Image of Grace Livingston Hill


Lifetime: 1865 - 1947 Passed: ≈ 76 years ago


Novelist, Writer


United States

Grace Livingston Hill

Grace Livingston Hill was an early 20th-century novelist and wrote both under her real name and the pseudonym Marcia Macdonald. She wrote over 100 novels and numerous short stories. Her characters were most often young Christian women or become Christians within the confines of the story.

Grace Livingston Hill was born in Wellsville, New York to Marcia Macdonald Livingston and her husband, Presbyterian minister, Rev. Charles Montgomery Livingston. Both were writers, as was her aunt, Isabella Macdonald Alden, who wrote under the pseudonym "Pansy."

Hill's writing career began as a child in the 1870s, writing short stories for her aunt's weekly children's publication, The Pansy. Her first story printed in book form was The Esselstynes, which was published in 1877 as part of the "Mother's Boys and Girls Library" by D. Lothrop & Company.

A Chautauqua Idyl, her first book as a young adult, was written in 1887 to earn enough money for a family trip from her Florida home to the summer Chautauqua gathering at Chautauqua, New York. This illustrated allegory of a Chautauqua gathering held by the flowers, tree, and animals was published in time to be offered for sale that summer and brought enough earnings to take the family there. Several books written in collaboration with her family followed in the early 1890s, as well as her only children's book, A Little Servant.

Lack of funds was a frequent motivator, particularly after the death of her first husband left her with two small children and no income other than that from her writing. After the death of Hill's father less than a year later, her mother came to live with her. This prompted Hill to write more frequently. During and after her failed ten-year marriage to second husband Flavius Josephus Lutz, a church organist 15 years her junior, she continued to write to support her children and mother. She stopped using the Lutz surname after they parted ways in May 1914.

Although many of her earlier novels were specifically intended to proselytize, Hill's publishers frequently removed overt references to religious themes. After her publishers realized the popularity of her books, references to religious topics were allowed to remain, although she later modified her writing style to appeal to a more secular audience. The last Grace Livingston Hill book, Mary Arden, was finished by her daughter, Ruth Hill Munce, writing under the name of Ruth Livingston Hill, and published in 1948.

Hill's messages are simple in nature: good versus evil. As Hill believed the Bible was very clear about what was good and evil in life, she reflected that design in her own works. She wrote about a variety of different subjects, almost always with a romance worked into the message and often essential to the return to grace on the part of one or several characters.

If her clear-cut descriptions of evil in man and woman were Hill’s primary subjects in her novels, a secondary subject would always be God’s ability to restore. Hill aimed for a happy, or at least satisfactory, ending to any situation, often focusing on characters' new or renewed faith as impetus for resolution.

Books by Grace Livingston Hill

A Little Servant  Cover image

A Little Servant

Fairy Tale Religion
Short Story Death Christianity Childhood Humanity Jesus Human Nature

A very sweet and poignant story of how a little girl befriends and influences a young orphan man to come to Christ.

Lo, Michael! Cover image

Lo, Michael!

Love Dream Faith Narrative Journey Discovery Classics Experiences

It tells the story of a young man named Michael Strange who, despite facing numerous challenges and obstacles, refuses to give up on his dreams and instead sets out on a journey of self-discovery. Grace Livingston Hill was known for her wholesome, f...

The City of Fire Cover image

The City of Fire

Adventure Novel
Love Mystery Romance Loyalty Challenges Struggle Classics Experiences

The story follows the life of Marcia Davidson, a young woman who finds herself in a difficult situation after her father passes away. She is forced to move to the city and live with her wealthy and influential aunt, who has different expectations for...

An Unwilling Guest Grace Cover image

An Unwilling Guest Grace

Romance Fiction Novel
Love Mystery Thriller Historical Fiction Suspense Journey Trust Resilience Secret Twists Intriguing

This is a captivating novel that takes readers on a thrilling journey through a web of mystery and unexpected events. Written by the renowned author Grace Livingston Hill, this book has captured the hearts of readers since its publication. First pub...

The Story of a Whim Cover image

The Story of a Whim

Romance Fiction Novel
Love Redemption Historical Fiction Journey Forgiveness Hope Emotion Relationships Inspirational Timeless

This is a captivating novel. Grace Livingston Hill was a renowned American author known for her inspirational and heartwarming stories. In "The Story of a Whim," readers are introduced to a compelling narrative that follows the life of the main char...

The Big Blue Soldier Cover image

The Big Blue Soldier

Romance Fiction Novel
Love Transformation Redemption Sacrifice Faith Struggle Conflict Spirituality Historical Resilience Women's Fiction Healing

This is a captivating novel written by Grace Livingston Hill, a renowned author known for her inspiring and heartwarming stories. This book was written in 1923 and continues to captivate readers with its timeless themes and engaging narrative. Set a...

Dawn of the Morning Cover image

Dawn of the Morning

Romance Fiction Novel
Spirit Redemption Tragedy Women's Rights Historical Fiction Faith Kindness Challenges Struggle Cruelty Immersive Resilience

This timeless piece of literature was first published in 1911 and continues to captivate readers with its compelling story. The book follows the journey of Dawn Rensselaer, a young woman faced with adversity and challenging circumstances. Dawn's lif...

Not Under The Law Cover image

Not Under The Law

Fiction Novel Religion
Love Faith Self-Discovery Moral Dilemmas Happiness Suspense Forgiveness Human Spirit Expectation

It is a captivating and inspiring book that takes readers on a journey of faith, love, and personal growth. This timeless work explores the themes of grace, redemption, and the power of following one's heart. In this enchanting novel, Hill weaves a...

The Search Cover image

The Search

Romance Fiction Novel
Love Mystery Virtue Faith Christianity Hope Beliefs Inspirational Perseverance Resilience

A simple act of kindness sets in motion an extraordinary journey of love, faith, and redemption. Beneath the starlit sky, amidst the shadows of a forgotten past, destiny weaves a tapestry of hope that will forever change the lives of two remarkable s...

The Finding of Jasper Holt Cover image

The Finding of Jasper Holt

Fiction Novel
Family Love Young Redemption Kindness Honesty Life Forgiveness

What if a train wreck brought two unlikely people together, and their love story changed the course of their lives? The Finding of Jasper Holt by Grace Livingston Hill is a heartwarming story about two people who find love and redemption in the most...

A Daily Rate Cover image

A Daily Rate

Fiction Novel
Love Young Inheritance Self-Discovery Challenges Happiness Life Relationships Women

Imagine inheriting a fortune from a long-lost relative, but with one catch: you must spend it all within a year. That's the predicament Celia Murray faces in Grace Livingston Hill's heartwarming classic, A Daily Rate. Celia is a young woman who has...