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Last edited by JulietS
August 19, 2010 | History

pseud. Alice B. Emerson

12 March 1889 - 22 February 1978

Josephine Lawrence was born in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of a doctor and a retiring mother. As a child, she spent considerable time with a Quaker aunt who spoke the plain language and saw to it that she attended First Day Sabbath regularly. When one of her articles for the school newspaper won a $5 prize, she "resolved then and there to become an author." When she was in her teens, her family moved to Hopewell, where her father took up farming. Although she had planned to attend college, she was unable to master high school math, and decided instead to become a writer. She wrote stories for children's magazines, and articles for a farm journal. In 1915, she became editor of the children's page of the Newark Sunday Call, and she also wrote many of the short pieces published on the page. In 1918, she began edited the household page as well. In 1917, she interviewed Edward Stratemeyer, author of numerous boys' books and head of the Stratemeyer Syndicate. Her article, "The Newarker Whose Name Is Best Known," impressed Stratemeyer so much that he told her he would publish her work if she wanted to pursue writing children's fiction.

In 1919, she ghostwrote Sunny Boy in the Country for the Stratemeyer Syndicate, as well as twelve of the thirteen further Sunny Boy books that followed, under the pdeudonym Ramy Allen White. She also wrote all seven of the Four Little Blossoms books under the pseudonym Mabel C. Hawley; all six of the Riddle Club books under the pseudonym Alice Dale Hardy; the first four Betty Gordon books under the pseudonym Alice B. Emerson, as well as books seven and nine a few years later; the first sixteen Honey Bunch books under the pseudonym Helen Louise Thorndyke.

While working for the Syndicate, she also wrote her own children's stories. In 1921, she published the first books in her Brother and Sister series; in 1922, she began her Rosemary series; in 1923, she began her Elizabeth Ann series; in 1925, she began her Linda Lane series; and in 1927, she began her Two Little Fellows series.

Despite her success with children's books, she was primarily interested in writing for adults. In 1932 she published her first adult novel, Head of the Family. Her second novel, Years Are So Long (1934), was very popular and was later made into a film called "Make Way for Tomorrow" (1937). Although her popularity waned after the early 1940s, she continued to turn out almost one book per year.

In 1940, she married and moved to an apartment in Manhattan with her husband, although she continued to write for the Newark Sunday Call. When the Call folded in 1946, she moved to the Newark Sunday News, where she became book editor. When her husband died in 1963, she stayed in New York and continued working at the Newark Sunday News until her retirement in the 1970s.

Photo of pseud. Alice B. Emerson

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History Created April 30, 2008 · 2 revisions
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August 19, 2010 Edited by JulietS merge authors
April 30, 2008 Created by an anonymous user initial import