Glasgow, Ellen(glăs`gō), 1873–1945, American novelist, b. Richmond, Va. In revolt against the romantic treatment of Southern life, Glasgow presented in fiction a social history of Virginia since 1850, stressing the changing social order and the emergence of a dominant middle class and rejecting the outworn code of Southern chivalry and masculine superiority. She spent her entire life in Richmond, Va. Her radicalism was apparent in her first novel, The Descendant (1897), and was sustained through her many subsequent books, including Virginia (1913), Life and Gabriella (1916), Barren Ground (1925), The Romantic Comedians (1926), Vein of Iron (1935), and In This Our Life (1941; Pulitzer Prize).
See her collected stories (ed. by R. K. Meeker, 1963); her critical prefaces, collected in A Certain Measure (1943); her autobiography, The Woman Within (1954); letters (ed. by B. Rouse, 1958); biography by M. Thiebaux (1982); studies by L. Auchincloss (1964), E. S. Godbold, Jr. (1972), and L. W. Wagner (1982).