Ella Wheeler Wilcox entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
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Ella Wheeler Wilcox, a popular poet from the American mid-West, was born at mid nineteenth century and began publishing at an early age. Her output amounted to about eighty volumes (some posthumous), her poems (mostly first written for magazines) to almost two thousand items. Her essays were syndicated in newspapers; she produced a handful of novels, stories, and books of uplifting advice, and at the end of her life an autobiography. Her most famous topic was love; she also wrote sentimental verse about babies and about death, poems for public occasions, and pronouncements on spiritualism and the New Thought. Her moralising is facile and shallow but her comments on gender relations, mostly from early in her career, are trenchant. Notorious for writing of female sexuality while this was seen as unacceptable, she is unfailingly lively, accessible, and memorisable. Many of her poems were set to music.
5 November 1850 Ella Wheeler (later EWW) was born in Johnstown Center near Madison, Wisconsin, USA, the youngest of four children. Bibliographic Citation link.
May 1883 Ella Wheeler (later EWW) had her "first big success" with Poems of Passion, which was refused by one Chicago publisher for "immorality" Bibliographic Citation link. before being accepted by a second. Bibliographic Citation link.
Late 1918 EWW published both in New York and in London her autobiography, The Worlds and I. Bibliographic Citation link.
30 October 1919 EWW died at her home in Short Beach, Connecticut, USA. Bibliographic Citation link.
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