Alice Brown

Alice Brown (December 5th, 1856 – June 21st, 1948) was an American author.

Born on a farm in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, Brown was educated at home and then attended Robinson Female Seminary in Exeter. After she graduated, in 1876, she started working as a teacher there, but never liked the profession. She wanted to become a writer.

In 1884, Brown moved to Boston to work for The Christian Register, and, in 1885, she begun an editing job at the Youth’s Companion. Her first novel, Stratford-by-the-Sea, was published in 1884, and Brown soon became part of the Boston literary scene. She was a member of the Athenæum, served as a term president of the Boston Authors Club, and became close friends with Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Robert Frost, Annie Fields, and Louise Imogen Guiney, among others.

Guiney and Brown
Louise Imogen Guiney and Alice Brown

Brown and Guiney travelled together to the English countryside, in 1895, and founded the Women’s Rest Tour Association to encourage women to travel abroad. In 1896, Brown published By Oak and Thorn, an essay collection about her travels with Louise. The two were rumoured to have had a lesbian relationship, and stayed close friends even after Guiney moved to England, in 1901. Their friendship lasted until Guiney’s death, in 1920, and, in 1921, Brown published a biography in tribute to her.

Brown wrote novels, short stories, poems, and plays, and contributed regularly with various periodicals, such as the Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s Monthly, and Harper’s Bazaar. She never married.

Alice Brown died in Boston, Massachusetts in 1948, at 91. By the time of her death, she was mostly forgotten, and her books were out of print.

Books

Novels

  • Stratford-by-the-Sea (1884)
  • Fools of Nature (1887)
  • My Love and I (1896, under the pseudonym Martin Redfield)
  • The Day of His Youth (1897)
  • Kings End (1901)
  • Margaret Warrener (1901)
  • The Mannerings (1903)
  • Paradise (1905)
  • Rose MacLeod (1908)
  • The Story of Thyza (1909)
  • John Winterbourne’s Family (1910)
  • The Prisoner (1916)
  • Bromley Neighborhood (1917)
  • The Prisoner (1916)
  • The Black Drop (1919)
  • The Wind Between the Worlds (1920)
  • Old Crow (1922)
  • Dear Old Templeton (1927)
  • The Diary of a Dryad (1932)
  • The Kingdom in the Sky (1932)
  • Jeremy Hamlin (1934)
  • The Willoughbys (1935)

Short stories

  • Meadow-Grass: Tales of New England Life (1896)
  • Tiverton Tales (1899)
  • High Noon (1904)
  • The Country Road (1906)
  • Country Neighbors (1910)
  • The One-Footed Fairy (1911)
  • Vanishing Points (1913)
  • The Flying Teuton (1918)
  • Homespun and Gold (1920)

Plays

  • Children of Earth (1914)
  • One Act Plays (1921)
  • Charles Lamb: A Play (1924)

Poems

  • The Road to Castalay (1896)
  • Ellen Prior (1923)

Nonfiction

  • Louise Imogen Guiney — a Study (1921)

About her

  • The Women Who Make Our Novels, by Grant M. Overton (1918)
  • Notable American Women 1607-1950, ed. Paul Boyer (1971)
  • “Alice Brown (1857-1948)”, by Susan Allen Toth, in American Literary Realism, 1870-1910, Vol. 5, No. 2 (Spring, 1972), pp. 134-143.
  • Transcendental Elements in the Fiction of Alice Brown, by Alexis P. Walker (1987)
  • A Literary History of New England, by Perry D. Westbrook (1988)
  • American Short-Story Writers, 1880-1910, ed. Bobby Ellen Kimbel and William E. Grant (1989)
  • The Oxford Book of Women’s Writing in the United States, ed. Linda Wagner-Martin and Cathy N. Davidson (1995)

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