Rich, Louise Dickinson (1903–1991)

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Rich, Louise Dickinson (1903–1991)

American author. Born Louise Dickinson in Huntington, Massachusetts, on June 14, 1903; died in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, on April 9, 1991; daughter of James Henry Dickinson (a newspaper editor) and Florence Myrtie (Stewart) Dickinson; Massachusetts State Teachers' College, B.Sc., 1924; married Ralph Eugene Rich (a businessman), on August 27, 1934 (died 1945); children: Rufus and Dinah.

Selected writings:

We Took to the Woods (1942); Happy the Land (1946); Start of the Trail: The Story of a Young Maine Guide (1949); My Neck of the Woods (1950); Trail to the North (1952); Only Parent (1953); Innocence Under the Elms (1955); The Coast of Maine: An Informal History (1956); Peninsula (1958); Mindy (1959); The First Book of the Early Settlers (1959); The First Book of New World Explorers (1960); The First Book of the Vikings (1962); The Natural World of Louise Dickinson Rich (1962); The First Book of China Clippers (1963); State O' Maine (1964); The First Book of the Fur Trade (1965); The First Book of Lumbering (1967); The Kennebec River (1967); Star Island Boy (1968); Three of a Kind (1970); The Peninsula (1971); King Philip's War, 1675–76 (1972); Summer at High Kingdom (1975).

Louise Dickinson Rich loved the outdoors, evident from the many books she wrote about natural history and living in the woods. From the time of her marriage to Ralph Rich in 1934 until his death in 1945, the Rich family lived in a camp on the Rapid River in the backwoods of northern Maine. After Ralph died, Rich began writing to support herself and her two children. Her two autobiographical books, the bestselling We Took to the Woods (1942) and My Neck of the Woods (1950), are accounts of the Richs' isolated life in the wilderness and of their necessary resourcefulness during such emergencies as the birth of their first child. Among her other works are the young adult novels Trail to the North (1952), Start of the Trail (1949), and Summer at High Kingdom (1975), as well as many history books for children. Rich died of congestive heart failure in 1991.

Malinda Mayer , freelance writer, Falmouth, Massachusetts