Louise Chandler Moulton
Moulton started contributing to magazines when she was 15 and published her first book, This, That and the Other (1854) at age 19. Born in Pomfret, Connecticut, she moved to Boston in 1855 after marrying the publisher William Moulton. Although she did not write anything for several years after her marriage, she became an important figure in literary Boston and her Friday salon was attended by such greats as Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Russell Lowell, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Moulton appeared in print again in 1870 when she served as the Boston literary correspondent for the New York Tribune until 1876. She further extended her influence as the book critic for the Boston Sunday Herald from 1887–1891.
In the preface to her first novel, Moulton writes, “I certainly have never aspired to be a professional book-maker, and my highest ambition is to find friends among my readers.” The book was an immediate success and fifteen thousand of her “friends” bought a copy.
Moulton dedicated this volume of stories to her friend Daniel Sharp Ford, editor of the Youth’s Companion, a publication in which many of the stories first appeared.
A respected literary critic, novelist, and short story writer, Moulton released In the Garden of Dreams as her second volume of poetry, thus establishing her reputation as a poet.
Sarah Wyman Whitman designed the elegant book cover. Read more about Whitman and see a book cover she designed for Annie Fields's biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe here.
Excited about and proud of her first book, Moulton writes of her hopes that it will sell well:
"This, That and the Other" was receive yesterday... I hope you will write often now, as I am in a great state of anxiety to know how the book sells. Is it being thoroughly advertised? I think it looks nicely... My book does indeed look very nicely. Do you think I may venture to hope for a sale of 10 000 copies this year?
The instant popularity of her book brought Moulton to the attention of the press, although she was shocked by this level of notoriety:
…have you seen what a Lowell paper said…? They said, “yes I was unmarried and handsome, but had jilted a half dozen suitors already,
and undoubtedly would jilt a certain editor in Boston, to whom I was engaged.” Whence could such a report arisen?... Even if I were engaged, I would not want it publicly discussed in such a manner.