Fanny Fern

Carole Moses
Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

Sarah Payson Willis (penname: Fanny Fern) was born in Portland, Maine on July 9, 1811, the fifth of nine children. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to Boston, where her father opened a printing business. Later in her life, Fern describes her mother in loving terms; her relationship with her father seems more problematical. Her reticence about him and her newspaper columns that constantly praise loving fathers over tyrannical heads of family strongly suggest that he fell into the latter category. As a convert to Calvinism (and a deacon in his church), he could not but disapprove of his daughter’s self-reliance and independence, which showed itself at an early age, in her repugnance for the dour visiting ministers that stayed with the Willises, for example. Ironically, this…

2428 words

Citation: Moses, Carole. "Fanny Fern". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 August 2010 [, accessed 26 May 2024.]

1507 Fanny Fern 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.