Born May 31, 1893, in Buffalo, New York, Elizabeth Coatsworth attended Buffalo Seminary and went on to receive her bachelor's degree from Vassar College in 1915 and her master's degree from Columbia University in 1916. She married Henry Beston, also a writer, in 1929 and spent most of her life in rural Maine.
Originally a poet and the author of twenty books of verse, Coatsworth began writing children's books in the 1930s and authored over one hundred titles as well as many adult novels. The subjects and settings of her works are varied; many are set in New England, while others reflect her extensive travel throughout Europe and the Far East. It was the latter that inspired The Cat Who Went to Heaven, a book that won the Newbery Medal in 1931. Coatsworth received the Children's Spring Book Festival Honor Award for Under the Green Willow in 1971. She died on August 31, 1986, in Nobleboro, Maine.
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