Hathaway, Katharine (1890 - 1942)

Genre: Non-Fiction

Katharine Butler Hathaway was born in 1890 and grew up in Salem, Massachusetts, part of a wealthy family. She suffered from spinal tuberculosis, and was confined to a bed for most of her childhood. Though her treatment was most advanced for the time, she was left disfigured. After attending Radcliffe College, she purchased a house in Castine in 1921 and began a life of her own. She traveled and lived in New York and Paris. In 1932, she married, returned to Maine and settled in Blue Hill. The Feminist Press of New York University considered The Little Locksmith a lost literary classic and reprinted it in 2000.

Selected Bibliography

  • The Little Locksmith, which details both her suffering and her triumphant spirit, was published in 1943, a year after her death. It became a bestseller and a main selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club. Much of the memoir focuses on her house and life in Castine.
  • The Journals and Letters of the Little Locksmith. 1946 a collection of her writings, poems, and drawings

Selected Resources

Katharine Butler Hathaway's papers are in the collection of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute.