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 White Linen Nurse was so tired that her noble expression ached.
Incidentally her head ached and her shoulders ached and her lungs ached and the ankle-bones of both feet ached quite excruciatingly. But nothing of her felt permanently incapacitated except her noble expression. Like a strip of lip-colored lead suspended from her poor little nose by two tugging wire-gray wrinkles her persistently conscientious sickroom smile seemed to be whanging aimlessly against her front teeth. The sensation certainly was very unpleasant.
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