Southern writer Ellen Glasgow is born in Richmond, Virginia.
The daughter of a sadly mismatched couple, Glasgow felt pulled between her father’s stern pioneering background and her mother’s aristocratic Virginia family. The ninth of 10 children, the young Glasgow felt isolated growing up, and her mother was constantly in poor health. Her father worked in manufacturing, and she attended private schools.
At the age of 16, Glasgow began to lose her hearing, which increased her sense of isolation. She retreated into the world of books and began to write seriously at the age of 18. She had started work on two novels before she was 20 but destroyed much of her work after her mother’s death in 1893. Her first novel, The Descendants, was published in 1897 to instant critical success.
Glasgow wrote 19 novels, a collection of stories, an autobiography, and other works, many centered on the oppression of women in the South. Among her major works are Barren Ground (1925), Veins of Iron (1935), and In This Our Life (1941). Although involved in several passionate romances with men, Glasgow never married. She suffered heart trouble in her late 60s and did not live to see her work win the 1942 Pulitzer Prize.