Mary E. Wilkins Freeman


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was born in Randolph, Mass., and spent most of her life there until her marriage in 1902, when she moved to New Jersey. The scenes she knew in eastern Massachusetts form the background for most of her tales of New England rural life. Her early work is a dispassionate observation of local character and constitutes an important contribution to the local-color school by its study of repressed people in a decaying social system, capturing their spirit through their dialect. Her first collections of tales, A Humble Romance (1887) and A New England Nun (1891), established her reputation and contain her finest work. The novels, Jane Field (1893), Pembroke (1894), and Jerome, a Poor Man (1897), show that her forte was not the novel but the short tale revealing a dominant characteristic. Mrs. Freeman was also the author of works in other forms, including Giles Corey, Yeoman (1893), a play about the Salem witchcraft trials; The Heart's Highway (1900), a historical novel; The Portion of Labor (1901), a social novel; and The Wind in the Rose Bush (1903), stories of the supernatural. Edgewater People (1918) is a collection of short stories of the type and nearly of the caliber of her early work.

Subjects: Literature.

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