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Susan Glaspell's
Analysis of the Midwestern Character


From Books at Iowa 27 November 1977)
Copyright: The University of Iowa


When Susan Glaspell accepted Professor E. C. Mabie's invitation to come to Iowa City for the opening of the new University Theater in 1936, she indicated that the trip would be one of business as well as pleasure. "I am here in Chicago because of my feeling about this very thing -- the writers and theaters of the Middle West .... So very happily indeed I will set out for Iowa City .... I had been meaning to write you about this job, for I am on the search for plays o£ the Midwest, by the Midwest and for the Midwest, and I felt you would have some suggestions for me." [1]

Twelve years later Susan Glaspell would die of viral pneumonia and pulmonary embolism at her home in Provincetown, Massachusetts. At the time of her Iowa City visit, she could look back on a career as a journalist, novelist, actress, dramatist, and co-founder of one of the most famous little theater groups in America, the Provincetown Players. The highlights of that career included the thrill of seeing her first novel become a best-seller; the notoriety that she earned as the author of The Verge, a play variously described by the critics as full of "fanatical feminism," nonsense, vision, and hysteria; the excitement of winning the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1931; the satisfaction of knowing that the first play she wrote on her own, Trifles, had become one of the most widely anthologized and frequently produced one-act plays in America. For over 40 years Susan Glaspell lived and wrote in Davenport, Des Moines, Chicago, New York, Provincetown, Delphi, Paris, and London; at the time of her Iowa City visit she was working in Chicago as director of the Midwest Play Bureau of the Federal Theater Project, a New Deal program designed to provide work for unemployed theater people during the Depression.

Another aim of the Federal Theater Project was to encourage the development of regional American drama by native playwrights. As director of the Midwest Play Bureau, Susan Glaspell's job was to collect manuscripts and published plays that dealt with midwestern themes, were of special interest to midwestern audiences, and were written by midwestern playwrights. She was also responsible for selecting scripts, assisting the authors in developing them, and recommending the best scripts for production.

Susan Glaspell was just the person for the job. Her grandfather, Silas Glaspell, had come to Davenport, Iowa, as a pioneer settler in 1839. Susan was born there, most probably in 1876, attended Davenport public schools and graduated from Drake University in 1899 with a Ph.B. As a reporter for the Davenport Morning Republican, the Davenport Weekly Outlook, the Des Moines Daily News, and the Des Moines Capital, she began to write about Iowa people and events early in her career. Later, when she turned to fiction and drama, she used Iowa characters and settings in many of the 14 plays, 9 novels and over 50 short stories, essays, and articles that she wrote.

But Susan Glaspell was not, as some scholars have alleged, a local colorist. Although several of her short stories and novels are set in "Freeport," which could easily be Davenport, Iowa, Susan Glaspell makes no attempt to record the dialect of the people who live there or describe the physical setting in enough detail to make the locale distinguishable as Davenport. "Local Color in a novel," wrote another Iowa author, Hamlin Garland, "means that it has such quality of texture and back-ground that it could not have been written in any other place or by anyone else than a native." [2] By this criterion, Susan Glaspell's fiction cannot be considered local color. Another commentator, Willard Thorp, points out that local color writers "were more concerned with telling an entertaining story than taking account of probabilities of action and character. " [3] Some Glaspell stories are mere entertainments, but most of her writing is focused on the tension between the midwestern community and the individual who feels its conventions too limiting to allow for personal development. Because she is interested in the way the Midwest shapes and limits its inhabitants, Susan Glaspell is more appropriately termed a regionalist rather than a local colorist. "Although my home has for some years been in the East," she wrote a publisher late in her life, "almost everything I write has its roots in the Midwest; I suppose because my own are there." [4]

Susan Glaspell's interest in the Midwest and its effect on its inhabitants was sparked when she was faced with the consequences of defying one of its most inviolable precepts. After working in Des Moines and Chicago as a reporter, she returned to Davenport around 1903 to try her luck at free-lancing. Also returning to Davenport about this time was George (Jig) Cram Cook, scion of a wealthy, old-line Davenport family. [5] Jig had been teaching at Stanford University, but had become dissatisfied and had returned to the family estate to raise vegetables and write. Susan and Jig were drawn into the same circle of socialists, writers, and intellectuals, and became friends, then lovers. A few years earlier Jig had met and become engaged to Mollie Price, a Chicago reporter. When his divorce from his first wife came through, Jig honored his commitment to Mollie, and they were married in January of 1908.

Susan tried to avoid temptation by traveling to Europe and visiting a friend in Colorado upon her return. But when she did come back to Davenport in 1910, she and Jig became romantically involved again. It was soon made clear to both parties that they had outraged Davenport society.

In her third novel, Fidelity (1915), Susan Glaspell wrote out her resentment of that society, her impatience with its simplistic sense of morality and its blind adherence to convention. Like Susan Glaspell, Ruth Holland, the heroine of Fidelity, lives in a small Iowa town and falls in love with a married man there. The novel traces the stages of Ruth's development when, after eloping with Stuart Williams, she returns to Freeport 11 years later when her father is dying. Though Ruth is eager to resume old friendships and make amends with her family, most of the people with whom she was once close are unable to see her as anything but "that kind of woman." Ruth's growth in the novel is measured by her realization of their limitations as human beings, her willingness to make friends with people of a lower social class, her discovery that new ideas, books, music, and conversation can fill the void in her life. She even faces up to the deterioration of her love for Stuart Williams, and when his wife finally grants him a divorce, Ruth chooses to set off, alone, for New York City rather than marry a man she no longer loves.

