Writer and Magazine Editor in the Civil War Era

During the mid-nineteenth century, Ann Stephens (1810-1886) enjoyed a long, lucrative career as one of America's best known and most respected women writers. In addition to serving as editor for six popular magazines for more than twenty-six years, she wrote some forty-five works of fiction and manuals on the domestic arts. Stephens was one of the first generation of women to assert themselves as professional writers, entering the literary field for …Read More...

Poet and Novelist in the Civil War Era

Alice Cary (1820-1871) was a poet and author, and the sister of poet Phoebe Cary (1824–1871), who would become Alice's lifelong companion. Alice Cary's strong desire to be independent and to forge her own literary career prompted her to move alone to New York City at age 30. Cary was a most unusual 19th century woman who earned her own money, owned her own home and ran her own life - a …Read More...

One of the Top Women Poets in the United States

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) is considered the most original 19th century American poet. She is noted for her unconventional broken rhyming meter and use of dashes and random capitalization as well as her creative use of metaphor and overall innovative style. She was a deeply sensitive woman who explored her own spirituality, in poignant, deeply personal poetry, revealing her keen insight into the human condition.

Image: A photo dated 1860 believed …Read More...

Journalist and Novelist in the Civil War Era

American writer Fanny Fern (1811-1872), born Sarah Willis, was the first woman newspaper columnist. By 1855, Fern was the highest-paid columnist in the United States, commanding $100 per week for her New York Ledger column. Her best-known work, novel Ruth Hall (1854), was based on her life - the years of happiness she had with her first husband, the poverty she endured after he died, the lack of help from her male …Read More...

Pioneer Author in Realistic Fiction

Rebecca Harding Davis (1831-1910) was a journalist and author who began writing realistic fiction more than two decades before the height of American literary realism. Her most important work, the novella Life in the Iron Mills, was published in the April 1861 edition of the Atlantic Monthly, which quickly made her an established female writer. Throughout her lifetime, Davis sought to effect social change for blacks, women, Native Americans, immigrants and the working class by …Read More...

American Feminist Author and Social Reformer

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911) was an American author and an early advocate of clothing reform, urging women to burn their corsets. She wrote fifty-seven volumes of fiction, poetry and essays. In 1868 Phelps' story "The Tenth of January" about a tragic fire that killed scores of girls at the Pemberton Mill in Lawrence, MA established her reputation as a writer, and her novel The Gates Ajar became a national bestseller.

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps was …Read More...