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Mary Elizabeth Campbell

Born: February 17, 1907 in Tamms, Illinois
Died: February 22, 1980 in Amherst, Hampshire, Massachusetts

Pen Name: Marie Campbell

Connection to Illinois: Campbell grew up in Tamms. She earned an A.B. in education from Southern Illinois Teachers College (now known as Southern Illinois University in Carbondale) in 1932.

Biography: Marie Campbell is a writer of folklore and a member of the graduate faculty in English at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She is a well-known for her books, short stories and articles about the folklore and culture of Kentucky and the Cumberland region, she began this work in the summer of 1926. However, it was not until 1953 at Indiana University, where she was studying for her doctorate, that she began compiling her notes. These notes amounted to nearly 1,500 pages of folk tales, which she organized for publication in five volumes. She earned her master's degree from George Peabody College for Teachers. She taught in public and private high schools in Illinois, Alabama and Georgia and in the Kentucky mountain settlement schools. In 1956 Campbell finished a Ph.D. in folklore and comparative literature from Indiana University. During this time she taught at Glassboro State College in New Jersey, Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. At the time of her death, Campbell was an emeritus professor of Folklore and English at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Her papers are housed at the University of Kentucky.


Primary Literary Genre(s): History; Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

ISBN: 0253313856 OCLC: 136523

Indiana University Press Bloomington, 1971

Folks Do Get Born (The History of American Nursing)

Rinehart & Co., Incorporated 1946

Tales from the Cloud Walking Country
ISBN: 0820321869 OCLC: 41488904

University of Georgia Press Athens : 2000

Assembled here are seventy-eight stories from six of the "ballad-singingest, tale-tellingest" residents of the eastern Kentucky mountain country. Based on stories rooted in European traditions from German fairy tales to Irish hero stories to Greek myths, the tales had been handed down through generations of telling before Marie Campbell collected them in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Readers will recognize the story of Snow White in "A Stepchild That Was Treated Mighty Bad," while "Three Shirts and a Golden Finger Ring" recalls the fairy tale of the Seven Swans. "The Fellow That Married A Dozen Times" is a lively rendition of "Bluebeard." As the narrators cautioned Marie Campbell again and again, "Tale-telling is nigh about faded out in the mountain country," but Tales from the Cloud Walking Country offers a lasting record of history, cultural heritage, language, and good old-fashioned fun.