Although several early stories and her first two novels, The Glory of the Conquered (1909) and The Visioning (1911), are set in the Midwest, Fidelity is Susan Glaspell's first attempt at an in-depth analysis of the midwestern character. The characters in Fidelity are depicted as well-intentioned but shallow, so caught up in the quotidian aspects of life that they are unable to understand its more complex questions, so limited in experience that they can think only in terms of black and white moral categories. "I do think," concedes Cora Albright, one of Freeport's more worldly natives, "that the town has been pretty hard about it. But then you know what these middle-western towns are." [6]

Ruth's cousin and the nurse who is caring for her father are genuinely perplexed to find that a woman who lives with another woman's husband can be such a natural and caring person. Ruth's girlhood friend, Edith Lawrence Blair, is eager to visit her, but too enchained by convention to follow her feelings. Susan Glaspell also illustrates another characteristic of the midwestern small town: the interrelatedness of people's lives that is so far-reaching that their actions affect not only themselves but a great many other people. Ruth's elopement with Stuart Williams had nearly put an end to her brother's engagement to a cousin of Stuart Williams's wife. "O, yes, in these small towns everybody's somehow mixed up with everyone else," observes Cora Albright, who is also related to Mrs. Williams and will not visit Ruth for that reason. "And of course . . . that is where it is hard to answer the people who seem so hard about Ruth. It isn't just one's self, or even just one's family -- though it broke them pretty completely, you know; but a thing like that reaches out into so many places-hurts so many lives." [7]

By the time Fidelity was published, Susan Glaspell had left Davenport and lingered for a brief time in Chicago before moving on to Greenwich Village. On April 14, 1913, she married Jig Cook and settled down to what promised to be a quiet life keeping house, seeing friends, writing short stories and novels.

But her career was to take a very different turn. At the time of her marriage to Jig Cook, she had written not a single play; yet in just six years New York Times critic John Corbin would write, "If the Provincetown Players had done nothing more than to give us the delicately humorous and sensitive plays of Susan Glaspell, they would have amply justified their existence." [8]

It is often said that Susan Glaspell and Jig Cook "founded" the Provincetown Players, but that word implies a more formal and carefully conceived act than was really the case. It would be more accurate to say that Jig and Susan were the catalysts who transformed the happy combination of talented people, abundant leisure time, and receptive intellectual climate into the phenomenon known as the Provincetown Players.

Jig and Susan, like other couples who were writers, spent their winters in Greenwich Village and their summers in Provincetown. Stimulated by the Washington Square Players, who had begun their theater venture during the winter of 1914, the Cooks and their friends put on two original plays in the home of Hutchins Hapgood and Neith Boyce. They repeated their production later that summer of 1915, adding two more original plays to the bill, using the fish house on Mary Heaton Vorse's wharf for a theater. The next summer, better organized and with more members, they renovated the fish house, and it was here, in 1916, that Susan Glaspell's most famous play, Trifles, was produced.

The Midwest comes off no better in Trifles than it does in Fidelity. This one-act play takes place in a farmhouse in rural Iowa; the terse, chopped dialogue of the five characters suggests the harshness of their environment. The action involves a murder investigation. John Wright has been found, strangled, in his bed, and though the suspect, his wife, never appears in the play, her presence is felt in the clues she has left in her kitchen. The farm women who have accompanied the county attorney and the sheriff to the Wright home know that Minnie has changed since her marriage to the frugal and taciturn John Wright. They are able to empathize with her, understanding the role that isolation has played in the incident. "I know what stillness is," says the sheriffs wife. "When we homesteaded in Dakota, and my first baby died -- after he was two years old, and me with no other then --" [9] The discovery of Minnie's canary in her sewing box, dead, its neck wrung, convinces the women that Minnie did, indeed, kill her husband. "If there's been years and years of nothing, then a bird to sing to you, it would be awful-still, after the bird was still," says Mrs. Hale. [10] When the men return from a fruitless investigation of the scene of the crime, the women say nothing about what they've found. In Trifles, Susan Glaspell has indicted the sterility of midwestern farm life, as well as a negligent and insensitive husband, for Minnie Wright's breakdown.

After Eugene O'Neill began to put on his plays with the group, the Provincetown Players moved to Greenwich Village, where they remodelled an old stable on MacDougal Street to serve as their theater. They soon became known for their eagerness to experiment, to give the unknown playwright a chance to be produced and to have full control over his production. They were still amateurs, making barely enough to cover expenses; their productions lacked polish, yet the New York critics often found their amateurism refreshing: "As we understand it, an experiment is something which turns cinders into gold or explodes with a fearful crash and odor," wrote Heywood Broun. "In this sense the Provincetown Players have established a most efficient experimental theater. Some of the explosions can be heard even when the plays are read miles away from MacDougal Street." [11]

Because experimentation was the raison d'etre of the Provincetown Players, the plays they produced were extremely varied. Floyd Dell's A Long Time Ago was done in the Greek style, with the actors wearing the traditional buskins. Eugene O'Neill put on realistic sea plays, as well as the expressionistic The Emperor Jones at the Provincetown. Jig Cook combined an anti-war theme with a Greek setting in The Athenian Women, while Edna St. Vincent Millay turned to the tradition of Italian commedia dell'arte for Aria Da Capo. But Susan Glaspell took her inspiration from the region of her birth, setting several of the 11 plays she wrote for the Provincetown in Iowa's Mississippi Valley, most notably Chains of Dew and Inheritors.

