Edward Payson Roe - Encyclopedia

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EDWARD PAYSON ROE (1838-1888), American novelist, was born in Moodna, Orange county, N.Y., on the 7th of March 1838. He studied at Williams College and at Auburn Theological Seminary; in 1862 became chaplain of the Second New York Cavalry, U.S.V., and in 1864 chaplain of Hampton Hospital, at Hampton, Virginia. In 1866-74 he was pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Highland Falls, N.Y. In 1874 he removed to Cornwall-on-the-Hudson, where he devoted himself to the writing of fiction and to horticulture. He died on the 19th of July 1888. During the Civil War he wrote weekly letters to the New York Evangelist, and subsequently lectured on the war and wrote for periodicals. Among his novels were Barriers Burned Away (1872), which first appeared as a serial in the Evangelist and made him widely known; What Can she Do? (1873), Opening of a Chestnut Burr (1874), From Jest to Earnest (1875), Near to Nature's Heart (1876), A Knight of the Nineteenth Century (1877), A Face Illumined (1878), A Day of Fate (1880), Without a Home (1881), Nature's Serial Story (1884), A Young Girl's Wooing (1884), An Original Belle (1885), He Fell in Love with his Wife (1886), The Earth Trembled (1887) and Miss Lou (left unfinished, 1888). He wrote also Play and Profit in My Garden (1873), Success with Small Fruits (1881) and The Home Acre (1887). His novels were very popular in their day, especially with middle-class readers in England and America, and were translated into several European languages. Their strong moral and religious purpose, and their being written by a clergyman, did much to break down a Puritan prejudice in America against works of fiction.

See E. P. Roe: Reminiscences of his Life (New York, 1899), by his sister, Mary A. Roe.

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