Peattie, Donald Culross, 1898-1964

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Naturalist and author.

From the description of Flowering plants of Kennicott's Grove : manuscript, undated. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71132214

Donald Culross Peattie, author and botanist, was born in 1898 in Chicago. He was the son of journalist parents. His career was determined by a hiking trip in the Appalachians and a visit to the famous "glass flower" at Harvard. He studied botany at Harvard.

Louise Redfield Peattie, author, was born in 1906 in Glenview, Illinois. She was the daugher of Robert Redfield, the youngest district attorney of Chicago. Her mother was the daughter of the Danish consul in Chicago. Louise and Donald met in high school where they learned printing together and set up in type his first work, Blown Leaves.

In 1935 Donald Peattie won the limited Editions Club Gold Medal. In 1936 Louise Redfield Peattie published her best-seller, American Acres. In 1937 they moved to Santa Barbara where they collaborated on articles and books. Donald Peattie joined the staff of the Readers' Digest as a Roving Editor. He continued to be active until 1961. He died in 1964. Louise Redfield Peattie died in 1965.

From the description of Donald Culross Peattie and Louise Redfield Peattie papers, 1912-1984. (University of California, Santa Barbara). WorldCat record id: 213889736

Biography

Donald Culross Peattie (DCP), naturalist, author, and editor, was born in Chicago on June 21, 1898, the son of Robert Burns Peattie (1857-1930) and Elia Cahill Wilkinson (1862-1935). He grew up in Chicago and Omaha, where his father was a leading newspaper editor and his mother (EWP) became a well-known literary critic for the Chicago Tribune . She also was a poet and novelist, her works including Pippins and Cheese (1897), Lotta Embury's Career (1915), Sarah Brewster's Relatives (1916), Newcomers (1917), and Painted Windows (1918). Several of her books were designed by Bruce Rogers.

As a child, Peattie accompanied his mother to the Great Smokies region of western North Carolina, which he later described in his books Flowering Earth and Road of a Naturalist. It was at Tryon, North Carolina, that he began to discover the beauty of nature that was a dominant theme of his work.

Peattie first attended the University of Chicago, studying French, but a tramp along the Appalachian Trail, together with a visit to the famous 'glass flowers' at Harvard, convinced him that his future lay in science. He talked his way into Harvard as a student of botany and graduated cum laude in 1922.

Following Harvard, Peattie began his career with the U. S. Department of Agriculture, working in the Division of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction, under the leadership of the brilliant plantsman and explorer David Fairchild. He came to Fairchild as the winner of the Witter Bynner Poetry Prize, and also as the author of a book eventually published as Flora of the Tryon Region of North and South Carolina . Fairchild perceived his divided loyalties as plantsman and writer, and encouraged him to seek horizons other than the world of botanical exploration.

In 1923 Donald Culross Peattie married Louise Heegaard Redfield, who he had known since high school. They collaborated on their first books, Down Wind and Cargoes & Harvests, and DCP wrote a column for the Washington Star, some of which later became part of An Almanac for Moderns . In 1928 they moved to the southern part of France, where they lived for five years and produced several books. On their return they lived at the farm in Glenview, Illinois, which was the birthplace of Louise Redfield. In 1937 they moved to Santa Barbara, California.

DCP achieved his greatest fame with An Almanac for Moderns (1935), which was awarded the Limited Editions Club's gold medal. He also was author of numerous other works, including: Cargoes and Harvests (1926), Bounty of Earth, with LRP (1926), Up Country, with LRP (1927), Down Wind, with LRP (1929), Flora of the Sand Dunes and the Calumet District of Indiana (1930), Vence, the Story of a Provencal Town (1930), Port of Call, with LRP (1932), Flora of the Tryon Region of North and South Carolina (six parts; 1928-1932), Sons of the Martian (1932), Natural History of Pearson's Falls (1933), The Bright Lexicon (1934), Singing in the Wilderness (1935), The Happy Kingdom: A Riviera Memoir, with LRP (1935), Green Laurels (1936), A Book of Hours (1937), A Child's Story of the World (1937), A Prairie Grove (1938), This Is Living, with Gordon Aymar (1938), A Gathering of Birds (1939), Flowering Earth (1939), Audubon's America (1940), The Road of a Naturalist (1941), Forward the Nation (1942), Journey into America (1943), Immortal Village (1945), American Heartwood (1949), A Cup of Sky, with Noel Peattie (1950), A Natural History of Trees of Eastern and Central America (1950), Sportsman's Country (1952), A Natural History of Western Trees (1953), Lives of Destiny (1954), Parade with Banners (1957), and The Rainbow Book of Nature (1957). He also was a roving editor for Reader's Digest (from 1943), writing dozens of articles for it and other magazines. He died in Santa Barbara on November 16, 1964.

