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About the Author: Constance Fenimore Woolson

Constance Fenimore Woolson (March 5, 1840 – January 24, 1894) was an American novelist, poet, and short story writer. She was a grandniece of James Fenimore Cooper, and is best known for fictions about the Great Lakes region, the American South, and American expatriates in Europe.

Woolson was born in Claremont, New Hampshire, but her family soon moved to Cleveland, Ohio, after the deaths of three of her sisters from scarlet fever. Woolson was educated at the Cleveland Female Seminary and a boarding school in New York. She traveled extensively through the midwest and northeastern regions of the U.S. during her childhood and young adulthood.

Woolson’s father died in 1869. The following year she began to publish fiction and essays in magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly and Harper's Magazine. Her first full-length publication was a children’s book, The Old Stone House (1873). In 1875 she published her first volume of short stories, Castle Nowhere: Lake-Country Sketches, based on her experiences in the Great Lakes region, especially Mackinac Island.

From 1873 to 1879 Woolson spent winters with her mother in St. Augustine, Florida. During these visits she traveled widely in the South which gave her material for her next collection of short stories, Rodman the Keeper: Southern Sketches (1880). After her mother’s death in 1879, Woolson went to Europe, staying at a succession of hotels in England, France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany.

Woolson published her first novel Anne in 1880, followed by three others: East Angels (1886), Jupiter Lights (1889) and Horace Chase (1894). In 1883 she published the novella For the Major, a story of the postwar South that has become one of her most respected fictions. In the winter of 1889–1890 she traveled to Egypt and Greece, which resulted in a collection of travel sketches, Mentone, Cairo and Corfu (published posthumously in 1896).

In 1893 Woolson rented an elegant apartment on the Grand Canal of Venice. Suffering from influenza and depression, she either jumped or fell to her death from a window in the apartment in January 1894. Two volumes of her short stories appeared after her death: The Front Yard and Other Italian Stories (1895) and Dorothy and Other Italian Stories (1896). She is buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome, and is memorialized by Anne's Tablet on Mackinac Island, Michigan.

Woolson’s short stories have long been regarded as pioneering examples of local color or regionalism. Today, Woolson's novels, short stories, poetry, and travelogues are studied and taught from a range of scholarly and critical perspectives, including feminist, psychoanalytic, gender studies, postcolonial, and new historicism.

(from Wikipedia)


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ISBN10: 1446038599 | ISBN13: 9781446038598

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