Olive Percival

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General Information

Name: Olive Percival

Pen Name: None

Genres: Non-Fiction

Born: 1869 in Sheffield, Illinois

Deceased: 1945 in California

Illinois Connection

Percival was born in a log cabin on her family’s farm near Sheffield, Illinois. Her father died when she was ten. In 1887, she moved to Los Angeles with her mother and sister.

Biographical and Professional Information

Percival began writing for publication in 1896 and sold her first poem and first article just before her 28th birthday. She was a multitalented writer, photographer, gardener, artist, and bibliophile who lived in the Arroyo Seco artists' enclave near Los Angeles. She was the author of several books on gardening and garden lore.

She was also a regular contributitor to the Los Angeles Times, writing articles on subjects ranging from women’s suffrage to gardening. After the Los Angeles Times bombing in 1910, she penned an article titled Would Woman's Vote Suppress Anarchy, which appeared in the October 16, 1910 issue.

The Huntington Library in California owns Percival's diaries, more than 700 of her photographs, and three book manuscripts.

Published Works

  • Mexico City: An Idler's Notebook, Herbert S. Stone and Company, 1901
  • Our Old Fashioned Flowers, The Ward Richie Press, 1947
  • Yellowing Ivy, The Ward Richie Press, 1946
  • Leaf Shadows and Rose-Drift, The Riverside Press, 1911
  • The Children's Garden Book, Huntington Library Press, 2005 - A posthumous book published with Percival's illustrations and instructions for fifteen fanciful children's gardens, all selected from her unpublished manuscript in the Huntington Library.

Titles for Purchase and at Your Library

Our Old-Fashioned Flowers by Olive Percival

ASIN: B0026R94E8
Release Date: 1947

Yellowing Ivy

Release Date: 1946

Leaf-Shadows and Rose-Drift: Being Little Songs from a Los Angeles Garden (First Edition)

Release Date: 1911

Literary Awards

External Links

Olive Percival on WorldCat

Olive Percival on Amazon


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