Inheritors, produced during the 1920-21 season, traces the development of an Iowa family from 1870 to 1920, as the vision of the pioneers wanes, replaced by a narrower, more pragmatic world outlook. This historical emphasis may have been Susan Glaspell's response to the isolationism that pervaded America after World War I and was especially strong in the Midwest, for Inheritors is suffused with the conviction that generation must give to generation, white men to red men, nation to nation, if people all over the world are to live in peace and fulfillment.

This belief is espoused by Silas Morton, son of pioneer parents who came to Iowa in the 1830s and took the Indians' land for their own. His guilt about this transgression and his admiration for his neighbor, Count Felix Fejevary, a Hungarian revolutionary who came to America and lost an arm fighting in the Civil War, inspire him to found a college on his land for the children of the pioneers. "There will one day be a college in these cornfields by the Mississippi because long ago a great dream was fought for in Hungary," [12] he tells Count Fejevary.

The next generation sees the college become a reality, but by 1920 the humanitarianism of Silas Morton has given way to pragmatism and isolationism. "This college is for Americans. I'm not going to have foreign revolutionaries come here and block the things I've spent my life working for," [13] says college president Felix Fejevary, Jr. One who feels differently is Madeline Morton, Silas's granddaughter. In attacking the police who come to arrest some Hindu students protesting British colonial policy, she faces imprisonment unless she recants. Her father Ira urges her to do this. "What good has ever come to this house through carin' about the world?" [14] he asks. One of Madeline's favorite professors warns her that she will suffer disastrous consequences if she continues to defy Felix Fejevary. But Madeline chooses to go to prison rather than desert the Hindus' cause. Her rationale reflects Susan Glaspell's strong ties to the land, her feeling that her pioneer past provides a link and a sense of connectedness with other peoples of the world:

Silas Morton wasn't afraid of Felix Fejevary, the Hungarian revolutionist. He laid this country at the refugee's feet! That's what Uncle Felix says himself -- with the left half of his mind. Now -- the Hindu revolutionists --! I took a walk late yesterday afternoon. Night came, and for some reason I thought of how many nights the earth had known long before we knew the earth. The moon came up and I thought of how the moonlight made this country beautiful before any man knew that moonlight was beautiful. It gave me a feeling of coming from something a long way back. Moving toward -- what will be here when I'm not here. Moving. We seem here, now, in America, to have forgotten we're moving. Think it's just us -- just now. Of course, that would make us afraid, and -- ridiculous. [15]

In Inheritors, Susan Glaspell suggests that Iowans are too used up from their struggle with the elements to take a broad view of the world. The self-reliance and determination that the pioneers developed to survive on the prairies have turned to self-absorption and obstinacy in their descendants. Ira Morton, whose obsession with breeding corn borders on the irrational, is described as a "dwarfed pioneer child." [16] "Your grandmother Morton -- the first white woman in this region -- she dared too much, was too lonely, feared and bore too much," explains Fejevary to Madeline. "They did it, for the task gave them a courage for the task. But it -- left a scar." [17]

Chains of Dew, produced by the Provincetown in April of 1922, is also set in the Mississippi Valley, but it differs in emphasis and tone from Inheritors. Chains of Dew is a comedy in three acts which focuses on the misconceptions that easterners and midwesterners hold about each other and pokes fun at pretentiousness in both cultures. The protagonist is Seymore Standist, who vacillates between Bluff City, Iowa, where he is a bank director, vestryman, and father of two, and Greenwich Village, where he is well known as a poet. As Seymore understands the situation, the great tragedy of his life is that his family and civic responsibilities in Bluff City prevent him from devoting his life to poetry. "I'm going away from here now, away from this life I care about -- back to that world I don't belong in. Back to bondage . . . ," [18] Seymore complains to his friends, publisher Leon Whittaker and Nora Powers, a birth control advocate.

