de Grummond Collection

McCain Library and Archives
University Libraries
University of Southern Mississippi


Collection Number
Collection Dates
Collection Volume
1927-1973 [1970-1973]
.30 cu.ft. (1 box)

Biographical Sketch | Scope & Content | Related Collections | Series & Subseries | Box Inventory


Material received from Elizabeth Coatsworth between 1966 and 1973; "The Old Mare" purchased.


Noncirculating; available for research.


The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership, and obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials, other than that noted above.

Biographical Sketch

Elizabeth Coatsworth was born on May 31, 1893 in Buffalo, New York. She received the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1915 from Vassar College and the Master of Arts in 1916 from Columbia University. She also attended Radcliffe College and received an honorary degree from the University of Maine (1955). Coatsworth spent much of her life traveling. As a young girl, she and her family visited the Alps, rode donkeys across the deserts of Egypt, explored pre-revolutionary Mexico on horseback, fished in Catalina, and climbed trails in the Yosemite Valley. After earning her master's degree, Coatsworth traveled for thirteen months in the Far East, including a horseback trip through Philippine head-hunting country.

She began writing poetry in the summer of 1914 while visiting her mother and sister in London. In 1927 her first book of children's poetry, The Cat and the Captain, was published by Louise Seaman at Macmillan, who had started the first children's book department in the United States. In 1929 Coatsworth married Henry Beston, also a writer; they had two children. In 1931 they moved to Chimney Farm in Nobleboro, Maine, where they continued to write.

Coatsworth first achieved acclaim as a poet and short story writer, then turned to children's books and later to novels and essays. A prolific writer whose publications spanned more than fifty years, she produced over ninety books of fiction and poetry for children. She also wrote numerous adult novels, books of verse, and works about Maine, and edited a volume of her husband's writings. Coatsworth won several awards, including the Newbery Medal for The Cat Who Went to Heaven, 1931; the Children's Spring Book Festival Honor Award for The Littlest House, 1940, and Under the Green Willow, 1971; the New England Poetry Club Golden Rose, 1967; Hans Christian Andersen Award Highly Commended Author, 1968; and the Kerlan Award, 1975. She died at her home in Maine in 1986.