About Woolson


Constance Fenimore Woolson was born in New Hampshire in 1840. She grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and died in Venice in 1894. The terrain she covered in her life and in her writings was immense. She wrote about the Great Lakes, New York City, the Reconstruction South, American exiles in Europe, and even Cairo. She was friends with some of the era’s most eminent writers, including Henry James, John Hay, and Edmund Clarence Stedman. Her novels were published in Harper’s magazine and then by Harper’s publishing house, as well as in England and Germany. When she died, obituaries appeared in newspapers all over the United States and Europe. She was widely considered a “true artist” whose “name stands at the head of the list of American literary women,” as the newspapers declared at the time. Today, she is taught in college courses in the U.S., Italy, and England, and is studied by scholars in the Constance Fenimore Woolson Society, which manages this site.

For a fuller overview of her career, see here.


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