The worlds of eastern sophistication and midwestern respectability collide when Seymore's friends, convinced that his dissociated life is destroying him, visit Bluff City to persuade his wife and his mother to set him free. They expect to find Bluff City inhabited by philistines and bluenoses; instead they find Seymore's mother to be a person of broad understanding and his wife eager to bob her hair and become the first president of the Mississippi Valley Birth Control League. The targets of Susan Glaspell's satire included both self-righteous Bluff City matrons and superficial New York radicals. "Birth control is the smart thing in New York this season," Nora Powers informs the Bluff City women. "It's rather a bore -- the way they run after us. When suffrage grew so -- sort of common -- the really exclusive people turned to birth control. It's rather more special, you know." [19]

During their visit, Leon and Nora come to understand that Seymore's limitations lie in himself rather than in his environment. The person who leads them to this insight is Seymore's mother, whose life-long residence in the Midwest as wife and mother of seven has not dulled her perception. "His soul must be soul to an alien. It's made that way," she tells Nora. "Here with us-longing for you, whom he cannot have. There with you-the pull of us, to whom he must return. Don't you see what a fix we put him in when we get together?" [20]

Susan Glaspell never saw Chains of Dew produced, for in January of 1922 she and Jig Cook had sailed for Greece, where they would live for nearly two years. When the amateur spirit of the Provincetown Players began to wane and a new sense of professionalism took its place, Jig sought spontaneity and love of drama in Greece, the place of its origin. Susan Glaspell wrote little during this period, but upon Jig's death in Delphi in 1924, she returned to Provincetown, buried herself in her work, and once again became a best-selling novelist. Brook Evans (1928 ), Fugitive's Return (1929 ), and Ambrose Holt and Family (1931) make use of midwestern background, but only in the latter, which is similar in characters and plot to Chains of Dew, is setting linked to theme. During the twenties Susan Glaspell also published a volume of Jig Cook's poems, Greek Coins (1925 ), as well as his biography, The Road to the Temple (1927). With Norman Matson, a young writer with whom she was living, she wrote The Comic Artist (1927), a full-length play which was later produced on Broadway. During this period her efforts culminated in the production of Alison's House, a full-length play based on the life of Emily Dickinson but set in the Mississippi Valley, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1931.

The Claspell-Matson relationship fell apart in 1932 when Norman succumbed to the charms of a 19-year-old college girl. The next four years were nearly unbearable for Susan: she had lost her companion, her writing was going badly, her health was deteriorating, and she was in financial difficulties. In 1936 she accepted Hallie Flanagan's invitation to head the Midwest Play Bureau; perhaps she sensed the spirit of the old Provincetown Players in the Federal Theater's emphasis on assisting new playwrights and promoting regional American drama.

Susan Glaspell resigned from the Play Bureau in the spring of 1938 and lived for a time in Chicago before returning to Provincetown. Three more novels were published. The Morning Is Near Us (1940 ) and Norma Ashe (1942) make use of the now-familiar Mississippi Valley of Susan Glaspell's birth, but only in her last novel, Judd Rankin's Daughter (1945), is this setting intrinsic to the thematic development of the novel.

"The Middle West must have taken strong hold of me in my early years for I've never ceased trying to figure out why it is as it is," Susan Glaspell wrote to Edmund Wilson. "And [I] think maybe, through Judd Rankin, I got at a bit of the truth." [21] Her instincts proved correct, for Judd Rankin's Daughter is the most successful treatment of the Midwest in the Glaspell canon. Three characters in the novel, Judd Rankin, his daughter Frances Rankin Mitchell, and their Cousin Adah, represent three different perspectives on the Midwest, and because these characters come across as real people, engaging our sympathy, the novel succeeds.

Judd Rankin is an Iowa farmer who began publishing a newspaper, Out Here, to defy the people who said, "A man with ideas would starve to death out here." In his respect for his pioneer heritage and in his isolationist leanings, he is the typical midwesterner, lovable but tough, who describes himself as "born of woman and full of trouble." [22]

Frances Rankin Mitchell has both eastern and midwestern ties. Her husband is a New York writer who is active in liberal causes and strongly supportive of America's involvement in World War II. His ideas are in sharp contrast to those of her father, whose view of the war is, "Mind your own business and be prepared to give food to the starving." [23] In this novel the Midwest and the East Coast come to symbolize opposing ways of viewing the world. Frances, who owes allegiance to both regions, is confronted with this conflict when her father publishes a collection of his articles from Out Here and her husband reviews the book, exposing the limitations of Judd Rankin's outlook. As Judd Rankin is the quintessential midwesterner, Frances is the midwesterner who, having lived in other regions and learned of new ideas, has a more ambivalent attitude toward the Midwest.

Frances's ambivalence is awakened by developments other than the publication of her father's book, for the liberalism she adopted is under attack on all fronts. Her friend Steve Halsey, once a proletarian novelist, seems to be retreating to a more conservative America First stance. Frances is brought face-to-face with anti-Semitism when her best friend refuses to sell her house to a Jewish woman. And her son, Judson, returns from the Pacific in a state of nervous collapse, blaming his parents' politics for the horrors he has witnessed in combat.

Cousin Adah, who dies in the first part of the novel, nevertheless continues to be a part of the story. Adah was an anomaly; she read the plays of Shaw as well as the Bible, was the wife of a Davenport manufacturer, and the lover of a Chicago reporter. She went to church and to the opera and, though not college-educated, established a salon where workingmen and writers alike were welcome. Adah represents the paradoxical aspects of the Midwest and, as Frances tries to resolve her dilemma, she finds her thoughts increasingly given over to this woman who was at the same time liberal and conservative, provincial and sophisticated:

She was wondering if it wasn't Cousin Adah had made the Middle West isolationist. She had made them a little more sure of themselves -- positive they had everything, the worldliness along with the wheat. That thing which (shying a little away) they called charm -- charm along with the hogs and the beer and the plows. `What's the matter with us? Haven't we got everything?' Going to New York, Europe too, just to come home more sure than ever this was God's country. They were so rich they could even have Cousin Adah (and, oh, she was a symbol, a legend -- a promise) added unto fertile soil, great industries -- and of course, God, who certainly made his headquarters in the Midwest [24]

