By in Books

Becky Reads Gene Stratton Porter

Geneva Grace Stratton was born in 1863 and died at the age of sixty-one, when her limo was struck by a streetcar. Although she lived and died before I was born, and her writing hasn’t been popular in decades, Gene Stratton Porter is one of my favorite authors, and I find the story of her life nearly as interesting as her books.

Apparently not suited for traditional education, she never finished high school but was a lifelong scholar of ecology and wildlife, particularly as it related to the Great Limberlost Swamp near where she lived in Indiana.

A prolific writer, she penned nine nature books, five volumes of poems and essays, and and at least twelve novels in addition to numerous magazine articles. Although she wanted to focus on the nature books, it was the romantic novels that brought her commercial success and funded her ongoing studies. Her books were translated into several languages (including Braille) and it's estimated that she had fifty million readers. Two of her books, A Girl of The Limberlost and The Keeper of The Bees were adapted for film with varying degrees of authenticity and success. Additionally, she became a rather successful nature photographer, concentrating on the moths and birds of the Limberlost.

I've read all but three of her novels, and only own three. Two others that I once had in my possession have gone missing. It is my intent to replace those two and purchase the others as soon as my savings grow a little more.

Personally, I love her books but they are very old fashioned, and written in a style that is nearly a century old. Most of her works are available at Amazon, but I doubt they sell very many copies these days.

Image Credit » by jarmoluk

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msiduri wrote on March 30, 2015, 8:31 AM

Sounds interesting. Like favorite authors that no one else reads.

CalmGemini wrote on March 30, 2015, 2:36 PM

I looked up the biography of Gene Stratton porter. I have some questions. You say that you have read all but three of her books.Which one of her books do you like best and why?I have not read any of her books.If I were to read one now which one would you recommend? Has she written short stories?I think some of her books are available online free to read.For example-Laddie.Answer when you have time.Thanks.

Last Edited: March 30, 2015, 2:38 PM

BeckyWiegers wrote on March 31, 2015, 6:03 AM

That's a really hard question to answer as I liked them all. If I could have only one, though, it would be Freckles. If I could have two, A Girl of The Limberlost would be next. Why I like them is equally difficult - likely because I love stories about good people in difficult circumstances who can/do create better lives for themselves. I like that the author understood the healing power of nature and brings the swamp to life, almost as an added character in the stories.
So, what did you think of her biography?

paigea wrote on April 4, 2015, 3:10 PM

Sounds interesting. I am going to see if the library has any of her books.