Author of the Week - Kate Douglas Wiggin

Kate Douglas Wiggin was born in 1856 in Philadelphia. Her father died during the Civil War, leaving Kate and her sister Nora to be raised by their young widowed mother. They moved to Portland, Maine a few years after her father's death, where he mother remarried. A baby brother was born. Education in such a rural area was stilted, consisting of some public education, a finishing school, and home schooling. Even with this limited schooling, Kate still received more education than most girls of her time period. In 1873 Kate and her family moved to San Francisco as her step-father was ailing, sadly he died three years later of a lung disease.

Kate was devoted to education and the well-being of children, often fighting against child labor in an era when such things were rarely thought about. Kate loved the wild ways of the street children she taught, but had to resign from teaching as was the custom at the time when she married Bradley Wiggin. Still, Kate continued to devote herself to the children, raising money through her writing starting with her first story The Story of Patsy and The Birds' Christmas Carol. Kate never had children and when her husband died in 1989, Kate moved back to Maine. Kate was said to have grieved and wear widow's black for the rest of her life, but that did not stop her from traveling and writing. Her most popular and famous novel is Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Among her other stories were The Old Peabody Pew, Penelope's Experience in Scotland, Mother Carey's Chickens, along with several non-fiction pieces speaking out against child labor. All the proceeds from Kate's books went to her living costs and the children she loved so much.