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Mary Hartwell Catherwood

Born: 1847 in Luray, Ohio
Died: 1902 in Chicago

Pen Name: Mary Hartwell, Lewtrah

Connection to Illinois: Catherwood moved with her parents in 1856 from Ohio to Milford, Illinois; living there only a year as her parents died and she moved back to Ohio to be with her grandparents. In 1877, she moved back to Illinois and settled in Hoopeston. In 1899, Catherwood decided she needed to spend more time in Chicago to be nearer her publishers and for her daughter's schooling, so she took an apartment there that was her second home. She died in Chicago and is buried in Floral Hill Cemetery in Hoopeston/Iroquois County. Many of Catherwood's books had a midwestern flair and were set in Illinois.

Biography: Mary Hartwell Catherwood was a teacher and an author of popular historical romances, short stories, and poetry. Early in her career she published under her birth name, Mary Hartwell, and under the pseudonym Lewtrah . In 1868, she graduated from Granville Female College in Granville, Ohio. She went on to teach in Ohio and Illinois before she was able to support herself by writing. Her early work was mainly in short stories and long serials which were published in magazines such as the Atlantic and Lippincott's. In 1889, with the publication of ''The Romance of Dollard'', a historical romance based on the work of Francis Parkman, Catherwood's life took a new direction. Historians of American fiction suggest that Catherwood's importance lies in her having been the first novelist to write popular romantic historical novels, forecasting the bestselling genre at the turn of the century. Catherwood was the first woman novelist born west of the Alleghenies and the first woman novelist to be a college graduate.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction; Poetry; Romance

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers

Mary Hartwell Catherwood on WorldCat :

Selected Titles

  Days of jeanne d'arc.
ISBN: 1407777343 OCLC: 940823284

Hardpress Publishing, [Place of publication not identified] : 2012.

  Spirit of an illinois town, and the little renault :
ISBN: 1177552272 OCLC: 944917438

Nabu Press, [Place of publication not identified] : 2010.