When Susan Glaspell's midwestern novels and plays are surveyed chronologically, it becomes apparent that her attitude toward this region has been tempered by time. Ira Morton of Inheritors is so stern and unyielding that he is almost a caricature of the isolationist farmer; by contrast, the spunky Judd Rankin has a sense of humor as prominent as the Iowa stubborn streak in his nature. The small-town matrons of Fidelity exude respectability and prudishness, unlike the lovely Adah, who somehow manages to be at the same time respectable and racy. New York, seen in Fidelity as a mecca by Ruth Holland, is shown in Chains of Dew and Judd Rankin's Daughter to house as much sham and pretension as Bluff City. There is a difference in tone as well as in character portrayal, for Susan Glaspell has achieved enough distance from her subject in her later works to write of the Midwest with humor and insight: "Every once in a while, as if there must be an explosion, Iowa would shoot out a native son who put the whole country in a dither. Out he went like a rocket -- hit Washington square on the nose, and there would be reverberations clear to the West Coast. Iowa would then pretend not to know who the native son was, at the same time swelling a little." [25]

Judd Rankin's Daughter incorporates many of the midwestern themes that Susan Glaspell developed in earlier works: the glory of the pioneer past, the contrast between East Coast and midwestern mentalities, the dangers inherent in isolationism, the natural beauty of the region, and the idiosyncracies of its inhabitants. Like Ruth Holland, Susan Glaspell loved the Midwest, even while its people hurt her deeply; like Frances Rankin Mitchell, she questioned their way of life and habits of belief. "Now here is my own past," she wrote about her last novel. "I came out of that kind of life. And as I do not agree with it, I wanted to be very fair to it; and that was not hard, for I love Judd Rankin and I think I understand him. He's America, the oldtime America. He has so much to offer us." [26] Like Judd Rankin, Susan Glaspell has much to offer us, for in her plays and novels we see the Midwest from a perspective that is honest and straightforward, and, if encumbered by bias, it is bias freely acknowledged.

A Susan Glaspell Checklist

(Symbols: N, novel; SS, short story; P, poem; S, speech; E, essay; F, fiction; NF, nonfiction; Pl, play)


Unsigned "Social Life" columns, Davenport Weekly Outlook, July, 1896-July, 1897. NF.

"Tom and Towser," Davenport Weekly Outlook (26 December 1896), 8. SS.


"The Tragedy of a Mind," The Delphic, 14 (February, 1898), 98-102. SS.

"The Philosophy of War," The Delphic, 15 (October, 1898), 24. SS.


"In Memoriam," The Delphic, 15 ( February, 1899), 126-29. E.

"Bismarck and European Politics," The Delphic, 15 (March, 1899), 149. NF. (The oration, reprinted in The Delphic, was awarded first prize in the Drake oratorical contest.)

"Old College Friends" (A story read June 14, 1899, at pre-commencement ceremonies, Drake University.)


Unsigned "News Girl" columns, Des Moines Daily News: April 4, May 19, June 1, June 2, June 16, June 30, July 3.


"On the Second Down," Authors Magazine, 3 ( November, 1902 ), 3-11. SS.


"The Girl from Downtown," Youth's Companion, 77 ( April 2, 1903 ), 160-1. SS.

"In the Face of His Constituents," Harper's, 107 ( October, 1903 ), 757-62. SS.


"The Intrusion of the Personal," Frank Leslie's Monthly (April, 1904 ), 629-32. SS.

"The Man of Flesh and Blood," Harper's, 108 (May, 1904 ), 957. SS.

"Contrary to Precedent," Booklovers (January-June, 1904 ), 235-56. SS.

"Freckles M'Grath," Munsey's, 31 (July, 1904 ), 481. SS.

"The Awakening of the Lieutenant Governor," Munsey's, 31 (August, 1904 ), 660. SS.


"The Return of Rhoda," Youth's Companion, 79 (January 26, 1905 ), 40. SS.

"For Tomorrow," Booklovers, 5 (March, 1905 ), 559-70. SS.

"For Love of the Hills," Black Cat, 11 (October, 1905), 1-11. SS.


"At the Turn of the Road," Speaker, 2 (1906), 359-61. SS.

"A Boycott on Caroline," Youth's Companion, 80 (March 22, 1906), 137-8. SS.

"How the Prince Saw America," American, 62 (July, 1906), 274. SS,


"The Influence of the Press" (Speech delivered to the Tuesday Club, Davenport, Iowa, April 2, 1907. )


THE GLORY OF THE CONQUERED: The Story of a Great Love. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1909. N.

---London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, 1909.

---Philadelphia: Library Company of Philadelphia, 1910.

---New York: A. L. Burt Company, 1911.

---London: Jarrolds, Publishers, Ltd., 1925.

Magluplarin Zaferi [The Glory of the Conquered, translated by Sofi Huri]. Istanbul: Amerikan Bord Nesriyat Dairesi, 1954.

