Marquand, J. P.

Marquand, J. P. (John Philips)

(1893–1960) writer; born in Wilmington, Del. He studied at Harvard (B.A. 1915), and after serving with the U.S. Army in World War I he became a journalist and free-lance writer (1916–20). He worked as a copywriter for an advertising agency in New York City (1921–22), then concentrated on his fiction writing after the success of his first novel, The Unspeakable Gentleman (1922), printed first in the Ladies Home Journal. He continued to publish short stories in various magazines during the next 15 years; the best-known of these stories involved a Japanese detective, Mr. Moto. With the publication of The Late George Apley (1937), he commenced his career as a satirical novelist of affluent upper-middle-class WASPS. Although never taken that seriously by the academic-intellectual establishment, such novels as H.M. Pulham, Esquire (1941) and Sincerely, Willis Wade (1955) gained him a large and respectable readership. He lived most of his final four decades in Newburyport, Mass.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.