Woman of the Century/Louise Chandler Moulton
MOULTON, Mrs. Louise Chandler, poet and author, born in Pomfret, Conn., 5th April, 1835, and was chiefly educated there. After the publication of her first book, a girlish miscellany called "This, That and the Other" 1 Boston, 1854), which sold wonderfully, she passed one school-year in Mrs. Willard's Female Seminary, Troy, N. Y. During her first long vacation from the seminary she became the wife of the well-known Boston journalist, William U. Moulton. Almost immediately the young author set to work on a novel, "Juno Clifford" (New York. 1855), issued anonymously, and on a collection of stories, which owed to its fantastic title. "My Third Book" (1859). the partial obscurity which befell it. In 1873 Roberts LOUISE CHANDLER MOULTON. Brothers brought out her "Bedtime Stories." and have ever since been Mrs. Moulton's publishers. Their catalogue numbers five volumes of her tales for children, two volumes of narrative sketches and studies, "Some Women's Hearts" (1874), and "Miss Eyre from Boston", memories of foreign travel, entitled "Random Rambles" (1880, a book of essays on social subjects, "Ourselves and Our Neighbors" (1887), and two volumes of poems. The earliest of those, which came out in 1877. was reprinted, with some notable additions, under its original English title of "Swallow-Flights," in 1892. At the close of 1889, Messrs. Roberts, in America, and Messrs. Macmillan, in England, published " In the Garden of Dreams," of which one-thousand copies were sold in twelve days, and which is now nearing its fifth edition. Since the death of Philip Bourke Marston, in 1887, Mrs. Moulton has edited two volumes of his verses, " Garden Secrets " and "A Last Harvest," and she is now engaged in editing his poetical work as a whole. Mrs. Moulton's leisure, in the intervals of her many books, has been devoted often to magazines and newspapers. From 1870 to 1876 she was the Boston literary correspondent of the New York " Tribune," and for nearly five years she wrote a weekly letter on bookish topics for the Boston "Sunday Herald," the series closing in December, 1891. During all those busy years her residence has been in Boston, an i sixteen consecutive summers and autumns have been passed in Europe. In London, especially, she is thoroughly at home, and lives there surrounded by friends and friendly critics, who heartily value both her winning personality and her exquisite art. Mrs. .Moulton. to whom all circumstances are kind and whom success has never spoiled, is an enviable figure among American women of letters. Full of appreciation for the great bygone names of honor, she reaps a certain reward in enjoying now the friendship of such immortals as Sir. Hardy, Mr. Meredith, Mr. Whittier, Mr. Swinburne and Mr. Walter Pater. The very best of her gifts is the tolerant and gracious nature which puts upon every mind, high or low, its noblest interpretation. She has been all her life much sought and greatly beloved. Many young writers have looked to her, and not in vain, for encouragement and sympathy, and may almost be ranked as her children, along with the sole daughter, who is in a home of her own, far away. Mrs. Moulton's literary reputation rests, and ought to rest, upon her poetry. It is of uneven quality, and it has a narrow range, but it securely utters its own soul, and with truly impassioned beauty. Occupied entirely with emotions, reveries and thoughts of things, rather than with things themselves, it yields, in our objective national air, a note of mysterious melancholy. It has for its main characteristic a querulous, but not rebellious sorrow, expressed with consummate ease and melody. Few can detect in such golden numbers the price paid for the victory of song, how much of toil, patience and artistic anxiety lie at the root of what sounds and shows so naturally fair. Mrs. Moulton is in herself two phenomena: the dedicated and conscientious poet, and the poet whose wares are marketable and even popular. Whatever sensitive strength is in her work at all, concentrates itself in her sonnets, steadily pacing on to some solemn close. Not a few critics have placed those sonnets at the head of their kind in America.