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Booth, Mary Louise (19 April 1831–05 March 1889), magazine editor and translator, was born in Millville (later Yaphank), Long Island, New York, the oldest child of William Chatfield Booth, a schoolteacher, and Nancy Monsell. Booth attended local schools at Yaphank and at Williamsburgh, which became part of Brooklyn, where the family moved in 1844 when her father became principal of a public school. Mainly, however, she was self-taught, reading the entire Bible at age five and Racine in the original French at seven. Although her father thought teaching the only suitable career for a woman, and she taught in his school briefly (about 1845–1846), she aspired to a literary career....

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Deutsch, Babette (22 September 1895–13 November 1982), writer, editor, and translator, was born in New York City, the daughter of Michael Deutsch and Melanie Fisher. She grew up in New York, was a student at the Ethical Culture school, and attended Barnard College, graduating in 1917. She worked briefly for ...

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Ferguson, Elizabeth Graeme (03 February 1737–23 February 1801), writer and translator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Thomas Graeme, a prominent physician, and Ann Diggs, stepdaughter of Sir William Keith, the first provincial governor of Pennsylvania. In the environment of her father’s large estate, “Graeme Park,” Elizabeth developed into a well-read and cultivated young woman. According to one memoir, her literary activity began “to divert her mind” from a broken engagement to ...

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Holt, Claire (23 August 1901–29 May 1970), Indonesian specialist and journalist, was born Claire Bagg in Riga, Latvia, the daughter of Boris Bagg, a successful leather dealer and manufacturer, and Cecile Hodes. In 1914 the family moved to Moscow, where Claire attended Gymnasiums from 1914 to 1918. In 1920 she married Bernard Hopfenberg, and in 1921 the couple emigrated to the United States. They settled in New York, and Claire gave birth to a son in 1927. Her husband died in 1928....

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Jolas, Maria ( January 1893–04 March 1987), cofounder of the Paris literary review transition, founder of the Ecole Bilingue in Neuilly, and translator and editor, cofounder of the Paris literary review transition, founder of the Ecole Bilingue in Neuilly, and translator and editor, was born Maria McDonald in Louisville, Kentucky, the daughter of Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) and Donald McDonald. The McDonalds, a wealthy family originally from Virginia, educated their daughter in New York boarding schools but derided her scholarship to the University of Chicago, which she turned down. She was, however, permitted to study voice in Berlin (1913–1914)....

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Latimer, Elizabeth Wormeley (26 July 1822–04 January 1904), novelist, translator, and historian, was born Mary Elizabeth Wormeley in London, England, the daughter of Rear Admiral Ralph Randolph Wormeley of the English Royal Navy and Caroline Preble of Boston, Massachusetts. Her father was born in Virginia, but as a boy he was taken to England, where he received his education and enlisted in the navy. Elizabeth spent her childhood in England, Boston, Virginia, and France. She was educated mostly by tutors, although she spent a brief time at a boarding school. When she was fourteen, the family moved to London, where she attended the funeral of King William IV and the coronation of Queen Victoria. In Paris she became acquainted with William Makepeace Thackeray and his mother, Mrs. Carmichael Smythe. She witnessed the second funeral of Napoleon and made her debut at the balls of Louis Philippe. In 1842 she traveled to America to visit at the home of friends. Here she met the historian ...

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Marianne Moore Photograph by George Platt Lynes, 1935. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-101955).

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Elaine Oswald and Robert L. Gale

Moore, Marianne (15 November 1887–05 February 1972), poet, critic, and translator, was born Marianne Craig Moore in Kirkland, Missouri, the daughter of John Milton Moore, a construction engineer and inventor, and Mary Warner. Moore had an older brother, John Warner Moore. She never met her father; before her birth his invention of a smokeless furnace failed, and he had a nervous and mental breakdown and was hospitalized in Massachusetts. Moore’s mother became a housekeeper for John Riddle Warner, her father, an affectionate, well-read Presbyterian pastor in Kirkwood, until his death in 1894. Moore’s mother, always overly protective, moved with her children briefly to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and then to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where Moore attended the Metzger Institute (now part of Dickinson College) through high school. In 1905 she entered Bryn Mawr College, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania; published nine poems, including “A Jelly-Fish,” in its literary magazines ...

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Pool, Rosey E. (7 May 1905–29 Sep. 1971), poet, anthologist, and translator, was born Rosa Eva Pool in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the eldest of two children of cigar dealer Louis Pool and domestic worker Jacoba Jessurun, both of Jewish descent. Pool started studying Germanic Languages at the University of Amsterdam in ...

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Porter, Charlotte Endymion (06 January 1857–16 January 1942), editor and publisher, dramatist, and translator, was born Helen Charlotte Porter in Towanda, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Henry Clinton Porter and Elisa (or Eliza) Eleanor Betts. She graduated from Wells College (Aurora, N.Y.) in 1875 and then studied Shakespeare and French drama at the Sorbonne in France. In 1883 Porter settled in Philadelphia and became editor of ...

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Preston, Harriet Waters (06 August 1836–14 May 1911), writer and translator, was born in Danvers, Massachusetts, the daughter of Samuel Preston and Lydia Proctor. She was educated by private tutors at home and then lived abroad, mainly in Italy, France, and England. She returned to the United States in 1865, lived in New England, and turned her fluency in Latin, French, and Italian to good use as a translator. Throughout the 1870s and 1880s she frequently contributed critical articles and reviews to scholarly magazines such as the ...

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Untermeyer, Jean Starr (13 May 1886–27 July 1970), poet and translator, was born in Zanesville, Ohio, the daughter of Abram E. Starr, department store owner, and Johanna Shonfield. A passionate and artistic child, Untermeyer explored her musical talents early by playing the piano....

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Weiss-Rosmarin, Trude (17 June 1908–26 June 1989), scholar and editor, was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, the daughter of Jacob Weiss, a prosperous wine merchant, and Celestine Mulling. Although her parents attended Jewish religious services, they were acculturated to German bourgeois life. As Weiss-Rosmarin later described it, her parents worshiped in an elegant modern Orthodox synagogue, but it was there that she first felt discriminated against as a female. The women sat “upstairs” in a “very civilized luxurious women’s gallery, with a dressing room to leave [one’s] coat and a beadle in a splendid uniform.” But she knew that if she were a boy, she would have been downstairs, and “perhaps even able to shake the rabbi’s hand” ( ...

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Winwar, Frances (03 May 1900–24 July 1985), novelist, biographer, and translator, was born Francesca Vinciguerra in Taormina, Sicily, the daughter of Domenico Vinciguerra, a singer, and Giovanna Sciglio. Her family arrived in the United States in 1907 and she grew up in New York City. She attended local public schools and studied at Hunter College and Columbia University but never took a degree. Quickly mastering English and French and retaining complete fluency in Italian, she showed an early taste for literature and began to publish poetry in the radical socialist magazine ...

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Wormeley, Katharine Prescott (14 January 1830–04 August 1908), Civil War relief worker, translator, and biographer, was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, the daughter of Ralph Wormeley and Caroline Preble. Wormeley’s father was born in Virginia and raised in England, where he became a rear admiral in the Royal Navy. He married Preble in Boston then returned to Virginia to help found the College of William and Mary. From 1836 to 1847 the family lived in London, except for the years 1839–1842, which were spent in France and Switzerland. When her father died in 1852, Wormeley, her mother, and her siblings wintered in either Boston or Washington and lived the remainder of the year among the literary elite in Newport, Rhode Island....