Chase, Mary Ellen (1887 - 1973)

Genre: Children's Literature, General Fiction, Non-Fiction

Mary Ellen Chase was born on Feb. 24,1887 in Blue Hill,ME. She was a 1909 Univ. of Maine graduate, with a Ph.D. in English from the Univ. of Minnesota (1922), and honorary degrees from the Univ. of Maine (1928); Bowdoin (1933); Colby College (1937); Northeastern University (1947); and Smith College (1949).

Chase was a professor at the Univ. of Minnesota from 1922-1926, then at Smith College from 1926 until she retired in 1955.

She spent most of her adult life away from Maine but wrote of it with passion. She wrote novels, autobiographies, historical biographies, and books about writing and literature, as well as other non-fiction works.

In 1959 she received the Hale Award, given annually to a distinguished writer with a connection to New England. One of Chase's students at Smith College, Lee Kingman, herself an author and editor, won an essay contest sponsored by Vogue for a piece entitled 'Pamela's Socks and the Roman Emperors,' about her teacher.

Chase died in a nursing home in Northampton, Mass, on July 28, 1973.

Selected Bibliography

Children's Books

  • The Girl from the Big Horn Country (1916)
  • Virginia of Elk Creek Valley (1917)
  • Mary Christmas (1926)
  • The Silver Shell (1930) (ages 10-14)
  • It's All About Me (1937)
  • Donald McKay and the Clipper Ships (1959), juvenile biography
  • The Fishing Fleets of New England (1961), juvenile

Books for Adults

  • His Birthday (1915)
  • The Art of Narration (1926), with W. Frances K. Del Plaine
  • Uplands (1927)
  • Thomas Hardy from Serial to Novel (1927)
  • The Golden Asse and Other Essays (1929)
  • Constructive Theme Writing for College Freshmen (1929/1957)
  • A Goodly Heritage (1932)
  • Mary Peters (1934)
  • Silas Crockett (1935)
  • This England (1936)
  • Dawn in Lyonesse (1938)
  • A Goodly Fellowship (1939)
  • Windswept (1941)
  • The Bible and the Common Reader (1944)
  • Jonathan Fisher, Maine Parson, 1768-1847 (1948)
  • The Plum Tree (1949)
  • Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (1950)
  • Recipe for A Magic Childhood (1951)
  • The White Gate; Adventures in the Imagination of a Child (1954)
  • Life and Language in the Old Testament (1955)
  • The Edge of Darkness (1957)
  • Sailing the Seven Seas (1958)
  • The Lovely Ambition (1960)
  • The Psalms for the Common Reader (1962)
  • The Prophets for the Common Reader (1963)
  • Victoria: A Pig in a Pram (1963)
  • Dolly Moses: The Cat and the Clam Chowder (1964)
  • Richard Mansfield: The Prince of Donkeys (1964)
  • A Journey to Boston (1965)
  • The Story of Lighthouses (1965)
  • Values in Literature (1965), with Arno Jewett and William Evans
  • A Walk on an Iceberg (1966)

Selected Resources