19th-Century Girls' Series


Long before Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Sweet Valley High, the Babysitters' Club, or Magic Tree House, series books provided a source of enjoyable fiction for children. The first children's fiction series appeared in the United States in the 1830s, and by the 1860s the genre was well-established and earning both praise and censure.

I've been researching series books for over twenty-five years. This page draws upon some of that research; it is devoted to bio-bibliographies and commentary about nineteenth-century authors of series books for girls and younger children as well as samples of some of their writing. It includes some of the century's most popular authors and a number of lesser-known figures whose works -- now almost forgotten -- show the evolution of the genre.

The most recent updates reflect my current interest in women authors, especially those slighted or omitted by traditional reference sources. Usually, such authors wrote only a few books or attained only modest success. Recovering their lives and works contributes to a better understanding of the development of series fiction and women's part in nineteenth-century publishing.

The table below alphabetizes authors by real names, using the Library of Congress authority file as a guideline; please check the comprehensive name index for pseudonyms and variants. The series bibliographies include links to etexts of volumes online at this site and elsewhere.

If you're reading this on a mobile device, Page two of the table contains links to supplementary material. On a larger screen, that column will be in this page.






Author
Pen name(s)
Information Etexts
Jacob Abbottbiography

series bibliography--girls

series bibliography--other

links
Friskie, the Pony

Harlie's Letter


Cousin Lucy's Stories, chs. 1-4

Ellen Linn, ch. 1-

Juno & Georgie, chs. 1-7
(early African-American series protagonist)<
Mary Gay - Work for Autumn,ch 1-9
Isabella Macdonald Alden
(Pansy)
biography

series bibliography

links
"Circulating Decimals"
(short story from Profiles
w/ additional commentary)
Harriette Newell Woods Baker
(Aunt Hattie, Mrs. Madeline Leslie)
biography

series bibliography
Robin's Nest
Josephine R. Baker
biography

series bibliography
"Daniel in the Wood-Pile"
and
"The Fourth of July"
from Roundtop and Squaretop
Frances Elizabeth Barrow
(Aunt Fanny)
series bibliography "Little Mary"
sketch by Fanny's daughter Sarah
(Cousin Belle)
series bibliography

Addie's Party
Mrs. M(ary) M. Boardman series bibliography    
Mary E. Bradley
biography

bibliography
poems
Mrs. Elizabeth M. Bruce biography

series bibliography
Robby and Nellie at School

"Fear Not" (poem)

"Annie's Reward" (short story)
Elizabeth W. Champney

biography

series bibliography

links
Three Vassar Girls in England, ch. 1-5
Sarah E. Chester
(Sallie Chester)

biography

series bibliography
Marnie's Angel
Ella Rodman Church
series bibliography
Little Pilgrim at Aunt Lou's
Mrs. S(usanna) R(ebecca) Graham Clark
biography

series bibliography
   
Rebecca Sophia Clarke
(Sophie May)
biography

series bibliography
Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother's

Little Prudy's Sister Susy

Little Prudy, ch 1-5

"Dotty's Beads and Tea"(short story)
Sarah Jones Clarke
(Penn Shirley)

biography

series bibliography
"Tate's Doll's Wedding"
(short story)
Mary Crowninshield
biography

series bibliography
  
Caroline Wells Healey Dall
biography

series bibliography

links
  
Amanda M. Douglas biography

series bibliography
Kathie's Three Wishes
Annie Ketchum Dunning
(Nellie Grahame)

biography

series bibliography
Golden Rule
Daniel C. Eddy
series bibliography

links  
  
Kate Neely Festetits
(Kate J. Neely; Kate Neely Hill)

biography

bibliography
   
Mary H. Field
(Mrs. Frederick Field)

biography

series bibliography
   
Martha Finley
(Martha Farquharson)

biography

series bibliography

links
Elsie Dinsmore, ch. 1-

"Edith's Sacrifice" (short story)
Josephine Franklin
series bibliography
Nelly's First School-days
F. Burge Griswold
(F[rances]. B. Smith; Fan Fan)

biography

series bibliography
   
Edward Everett Hale
series bibliography
Family Flight, chap. 1
Susan Hale
series bibliography
Family Flight, chap. 1
Myra Sawyer Hamlin
biography

series bibliography
  
Alice B. Haven
(Cousin Alice, Alice B. Neal)

biography

series bibliography
   
Elizabeth Laws Hibberd
(Faith Wynne)

biography

series bibliography
  
Mary J. Hildeburn
biography

series bibliography
Fannie's Rule
Margaret Hosmer
biography

series bibliography
  
Virginia Wales Johnson
(Cousin Virginia)

biography

series bibliography
Katy's Christmas (Dolls Club)
Sarah West Lander
series bibliography
  
