October 30th – Elizabeth Madox Roberts 

“I never was lost. I was bewildered right bad once for as much as a week, but not lost.”

Elizabeth Madox Roberts

Elizabeth Madox Roberts was a noted writer of the early 20th century, born October 30, 1881, in Perryville, Kentucky. During her lifetime, she published seven novels, two books of short stories, and two books of poetry. 

She was nominated for the Pulitzer and awarded an O. Henry Prize. 

Her father had served in the Confederate Army, and after the war, was an engineer. Her mother was a school teacher. In 1900 Elizabeth enrolled at the University of Kentucky, but poor health caused her to drop out. She moved in with her sister in Colorado in 1910. 

In 1917, when she was 36, she enrolled at the University of Chicago.

Her first book was published in 1922. Under the Tree, a collection of poems for children has never been out of print. 

The Time of Man, her first novel, published in 1925, was nominated for a Pulitzer, as was The Great Meadow (1930), her best-known work.

In addition to her novels, she wrote short stories, The Haunted Mirror (1932) and Not By Strange Gods (1941), and two books of poetry, Under the Tree (1922; enlarged 1930) and Song in the Meadow (1940).

In 1936 she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease and began to winter in Florida. She died March 13, 1941, at the age of 59. 

Lesson from Roberts:

Roberts is another writer who by all means should have more acclaim that is easily found. She never married, and seemed to have lived a quiet life, which is perhaps why even quotes by her are hard to come by, and her work seems all but forgotten today. Still, once your stories has been printed, maybe  you are never truly lost. 

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