Image of Myrtle Reed


Lifetime: 1874 - 1911 Passed: ≈ 112 years ago


Author, Poet, Journalist, Philanthropist


United States

Olive Green, Myrtle Reed

Myrtle Reed was an American author, poet, journalist, and philanthropist. She wrote a number of bestsellers and even published a series of cookbooks under the pseudonym Olive Green.

She was born on September 27, 1874, in Norwood Park, Chicago, Illinois, the youngest of her parents' three children and their only daughter. She was the daughter of author Elizabeth Armstrong Reed and the preacher Hiram von Reed. She graduated from the West Division High School, Chicago, where she edited the school's newspaper called The Voice, during which time corresponded with James Sydney McCullogh, a young Irish-Canadian who was editing a college newspaper in Toronto.

She married McCullough in 1906, after a courtship of nearly 15 years. She was a diagnosed insomniac with prescribed sleeping drafts. She died on August 17, 1911, aged 36, of an overdose of sleeping powder taken with suicidal intent in her flat, called "Paradise Flat" at 5120 Kenmore Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Her suicide letter, written to her maid, Annie Larsen, was published the following day. Her will directed her estate be divided among eight charities that for several years had been favorites of their benefactor; however, her estate was subjected to at least two different lawsuits. Paradise Flat, the residence in which she died, was burgled during her funeral; among the stolen items were several de luxe or signed, slipcased, limited-edition novels written by the decedent. A famous epigram of Myrtle Reed, taken from Threads of Gray and Gold, declares: "The only way to test a man is to marry him. If you live, it's a mushroom. If you die, it's a toadstool."

Books by Olive Green, Myrtle Reed

How to Cook Fish Cover image

How to Cook Fish

Cooking Home Economics

One hundred simple fish sauces. Sixty-five ways to cook mackerel. The Catching of Unshelled Fish. Twenty-seven ways to Cook Frogslegs. Now that should certainly make you reach for your apron and fish knife! How to Cook Fish by Olive Green is a vinta...

The Spinster Book Cover image

The Spinster Book

Philosophy Non-Fiction
Self Help Social Guide Commentary

A cross between guidebook and social commentary, The Spinster Book gives clever and humorous insights on topics such as courting, handling men and women, love letters, marriage and spinsterhood.

A Weaver of Dreams Cover image

A Weaver of Dreams

Love Dream Romance Life Women

The novel is known for its romantic and dreamy themes, and it was a popular book when it was first released. Some critics have described the novel as a "forgotten classic" and praised it for its poetic prose and evocative descriptions of nature. "A W...

The Master's Violin Cover image

The Master's Violin

Romance Novel
Romantic Love Art England Music Literary Fiction

The novel is a romance set in the small town of New England, and revolves around the story of a young girl who falls in love with a famous musician and his prized violin, which is said to possess magical powers. The novel explores themes of love, mus...