Woman of the Century/Grace Atkinson Oliver
OLIVER, Mrs. Grace Atkinson, author, born in Boston, Mass., 24th September, 1844 She is the daughter of a well-known merchant of Boston, James L. Little. In 1869 she became the wife of John Harvard Ellis, a talented young lawyer, the son of Rev. Dr. George E. Ellis, of Boston. Her husband died about a year after their marriage. That was a sad event for Mrs. Ellis. GRACE ATKINSON OLIVER. In order to divert her mind from her trouble, she was advised by Rev. Dr. E. E. Hale to write for his magazine, "Old and New." That was her first literary work, which was succeeded from time to time by contributions to the "Atlantic Monthly." "Galaxy" and "Scribner's Magazine." She was for some years a regular contributor to the Boston " Transcript " on book notices, and she wrote also for the "Daily Advertiser." In 1873 she wrote the "Life of Mrs. Barbauld," which is an interesting work and well received by the public. In 1874 Mrs. Ellis spent a season in London, Eng., where she enjoyed the best literary society of that metropolis. While in England she met some members of the family of Maria Edgeworth. They suggested to her the writing of the life of Miss Edgeworth. That book was published in the famous "Old Corner Bookstore," in Boston, in 1882. In 1879 she became the wife of Dr. Joseph P. Oliver, a physician of Boston. Subsequently she wrote a memoir of the revered Dean Stanley, which book was brought out both in Boston and London. In the winter of 1883-84 she edited three volumes of selections from Anne and Jane Taylor, Mrs. Barbauld and Miss Edgeworth. Mrs. Oliver is at present engaged upon a work of great value and importance, upon which she is bestowing her usual labor and painstaking. The subject will relate to the lives and reminiscences of some Colonial American women. She has also been engaged recently upon the "Browning Concordance, edited by Dr. J. W. Rolfe, and soon to be published. Her reputation as a writer is established. Mrs. Oliver is a woman of unselfish and generous impulses. Blessed with a competency, she is always ready with time and means to do even more than her part in every good cause. She is a kindly, public-spirited woman. In the year 1889, after the death of her father, Mrs. Oliver bought and fitted up a house in Salem, where she moved in the last month of the year. In that place had lived in the time of the Revolution her great-grandfather, Col. David Mason, a noted man, who figured in "Leslie's Retreat," at the North Bridge, in February, 1775. Colonel Mason was. it is said, a correspondent of Dr. Franklin, and gave in Salem, as early as 1774, the first advertised public lecture on the subject of electricity. In 1890 Mrs. Oliver bought a small piece of land on the cove known as Doliver's Cove, which is the earliest settled part of the historic town of Marblehead. The old wharf, known to the antiquary as Valpey's, she has raised and made into a terrace with stone walls. This exceedingly picturesque spot is now her new summer home. Mrs. Oliver is an associate member of the New England Woman's Press Association, a member of the New England Woman's Club, of the North Shore Club, in Lynn, and of the Thought and Work Club, in Salem, of which she is a vice-president She is a member of the Essex Institute, in Salem, and other organizations.