September 30, 2020

“Anne” and Constance Fenimore Woolson

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Constance Fenimore Woolson was an American novelist and short story writer who was born in Claremont, New Hampshire on March 5th, 1840. She travelled extensively through the midwestern and northeastern regions of the USA during her childhood and young adulthood. After her father died in 1869, Constance began to publish fiction and essays in magazines such as ‘The Atlantic Monthly’ and ‘Harper’s Magazine’. Between1873 and 1879 she wintered with her mother in Florida and travelled all over the south, which gave her material for her writings.

The famous novelist Henry James met Constance in 1880 and they became friends. Whether their relationship became more than that has prompted much speculation. In 1893, she rented an elegant apartment in Venice and less than a year later, suffering from influenza and depression, fell from the balcony to her death. She is buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome.

Her first published novel, in 1880, was “Anne” that recounts the life of Anne Douglas who grows up on Mackinac Island trying to maintain her father’s home after her mother dies. Tragedy comes soon after when her father dies and she goes to New York City where a rich aunt cares for her. Anne falls in love with a man whom her aunt disapproves of; all against the background of the Civil War. Then her aunt is murdered and her lover is accused of the crime.

“Anne” is a wonderful and rich story but is surprisingly little known. iNews is very pleased to announce it will be serialising this work over the next few weeks.

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