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Skinner, Constance Lindsay (1877–1939) - U.S. History

america published volume writing

Constance Lindsay Skinner was born in Quesnel, British Columbia, to Robert James Skinner, an agent for the Hudson’s Bay Company, and Annie (Lindsay) Skinner on December 7, 1877. She was reared at a fur-trading post in the Peace River area and educated at home. In 1891 the family moved to Vancouver and Constance attended private school. Two years later, she was sent to live with an aunt in California because of health reasons. There she began writing drama and music criticism for the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Examiner . Skinner eventually moved to Chicago and wrote for the Chicago American , then to New York City, where she worked as a freelance writer and wrote book reviews for the Herald Tribune . She began writing poetry and plays, then was asked to write two volumes dealing with frontier topics as part of the fifty-volume Yale University Chronicles of America series. Pioneers of the Old Southwest was published in 1919 and Adventurers of Oregon in 1920. In 1925 Adventures in the Wilderness was published as part of the Yale Pageant of America series. In 1933 Skinner wrote Beaver, Kings and Cabins . Some of her work was criticized as being imprecise, but historian Frederick Jackson Turner praised her writing and the two corresponded. Skinner eventually returned to poetry and fiction from 1925 to 1934, then began editing a monumental history of American rivers. This became the Rivers of America series published by Farrar and Rinehart. The first volume, Kennebec: Cradle of America by Robert P. Tristram Coffin, was published in 1937, and more than forty volumes followed. Constance Skinner was working on her own volume on the Missouri River when she died on March 27, 1939, of arteriosclerosis and a coronary occlusion. In 1940 the Women’s National Book Association initiated the Constance Lindsay Skinner Award for women who made “an outstanding contribution to the world of books.”

Sklar, Kathryn Kish (1939–) - U.S. Women’s History [next] [back] Ski Lift to Death

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