Biography and History

Samuel Shellabarger, noted writer, was born on May 18, 1888 in Washington D.C. He was a member of the Princeton University class of 1909, and studied at the University of Munich and Harvard Law School before returning to Princeton to get a Ph.D. in English. After serving in the army for two years, Shellabarger returned to Princeton as an English professor until 1923. For the next four years, Shellabarger lived in Switzerland with his family, traveled around the European continent, and focused on his own writing. In 1927 he returned to Princeton and published his first book, The Chevalier Bayard, the next year. This biography, although praised by critics, was not a popular success, and inspired Shellabarger to produce his first novel, Door of Death, which received much greater popularity. This novel and his two subsequent novels were published under his pseudonym John Esteven in an effort to keep his scholarly and creative work distinct. He continued to write both biographies and novels for the rest of his life, eventually dropping his pen name. His most successful novel was Captain from Castile, published in 1945. Shellabarger passed away in Princeton on March 21, 1854.

Source: From the finding aid for C0218

  • Samuel Shellabarger Collection. 1916-1956 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C0218

    Samuel Shellabarger attended Princeton University as member of the Princeton Class of 1909 and was an English professor between 1914-1923. The collection contains Samuel Shellabarger's manuscripts for two biographies and five works of historical fiction, as well as a small amount of miscellaneous material related to his writings.