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Constance Grenelle Wilcox papers

Identifier: BMC-M133

Scope and Contents

The Constance Grenelle Wilcox papers comprise the personal papers of Constance Wilcox, also known as Princess Pignatelli, author of several books and Bryn Mawr College class of 1917. The collection, which ranges from 1897 to 1955 (with the bulk of the material from 1925-1935), primarily consists of correspondence and manuscripts.

The collection is organized into six series: “Series I: Outgoing Correspondence, 1906-1934;” “Series II: Incoming Correspondence, 1917-1932;” “Series III: Third Party Correspondence;” “Series IV: Family Papers, 1924-1930;” “Series V: Manuscripts;” and “Series VI: Miscellaneous Papers.”

“Series I: Outgoing Correspondence, 1906-1934” contains correspondence from 1906-1934, most of which is from 1920-1934. Wilcox's early correspondence includes small drawings and paintings, letters written to her father, and sometimes pressed leaves and flowers. Later correspondence concerns Bryn Mawr College and Wilcox's marriage and travel. “Series II: Incoming Correspondence, 1917-1932” contains incoming correspondence from 1917 to 1932, some of which is from Wilcox’s publishers. There is also some correspondence in this series that is undated. “Series III: Third Party Correspondence” contains correspondence to and from George A. Wilcox (Constance Wilcox’s father); to Mary Hobart Wilcox (Constance Wilcox’s mother); correspondence between Mary and George Wilcox; and correspondence to Elizabeth Nash. “Series IV: Family Papers, 1924-1930” contains a mixture of materials. The most interesting of these materials may be related to Wilcox’s marriage to Prince Guido Pignatelli di Montecalvo of Italy: there are materials related to their 1925 wedding, their subsequent 1931 divorce, and marriage and family materials from 1934. This series also contains parts 1-3 of The Unsophisticate; miscellaneous correspondence, 1917-1925; miscellaneous notes; miscellaneous documents; photographs; and Wilcox’s last will and testament from 1930. “Series V: Manuscripts” includes many short stories, plays and musical acts. Among these are a 3-Act musical comedy titled The Girl in the Moon; a one act play called Honorable Louis d’Or; and a one act play called Enchanted Garden. “Series VI: Miscellaneous Papers” contains an Italian Christmas card; a menu from Swedish supermarket Konsum Gasthof Hallstatt, from 1950; and “Pan Pipes, a woodland play” bill from 1919.

Constance Wilcox lived one of the more exciting and unusual lives of a Bryn Mawr graduate, marrying Prince Guido Pignatelli of Italy in 1925. She later divorced her husband, but authored several books under the name “Princess Pignatelli.” This collection provides insight into her relationship with her family, her marriage, and her writings. It should be noted that there are several Constance Wilcox photo albums in the Scrapbook and Photo Album collection which were donated by her daughter, Maria Elena Pignatelli.


  • 1897 - 1955
  • Majority of material found within 1925 - 1935


Limitations on Accessing the Collection

This collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

The Constance Grenelle Wilcox Papers are the physical property of Bryn Mawr College Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors' heirs and assigns.

Biographical / Historical

Constance Grenelle Wilcox was born in 1895. A member of the Bryn Mawr College class of 1917, she studied French, English and History, and was known for writing poetry and plays. Her father, George A. Wilcox, was a lawyer and graduate of Yale University, class of 1852. Her mother, Mary Hobart Wilcox, was born in Brooklyn, NY to father William Hobart and mother Julia Porter Huntington Grenelle. Wilcox grew up in her family home, Oakledge, in the town of Madison Connecticut. Over the years she also lived in New York, Florida, France and Italy. In 1925 she married Prince Guido Pignatelli di Montecalvo of Italy. Her daughter Maria Elena Pignatelli was born in 1929, and she was seperated from her husband by 1931. Some of Wilcox's written works include Mah-Jonng: the Play of One Hundred Intelligence, Pan Pipes, Told in a Chinese Garden, and The Princess in the Fairy Tale.


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Constance Grenelle Wilcox, Bryn Mawr Class of 1917, was a successful playwright and novelist. Some of Wilcox's written works include: Pan Pipes (1919), The Princess in the Fairy Tale (1919) and Told in a Chinese Garden (1932). The Constance Grenelle Wilcox papers include her unpublished manuscript, The Unsophisticate. The papers also include a series of other unpublished plays and children's stories. There is also correspondence in the collection.

Constance Grenelle Wilcox Pignatelli papers
?, Cassidy Gruber Baruth
2018 February 12
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Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting reproductions from Bryn Mawr College Library

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