Books about 19th Century American Women Authors


This page has links to two groups of works covering women authors of the 19th century. First are works about authors, male and female, from the Great Lakes states, many of whom wrote about the region. Entries for these are found on other pages of this site, as shown. All pages are arranged alphabetically by author, and each entry has a brief description and a link to an online version of the work.

The second group has works by or about women authors and poets around the U.S. Entries are in boxes on this page and the buttons are links to online versions.

In addition to the titles below, this website contains dozens of novels written by women of the Great Lakes region in the mid-19th century, as well as historical fiction by women authors from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. See the “Fiction” pages for the Great Lakes region and the five states. Links to these six pages can be found on the History of the Great Lakes States Home page.


For tips on reading online and downloading, see the note at the bottom of this page.


Authors of the Great Lakes States


Great Lakes Cultural History page

Venable, William H., Beginnings of Literary Culture in the Ohio Valley; Historical and Biographical Sketches (1891)
See Chapter 9, “Pioneer Poets and Story-Writers“, p. 267; Chapter 16 “Amelia Welby“, p. 471; Chapter 17 “Alice Cary“, p. 482.


Illinois Cultural History page

Report of the Illinois Woman’s Exposition Board, from 1891 to 1894 (1895)


Indiana Cultural History page

Parker, Benjamin S. and Heiney, Enos B., comp. and ed., Poets and Poetry of Indiana; a representative collection of the poetry of Indiana during the first hundred years of its history as territory and state, 1800 to 1900 (1900)

Rice, Alonzo, ed., Some Indiana Writers and Poets (1908)

Skelcher, Lucille Detraz and Jane Lucille Skelcher, “Julia L. Dumont of Vevay” (1938)


Michigan Cultural History page

Goodrich, Madge Vriehuis, A Bibliography of Michigan Authors (1928)


Ohio Biographies & Memoirs page

Stowe, Harriet Beecher, Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe: compiled from her letters and journals (1889)


Ohio Cultural History page

Coggeshall, William Turner, The Poets and Poetry of the West: with Biographical and Critical Notices (1864)

Coyle, William, ed., Ohio Authors and Their Books. Biographical Data and Selective Bibliographies for Ohio Authors, Native and Resident, 1796-1950 (1962)

Hatcher, Harlan, “Among Ohio Writers” in The Buckeye Country: a Pageant of Ohio (1947)

Venable, William Henry, Ohio Literary Men and Women; an Address Prepared for the Ohio Centennial Celebration (1904)


Wisconsin Cultural History page

Rounds, Charles Ralph, and Hippensteel, Henry Sherman, eds., Wisconsin in Story and Song; Selections from the Prose and Poetry of Badger State Writers (1916)



Women Authors throughout the U.S.



Our Famous Women. An Authorized Record of the Lives and Deeds of Distinguished American Women of our Times …

Hartford, CT: Hartford 1888
Go to Book

(title continued) “… an Entirely New Work, Full of Romantic Story, Lively Humor, Thrilling Experiences, Tender Pathos, and Brilliant Wit, with Numerous Anecdotes, Incidents, and Personal Reminiscences by the following Twenty Eminent Authors: (authors listed below) superbly illustrated with full-page portraits mainly from photographs taken expressly for this work, and fine full-page engravings from original designs by Mr. T. W. Williams”

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Rose Terry Cooke
Mary A. Livermore
Harriet Prescott Spofford
Marion Harland
Mary Clemmer
Louise Chandler Moulton
Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney
Lucy Larcom
Julia Ward Howe
Susan Coolidge
Kate Sanborn
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Lucia Gilbert Runkle
Laura Curtis Bullard
Lilian Whiting
Elizabeth T. Spring
Elizabeth Bryant Johnston
Maud Howe

Our Famous Women. Comprising the Lives and Deeds of American Women who have Distinguished themselves in Literature, Science, Art, Music, and the Drama …

Hartford, CT: Worthington 1883
Go to Book

(title continued) “… or are Famous as Heroines, Patriots, Orators, Educators, Physcians, Philanthropists, etc. with Numerous Anecdotes, Incidents, and Personal Experiences. By the following twenty Authors: (authors listed below) superbly illustrated with full-page portraits mainly from photographs taken expressly for this work”

Harriet Beecher Stowe
Rose Terry Cooke
Harriet Prescott Spofford
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney
Mary A. Livermore
Lucia Gilbert Runkle
Marion Harland
Mary Clemmer
Kate Sanborn
Louise Chandler Moulton
Lucy Larcom
Julia Ward Howe
Susan Coolidge
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Laura Curtis Bullard
Lilian Whiting
Elizabeth T. Spring
Elizabeth Bryant Johnston
Maud Howe

The Female Poets of America

NY: Miller 1874
Griswold, Rufus WilmontGo to Book

This was first published in 1848, and contains a selection of poems from each of over 100 poets from the 1840s and before. Every writer is introduced with biographical information and Griswold’s comments about their work. Many of these poets were also popular prose writers.

Women Authors of our Day in their Homes; Personal Descriptions & Interviews

NY: James Pott 1903
Halsey, Francis Whiting, ed.Go to Book

This has 27 authors, mostly living in New York and Massachusetts. There are photos of the homes of several.

Little Pilgrimages Among the Women who have Written Famous Books

Boston: L. C. Page 1902
Harkins, E. F. and C. H. L. JohnstonGo to Book

There are 21 American writers represented here. Portraits are included.

The Female Prose Writers of America. With Portraits, Biographical Notices, and Specimens of their Writings

Philadelphia: Butler 1855
Hart, John S.Go to Book

About 60 writers are represented here. Each writer is introduced with a brief biography and some information about the main works they have published, followed by a few pages of selections from one or two of their works.

The Woman’s Story, as Told by Twenty American Women; with Portraits and Sketches of the Authors

NY: Alden 1889
Holloway, Laura C. (Laura Carter) Go to Book

“The woman’s story as told by twenty American women is a composite picture of the representative fiction work of the female writers of the republic. It is one which depicts the types and characteristics of people who unitedly compose our young nation.” “The compilation represents the field of fiction, from the appearance of the first great American novel to the present day.”
– from the editor’s Preface. Authors included are:

Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Prescott Spofford
Rebecca Harding Davis
Edna Dean Proctor
Maritta Holley
Nora Perry
Augusta Evans Wilson
Louise Chandler Moulton
Celia Thaxter
Mrs. Sara J. Lippincott
Abba Gould Woolson
Mary J. Holmes
Margaret E. Sangster
Olive Thorne Miller
Elizabeth W. Champney
Julia C. R. Dorr
Marion Harland
Louisa May Alcott
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Rose Terry Cooke

The Female Poets of America. With Portraits, Biographical Notices, and Specimens of their Writings

Philadelphia: Butler 1851
Read, Thomas Buchanan Go to Book

This was first published in 1848. Over 80 poets are included, usually with one or two poems each and very brief biographical info.



Tips for Reading Online and Downloading

More than half the books on our website at History of the Great Lakes States are hosted by Internet Archive or Open Library. They are sister organizations and use the same online viewer application. In most cases this viewer will give you nearly perfect text if you;

1. switch from the double-page to the single-page view by using the icons in the bottom right corner, and;

2. Keep zooming in until the text snaps into a clear focus.

Using the single-page view allows you to scroll pages down with your mouse wheel.

You can download books from these two sites by clicking on the book name at the top-left corner of the page (in the viewer) to get to the download menu.


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