Mary Ellen Chase

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Mary Ellen Chase (24 February 1887 – 28 July 1973) was an American educator, teacher, scholar, and author. She is regarded as one of the most important regional literary figures of the early twentieth century.

Born in Blue Hill, Maine, Chase received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Minnesota where she served as an assistant professor from 1922 to 1926. She taught at Smith College starting in 1926 until her retirement in 1955. She was the lifelong companion of Eleanor Duckett, a medieval scholar whom she met at Smith, and with whom she lived in Northampton until her death. Two adjoining residence halls on the Smith campus are named for Chase and Duckett.[1]

Chase wrote more than 30 books, many using her cherished Maine heritage as the setting. Her most famous of these works include Mary Peters, Silas Crockett, Windswept, and Edge of Darkness.

Chase died in Northampton, Massachusetts.


  • His Birthday" (1915)
  • 'Studies of Thomas Hardy (1927)
  • The Writing of Informal Essays (1928)
  • A Goodly Heritage (1932, autobiography)
  • Mary Peters (1934)
  • Silas Crockett (1935)
  • This England (1936)
  • A Goodly Fellowship (1939, autobiography)
  • Windswept (1941)
  • The Book of Ruth: from the translation prepared at Cambridge in 1611 for King James (1947)
  • Jonathan Fisher, Maine Parson 1768-1847 (1948)
  • The White Gate (1954)
  • The Edge of Darkness (1957)
  • Donald McKay and the Clipper Ships (1959)
  • The Lovely Ambition (1960)
  • The Prophets for the Common Reader (1963)
  • Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (1966)


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