Andover Author - Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

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Elizabeth Stuart Phelps was born in 1844 and was educated at Abbot Academy. Her birth name was Mary Gray, but, after her mother died when Mary was eight, she took her mother's name, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps. She published her first piece of work at age 18, and her first book, The Gates Ajar, in 1869, when she was 24. It proved to be a 19th century bestseller. She went on to author 57 books. Ms. Phelps also wrote for the Atlantic Monthly.

She wrote "The Tenth of January" for the March 1968 issue of Atlantic Monthly. In it she described the conditions that lead to the collapse of the Pemberton Mill in Lawrence on January 10, 1860.

She also challenged the prevailing idea that women were meant to lead a life of domestic pursuits. She championed a woman's right to keep her maiden name after marriage, believed that women could be financially independent, and challenged the need to wear a corset. At 44 she married Herbert Dickinson Ward, a man 17 years younger. She died in 1911 and is buried in Newton MA.


--Eleanor 15:46, March 13, 2012 (EDT)

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