Image of Pansy


Lifetime: 1841 - 1930 Passed: ≈ 93 years ago




United States

Pansy (Isabella Macdonald Alden)

Isabella Macdonald Alden was an American author. Her best known works were: Four Girls at Chautauqua, Chautauqua Girls at Home, Tip Lewis and his Lamp, Three People, Links in Rebecca's Life, Julia Reid, Ruth Erskine's Crosses, The King's Daughter, The Browning Boys, From Different Standpoints, Mrs. Harry Harper's Awakening, The Measure, and Spun from Fact.

She also wrote the primary lesson department of the Westminster Teacher, edited the Presbyterian Primary Quarterly and the children's magazine Pansy, and wrote a serial story for the Herald and Presbyter of Cincinnati every winter. Alden was interested in Sunday school primary teaching, and had charge of more than a hundred children every Sunday for many years. She was interested in temperance also, and was involved in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Four of her books, Three People, The King's Daughter, One Commonplace Day, and Little Fishers and their Nets, were distinctively temperance books, while the principle of total abstinence was maintained in all her writings.

Isabella Macdonald was born in Rochester, New York to well-educated parents, Isaac and Myra Spafford Macdonald. Her father was a temperance man with pronounced convictions upon subjects regarding social reform, as well as an abolitionist, believing slavery to be a sin. Her mother was devoted to everything that was "pure and of good report." The sixth of seven children, she was initially home-schooled by her father, who also gave her the nickname Pansy, because of an incident that occurred in her childhood. Her mother had taken great pride in a bed of pansy blossoms. Macdonald, seeing the flowers, and thinking there was no one more deserving of them than her mother, pulled them and threw them into her mother's lap exclaiming, "I pulled every one for you." She could not understand her mother's look of distress. The father, seeing the disappointed look on the little girl's face, picked her up, seated her on his shoulder and said, "Never mind, baby, you shall always be my little pansy-blossom."

She met Reverend Gustavus Rossenberg Alden at Oneida Seminary in New York. His work took the couple to various parts of the country, including Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. After their marriage in 1866, Alden divided her time among writing, participating in church activities, teaching at several of the Chautauqua sessions, and raising her son, Raymond Macdonald Alden, who was born in 1873. By 1900, the family had three residences: a home in Philadelphia; a summer residence in Chautauqua, New York; and a winter home in Winter Park, Florida.

Alden was a constant sufferer from headache, which never left her and was often very severe, but she refused to call herself an "invalid". Her physician limited her to three hours of literary work each day.

After the deaths of her husband and son in 1924, Alden moved to Palo Alto, California, to live with her daughter-in-law and grandchildren. She continued writing until shortly before her death on August 5, 1930; the unfinished autobiography she left, Memories of Yesterday, was completed and edited by her niece, Grace Livingston Hill.

In the 1990s, edited and abridged editions of some Alden's works appeared in two series issued by Christian publishers, The Pansy Collection, published by Creation Books, and the Grace Livingston Hill Library, published by Living Books.

Books by Pansy (Isabella Macdonald Alden)

As in a Mirror Cover image

As in a Mirror

Fiction Religion
Young Adventure Historical Fiction Christianity Life Religious Church

John King is a rich young man who is friends with Fletcher, after a sermon on tramps and giving help, John devises a plan to tramp for a book he is writing but his friend tells him, it will be folly because he has money when he needs it. John King ch...

Helen Lester Cover image

Helen Lester

Home Determination Life Growth Religious Hope Hard work

Twelve year old Helen is determined to be a good girl, but the harder she tries, the worse her days go. Is there any hope? And what made such a change in the life of her grown-up brother in the seven years he was away from home? Little do the Lesters...

Three People Cover image

Three People

Young Christianity Classics Ambition Inspirational

Three boys in very different home environments start life on the same day: the pampered Pliny Hastings, the solidly brought-up Benny Phillips, and the uneducated street scamp Theodore “Tode” Mall. Their lives intertwine around the issue of "rum" and...

Pauline Cover image


Love Challenges Explore Life Discovery Relationships Women

It explores the lives of young women in the late 19th century. The book follows the story of its titular character, Pauline, as she navigates the challenges of growing up, finding love, and discovering her own sense of purpose. The book was first pu...

What They Couldn't: A Home Story Cover image

What They Couldn't: A Home Story

Family Young Faith Struggle Hope Relationships God

It follows the story of a family dealing with adversity and learning to rely on their faith in God to overcome their struggles. The book was originally published in 1899 and is part of the popular Pansy series, which was aimed at young girls in the...

A Hedge Fence Cover image

A Hedge Fence

Fairy Tale
Young Children Skills Kindness Friendship Childhood Life Charity

It is a story about a group of young girls who come together to form a club that helps those in need. Written by the American author Isabella Macdonald Alden, who wrote under the pseudonym Pansy, the book was first published in 1889. The story follo...

Making Fate Cover image

Making Fate

Fantasy Action Fiction Novel
Dystopia Mystery Fate Sacrifice Freedom Suspense Destiny Desire Rebellion Magic Secret Intriguing

Ever since she was young, Evangeline Hart has been haunted by the knowledge that her life is predetermined by the enigmatic Council of Fate. The council's immutable decisions shape the course of every individual's existence, leaving no room for devia...

Christie's Christmas Cover image

Christie's Christmas

Love Redemption Kindness Act Christianity Religious Forgiveness Desire Experiences Nostalgia

In this, readers are transported to a quaint New England town during the enchanting Christmas season. Amid the sparkling snow and festive decorations, an unexpected series of events unfolds, unraveling a story of redemption, hope, and the transformat...

