Helen Hooven Santmyer's picture

Helen Hooven Santmyer

USA flag (1895 - 1986)

Helen Hooven Santmyer was an American writer. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and moved to Xenia, Ohio when she was five years old. She went to Wellesley College in 1918 and was active in the struggle for women's rights. She attended Oxford University in England and was one of the first female Rhodes Scholars. When she returned to the United States of America with her first book published she expected fame and fortune and found the Great Depression.

She later returned to Wellesley College to teach in the English Department. She also wrote poetry that appeared in anthologies such as The Bookman Anthology of Verse, 1922 from Doran and Company. Her sonnet The Prairie Town, from that collection, indicates that she was a talented poet.

In 1935, Helen moved back to Xenia, becoming the Dean of Women and the head of Cedarville University English department. She was 88 when her most famous work And Ladies of the Club was published -- it was a best-seller in 1984. She also wrote Herbs and Apples, Ohio Town and The Fierce Dispute.

She received most of her fame late in life and died on February 21, 1986 in Xenia, Ohio, aged 90. She was inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame in 1996.
Non fiction