Amanda Douglas

Amanda Minnie Douglas was born on 14 July 1831 (some sources erroneously list 1837) in New York City, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Douglas. She attended the City Institute there, and, after 1853 (when the family moved to Newark, New Jersey), continued her education in English and American literature with a private tutor. According to a contemporaneous biographical sketch, "In childhood she was noted for her powers of story-telling, when she would tell her friends long tales, regular serials, that would continue for weeks." [1]

Douglas was a prolific writer; from 1866 to 1913, she usually published one or more books per year and wrote for adults as well as children. In Trust, her first book (an adult novel), was published in 1866, and its sales surpassed 20,000 copies. Unfortunately, Douglas had sold the copyright along with the story and thus failed to benefit fully from its success. Learning from her experience, she retained copyright on subsequent books.

Her first girls' series, Kathie (1870-1871), was somewhat didactic and very much in the style of 19th-century series; her next, "Little Girl" (e.g., A Little Girl in Old Boston, A Little Girl in Old Philadelphia), was among the earliest historical fiction series for girls.

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1. "Douglas, Miss Amanda Minnie." A Woman of the Century: Fourteen Hundred-Seventy Biographical Sketches Accompanied by Portraits of Leading American Women in All Walks of Life. Eds. Frances E. Willard and Mary A. Livermore. Charles Wells Moulton, 1893.

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