Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mary Ellen Chase

Born this day in 1887: Mary Ellen Chase (1887–date), college professor, prolific chronicler of the seacoast life in Maine, and one of the most important regional novelists of the early 20th century

Chase, a native of Blue Hill Maine, earned a B.A. from the University of Maine in 1909. She taught at a few secondary schools before earning an M.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1918 and a Ph.D. in 1922. In 1926 she began teaching the English novel and the King James Bible at Smith College. She was a popular and influential professor who passed her passion for novels on to her students.
Chase was also a prolific author, publishing 35 books in many genres. She is most famous for her regional novels, set in Maine. She also wrote essays, criticism, autobiographies, biographies, bible studies, writing technique, and children’ books. Her most popular novels include Mary Peters (1934), Silas Crockett (1935), and Windswept (1941), works which chronicle the changes brought to the Maine seacoast by the industrial revolution.

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