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Lucy Larcom

Teacher, Poet, Author

Country:United States

Lifetime: 1824 - 1893 Passed: ≈ 129 years ago

Lucy Larcom was an American teacher, poet, and author.  


In the 1840s (circa 1846), Larcom taught at a school in Illinois before returning to Massachusetts. She went on to become one of the first teachers at Wheaton Female Seminary (now Wheaton College) in Norton, Massachusetts, and taught there from 1854 to 1862. While there, she helped to found Rushlight Literary Magazine, a submission-based student literary magazine which is still published today. From 1865 to 1873, she was the editor of the Boston-based Our Young Folks, which merged with St. Nicholas Magazine in 1874. In 1889, Larcom published one of the best-known accounts of New England childhood of her time, A New England Girlhood, commonly used as a reference in studying antebellum American childhood. This autobiographical text covers the early years of her life, in Beverly Farms and Lowell, Massachusetts.  


Among her earlier and best-known poems are "Hannah Binding Shoes," and "The Rose Enthroned," Larcom's earliest contribution to the Atlantic Monthly, when the poet James Russell Lowell was its editor, a poem, that in the absence of signature, was attributed to Emerson by one reviewer. Also of note was "A Loyal Woman's No" which was a patriotic lyric and attracted considerable attention during the American Civil War.  


Larcom was inclined to write on religious themes, and made two volumes of compilations from the world's great religious thinkers, Breathings of the Better Life (Boston, 1866) and Beckonings (Boston. 1886). Her last two books, As it is in Heaven (Boston, 1891) and The Unseen Friend (Boston, 1892), embodied much of her own thought on matters concerning the spiritual life.  

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Books by Lucy Larcom