Abbott is the daughter of clergyman Edward Abbott, who edited the journal Literary World; and granddaughter of noted children's author of Jacob Abbott.She attended Radcliffe College, and after completing her studies worked as a secretary and teacher at Lowell State Normal School.
In 1908 Abbott married Dr. Fordyce Coburn and relocated with him to Wilton, New Hampshire. Soon after moving, several widely read magazines accepted her work for publication. Two of her poems were accepted by Harper’s Monthly Magazine in 1909. She went on to publish seventy-five short stories and fourteen romantic novels. Being Little in Cambridge When Everyone Else Was Big is an autobiography written by Abbott about her childhood in Cambridge.
Abbott died in 1958 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
The Eleanor Hallowell Abbott Papers are held by The University of New Hampshire Library in the Milne Special Collections. The collection primarily consists of typescripts of Abbott's short stories.
The Railroad Journey was very long and slow. The Traveling Salesman was rather short and quick. And the Young Electrician who lolled across the car aisle was neither one length nor another, but most inordinately flexible, like a suit of chain armor.
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