Harriett Mulford Stone Lothrop
(Margaret Sidney)

series bibliography

publications checklist
  
Joanna Mathews
biography

series bibliography

links
"Peanuts and a Sermon"
from Fanny's Birthday Gift
Julia Mathews
biography

series bibliography

links
  
Mrs. Carrie L. May
series bibliography
  
Maria J. McIntosh
(Aunt Kitty)

series bibliography
  
Harriet Burn McKeever
biography

series bibliography

links
  
Mrs. A. S. Moffat
(A.S.M.)

series bibliography
  
Laura D. Nichols
series bibliography
"Meridian Line" (poem)
Harriet P. H. Nowell
(May Mannering)

biography

series bibliography
"A Ghost Story" (article)
Mary A. Osgood
(Mrs. M. A. Osgood)

series bibliography
  
Minnie E. Paull
(Minnie Kenney)

biography, part I

series bibliography
  
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
(1815 - 1852)
(H. Trusta)

biography

series bibliography
  
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps [Ward] (1844 - 1911) biography

series bibliography

bibliography -- magazine stories for children
Gypsy Breynton

Tiny, ch. 1

"Reverend Mr. Trotty" from The Trotty Book
"Trotty's Lecture Bureau" (story from St. Nicholas)
Phoebe Harris Phelps
bibliography
Mary Day's Story Book
(three stories)
Elizabeth Prentiss
(Aunt Susan)

biography

series bibliography

links
Little Susy's Six Birthdays
Helen Leah Reed

series bibliography
  
Laura E. Richards
biography

series bibliography
a sampling of poems
Sarah Stuart Robbins

biography

series bibliography
   
Adelaide F. Samuels
biography

series bibliography
Saved from the Street
Mrs. S. B. C. Samuels
biography

series bibliography
   
Mrs. D. P. Sanford
series bibliography
Rose, Tom, and Ned
Mary Alice Seymour
series bibliography
   
William Simonds
(Walter Aimwell)

biography

series bibliography
  
Mary P. Wells Smith
biography, pts. 1-2 (1840-1895)

series bibliography

publications checklist
"Trials of a Tall Young Lady"
(article)

"Lucy's First Prayer" (short story)

"Cacoethes Scribendi" (short story)
Increase Niles Tarbox

series bibliography
   
Louise M. Thurston

biography

series bibliography
   
Virginia F. Townsend

biography

series bibliography
excerpt: Amy Deane, and Other Stories (three stories)

"The Little Spinner" (short story)

"The Mite's Mission" (short story)

"April Snow" (poem)
Daniel Wise
(Francis Forrester; Lawrence Lancewood)

biography

series bibliography
Minnie's Playroom
Sarah Chauncey Woolsey
(Susan Coolidge)

biography

series bibliography

links
"Engineer's Story" (short story)

"Illuminated Texts" (non-fiction)
19th-century girls' reading
(adult responses to popular fiction)
     
Miscellaneous Chronological List of 19th-Century Series

Comprehensive name index


Common Traits of 19th-Century Series Heroines (short essay)
Bessie (example of Sunday-School booklet fiction)
        
Miscellaneous --
Schoolfellow magazine
author biographies

chronological index to vols. 1-6 (1849-55)

author index to vols. 1-6
  
        
Lurana Sheldon
(Grace Shirley)
biographical sketch

My Queen bibliography
(the only girls' dime novel series)<
My Queen #3 (dime novel)

"Sam Stebbins' Courtship"
(short story)

A note on categories in the chart: "series bibliography" generally covers only titles for girls and younger children; in cases where a series for boys was a counterpart or somehow related to a girls' series, it is also included. "Supplementary" material is generally commentary by an author's contemporaries or autobiographical essays.


----------------------

Other Material at This Site

Since my series research often draws on or encompasses material other than the bio-bibliographies of 19th-century authors, the site has always carried some supplementary material. Now, as my research interests expand or take odd directions, new pages related to those areas sometimes are added to the site. The chart below identifies and links to those pages.


Indexes to periodicals that study dime novels, series books, and related topics Other women writers Folktales and fairy tales
Dime Novel Round-Up,
the longest-running publication devoted to the study of dime novels, series books, and pulp magazines
(Index covers 1970-2014)

The Newsboy,,
the official publication of the Horatio Alger Society
(Index covers 1995-2011)
Josephine Lawrence,
20th-century author of girls' series and adult novels

19th-Century Women Dime Novelists and Story Paper Authors,
a preliminary attempt to identify authors and provide links to biographical and supplementary information about them
The Little Red Hen,
a bibliography of U.S. picture book editions of the tale of the industrious fowl

Links to page images of online 19th- and early 20th-century picture book editions of classic folktales
(Cinderella, Puss in Boots, Sleeping Beauty, and others)

-----

If you find errors or would like to suggest additional authors or texts for inclusion here, please email me.
(But please don't email to ask the value of books -- try some of the antiquarian bookdealers' sites or ebay instead.)



Last updated 24 May 2015 (What's new)

Copyright 2015 by Deidre Johnson