Catharine Maria Sedgwick
Authoress and Teacher
1789 – 1864 A.D.
Miss Sedgwick’s father, Theodore, was at the time of his death one of the judges of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts.
Stockbridge, Massachusetts, was the place of her birth. Her first book was entitled A New England Life. She intended it for a religious tract, but it grew upon her until it became a book. The book was both praised and censured. As a literary production in clear, vigorous style, it was well-nigh perfect, but many considered it too severe a picture of New England Puritanism.
Her next book Redwood was a great success, being republished in England and translated into French and Italian, German and Swedish. She now ranked among the very best of the women writers of America.
Her Redwood somewhat resembled the works of Cooper and in the French version was attributed to him. She was a keen observer and her works will be of permanent value as pictures of New England in the first half of the 20th century.
She wrote also The Traveler, Hope Leslie, or Early Times in Massachusetts (which is one of her best), The Poor Rich Man, Live and Let Live, Means or Ends, or Self Training, Morals and Manners.
But Miss Sedgwick was an educator as well as a writer. She took the management of a private school for young ladies soon after the death of her father and continued that work along with her literary pursuits for fifty years.
In the midst of her activities she spent one year in Europe and described her travels in Letters from Abroad to Kindred at Home, which was published in two volumes. To the descriptions of people, places, and customs in Europe she brought the same masterly ability that is seen in her books about things in America.
She was born December 28, 1789, and died near Roxbury, Massachusetts, July 31, 1867.
Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence, and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World published by the King-Richardson Co. in 1903.