Alden, Isabella (1841–1930)

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Alden, Isabella (1841–1930)

American religious author. Name variations: (pseudonym) Pansy. Born Isabella Macdonald in Rochester, New York, on November 3, 1841; died in Palo Alto, California, in 1930; daughter of Myra (Spafford) and Isaac Macdonald; married Gustavus R. Alden (a Presbyterian minister).

Selected works:

Helen Lester (1866); An Interrupted Night (1929).

In 1866, "Pansy" Macdonald found lifelong direction with her marriage to Presbyterian minister Gustavus Alden and with the publication of her first book, Helen Lester, which won that year's Christian Tract Society prize. Thereafter, Alden's work was dedicated primarily to religious writing, encompassing over 120 books that she wrote, edited, and organized. She also founded and edited the Sunday School magazine Pansy as well as the Presbyterian Primary Quarterly in 1874. During the 1870s, her novels about the Chautauqua region helped found the Chautauqua movement and the Christian summer camp. Alden died in 1930, leaving her autobiography, Memories of Yesterday, incomplete. Her niece, novelist Grace Livingston Hill , finished the work and published it in 1931.

Crista Martin , Boston, Massachusetts

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