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Mary Ellen Chase

Mary Ellen Chase

Mary Ellen Chase (1887-1973) was born and raised in Blue Hill, Maine. She graduated from the University of Maine and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota before serving thirty years as a leading faculty member at Smith College in Massachusetts. She wrote more than thirty books, many using her cherished Maine heritage as the setting, capturing the unique spirit and chronicling a way of life for generations. Her three most important novels set in Maine were Mary Peters (1934), Silas Crockett (1935), and Windswept (1941). Windswept was a national bestseller and the most successful book of Chase’s writing career.

In addition to fiction, Chase wrote three autobiographical works that detail her background and early experiences: A Goodly Heritage (1932), A Goodly Fellowship (1939), and The White Gate: Adventures in the Imagination of a Child (1954).

In a 1936 interview in the Portland Sunday Telegram, Chase declared that she wrote “largely because I want to acquaint others with the background of Maine life, with the splendid character of Maine people, and with the unsurpassed loveliness of Maine fields, shores, and sea.”

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