Corbin, John, 1870-1959

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John Corbin was a drama critic, Shakespearean scholar, and author; born in Chicago, Ill., May 2, 1870; graduated from Harvard, 1892; M.A., Harvard, 1893; studied at Balliol College, Oxford, 1894-95; instructor of English at Harvard, 1895-96; assistant editor of Harper's magazine, 1897-1900; drama critic for Harper's weekly, 1899-1900; member of the editorial staff of the Encyclopedia britannica, 1900-02; drama critic for the New York times, 1902-05, 1917-19, and for the New York sun, 1905-08; literary manager of the New Theatre, New York, 1908-10; secretary of the Drama Society, New York, 1913-16; editorial writer for the New York Times, 1919-26; died Aug. 30, 1959.

From the description of Collection, 1894-1956. (University of Nebraska - Lincoln). WorldCat record id: 33418604

Epithet: of Notting Hill

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000572.0x00001e

John Corbin was born in Chicago in 1870, received a B.A. in English from Harvard in 1892 and an M.A. in 1893. His graduate study focused on Shakespeare, whose life would be a subject of Corbin's future research and writing. Corbin's first published book, The Elizabethan Hamlet (Scribner's, 1895) was based on his master's thesis. Corbin worked as an editor, free-lance writer, and drama critic for many magazines and newspapers including Harper's, The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, and the Saturday Evening Post. He also served as Literary Director of the New Theatre from 1908 to 1910 and as secretary for the Drama Society in New York from 1913 to 1916. In 1925 he left the New York Times to research and write about George Washington, publishing a book, The Unknown Washington, in 1930. Thereafter he worked as a free-lance writer. John Corbin died in New York in 1959.

From the description of Papers, 1894-1956. (University of Nebraska - Lincoln). WorldCat record id: 51064507

Born in Chicago on 2 May 1870, John Corbin was the fifth child of Calvin Rich Corbin and Caroline Elizabeth Fairfield Corbin. At the age of 18, he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and entered Harvard College in the fall of 1888. He graduated with a B.A. degree in English in 1892 and a M.A. in 1893. His graduate study focused on Shakespeare and dramatic literature. From 1893 to 1894, he worked as editor of Outing magazine. For one year, Corbin attended Baloil College at Oxford University where he turned his master's thesis into a publishable monograph. In the spring of 1895, Scribner's in New York published The Elizabethan Hamlet .

Corbin returned to the United States and served as an instructor at Harvard for the 1896-1897 school year. He then resigned from this position and went to work as an assistant editor of Harper's Magazine . He wrote his first dramatic criticism for Harper's Magazine and Harper's Weekly . During his time at Harper's, Corbin met Amy Foster. They married on 1 November 1899 and remained together for the next sixty years. In 1900 Corbin went to work for the Encyclopedia Britannica and began work on another book. Corbin focused on his experiences at Oxford, which appear in An American at Oxford, published by Houghton Mifflin in 1902. In addition to his work, Corbin also wrote a number of free-lance articles for The New York Times, Scribner's Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, and The Forum .

From 1902 to 1904 Corbin worked as a drama critic for The New York Times . He left the position at the New York Times in December 1904 and went to work for The New York Sun . He remained at the Sun until the summer of 1907. Corbin worked on numerous free-lance articles for The Saturday Evening Post, which Houghton Mifflin republished in book form in 1908 with the title, Which College for the Boy?. On 20 July 1908 Corbin became Literary Director of the New Theatre, a repertory theater founded by W. K. Vanderbilt, J. P. Morgan, John J. Astor, and other members of New York's high society. He resigned as director in 1910, and the New Theatre closed one year later.

Corbin went back to free-lance writing, as well as to writing and producing plays, after leaving the New Theatre. He acted as secretary for the Drama Society in New York from 1913 to 1916. In 1917 Corbin returned to the New York Times as a drama critic and remained there until 1925. After leaving the Times he devoted the next four years to studying American History. His research led to the publication of a biography of George Washington, titled The Unknown Washington, in 1930. Corbin continued as a free-lance writer for the remainder of his life. During his career he authored a total of twelve books and over one hundred articles and reviews.

