History's Women: Misc. Articles: Mary N. Murfree, The Novelist of Southern LifeMary N. Murfree
(Pen name Charles Egbert Craddock)
The Novelist of Southern Life
1850 – 1922 A.D.

Miss Murfree is a Southerner, and, as a portrayer [sic] of Southern life and scenery, she occupies a unique place.

Her early sketches were published in the Atlantic Monthly and met with immediate success. She had opened up a new field and people read her stories, In the Tennessee Mountains, with great relish.

“The everlasting hills, calmly observant human vicissitudes, form a harmonious background for her wild, pathetic, and tragic scenes. The mountaineers whom she portrays are taciturn, serious, secret race, with few ideas, but tenacious  of those they have. Her men are stern and rude; her women are reserved, undemonstrative, lacking in feminine grace and charm, but unalterable, both in their loves and their hates. This strange people, with the uncompromising speech, their peculiar dialect, their rugged, natural environment, form an unfamiliar and powerful picture.”

The following are the names of some of her works: Where the Battle was Fought, In the Clouds, The Story of Keedon Bluffs, The Despot of Broomsedge Cove, The Stranger People’s Country, The Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountain.

Even Miss Murfree’s publishers supposed that they were dealing with a man and were gently surprised when she visited Boston and called upon them. Her writings have all the vigor of a masculine mind and at the same time show the keen insight of a woman.


Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World. Designed and Arranged by William C. King. Published in 1900 by The King-Richardson Co. Copyright 1903 The King-Richardson Co.