Ellen Glasgow , 1873-1945, American novelist, b. Richmond, Va. In revolt against the romantic treatment of Southern life, Glasgow presented in fiction a social history of Virginia since 1850, stressing the changing social order and the emergence of a dominant middle class and rejecting the outworn code of Southern chivalry and masculine superiority. She spent her entire life in Richmond, Va. Her radicalism was apparent in her first novel, The Descendant (1897), and was sustained through her many subsequent books, including Virginia (1913), Life and Gabriella (1916), Barren Ground (1925), The Romantic Comedians (1926), Vein of Iron (1935), and In This Our Life (1941; Pulitzer Prize).
Toward the close of a May afternoon in the year 1884, Miss Priscilla Batte, having learned by heart the lesson in physical geography she would teach her senior class on the morrow, stood feeding her canary on the little square porch of the Dinwiddie Academy for Young Ladies.
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