John and Amy Corbin moved into a convalescent home in Briarcliff Manor, New York, in the fall of 1957. Amy Corbin passed away in the spring of 1959. John Corbin died a few months later on 30 August 1959.

From the guide to the John Corbin, Papers, 1894-1956

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Hand, Learned, 1872-1961. Papers, 1840-1961 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Family papers, 1853-1954. Theodore Roosevelt Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
creatorOf Corbin, John, 1870-1959. Letter to Horace Howard Furness, Jr., 1923. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Corbin, John, 1870-1959. Collection, 1894-1956. University of Nebraska - Lincoln
referencedIn Century Company records, 1870-1924 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company contracts, 1831-1979 (inclusive) 1880-1940 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Portraits, ca. 1852-ca. 2004 Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Wendell family papers, 1620-1921 Houghton Library
referencedIn John Mason Brown papers, 1922-1967. Houghton Library
creatorOf Hamilton, Clayton Meeker, 1881-1946. Papers, 1918. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf Corbin, John, 1870-1959,. Autograph letter signed from John Corbin, Cambridge, Mass., to Samuel A. Boyle [manuscript], 1895 September 25. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Vol. XVIII (ff. 259). April 1900-1905.COUNTY OF London: Correspondence and papers of J. Burns as L.C.C. representative for Battersea: 1889-1905.Trade Unions: Correspondence, speeches, etc., of J. Burns, M.P., 1872-1905.includes:f. 1 George ... British Library
referencedIn Baker, George Pierce, 1866-1935. Papers of George Pierce Baker, 1882-1926 (inclusive), 1890-1926 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Warren, Arthur, 1860-1924. Letters received, 1884-1920. Boston Athenaeum
creatorOf John Corbin, Papers, 1894-1956 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library
referencedIn Thomas W. Lamont John Masefield collection, 1918-1947. Houghton Library
referencedIn Frost (Edwin Collins) and William Henry Frost Papers, Frost (Edwin Collins) and William Henry Frost papers, (bulk 1890-1927), 1890-1941 John Hay Library, Special Collections
referencedIn Frost (Edwin Collins) and William Henry Frost Papers, Frost (Edwin Collins) and William Henry Frost papers, (bulk 1890-1927), 1890-1941 John Hay Library, Special Collections
creatorOf Corbin, John, 1870-1959. Papers, 1894-1956. University of Nebraska - Lincoln
creatorOf Frost, Edwin Collins, 1867-1956. Edwin Collins Frost papers, 1846-1967. Brown University, Brown University Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Amery, L. S. (Leopold Stennett), 1873-1955 person
associatedWith Baker, George Pierce, 1866-1935. person
correspondedWith Boyle, Samuel A. person
correspondedWith Brown, John Mason, 1900-1969 person
correspondedWith Campbell, Oscar James, 1879-1970 person
correspondedWith Century Company corporateBody
correspondedWith Cole, Corinne Robinson Alsop, 1886-1971 person
correspondedWith Coolidge, Calvin, 1872-1933 person
correspondedWith Curtis, Lionel, 1872-1955 person
correspondedWith Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel, 1853-1935 person
associatedWith Frost, Edwin Collins, 1867-1956. person
associatedWith Frost, William G. (William Goodell), 1854-1938 person
associatedWith Hamilton, Clayton Meeker, 1881-1946. person
correspondedWith Hand, Learned, 1872-1961 person
correspondedWith Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964 person
associatedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
correspondedWith Hughes, Rupert, 1872-1956 person
correspondedWith Lamont, Thomas W. (Thomas William), 1870-1948 person
correspondedWith Perry, Bliss, 1860-1954 person
correspondedWith Porter, Charlotte Endymion, 1859-1942 person
correspondedWith Rockefeller, Abby Aldrich person
correspondedWith Rockefeller, Abby Aldrich, 1874-1948 person
correspondedWith Rowse, A. L. (Alfred Leslie), 1903-1997 person
associatedWith Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 person
associatedWith Warren, Arthur, 1860-1924. person
correspondedWith Wendell family. family
Place Name Admin Code Country
London, county of, England
United States
United States
Theater critics--Archives
Authors, American--20th century--Archives
Theater critics--United States--Archives


Birth 1870-05-02

Death 1959-08-30




Ark ID: w61266jr

SNAC ID: 51486691