"Present Tendencies in Fiction" (Speech delivered to the Tuesday Club, Davenport, Iowa, June 1, 1909).

"From A-Z," American, 65 (October, 1909), 543. SS.


"The Literary Legacy of the Victorian Age" (Speech delivered to the Tuesday Club, Davenport, Iowa, June 7, 1910. )

"The Rekindling," Designer (October, 1910 ), 325.


THE VISIONING. New York, Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1911. N.

---London: John Murray, 1912.

---N-w York: A. L. Burt Company, 1913.

"According to His Lights," American, 72 (June, 1911), 153-62. SS.

---New York: Winthrop Press, 1914.


LIFTED MASKS. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1912. SS. (Contains the following stories: "One of those Impossible Americans" first published as "According to His Lights"; "The Plea" first published as "In the Face of His Constituents"; "For Love of the Hill"; "Freckles M'Grath"; "From A-Z"; "The Man of Flesh and Blood"; "How the Prince Saw America"; "The Last Sixty Minutes"; "Out There"; "The Preposterous Motive" first published as "The Awakening of the Lieutenant Governor"; "His America"; "The Anarchist: His Dog" and "At Twilight.")

"At the Source," Woman's Home Companion, 39 (May, 1912), 5-6. SS.

"The Anarchist: His Dog," American, 74 (June, 1912), 145-54. SS.

"A Boarder of Art," Ladies' Home Journal, 29 (October, 1912), 11, 92-3. SS.


"The Resurrection and the Life," Smart Set (September, 1913 ), 65-8. SS.

"Whom Mince Pie Hath Joined Together," Ladies' Home Journal, 30 (November, 1913), 10, 71-3. SS.

---- A contest selection arranged by Lilian Holmes Strack. Boston: Walter H. Baker Company, 1926. SS.


"The Rules of the Institution," Harper's, 128 (January, 1914), 198-208. SS.

"Looking After Clara," Ladies' Home Journal, 31 (August, 1914), 9, 35-7. SS.

---A contest selection arranged by Lilian Holmes Strack. Boston: Walter H. Baker Company, 1926. SS.


FIDELITY. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1915. N.

---London: Jarrolds, Publishers, Ltd., 1924.

Treue [Translated by Rudolph Nutt and Hans Beppo Wagenseil]. Wiesbaden: Limes-Verlag, 1947.

"The Manager of Crystal Sulphur Springs," Harper's, 131 (July, 1915), 176-184. SS.

"Agnes at Cape's End," American, 80 (September, 1915), 5-7, 67-72. SS.


TRIFLES. New York: Frank Shay, The Washington Square Players, 1916. Pl.

---Reprinted in Plays. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1920.

---Reprinted in Frank Shay, Fifty Contemporary One-Act Plays, 1921.

---Boston: Walter H. Baker Company, 1924.

---And Six Other Plays [Two of them written in collaboration with George Cram Cook.] London: Ernest Berm, Limited, 1926.

---Reprinted in R. W. Pence, ed., Dramas by Present Day Writers. New York, 1927.

---Reprinted in L. Phillips and T. Johnson, Types of Modern Dramatic Composition. Boston: Ginn and Company, 1927.

---New York: Samuel French, Inc., ca. 1928.

---Reprinted in Golden Book Magazine, 11 (March, 1930), 97-102.

---Reprinted in Barrett Clark, The American Scene. New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1930.

---Reprinted in David Fitzjohn, English One-Act Plays of Today. Oxford: University Press, 1962.

---Reprinted in Linda Kirschner and Marcia Felson, By Women: An Anthology of Literature. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin Company, 1976.

---Reprinted in Harriet Kriegel. Women in Drama. New York: New American Library, n.d.

SUPPRESSED DESIRES. New York: Frank Shay, 1916. Pl.

---Reprinted in Plays. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1920.

---G. C. Cook and Frank Shay, The Provincetown Plays. Cincinnati: Stewart Kidd Company, 1921.

---New York: Samuel French, Inc., ca. 1928.

---Reprinted in Trifles and Six Other Short Plays. London: Ernest Berm, Ltd., 1926,103-26.

---Boston: Walter H. Baker Company, 1924.

---Reprinted in M. Jerry Weiss, Ten Short Plays. New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1976.

"Joe," Masses, 8 (January, 1916), 9. P.

"Unvieling Brenda," Harper's, 133 (June, 1916), 14-26. SS.

" 'Finality' in Freeport," Pictorial Review, 17 (July, 1916), 14-15, 32. SS.

"Her Heritage of Ideals," Canadian, 48 (November, 1916), 63-8. SS.

"Miss Jessie's Trip Abroad," Woman's Home Companion, 48 (November, 1916), 9-10, 79. SS.


"The Hearing Ear," Harper's, 134 (January, 1917), 234-41. SS.

"A Jury of Her Peers," Everyweek (March 5, 1917). SS.

---Reprinted in Best Short Stories o f 1917. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1917.

---London: Ernest Berm, Limited, 1927. (Bern's Yellow Books.)

---Reprinted in M. Pendleton and D. S. Wilkins, Recent Short Stories. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1928.

---Reprinted in E. J. H. O'Brien, Modern American Short Stories. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1932.

---Reprinted in Golden Book Magazine, 16 (December, 1932), 506-20.

