Susan Coolidge (1835-1905)

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Susan Coolidge was born in 1835 into an upper class family and her real name was Sarah Chauncy Woolsey. She worked as a nurse in the American Civil War and then began her writing career. Her editor suggested that Susan try her hand at a family story and the five books about the irrepressible Katy Carr followed. The characters in her books are especially lifelike because, without doubt, they’re based on members of the author’s family. Susan herself was tall, quick-witted and impatient – like Katy; Katy’s three sisters are Susan’s three sisters, and Katy’s two brothers are Susan Coolidge’s brother and cousin. Susan Coolidge devoted her life to her literary and social activities. As well as children’s books, she wrote poetry and edited the letters of Jane Austen and Fanny Burney.


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In the High Valley