1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Wilkins, Mary Eleanor

WILKINS, MARY ELEANOR (1862), American novelist, was born in Randolph, Massachusetts, on the 7th of January 1862, of Puritan ancestry. Her early education, chiefly from reading and observation, was supplemented by a course at Mount Holyoke Seminary, South Hadley, Mass. Her home was in her native village and in Brattleboro, Vermont, until her marriage in 1902 to Dr Charles M. Freeman of Metuchen, New Jersey. She contributed poems and stories to children's magazines, and published several books for children, including Young Lucretia and other Stories (1892), The Pot of Cold and other Stories (1892), and Once upon a Time and other Child Verses (1S97). For older readers she wrote the following volumes of short stories: A Humble Romance and other Stories (1SS7), A New Englatid Nun and other Stories (1891), Silence and other Stories (1898), three books which gave her a prominent place among American short-story writers; The People of Our Neighborhood (1898), The Love of Parson Lord and other Stories (1900), Understudies (1901) and The Civers (1904); the novels Jane Field (1892), Pembroke {iig4), Madelon (18g6), Jerome, a Poor Man (1897), The Jamesons (1899), The Portion of Labor (1901) and The Debtor (1905); and Ciles Corey, Yeoman (1S95), a prose tragedy founded on incidents from New England history. Her longer novels, though successful in the portrayal of character, lack something of the unity, suggestiveness and charm of her short stories, which are notable contributions to modern American literature. She deals usually with a few traits peculiar to the village and country life of New England, and she gave literary permanence to certain characteristics of New England life which are fast disappearing.