepared at Mercersburg Academy. In Princeton, he has won the Class of 1870 Sophomore English Prize, the Francis Biddle Essay Prize, the Class of 1870 Junior English Prize, and the Class of 1883 Junior Essay Prize; Nassau Literary Magazine, (2) (3) (4), Prose Edior, (3); Managine Edior, (4); P.D.A, (1) (2); Triangle Club, (3); Candidate for Freshman Crew; Class Ode Commmittee; Class Poet; Snior Council. Clio Hall. Quadrangle Club. Democrat. Freshman Year he roomed alone at 47 University Place; Sophomore Year he roomed with B.T. Feustman at 21 Holder; Junior and Senior Years he roomed alone at 9 W. Witherspoon. Bishop expects to take up publishing. His permanant address is 311 South George St., Charles Town, West Va."

    According to his War Records Bishop entered teh Army August 27th 1917 at Fort Benjamin in the Infantry branch as an Officer Canditate. He was name 1st Leiutenant on November 27th 1917.He was discarged on October 30th 1919.

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Notable Holdings

  • John Peale Bishop Papers

    The collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, documents, drawings, printed materials, and memorabilia of Bishop (Princeton Class of 1917).