Image of Eleanor Hallowell Abbott


Lifetime: 1872 - 1958 Passed: ≈ 65 years ago




United States

Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

Eleanor Hallowell Abbott was a nationally recognized American author. She was a frequent contributor to The Ladies' Home Journal.

Eleanor Hallowell Abbott was born on September 22, 1872, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Abbott was the daughter of clergyman Edward Abbott and Clara , who edited the journal Literary World; and the granddaughter of noted children's author Jacob Abbott. Eleanor Hallowell Abbott grew up surrounded by literary and religious luminaries due to her father and grandfather. This resulted in her growing up knowing many famous literary people, like Longfellow and Lowell. This caused her childhood home to be one of great religious and scholarly thought.

After attending private schools in Cambridge, she began courses at Radcliffe College. After completing her studies, she worked as a secretary and teacher at Lowell State Normal School. Here, she began to write poetry and short stories, but had little success in the beginning. It was only when Harper's Magazine accepted two of her poems that she saw promise in her work. This led to her winning three short-story prizes offered by Collier's and The Delineator.

In 1908 Abbott married Dr. Fordyce Coburn and relocated with him to Wilton, New Hampshire. Dr. Coburn was a medical advisor of the Lowell High School and would help his wife with her writing. Soon after moving, several widely read magazines accepted her work for publication. Two of her poems were accepted by Harper’s Monthly Magazine in 1909. She went on to publish seventy-five short stories and fourteen romantic novels. Being Little in Cambridge When Everyone Else Was Big is an autobiography written by Abbott about her childhood in Cambridge.

Abbott tells of how when she was a child, she was a nervous and excitable one, and through her fiction, she got in touch with this side to her. This is shown greatly through her work's intensity of feeling. Her writing is one of romance and even though some of her characters go through tough and painful times, each of her novels and stories carries a happy conclusion. The principal characters she uses are young girls who exhibit audacious behavior, are high strung, terribly talkative and full of unsettling demands while their male counterparts are the opposite - quiet, strong and tough against patient suffering.

Abbott gives a unique style and aims for spontaneity and originality. She writes with extreme vivacity and startling imagery. Abbott would not allow her work to be published unless she truly liked it herself. Her chief concern while writing was to use her own feeling about the story she was working on. Due to this unique style, many critics comment that even though her work is charming it can feel sometimes forced. In spite of this, Abbott's work reveals the turning away from the harshness of the New England surroundings that was in place at the time.

Abbott had no children. She died in 1958 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Books by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

Molly Make-Believe  Cover image

Molly Make-Believe

Romantic Short Story Romance Pain Letters Beliefs Fun General Fiction

Charmingly romantic story of an invalid, left to solitary recuperation, who subscribes to a letter service to keep his spirits up. The characters here are much more fully drawn than Abbott's typical archetypes.

Fairy Prince and Other Stories Cover image

Fairy Prince and Other Stories

Fiction Novel
Beauty Young Dream Friendship Family Life Magic Imagination Children Fiction

What if you could step into a world of fairy princes, enchanted forests, and magical creatures? Eleanor Hallowell Abbott's enchanting collection of stories, Fairy Prince and Other Stories, will transport you to a world of wonder and imagination. The...

Little Eve Edgarton Cover image

Little Eve Edgarton

Eve Edgarton is not who she seems she is. A short encounter with Mr. Barton show that first impressions are not always right or indicative of one's seemingly obvious preference or one's proclivity. (Summary by Kehinde)

Peace On Earth, Good-Will to Dogs Cover image

Peace On Earth, Good-Will to Dogs

If you don't like Christmas stories, don't read this one! And if you don't like dogs, I don't know just what to advise you to do! For I warn you perfectly frankly that I am distinctly pro-dog and distinctly pro-Christmas, and would like to bring to t...

Indiscreet Letter Cover image

Indiscreet Letter

Three fellow travelers on a train enter into a discussion concerning what they would call an 'indiscreet letter.' The discussion, albeit short, produces some rather interesting revelations during the journey and at journey's end. (Summary by Kehinde)

White Linen Nurse Cover image

White Linen Nurse

The White Linen Nurse is a hysterical story of an exhausted nurse who comes to regret her profession and then somehow finds herself caring for the invalid daughter of the Senior Surgeon. The unexpected events which lead her there and also those which...

Rainy Week Cover image

Rainy Week

Join this couple in their annual house party where the “guests” becoming unknowing “actors” in their beach house play “Rainy Week” (Linette Geisel). “To be indeed absolutely explicit experience has proved, with an almost chemical accuracy, that, quit...