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 Ellen Glasgow

Ellen Glasgow

Birth
Richmond, Richmond City, Virginia, USA
Death 21 Nov 1945 (aged 72)
Richmond, Richmond City, Virginia, USA
Burial Richmond, Richmond City, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 397 · View Source
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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Southern Author. A prolific writer over a long professional career, she produced around 20 novels of the genre now termed "historical fiction" along with numerous short stories and poems. Born Ellen Anderson Gholson Glasgow, the child of a well-off and aristocratic family, she was raised in Richmond; her father appears to have been a rather stern and unpleasant Scots Presbyterian, though he shows-up as a character in several of her books portrayed in a quite positive light, while her mother had ten children and fell into some ill-defined psychiatric problem, symptoms of which were to also plague Miss Ellen throughout her life. Never very healthy, she was educated at home and in private schools, becoming well read in philosophy, the social sciences, and literature. Her first novel, "The Descendant", was published anonymously in 1897; she apparently wrote it much earlier but her mother's death in 1893 delayed the completion. Right from the start, Miss Ellen produced works set in the South, mostly late-19th century Virginia, that ignored the prevalent romanticized ideal to present in realistic terms the conflicts between "old" and "new" South. She was to create strong and intelligent female characters quite able to care for themselves, with no trace "Victorian femininity" popular at the time. Over the years five of her works were best-sellers and most were well received; "The Battle Ground" (1902) is still considered one of the finer portrayals of the Civil War South, while 1904's "The Deliverance" continues to depict post-war social conflicts in a most convincing manner. "The Wheel of Life" (1906), set in New York, was her one venture outside the South and was essentially a failure. The Suffragist Movement apparently had little interest for Miss Ellen for though she did appear at some early rallies she soon dropped out. Her "women's trilogy" consisting of "Virginia" (1913), the 1916 "Life and Gabriella", and 1925's "Barren Ground" received much critical praise, as did her later 'comedies of manners', "The Romantic Comedians" (1926), "They Stooped to Folly" (1929), and 1932's "The Sheltered Life". Miss Ellen received the 1942 Pulitzer Prize for her 1941 "In This Our Life", though most scholars contend that by the time it was written her powers were in decline. Her final published work was an autobiography, "A Woman Within" (1954), specifically intended for posthumous release. Miss Ellen never married, though she had several romances, one with a married man known only as "Gerald B.", and was engaged at least twice; whether her relationship with Richmond fantasy author Branch Cabell was personal or merely professional remains unclear. Never completely forgotten, her "Barren Ground" and the 1935 "Vein of Iron" have remained pretty much continuously in print. Miss Ellen died of long-standing heart disease and though gone for two generations she remains part of Richmond lore: it is said that if one stands before her house at One West Main Street late at night, and is quiet, one can hear the sound of a manual typewriter coming from within. And crying...

Bio by: Bob Hufford



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 397
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ellen Glasgow (22 Apr 1873–21 Nov 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 397, citing Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Richmond City, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .