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Sarah Josepha Hale entry: Overview screen.
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Overview
Writing
Life
Writing and Life
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Sarah Josepha Hale, nineteenth-century American woman of letters and one of that country's earliest female professional journalists, wrote or edited about fifty books. These include fiction, household advice, works for children (she is the author of the nursery-rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb"), poetry, and biography. She won fame as the editor of Godey's Lady's Book and the encyclopaedic biographical dictionary Woman's Record. She offers a complicated, controversial, and in some respects feminist version of middle-class female sensibility as crucial to the republic.
Milestones
24 October 1788 Sarah Josepha Buell (later SJH), US writer, editor, and encyclopedist, was born at Newport, New Hampshire, the third of four children in her family. Bibliographic Citation link.
January 1828 SJH edited her first number of the new Ladies' Magazine, the first successful periodical for women in the USA. She continued as editor when Louis Godey bought it in 1837 and transmuted it into Godey's Lady's Book. Bibliographic Citation link.
By 23 April 1853 SJH published her monumental Woman's Record, an international biographical dictionary containing over 2,500 entries, tactfully "Inscribed to the Men of America." Bibliographic Citation link.
30 April 1879 US woman of letters SJH died at the age of ninety; she outlived by only five months Louis Godey, the magazine proprietor with whom her career was linked. Bibliographic Citation link.
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