He who demands little, gets it.
The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions.
Author of 19 novels, Ellen Glasgow’s work was applauded by Book News in September 1900, when she was still in her twenties, “as universally accorded a seat on the front row in the great American School of Fiction.” Twelve of her books were reprinted in 1938 in the Virginia Edition, and her biographers include Louis Auchincloss in the 1960s and Johns Hopkins professor Susan Goodman, in 1998. Adjectives used to describe Glasgow’s work include, “skeptical, feminist, urbane, civilized, ironic, relativistic, and forward-looking.”
Her mature novels are considered her best; her last novel,In This Our Life (1941), was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1942. Glasgow herself saw much of her work as a social history of Virginia, however, she aspired to be more than a regional writer, or a writer of realism or romance. Ellen Glasgow attempted to express the truth about life and to find its meaning.
In spite of Hollywood’s production of In This Our Life with Bette Davis, Glasgow’s novels are not ideally suited for the entertainment of large audiences. They are more about endurance than happiness, finding an anchor when everything falls apart, and the importance of retaining the optimism of life itself.
Select a book or two by Ellen Glasgow from the display in the Athenæum Reading Room and come to discuss her work on April 17 at 6 pm, upstairs at the Athenæum. Everyone who is interested is welcome. Help us answer the question: Does Ellen Glasgow have an audience beyond academia today?
Due to the great success of the Re-Appraisal Reading Circle, we are extending the series through May 2015, and will resume in winter with a new group of old authors.
Please contact us with questions!