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Gertrude Atherton (Gertrude Franklin, née Horn Atherton) Biography

(1857–1948), (Gertrude Franklin, née Horn Atherton), What Dreams May Come, The Californians

American novelist, born in San Francisco, educated in private schools in California and Kentucky. Atherton's reputation has grown increasingly, due to the critical preoccupation with American women's writing, and a renewed interest in the literature of the Far West. Her first work of fiction, What Dreams May Come, appeared in 1888 but her best work dates from the turn of the century. The Californians (1898) deals intelligently with the conflict of Anglo-Saxon and Hispanic culture; she also wrote what have been called ‘society novels’, among which are Julia France and Her Times (1912) and Black Oxen (1923). She was both prolific and successful, and in addition to works of fiction wrote California: An Intimate History (1914, 1927), three volumes of essays, and a volume of autobiography, Adventures of a Novelist (1932). She was elected a Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur in 1925 and was president of the American National Academy of Literature in 1934. Atherton (1979) by Charlotte S. McClure is a critical study.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Areley Kings (or arley regis) Worcestershire to George Pierce Baker Biography