Woman of the Century/Jane Goodwin Austin
JANE GOODWIN AUSTIN. AUSTIN, Mrs. Jane Goodwin, author, born in Worcester, Mass., in 1831. Her parents were from Plymouth in the ' >ld Colony, and counted their lineage from the Mayflower Pilgrims in no less than eight distinct lines, besides a common descent from Francis Le Baron, the nameless nobleman. Believers in heredity will see in this descent the root of Mrs. Austin's remarkable devotion to Pilgrim story and tradition. Her father, Isaac Goodwin, was a lawyer of considerable eminence, and also a distinguished antiquary and genealogist. Her brother, the Hon. John A. Goodwin, was the author, among other works, of "The Pilgrim Republic," the latest and best of all histories of the settlement of Plymouth. Her mother, well-known as a poet and song-writer, was furthermore a lover of the traditions and anecdotes of her native region, and many of the stories embodied in Mrs. Austin's later works she first heard as a child at her mother's knee, especially those relative to the Le Barons. Although Mrs. Austin's pen has strayed in various fields of poesy and prose, it has now settled down into a course very marked and very definite, yet capable of great devlopment. This daughter of the Pilgrims has become a specialist in their behalf and has pledged her remaining years to developing their story. Her four books" last published, namely: "Standish of Standish," "Betty Alden," "The Nameless Nobleman" and "Dr. Le Baron and his Daughters," cover the ground from the landing of the Pilgrims upon Plymouth Rock, in t6ao. to the days of the Revolution, in 1775, and a fifth volume is to succeed, which will complete the series. She has written a great number of: magazine stories and some poems. Her principal books with the date of their publication are as follows: "Fain-Dreams" (Boston, 1859); "Dora Darling" (Boston, 1865); "Outpost" (Boston, 1866); "Tailor Boy" (Boston, 1867); "Cypher" (New York, 1869); "The Shadow of Moloch Mountain" (New York, 1870); "Moon-Folk" (New York, 1874); "Mrs. Beauchamp Brown" (Boston, 1880); "The Nameless Nobleman" (Boston, 1881) "Nantucket Scraps" (Boston, 1882); "Standish of Standish" (Boston. 18891; "Dr. Le Baron and his Daughters " (Boston, 1890); "Betty Alden" (Boston, 1891). Although a prolific writer, she has always written carefully and in finished style, and her contributions to the literature of early New England possess a rare value from her intimate knowledge of the pioneers of the eastern colonies gained from thorough reading and tradition. Her work is distinctly American in every essential. Mrs. Austin was married in 1850 to Loring H. Austin, a descendant of the fine old Boston family which figured so largely in the Revolution. She has three children. She is instinctively gracious, and those who know her not only admire her work, but give her a warm place in their affections. Her name is with a married daughter in Roxbury, although she passes a part of the winter in Biwton, in order to be near her church, and every summer finds her ready to return to Plymouth, where she constantly studies not only written records, but crumbling gravestones and oral tradition.