30 November 2009

Richmond, Virginia: Ellen Glasgow: Literary Landmarks of the Southern United States, #21

Ellen Glasgow (1873–1945) was born in Richmond, Virginia. Her novels were documents of a changing South, and served as antedotes to the romantic 'moonlight and magnolias' fiction of such Lost Cause writers as Thomas Nelson Page.

Most authorities claim that the Southern Renaissance was in the interwar years, considering Glasgow to be a precursor. A great deal of her writing was against the grain of much of the other Southern work of the late nineteenth/early twentieth century, what Glasgow called a 'mournful literature of commemoration'. With some justification, she saw herself as the first realist to come out of the South, and with a little imagination we can see Ellen Glasgow, along with a few other (particularly female) writers as actually being part of a Southern Renaissance that came earlier than is conventionally thought.

Although she was not born here, Glasgow lived at 1 West Main Street for more than 50 years.

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