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Mary Wilkins-Freeman

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Mary Wilkins-Freeman was born in Randolph, Massachusetts in 1852. Freeman’s parents were orthodox Congregationalists, causing her to have a very strict childhood. Religious constraints play a key role in some of her works. She passed the greater part of her life in Massachusetts and Vermont. Freeman began writing stories and verse for children while still a teenager to help support her family and was quickly successful. Her best known work was written in the 1880s and 1890s while she lived in Randolph. She produced more than two dozen volumes of published short stories and novels and is best known for two collections of stories, A Humble Romance and Other Stories (1887) and A New England Nun and Other Stories (1891). Her stories deal mostly with New England life and she wrote a small but noteworthy number of supernatural & weird stories. In April 1926, Freeman became the first recipient of the William Dean Howells Medal for Distinction in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She died in 1930.

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