---Reprinted in R. W. Pence, Short Stories by Present-Day Authors. New York: Macmillan, 1934.

---Reprinted in J. A. Burrell and Bennett Cerf, The Bedside Book of Famous American Short Stories. New York: Random House, 1936.

---Reprinted in W. J. Cuppy, Murder without Tears. New York: Sheridan House, 1946.

---Reprinted in J. Strode, Social Insight Through Short Stories. New York: Harper, 1946.

---Reprinted in C. A. Pugh, Book of Short Stories. New York: Macmillan Co., 1947.

---Reprinted in Ellery Queen, To the Queen's Taste. London: Faber & Faber, 1949.

---Reprinted in Martha Foley and Abraham Rothberg, US Stories: Regional Stories from the Forty-Eight States. New York: Farrar, 1949.

---Reprinted in Angus Burrell and Bennett Cerf, An Anthology of Famous American Stories. New York: Modern Library, 1953.

---Reprinted in M. Baudin, Contemporary Short Stories, V.3. New York: Liberal Arts Press, 1953.

Ai La Thu-pham ["A Jury of Her Peers"]. (In an anthology containing works by Washington Irving Louis Bromfield, R. Stockton, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Susan Glaspell and Bret Harte; translated by Anh Thu, Kim Dinh, et al.) Saigon: Tho'i-Dai, 1959.

"A Jury of Her Peers," reprinted in M. Ferguson, Images of Women in Literature. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Company, 1973.

"Everything You Want to Plant," Everyweek, 5 (August 13, 1917), 20-21. SS.

"A Matter of Gesture," McClure's (August, 1917), 36. SS.


THE PEOPLE and CLOSE THE BOOK: Two One-Act Plays. New York: Frank Shay, 1918. Pl.

---Reprinted in Plays. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1920.

"Poor Ed," Liberator, I (March, 1918), 24-9. SS.

"Beloved Husband," Harper's, 136 (April, 1918), 675-79. SS.

"Government Goat," Pictorial Review (April, 1918). SS.

---Reprinted in E. J. H. O'Brien, Best Short Stories o f 1919. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1919.

---Reprinted in J. Strode, Social Insight Through Short Stories. New York: Harper, 1946.

"Good Luck, Good Housekeeping 67 (September, 1918), 44-6, 122-26. SS.

"The Busy Duck," Harper's, 137 November, 1918), 828-36. SS.


"Pollen," Harper's, 138 (March, 1919 ), 446-51. SS.

"The Escape," Harper's, 140 (December, 1919), 29-38. SS.


Plays. Boston: Small, Maynard & Company, 1920. (Contains Trifles, The People, Close the Book, The Outside, Woman's Honor, Bernice, Suppressed Desires and Tickless Time.) Pl.

--New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, Inc., 1920.

"The Nervous Pig," Harper's, 140 (February, 1920), 209-20. SS.


INHERITORS. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1921. Pl.

---New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1922.

--London: Ernest Berm, Limited, 1924. (Contemporary American Dramatists, Vol. II. No. 2 in a volume issued by the publisher with lettering: Three Plays by Susan Glaspell.)

"His Smile," Pictorial Review, 22 (January, 1921), 15. SS.

---Reprinted in E. J. H. O'Brien, Best Short Stories of 1921. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1921.


TICKLESS TIME: A Comedy in One Act. By Susan Glaspell in collaboration with George Cram Cook. Published in Plays, p. 273. Pl.

---Reprinted in Frank Shay, Contemporary One-Act Plays of 1921. Cincinnati: Stewart Kidd Company, 1922.

---Reprinted in Trifles and Six Other Short Plays. London: Ernest Benn, Limited, 1926.

---Reprinted in J. Hampden, Ten Modern Plays. London: T. Nelson & Sons, Ltd., 1928.

--Reprinted in Catherine Bullard, One-Act Plays for Junior High School. New York: H. Holt & Co., 1937.

THE VERGE. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1922. Pl.

---New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1922.

---London: Ernest Berm, Limited, 1924. (Contemporary American Dramatists, Vol. I. No. 1 in a volume issued by the publisher with lettering: Three Plays by Susan Glaspell.)


"Dwellers on Parnassus," New Republic, 33 (January 17, 1923 ), 198-200. E.


THREE PLAYS BY SUSAN GLASPELL. London: Ernest Bern, Limited, 1924. (Contemporary American Dramatists, Vols. 1-III containing: The Verge, Inheritors and Bernice.) Pl.

BERNICE. London: Ernest Benn, Limited, 1924. (Contemporary American Dramatists, Vol. III. No. 3 in volume issued by the publisher with lettering: Three Plays by Susan Glaspell.) Pl.


"The Outside" in C. C. Clements, Sea Plays. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1925. ( Previously published in Plays. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1920.) Pl.

"Last Days in Greece" in Greek Coins by George Cram Cook. New York: George H. Doran Company, 1925. E.


"The Faithless Shepherd," Cornhill, 60 (January, 1928), 51-9. SS.


THE COMIC ARTIST: A Play in Three Acts by Susan Glaspell and Norman Matson. London: Ernest Berm, Limited, 1927. (Contemporary American Dramatists, Vol. VI.) Pl.

