Julia Magruder

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Julia Magruder (September 14, 1854–June 9, 1907) was a novelist born in Charlottesville. Author of sixteen novels, many short stories, and a number of essays on social issues. In her writings throughout her life, she often defended the South against outside criticism. Her most popular book is A Beautiful Alien (1899).

Magruder was born in Charlottesville as the youngest of three daughters of Allan Bowie Magruder (a prominent Virginia lawyer whose mother had been the eldest daughter of "noted millers" in Albemarle County) and his wife, Sarah Sawyer née Gilliam. She was a niece of (CSA) Major Robert H. Poore, who fell in the Battle of Gettysburg and was possibly buried at Maplewood Cemetery. She was also a niece of John B. Magruder, a high-ranking officer who served in the United States Army during the Mexican-American War and the Confederate States Army during the Civil War.

Magruder’s novels, mostly written for young female readers seeking marriage and romance, usually follow a heroine who must overcome slight obstacles to marry her true love. Most of her stories were written after 1885. Many of Magruder’s short stories were published in the most popular magazines of the time, including Ladies’ Home Journal. She also wrote essays on serious social issues, such as child labor laws and women’s changing roles in the early twentieth century.

Magruder maintained a home in Washington, D.C., but traveled widely and often stayed with friends or family for extended periods. She spent considerable time with her friend Amélie Rives Troubetzkoy, a novelist, poet, and playwright, either at Troubetzkoy's home, Castle Hill, in Albemarle County, or at her residence on Lake Maggiore, in northern Italy. Magruder spent much of her time writing while visiting her sister, Emily Gibson, in Concord, North Carolina.[1]

Julia Magruder died of Bright’s disease, now known as kidney disease, in Saint Luke’s Hospital, in Richmond, on June 9, 1907. She is buried next to her parents in Charlottesville’s Maplewood Cemetery. A week before her death she received notice of the "Order of Palms" award from the Académie Française, for which she had been nominated a year earlier.

In May 2013, the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society featured the novelist in an exhibit entitled “A Sunny Southerner: The Life and Writings of Julia Magruder.”

Major Works

  • Across the Chasm (1885)
  • At Anchor: A Novel (1887)
  • A Magnificent Plebeian (1888)
  • Honored in the Breach (1888)
  • The Child Amy (1894)
  • “The Southern Girl: Julia Magruder, the Clever Novelist of Dixie-Land, Tells of the Sweet-Voiced Damsels of Her Home” (1894)
  • The Princess Sonia (1895)
  • Miss Ayr of Virginia, & Other Stories (1896)
  • The Violet (1896)
  • Dead Selves (1898)
  • Labor of Love; a Story for Boys (1898)
  • A Realized Ideal (1898)
  • Struan (1899)
  • A Heaven-Kissing Hill (1899)
  • A Manifest Destiny (1900)
  • A Sunny Southerner (1901)
  • Her Husband: The Mystery of a Man (1911)

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External Links

Wikipedia Page