Gertrude's Diary, and The Cube Cover image

Gertrude's Diary, and The Cube

Fantasy Adventure
Battle Mystery Ancient Thriller Journey Determination Race Magic Imagination

In the enchanting world of [Gertrude's Diary, and The Cube By Pansy], prepare to embark on a thrilling adventure that will ignite your imagination and keep you spellbound until the very last page. Hook: When an ancient diary falls into Gertrude's ha...

The Browning Boys Cover image

The Browning Boys

Family Morality Adventure Adolescence Childhood Christian Theology Inspirational Siblings

In the enchanting world of "The Browning Boys" by Pansy, four young hearts beat as one, bound by brotherhood and the unbreakable ties of family. Step into the late 19th century and embark on an extraordinary journey filled with laughter, challenges,...

Miss Dee Dunmore Bryant Cover image

Miss Dee Dunmore Bryant

Fiction Novel
Love Future Mystery Death Historical Fiction Relationships Disaster

Miss Dee Dunmore Bryant is a young woman with a secret. She is a gifted psychic, and she can see the future. But her gift is also a curse, as she is often haunted by visions of death and destruction. Miss Dee Dunmore Bryant is a young woman who live...

Chrissy's Endeavor Cover image

Chrissy's Endeavor

Fiction Religion
Family Love Historical Fiction Courage Faith Christian Literature Relationships Inspirational Women's Fiction

Embark on a journey of heart and determination with "Chrissy's Endeavor" by Pansy. In a world where challenges abound, a single soul can ignite a chain reaction of hope and transformation. Meet Chrissy, a character whose story echoes across time, a s...

Twenty Minutes Late Cover image

Twenty Minutes Late

Fiction Novel
Mystery Success Dark Memory Danger Secret Investigation

Twenty Minutes Late by Pansy is a gripping mystery novel that will keep you guessing until the very end. A young woman wakes up in a strange hotel room with no memory of how she got there. She has a meeting in twenty minutes, but she doesn't know wh...

Her Associate Members Cover image

Her Associate Members

Fiction Novel Religion
Self-Discovery Friendship Challenges Christianity Empowerment Resilience Woman Power

Step into the exclusive world of "Her Associate Members" by Pansy, a captivating novel that unveils the hidden layers of friendship, self-discovery, and unwavering support. In the late 19th century, a group of extraordinary women forms an intimate cl...

By Way of the Wilderness Cover image

By Way of the Wilderness

Fiction Novel
Adventure Historical Fiction Faith Christianity Forgiveness Christian Literature Hope

By Way of the Wilderness is a Christian fiction novel by Isabella Alden, writing under the pseudonym "Pansy." It tells the story of a young man named Frank who is forced to leave his home and family after his father is wrongfully convicted of a crime...

Dr. Deane's Way, and Other Stories Cover image

Dr. Deane's Way, and Other Stories

Fiction Religion
Short Story Redemption Faith Christianity Forgiveness Christian Literature Hope

In her classic collection of short stories, Dr. Deane's Way, and Other Stories, Pansy explores the answers to this question. She tells the stories of characters who are struggling with a variety of challenges, but who all find hope and redemption thr...

Little Minnie, and Other Stories Cover image

Little Minnie, and Other Stories

Family Short Story Faith Moral Dilemmas Christian Theology Religious Fiction Inspirational

In the enchanting world of "Little Minnie, and Other Stories" by Pansy, embark on a captivating journey through the realm of faith, morality, and personal growth. This collection of short stories unveils the intricate tapestry of human experience, na...

John Remington, Martyr Cover image

John Remington, Martyr

Redemption Sacrifice Devotion Christian Philosophy Christian Literature Christian Theology Spirituality

In the pages of "John Remington, Martyr" by Pansy, witness a soul's transformation amidst a turbulent world. A compelling tale that begins with a whisper of fate, drawing you into the riveting journey of John Remington. This young lawyer's life takes...

Sidney Martin's Christmas (and Other Stories) Cover image

Sidney Martin's Christmas (and Other Stories)

Family Short Story Love Redemption Faith Forgiveness Hope Charity Children Fiction

Sidney Martin's Christmas (and Other Stories) is a collection of short stories, all of which are set in the Christmas season. The stories are about a variety of characters, but they all share a common theme of love, hope, and redemption. In the titl...

Eighty Seven Cover image

Eighty Seven

Fiction Religion
Young Faith Journey Christianity Life Hope Relationships God

Step into the world of Chautauqua, a Victorian summer retreat where faith, friendship, and love blossom in Pansy's classic novel, Eighty-Seven. In this heartwarming story, two young friends, Ruth and Esther, embark on a summer of discovery at Chauta...

Pansies for Thoughts Cover image

Pansies for Thoughts

Love Power Short Stories Faith Challenges Literary Fiction

What if your thoughts could come to life? Pansies for Thoughts, a collection of short stories by Pansy, explores the power of thought and the transformative potential of the human mind. Each story follows a different character as they confront their...

From Different Standpoints Cover image

From Different Standpoints

Poverty Short Stories Reflection Emotion Literary Fiction Human Relationship

In From Different Standpoints, Isabella Macdonald Alden presents a captivating collection of short stories that explore the complexities of human relationships and the power of perspective. Through a diverse cast of characters, Alden delves into the...