Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936

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Mary Johnston was born November 21, 1870 in Buchanan, Virginia to Elizabeth Alexander Johnston from Moorefield, West Virginia and John W. Johnston, lawyer and railway executive, of Botetourt County, Virginia. Mary Johnston, the oldest of six children, was followed by Eloise Johnston, Anne Johnston, John Johnston, Walter Johnston, and Elizabeth Johnston; the first and last two siblings lived most of their adult lives with Mary Johnston until her death, and they are mentioned frequently in these papers. The family moved to Birmingham, Alabama in 1886 and, except for a brief period spent in New York City around 1893 remained in Birmingham until 1902 when they moved to Richmond, Virginia. Elizabeth Alexander Johnston died in 1889 soon after the birth of her last child. John W. Johnston, a Confederate soldier and cousin to General Joseph E. Johnston, died in 1905, and soon thereafter Mary Johnston became critically ill, hovering close to death for nearly a year. Although she recovered and lived until 1936, she was plagued with horrible headaches and ill health most of her life. In 1912 Mary Johnston and Eloise Johnston bought land and built a home, "Three Hills," in Warm Springs, Virginia; this remained the Johnston family home until Elizabeth Johnston's death in the 1960's. Mary Johnston was not formally educated but apparently did a great deal of undirected reading in her youth, particularly of literature, history, philosophy, and science. She loved nature and, as a young adult, travelled frequently in Europe. She began writing in 1893, and her novel, Prisoner of Hope,which appeared in 1898, was her first publication. Houghton, Mifflin and Co. published her novels until she changed to Harpers in 1918; in 1922 she moved to Little-Brown and Co. Her literary agent was Carl Brandt. Mary Johnston published twenty-three novels--the earlier ones such as To Have and To Hold, Audrey, Sir Mortimer, Lewis Rand,and The Long Roll were the most popular--one play, The Goddess of Reason; one historical work, The Pioneers of the Old South; and numerous short stories. In addition to her literary and feminist activities, Mary Johnston was a self-declared pacifist in World War I and worked for peace through various organizations. She also had a great interest in socialism, although she never joined the Socialist Party. In later years she studied theosophy with much enthusiasm.

From the description of Papers of Mary Johnston [manuscript], 1898-1936. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647897754

American novelist.

From the description of Letters of Mary Johnston [manuscript], 1899-1915. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647835565

American author.

From the description of Papers of Mary Johnston, 1913-1914. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 32959040

American novelist from Virginia.

From the description of Autograph letters signed (9) : Three Hills, Warm Springs, Virginia, to Edward Wagenknecht, 1931-1935. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270864393

From the description of Quest : typescript of her last (unfinished) novel : New York, [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270868313

