Atherton, Gertrude

Atherton, Gertrude (Franklin Horn)

(1857–1948) writer; born in San Francisco. She began writing during an unhappy marriage, and after being widowed in 1887, continued professionally. She maintained her ties to San Francisco but traveled widely and lived in Europe for many years. Her 56 books include melodramatic historical and society novels, works set in old California (The Splendid Idle Forties, 1902), and innovative fictionalized biographies of Alexander Hamilton and others. Many of her novels depict strong-willed women, and her Black Oxen (1923) promoted the possibility of rejuvenation through a medical operation.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.