HomeBrowseAdvanced SearchAboutHelpContact

Mary Ellen Chase letter

Biographical note

Mary Ellen Chase (1887-1973), novelist, teacher, and public speaker, was born on February 24, 1887, in Blue Hill, Maine. After graduating from Blue Hill Academy, she earned her B.A. from the University of Maine in 1909 and continued her education at the University of Minnesota where she earned her M.A. in 1918 and later a Ph.D. in 1922. In between the completion of her degrees, she had taught in a one-room school in Buck’s Harbor, Maine, as well as schools in Chicago, Illinois, and Montana. She also fulfilled her passion for fiction writing by publishing two books. In 1926, she was hired by Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she taught popular courses on the English novel and the King James Version of the Bible for the next thirty years. Due to Chase’s popularity as a novelist and a teacher, she was often invited to lecture around the country. Throughout her lifetime, Mary Ellen Chases published more than thirty essays, novels, and biographies and was awarded honorary degrees from the University of Maine, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Smith College, and Northeastern University. In 1956, she was acknowledged by the Women’s National Book Association and was awarded their Constance Lindsay Skinner Award. Mary Ellen Chase died on July 28, 1973, in Northampton, Massachusetts at the age of eighty six.