Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online

For Participating Institutions

Harry Crosby Papers (Ms.88.3)

Brown University Library

Box A
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912
Tel: 401-863-2146

Biographical/Historical note

Harry Crosby (1898-1929) was an American poet and publisher born in Boston, Massachusetts to a wealthy and socially prominent family. In 1922 Crosby married Mary Phelps Jacob Peabody, a Boston socialite and divorcee, then called "Polly", later known as Caresse Crosby. As members of the American expatriate community in Paris in the 1920s, they founded the Black Sun Press, publishing noted limited editions of James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, D. H. Lawrence and other major authors of the 1920s. Crosby's own writings, both published and in his notebooks, reflect his fascination for the cult of the sun. Crosby committed suicide with his mistress, Josephine Rotch, in New York on December 10, 1929.

Caresse Crosby continued Black Sun Press and Crosby Continental Editions in to the 1940s.

Constance Atherton, the "Comtesse de Jumilhac", was sometimes referred to by Harry Crosby by the nickname "Queen of Pekin". In the 1932 San Francisco Social Register, her name and that of her husband appear as "Rogers, Mr. & Mrs. Eliot (Atherton-de Jumilac-Constance C. COOLIDGE), Santa Barbara, Cal.".