Mary Elizabeth Victoria <I>Borton</I> De Trevino

Mary Elizabeth Victoria Borton De Trevino

Bakersfield, Kern County, California, USA
Death 2 Dec 2001 (aged 97)
Cuernavaca, Cuernavaca Municipality, Morelos, Mexico
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 90428998 · View Source
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Elizabeth was born in Bakersfield, California, the daughter of attorney Fred Ellsworth Borton and Carrie Louise Christensen. Her family were all enthusiastic readers; Fred Borton had published short stories and poems before becoming a lawyer. Elizabeth always wanted to become an author. She began writing poetry at age six, and had her first published poem at eight. Her parents strongly encouraged her ambitions.

She attended Stanford University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1925 with a bachelor's degree in Latin American history. After finishing college, she moved to Massachusetts to study violin at the Boston Conservatory, and then worked as a reporter.

On her marriage on August 10, 1935, to Luis Treviño Arreola y Gómez Sánchez de la Barquera (b. August 5, 1902), she moved to his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico. They had two sons, Luis Fredrico Treviño-Borton and Enrique Ricardo Treviño-Borton. After their sons were born, they lived in Monterrey for a time, then moved to Mexico City in 1941. In 1965, they made a final move to Cuernavaca, Morelos, known popularly as the "City of Eternal Spring"

Her book "I, Juan de Pareja" (1965) won the Newbery Medal in 1966. It was inspired by her elder son Luis' interest in art, particularly painting. Luis told her the story of the artist Diego Velázquez and his slave Juan de Pareja, model to one of Velázquez' most famous paintings, whom Velázquez instructed in painting and later freed. After seeing the original of Velázquez' painting of Juan, she was inspired to write about their relationship. Her younger son Enrique was the translator of the Spanish edition of the novel.

Among her other novels are: "Nacar the White Deer", "The Greek of Toledo", "Casilda of the Rising Moon", "El Güero: A True Adventure Story", "Beyond the Gates of Hercules", and "The Fourth Gift". She also wrote five of the "Pollyanna" books: "Pollyanna in Hollywood", "Pollyanna's Castle in Mexico", "Pollyanna's Door To Happiness", "Pollyanna's Golden Horseshoe", and "Pollyanna and the Secret Mission".

In later life, Elizabeth Borton wrote several memoirs of her life as an American who had married into a traditional Mexican family: the best-seller "My Heart Lies South" and its sequels, "Where the Heart Is", and "The Hearthstone of My Heart". Her last book, "Leona: A Love Story", was published in 1994, when she was 90 years of age.


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  • Created by: HWA
  • Added: 20 May 2012
  • Find a Grave Memorial 90428998
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Elizabeth Victoria Borton De Trevino (2 Sep 1904–2 Dec 2001), Find a Grave Memorial no. 90428998, ; Maintained by HWA (contributor 46565033) Unknown.