Chase, Mary Ellen (1887–1973)

views updated

Chase, Mary Ellen (1887–1973)

American writer and educator. Born on February 24, 1887, in Blue Hill, Maine; died on July 28, 1973, in Northampton, Massachusetts; attended University of Maine, graduated 1909; University of Minnesota, Ph.D. 1922.

Selected writings:

His Birthday (1915); (juvenile) The Girl from the Bighorn Country (1916); (juvenile) Virginia of Elk Creek Valley (1917); (with W.F.K. Del Plaine) The Art of Narration (1926); (juvenile) Mary Christmas (1926); Thomas Hardy from Serial to Novel (1927); (novel) Uplands (1927); (with M.E. Macgregor) The Writing of Informal Essays (1928); Constructive Theme Writing (1929); The Golden Asse and Other Essays (1929); (juvenile) The Silver Shell (1930); (autobiography) A Goodly Heritage (1932); (novel) Mary Peters (1934); (novel) Silas Crockett (1935); (essays) This England (1936); (juvenile) It's All About Me (1937); (novel) Dawn in Lyonesse (1938); (autobiography) The Goodly Fellowship (1939); (novel) Windswept (1941); The Bible and the Common Reader (1944); (biography) Jonathan Fisher, Maine Parson (1948); (novel) The Plum Tree (1949); (biography)Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (1950); (autobiography) Recipe for a Magic Childhood (1951); (autobiography) The White Gate: Adventures in the Imagination of a Child (1954); (novel) The Edge of Darkness (1957).

Mary Ellen Chase was born in 1887 in Blue Hill, Maine, where she attended local public schools. Following her graduation from the University of Maine (1909), she worked for nine years as a school teacher. Her first novel, His Birthday, was published in 1915, and she followed this with two children's books: The Girl from the Bighorn Country (1916) and Virginia of Elk Creek Valley (1917). In 1918, Chase began working as an instructor at the University of Minnesota where she earned her Ph.D. in English (1922). The year she completed her graduate work, she was appointed an assistant professor at the university.

Chase became associate professor at Smith College in 1926 and would advance to full professor three years later (1929). Although she authored a number of academic writings, her novels, set on the coast of Maine, were considered more important. In 1955, she retired from Smith College. Chase died on July 28, 1973, in Northampton, Massachusetts.