Susan Glaspell Additional Biography


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Born July 1, 1876, to Elmer S. and Alice Keating Glaspell, descendants of pioneer settlers, Susan Glaspell grew up in Davenport, Iowa, and attended public schools. She went to Drake University in Des Moines, receiving her B.A. in 1899. While in college, she began writing stories and published her first one in the Davenport Weekly Outlook in 1896. After graduation, she spent two years working for The Des Moines Daily News and other newspapers as a reporter covering the court and legislative beats. She returned in 1901 to Davenport determined to become a writer. Her early stories, published in popular magazines, and her first novel, the best-selling The Glory of the Conquered: The Story of a Great Love (1909), were escapist, romantic, and conventional in form.

In 1907, Glaspell met Floyd Dell, future writer and social critic; George Cram Cook, a socialist writer; and Cook’s feminist wife, Mollie. Cook and Dell established the Monist Society, a discussion group formulated to expose provincialism and to introduce avant-grade ideas to Davenport. Glaspell fell in love with Cook and encountered the disapproval of her friends and family. In 1909, in an attempt to end the affair, she traveled to Europe, using the royalties earned from her first novel.

On returning to the United States, she spent time in Colorado, Davenport, Chicago, and Greenwich Village. She also finished her second novel, The Visioning, which shows Cook’s influence in the seriousness of the issues it introduced—trade unions, evolution, and divorce, to name a few—and began a third, Fidelity (1915), which explores small-town life in the Midwest and examines the limits placed on women by traditional gender roles. In 1912, she published Lifted Masks, a collection of short stories based on her experiences as a reporter. She and Cook, who had divorced his second wife, were married on April 14, 1913, in Weehawken, New Jersey. As a result of being exposed to his ideas, she grew more...

(The entire section is 828 words.)


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

ph_0111207660-Glaspell.jpg Susan Glaspell Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Susan Glaspell (GLAS-pehl), dramatist, novelist, and writer of short stories, was born in Davenport, Iowa, on July 1, 1876, the daughter of Elmer and Alice Keating Glaspell. Her forebears were among the earliest settlers of Davenport. She graduated from high school in 1894 and then worked for three years as a reporter for the Davenport Morning Republican and Davenport Weekly Outlook. While at the latter she wrote a “Social Life” column and published her first short story. In 1897 she entered Drake University in Des Moines, where she studied philosophy, excelled in debate, wrote short stories for the college’s The Delphic, and served as literary editor of the school newspaper.

After graduating from college in 1899 Glaspell worked for the Des Moines Daily News and wrote a column there called “The News Girl.” In 1901 she resigned this post to return to Davenport and concentrate on writing fiction. Between 1901 and the mid 1920’s she turned out a number of successful short stories. Many of these contain themes similar to what she had written about in her column. During these years Glaspell also worked briefly in Chicago on the Chicago Daily Review and did graduate work in English at the University of Chicago. In 1909 her first novel, The Glory of the Conquered: The Story of a Great Love, was published and became a best-seller. Other successful novels include Fidelity in 1915, Fugitive’s Return in 1929, Ambrose Holt and Family in 1931, and Judd Rankin’s Daughter in 1945.

In 1912 Lifted Masks appeared, a collection of thirteen of Glaspell’s stories that exemplify her local-color writing. In 1913 Glaspell, then thirty-six, married George Cram Cook, a classics scholar and twice-divorced iconoclast from Davenport. The couple settled in Provincetown, Massachusetts, during the summer months and spent their winters in New York City. Cook founded the Provincetown Players in 1915. At the Wharf Theater in Provincetown the group produced Glaspell’s first two plays, the one-act play Suppressed Desires and the one-act play Trifles. Other one-act plays that...

(The entire section is 900 words.)


(Drama for Students)

On July 1, 1882, Susan Glaspell was born in Davenport, Iowa. She excelled in academics as a student, studying Latin and journalism. After...

(The entire section is 402 words.)


(Drama for Students)

Susan Glaspell was born on July 1, 1882, in Davenport, Iowa. She was the middle child and only daughter of Elmer and Alice Feeney Keating...

(The entire section is 469 words.)


(Short Stories for Students)

Playwright, novelist, and short story writer Susan Glaspell was born July 1,1876, in Davenport, Iowa, though some sources cite her birth year...

(The entire section is 300 words.)


(Drama for Students)

Susan Keating Glaspell was born July 1, 1876, in Davenport, Iowa, to Alice and Elmer Glaspell. Her year of birth is sometimes given as 1882,...

(The entire section is 389 words.)