---New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1927,

THE ROAD TO THE TEMPLE. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1927. NF.

--London: Ernest Benn, Limited, 1926.

---New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1941.

"Rose in the Sand," Pall Mall, 1927, SS.


BROOK EVANS. New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1928. N.

---London: Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1928.

Narxissa [Brook Evans, translated by Georg Schwartz]. Leipzig and Vienna: TAL, 1929.

Brook Evans. New York: A. L. Burt Company, 1930.

---London: The Readers Library Publishing Company, 1931.

Dreptul La lubire [The Right to Love, i.e. Brook Evans, translated by Elena Fotescu]. Jassy, Romania: Albina Romaneasca, 1938.

"The Provincetown Players," American Local History. [The Provincetown Guidebook.] Provincetown: Massachusetts Art Association, 1928. E.


FUGITIVE'S RETURN. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1929. N.

---London: Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1929.

---New York: A. L. Burt Company, 1931.


ALISON'S HOUSE. New York; Samuel French, 1930. P1.

---Reprinted in Six Plays. London: Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1930.

---Reprinted in K. H. C. Cordell and W. H. Cordell, The Pulitzer Prize Plays. New York: Random House, 1935.


AMBROSE HOLT AND FAMILY. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1931. N.

---London: Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1931.

---Hamburg Paris, Bologna: The Albatross, 1932.

---New York: A. L. Burt Company, 1933.


THE MORNING IS NEAR US. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1940. N.

---London: Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1940.

---New York: Literary Guild of America, 1940.

A Madrugada Se Aproxima [The Morning Is Near Us, translated by Maluh de Ouro Preto]. Rio de Janeiro: Olympio, 1943. (Col. Os Grandes Romances para a Mulher, 9. )

CHERISHED AND SHARED OF OLD. New York: Julian Messner, Inc., 1940. F.

---Reprinted in E. C. Wageknecht, Fireside Book of Yuletide Tales. Indianapolis: Bobbs Merrill, 1948.

"Pollen," Golden Book Magazine, 20 (September, 1934 ), 275-82. SS


NORMA ASHE. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1942. N.

---London: Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1942.

"The Huntsmen Are Up in America" (Speech delivered at the Boston Book Fair, October 21, 1942).

"Susan Glaspell Says We Need Books Today As Never Before," Chicago Tribune (December 6, 1942 ), p. 11 (part 4) vol. CL #49. NF.

"Susan Glaspell," Twentieth Century Authors. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1942.


JUDD BANKIN'S DAUGHTER. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1945. N.

---London: Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1946. (Under title Prodigal Giver.)

---New York: Grosset & Dunlap, Inc., 1947. (Books of Distinction.)

"The Right of Choice Is Freedom," Chicago Sun (December 2, 1945). NF.



"Chains of Dew" [unpublished typescript]. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Pl.

"Coming Years" [unpublished typescript]. Henry and Albert Berg Collection, New York Public Library. SS.

"Faint Trails" [unpublished typescript]. Henry and Albert Berg Collection, New York Public Library. SS. (Shares subject matter with Bernice.)

"First Aid Teacher" [unpublished typescript]. Henry and Albert Berg Collection, New York Public Library. SS.

"Linda" [unpublished typescript]. Henry and Albert Berg Collection, New York Public Library. SS.

"Springs Eternal" [unpublished typescript]. Henry and Albert Berg Collection, New York Public Library. Pl.



[1] Susan Glaspell to E. C. Mabie, October 29, 1936, E. C. Mabie Papers, Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

[2] As quoted in Great Short Works of American Realism, ed. Willard Thorp (New York: Harper & Row, 1968), p. xxi.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Susan Glaspell, "Here is the piece ..." Susan Glaspell Papers, Henry and Albert Berg Collection, New York Public Library.

[5] See G. Thomas Tanselle, "George Cram Cook and the Poetry of Living, with a Checklist," Books at Iowa, no. 24 (April 1976), pp. 3-31, 35-37.

[6] Susan Glaspell, Fidelity (Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1915 ), p. 134.

[7] Ibid., p. 136.

[8] John Corbin, "Zeraphim and Cats," New York Times, March 30, 1919, viii, p. 2.

[9] Susan Claspell, Trifles (Boston: Walter H. Baker Company, 1924), p. 19.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Heywood Broun, "Gold Dust and Foreign Substances in Plays of Provincetown," New York Tribune, January 29, 1917, iv, 1.

[12] Susan Glaspell, Inheritors (Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1921), p. 42.

[13] Ibid., p. 91.

[14] Ibid., pp. 146-7.

[15] Ibid., p. 140-41.

[16] Ibid., p. 111.

[17] Ibid., p. 40.

[18] Susan Glaspell, Chains of Dew [unpublished typescript], The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., Act I, p. 14.

[19] Ibid., Act II, p. 26.

[20] Ibid., Act III, p. 29.

[21] Susan Glaspell to Edmund Wilson, October 3, 1945, Edmund Wilson Papers, Collection of American Literature, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

[22] Susan Glaspell, Judd Rankin's Daughter (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1945 ), p. 46.

[23] Ibid., p. 56.

[24] Ibid., p. 11.

[25] Ibid., p. 19.

[26] Susan Glaspell, "Here is the piece...."