Constance Fenimore Woolson (March 5, 1840 ? January 24, 1894) was
an American novelist and short story writer. She was a grandniece
of James Fenimore Cooper, and is best known for fictions about the
Great Lakes region, the American South, and American expatriates in
In 1880 she met Henry James, and the relationship between the
two writers has prompted much speculation by biographers,
especially Lyndall Gordon in her 1998 book, A Private Life of Henry
James. Woolson's most famous story, Miss Grief, has been read as a
fictionalization of their friendship, though she had not yet met
James when she wrote it. Recent novels such as Emma Tennants Felony
(2002), David Lodges Author, Author (2004) and Colm Toibins The
Master (2004) have treated the still unclear relationship between
Woolson and James.
Woolson published her first novel Anne in 1880, followed by
three others: East Angels (1886), Jupiter Lights (1889) and Horace
Chase (1894). In 1883 she published the novella For the Major, a
story of the postwar South that has become one of her most
respected fictions. In the winter of 1889?1890 she traveled to
Egypt and Greece, which resulted in a collection of travel
sketches, Mentone, Cairo and Corfu (published posthumously in
In 1893 Woolson rented an elegant apartment on the Grand Canal
of Venice. Suffering from influenza and depression, she either
jumped or fell to her death from a window in the apartment in
January 1894. Two volumes of her short stories appeared after her
death: The Front Yard and Other Italian Stories (1895) and Dorothy
and Other Italian Stories (1896). She is buried in the Protestant
Cemetery in Rome.
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WELL, now, with Gooster at work in the per-dairy, and Bepper
settled at last as help in a good family, and Parlo and Squawly
gone to Perugia, and Soonter taken by the nuns, and Jo Vanny
learning the carpenters trade, and only Nounce left for me to see
to (let alone Granmar, of course, and Pipper and old Patro), it
doos seem, it really doos, as if I might get it done sometime; say
next Fourth of July, now; thats only ten months off.
...She woke from her reverie, rebuckled the straps of the
basket, and adjusting it by a jerk of her shoulders in its place on
her back, she took the fagot in one hand, the bundle of herbs in
the other, and carrying the sickle under her arm, toiled slowly up
the ascent, going round the cow-shed, as the interrupted path too
went round it, in an unpaved, provisional sort of way (which had,
however, lasted fifty years), and giving a wave of her herbs
towards the offending black door as she passed?a gesture that was
...Granmar would not allow it to be moved elsewhere; her bed
had always been in the kitchen, and in the kitchen it should
remain; no one but Denza, indeed, would wish to shove her off;
Annunziata had liked to have her dear old granmar there, where she
could see for herself that she was having everything she needed;
but Annunziata had been an angel of goodness, as well as of the
dearest beauty; whereas Denza?but any one could see what Denza
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