Writing Women

Sally Sayward Barrell Keating Wood, ca. 1820

Sally Sayward Barrell Keating Wood, ca. 1820
Item 16130   info
Maine Historical Society

Maine's first novelist, York native Sally Sayward Barrell Keating Wood (1759-1854), was known as Madam Wood.

She first wrote under the name "A Lady of Massachusetts," it being improper for "ladies" to write anything as risque as fiction. Later, she became "A Lady of Maine."

Her novel "Julia, and the illuminated baron: a novel founded on recent facts, which have transpired in the course of the late revolution of moral principles in France," was published in 1800.

She insisted that "no one social, or one domestic duty has ever been sacrificed" because of her writing. She apparently wrote most of her works after the deaths of her first and second husbands.

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