Louise Heegaard Redfield Peattie (LRP) was born June 14, 1900. She was the daughter of Robert Redfield (1870-1920), the youngest District Attorney Chicago had known up to that time. Her brother was Robert Redfield (1908-1958), the noted anthropologist at the University of Chicago. Through her father's mother, she was connected with the Kennicott family. Her mother, Bertha Alexandra Dreier, was the daughter of the Danish consul in Chicago. Donald and Louise met in the high school of the University of Chicago, where he was editor of the school paper and she was a contributor. They learned printing together and set the type for his first work Blown Leaves (1916). They were married on May 22, 1923, and had four children: Celia Louise, Malcolm Redfield, Mark Robert, and Noel Roderick.

Louise Redfield Peattie was author of several novels, achieving fame in 1936 with the publication of American Acres . Other works included Dagny (1928), Up Country, with DCP (1928), Down Wind, with DCP (1929), Pan's Parish (1931), Wine with a Stranger (1932), Wife to Caliban (1934), Fugitive (1935), The Happy Kingdom: A Riviera Memoir, with DCP (1935), Tomorrow Is Ours (1937), A Child in Her Arms (1938), Lost Daughter (1938), Star at Noon (1939), The Californians (1940), and Ring Finger (1943). She also was the author of numerous articles. She died on February 19, 1965.

Further information on Donald Culross Peattie and Louise Redfield Peattie may be found in:

Concise Dictionary of American Biography . Who's Who in America, 1962-1963 .

From the guide to the Donald Culross Peattie and Louise Redfield Peattie Papers, 1912-1984, (University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Weatherby, Charles Alfred, 1875-1949. Papers of Charles Alfred Weatherby, 1893-1948 (bulk). Harvard University, Gray Herbarium
creatorOf Peattie, Donald Culross, 1898-1964. Riley as a nature poet, 1937 / by Donald Culross Peattie. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn Frank Manny papers, 1890-1955 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company correspondence, 1881-1981 (inclusive), 1940-1979 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Peattie, Donald Culross, 1898-1964. Donald Culross Peattie and Louise Redfield Peattie papers, 1912-1984. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
creatorOf Houghton Mifflin Company. Houghton Mifflin Company correspondence and records, 1832-1944. Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Nathan, Robert, 1894-1985. Hopwood Awards Collection, 1930- University of Michigan
referencedIn Howard Jones papers, 1835-1951, 1879-1946 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Peattie, Donald Culross, 1898-1964. Flowering plants of Kennicott's Grove : manuscript, undated. Library of Congress
referencedIn Landacre, Paul, 1893-1963. Correspondence with Carl Zigrosser, 1936-1948, n.d. University of Pennsylvania Library
creatorOf Peattie, Donald Culross, 1898-1964. Letters to Gladys Olds Anderson. Michigan State University Libraries, Main Library
referencedIn Barbour, Thomas, 1884-1946. Letters to Thomas Barbour, 1909-1941 (inclusive) Harvard University, Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology
referencedIn J. B. Matthews Papers, 1862-1986 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
creatorOf Ward, Lynd, 1905-1985. Journey into America : prodcution material. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company correspondence and records, 1832-1944. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Peattie, Elia Wilkinson, 1862-1935. Elia Wilkinson Peattie papers, 1896-1989 (bulk 1923-1929). Library of Congress
referencedIn Zeitlin, Jake, 1902-1987. Correspondence : with Carl Zigrosser, 1939-1971. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn George Sarton additional papers, 1901-1956. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Lewis Gannett papers, 1681-1966 (inclusive) 1900-1960 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Peattie, Donald Culross, 1898-1964. Correspondence with Carl Zigrosser, 1939. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Derleth, August William, 1909-1971. August William Derleth papers, 1858, 1907-1978. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Craven, Thomas, 1889-1969. Letter, [ca. 1940] March 28. University of Southern Mississippi, Regional Campus, Joseph Anderson Cook Library
creatorOf Donald Culross Peattie and Louise Redfield Peattie Papers, 1912-1984 University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Anderson, Gladys Olds. person
associatedWith Barbour, Thomas, 1884-1946. person
associatedWith Craven, Thomas, 1889-1969. person
associatedWith Derleth, August William, 1909-1971. person
correspondedWith Gannett, Lewis, 1891-1966 person
associatedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Jones, Howard, b. 1853 person
associatedWith Landacre, Paul, 1893-1963. person
associatedWith Manny, Frank Addison, 1868-1954 person
associatedWith Matthews, J. B. (Joseph Brown), 1894-1966 person
associatedWith Peattie, Elia Wilkinson, 1862-1935. person
associatedWith Peattie, Louise Redfield. person
associatedWith Peattie, Louise Redfield, 1900-1965. person
associatedWith Riley, James Whitcomb, 1849-1916 person
associatedWith Rugg, Harold Goddard, 1883-1957. person
correspondedWith Sarton, George, 1884-1956 person
associatedWith Ward, Lynd, 1905-1985. person
associatedWith Weatherby, Charles Alfred, 1875-1949. person
associatedWith Zeitlin, Jake, 1902-1987. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Botany
Occupation
Naturalist
Authors
Function

Person

Birth 1898-06-21

Death 1964-11-16

Americans

English

Information

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