In the first half of the twentieth century Bess Streeter Aldrich became one of America’s best loved, most widely read, and highly paid writers. Her short works appeared in such major journals as Ladies Home Journal, Harper’s Weekly, The American Magazine, Colliers, McCalls, and The Saturday Evening Post. Her most famous novel, A Lantern in Her Hand, has remained a favorite since first published in 1928.
Her portrayals of pioneers, farm people, small-town residents, their activities, and their relationship with their surroundings won the admiration of the nation. Honest romance, marital concord, and parental love were her constant themes. She was much more concerned with what kept people together than with what drove them apart. Widowed in 1925 with four children who relied on her for support, Aldrich knew all too well the tensions between motherhood and working for pay.
Collected Short Works contains twenty-six works written for publication between 1907 and 1919. Aldrich’s admirers now have ready access to works that long ago were relegated to archives and library stacks. Scholars will appreciate how much of herself Aldrich invested in her fiction and how well she appreciated the changes occurring around her.