Sedgwick, Catherine Maria

Sedgwick, Catherine Maria

(1789–1867) writer; born in Stockbridge, Mass. (daughter of Theodore Sedgwick, 1746–1813). She was educated locally and at boarding schools in Boston and Albany. After the death of her mother (1807), she lived with her brother in Albany and with her sister in New York City. After her father's death (1813), she returned to Stockbridge, but continued her visits to her siblings. She published many novels and stories in the romantic-didactic vein then popular and is credited with writing the first American domestic novel, A New England Tale (1822). She also wrote several "moral" guidance books. The most popular American female author of her time, she was also held in high regard by such contemporaries as Nathaniel Hawthorne.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.