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Letters to Mrs. Edwards Pierrepont, 1900-1901. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Chambers, Will Grant, 1867-1949. W.G. Chambers correspondence concerning Pennsylvania State College Institute of English Education, 1924-1929 (bulk 1926-1928). Pennsylvania State University Libraries
creatorOf Poe Memorial Association. Correspondence of the Poe Memorial Association, 1899-1901. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Letters to Mrs. Tracy and to Henry Chester Tracy, 1913 June 20 and 1927 June 9. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Notes from Monday and Tuesday night meetings [manuscript] 1928 March to May. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Letters of Mary Johnston [manuscript] , 1903-1919. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Letters and documents. Hollins University, Wyndham Robertson Library
creatorOf Powell, John, 1882-1963. Papers : of John Powell, 1888-1979. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Letters from various correspondents, American period, 1876-1937. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Bradford, Gamaliel, 1863-1932. Lee Chapel papers [manuscript] 1923-1924. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Letters of Mary Johnston [manuscript], 1899-1915. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Harriet Ford papers, 1888-1948 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Freeman, Douglas Southall, 1886-1953. Papers of Douglas Southall Freeman [manuscript] 1900-1955. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Gale, Zona, 1874-1938. Papers of Zona Gale, 1914-1937. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Quest : typescript of her last (unfinished) novel : New York, [n.d.]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Houghton Mifflin Company. Houghton Mifflin Company correspondence and records, 1832-1944. Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Account book : of Mary Johnston, 1935 January-July. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Harrison, Elizabeth Stuart Letcher, d. 1914. List of books presented by Southern writers to the Poe Alcove, 1900 June 1. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Wilson, James Southall, 1880-1963. Correspondence relating to the Southern Writers Convention sponsored by the "Virginia Quarterly Review" at the University of Virginia, October 23-24, 1931 [manuscript], 1931-1932. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Collection of miscellaneous material relating to Virginia [manuscript] 1834-1931. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Miscellaneous papers of the Virginia Quarterly Review, ca. 1910-1947. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company correspondence and records, 1832-1944. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Johnston, Elizabeth. Miscellaneous items from Elizabeth Johnston [manuscript], 1913-1950. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Miscellaneous papers of the Virginia Quarterly Review [manuscript], ca.1910-1947. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Glasgow, Ellen Anderson Gholson, 1873-1945. Papers of Ellen Glasgow [manuscript], 1880-1963. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Autograph letter signed : Warm Springs, Virginia, to Grant Overton, 1919 June 7 and 1922 Mar. 23. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Thomas Bird Mosher papers, 1890-1939 (inclusive) 1895-1924 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Account book : of Mary Johnston, 1935 January-July [manuscript]. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Papers of Mary Johnston, 1913-1914. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Johnston, Elizabeth, b. 1888. Autograph and typed letters signed (11) : Three Hills, Warm Springs, Virginia, and Charlottesville, Virginia, to Edward Wagenknecht, 1946-1959. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Letter, Three Hills, Warm Springs, Va., to Joseph H. McConnahey, Northwood School, Lake Placid Club, N.Y. [manuscript] 1932 April 12. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Glasgow, Ellen Anderson Gholson, 1873-1945. Papers of Ellen Glasgow [manuscript], ca. 1877-1974. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Glasgow, Ellen Anderson Gholson, 1873-1945. Papers : of Ellen Anderson Gholson Glasgow, ca. 1877-1974. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Letters to Mr. and Mrs. Will Meridith [manuscript], 1911-1916, & n.d. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Greenslet, Ferris, 1875-1959. Letter to Owen Wister [manuscript] 1908 March 17. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Ford, Harriet, 1868-1949. Harriet Ford papers, 1888-1948. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Copeland, Walter S. (Walter Scott), 1856-1928. Walter Scott Copeland papers [manuscript], 1880-1954. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Letter to Mrs. Slocum [manuscript], 1914 February 12. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Thomas Bailey Aldrich papers, 1837-1926. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Bangs, John Kendrick, 1862-1922. Letters to Margaret Sutton Briscoe Hopkins [manuscript] 1895-1904. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Autograph letters signed (9) : Three Hills, Warm Springs, Virginia, to Edward Wagenknecht, 1931-1935. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Letter and envelope to Ellis D. Robb [manuscript], 1934, 1935. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Johnston, Eloise. Papers, 1940-1941. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Poe Memorial Association. Correspondence of the Poe Memorial Association [manuscript], 1899-1911. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Card : Warm Springs, Va., to Marion Edwards Park, 1927 Jan. 23. Bryn Mawr College, Mariam Coffin Canaday Library
creatorOf Thomas, A. F. (Alsen Franklin), 1862-1943. Papers of A. F. Thomas [manuscript], 1914-1943. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Papers of Mary Johnston [manuscript], 1898-1936. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Letters from various correspondents, 1869-1942. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Papers of Mary Johnston [manuscript], 1936?, n.d. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Jones, Rufus Matthew, 1863-1948. Autograph letter signed : Seattle, to Edward Wagenknecht, [no year] Jan. 18. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Correspondence with H. L. Mencken, 1916. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn John Mason Brown papers, 1922-1967. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Flannagan, Roy C. (Roy Catesby), 1897-1952. Papers of Roy Catesby Flannagan [manuscript] 1862-1951. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Papers of Mary Johnston [manuscript] 1900-33. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936. Correspondence to Van Wyck Brooks, 1918-1933. University of Pennsylvania Library
creatorOf Gale, Zona, 1874-1938. Papers of Zona Gale [manuscript], 1914-1937. University of Virginia. Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Aldrich, Thomas Bailey, 1836-1907 person
associatedWith Archibald Constable & Co. corporateBody
associatedWith Authors' League of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Bangs, John Kendrick, 1862-1922. person
associatedWith Blodgett, Glen Walton, person
correspondedWith Brown, John Mason, 1900-1969 person
associatedWith Chambers, Will Grant, 1867-1949. person
associatedWith Copeland, Walter S. (Walter Scott), 1856-1928. person
associatedWith Cosgrave, John O'Hara, 1864-1947, person
associatedWith Flannagan, Roy C. (Roy Catesby), 1897-1952. person
associatedWith Ford, Harriet, 1868-1949. person
associatedWith Freeman, Douglas Southall, 1886-1953. person
associatedWith Gale, Zona, 1874-1938. person
associatedWith Glasgow, Ellen Anderson Gholson, 1873-1945. person
associatedWith Greenslet, Ferris, 1875-1959. person
associatedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Johnston, Elizabeth. person
associatedWith Johnston, Elizabeth, b. 1888. person
associatedWith Johnston, Eloise. person
associatedWith Jones, Rufus Matthew, 1863-1948. person
associatedWith Kyllmann, Otto, person
associatedWith McConnahey, Joseph H., person
associatedWith Meredith, Will, person
associatedWith Meredith, Will, Mrs., person
correspondedWith Mosher, Thomas Bird, 1852-1923 person
associatedWith Orage, A. R. (Alfred Richard), 1873-1934. person
associatedWith Orage Group (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Overton, Grant, person
associatedWith Page, Walter Hines, 1855-1918 person
associatedWith Park, Marion Edwards, 1875-1960. person
associatedWith Perry, Bliss, 1860-1954 person
associatedWith Pierpont Morgan Library. Wagenknecht Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Pierpont Morgan Library. Wagenknecht Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Pierrepont, Margaretta Willoughby, person
associatedWith Poe Memorial Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Poe Memorial Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Powell, John, 1882-1963. person
associatedWith Ray, Gordon Norton, 1915- person
associatedWith Robb, Ellis, fl. 1934-1935, person
associatedWith Thomas, A. F. (Alsen Franklin), 1862-1943. person
associatedWith Tracy, Henry Chester, 1876-1958. person
associatedWith Wagenknecht, Edward, 1900-2004, person
associatedWith Whiting, Elizabeth, person
associatedWith Whitney, Caspar, 1864-1929, person
associatedWith Wilson, James Southall, 1880-1963. person
associatedWith Yard, Robert Sterling, 1861-1945, person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
United States
Subject
Consciousness
Serialized fiction
Eyestrain
Editors--Correspondence
Booksellers and bookselling
Mind and body
Authors and publishers
Mothers--Mortality--History--20th century
Mental discipline
Authors and readers
Occupation
Authors
Function

Person

Birth 1870-11-21

Death 1936-05-09

Information

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Ark ID: w6s47324

SNAC ID: 46309784