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Grace Sartwell Mason

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Grace Sartwell Mason
Grace Sartwell Mason in 1915
BornOctober 31, 1876
Port Allegany, Pennsylvania, United States
DiedFebruary 1, 1966(1966-02-01) (aged 89)
CitizenshipUnited States

Grace Sartwell Mason (October 31, 1876 — February 1, 1966) was an American journalist, critic, and writer of stories and novels.

Early life

Grace Sartwell was born in Port Allegany, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Stephen C. and Rose F. Thompson Sartwell. Her parents kept an inn, Sartwell House. She had a twin brother, Stephen M. Sartwell.[1] She studied music as a teen.[2]


Mason published several novels and collections of short stories, including The Car and the Lady (1908, co-written with Percy F. Magargel), The Godparents (1910), Licky and his Gang (1912), The Bear's Claws (1913), The Golden Hope (1916),[3] His Wife's Job (1919), The Shadow of Rosalie Byrnes (1919) and Women Are Queer (1932).[4] She is sometimes considered an early woman author in science fiction, based on Bear's Claws (a "lost world" story).[5]

Mason's stories appeared in national publications, including Harper's,[6] Scribner's,[7] Munsey's,[8] American Magazine,[9] Appleton's,[10] and Everybody's.[11]

She moved to Northern California in 1912. On her relocation to California, she stated: "For a writer who needs the out-of-doors and plenty of elbow room – big spaces, the mountains, the sound of the surf, the wind in the pines – California is the place."[12] She was associated with the artists' colony at Carmel, California.[13]

Mason was an officer of the Pen and Brush, a New York club for women writers and artists, while Ida Tarbell was the club's president.[14] She was also a member of the Authors' Guild.[15] She spent the summer of 1927 at an island retreat in Maine with three other women writers, including Pulitzer-prize winner Margaret Widdemer.[16] In 1935 she was on the panel of judges for a literary contest sponsored by the Bronxville Women's Club.[17]

Films based on works by Grace Sartwell Mason include Waifs (1918), The Shadow of Rosalie Byrne (1920), Speed (1925), Man Crazy (1927), and Honeymoon in Bali (1939). A 1926 story by Mason was also the basis of The Way to Heaven (1956), an episode of the television anthology series Jane Wyman Presents the Fireside Theatre.

Personal life

Grace M. Sartwell married James Redfern Mason, a music critic, in 1902.[18] They divorced.[19] In 1930 she married architect Ralph Holt Howes.[20][21] She died in 1966.


  1. ^ Michael A. Leeson, History of the Counties of McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter, Pennsylvania (J. H. Beers 1890): 526.
  2. ^ Lillian G. Genn, "Party Flirtations Dangerous" Honolulu Advertiser (October 9, 1932): 31. via Newspapers.comopen access
  3. ^ "Los Angeles as the Villain" California Outlook (September 1916): 137.
  4. ^ Online Books by Grace Sartwell Mason, The Online Books Page.
  5. ^ "Grace Sartwell Mason", The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (May 12, 2017).
  6. ^ Grace Sartwell Mason, author index, Harper's Magazine.
  7. ^ Grace Sartwell Mason, "His Job" Scribner's Magazine (April 1920): 470–480.
  8. ^ Grace Sartwell Mason, "The Wedding Gift" Munsey's (November 1908): 220–225.
  9. ^ Grace Sartwell Mason, "The Only Old Person Left in the World" American Magazine (February 1919): 29–31, 118.
  10. ^ Grace Sartwell Mason, "The Prodigies" Appleton's (August 1907): 217–224.
  11. ^ Grace Sartwell Mason, "The Lady with the Comic Sense" Everybody's (May 1916): 618–633.
  12. ^ Russell E. Smith, "The Literary Inspiration of California" Book News Monthly (November 1915): 22.
  13. ^ "Actors of Carmel Hold a Frolic at Theater in Woods" San Francisco Chronicle (June 9, 1912): 23. via Newspapers.comopen access
  14. ^ "Women Artists and Writers Buy $52,000 Tenth St. Home" New York Times (June 3, 1923): E1. via ProQuest
  15. ^ "Authors At Tea in Store" New York Times (October 7, 1927): 19. via ProQuest
  16. ^ Untitled society news item, The Times (November 15, 1927): 6. via Newspapers.comopen access
  17. ^ "Winners Announced in Literary Contest" New York Times (November 3, 1935): 2. via ProQuest
  18. ^ John William Leonard, ed., Woman's Who's Who of America (American Commonwealth Company 1914): 542.
  19. ^ Nina Baym, Women Writers of the American West (University of Illinois Press 2011): 290. ISBN 9780252093135
  20. ^ "Sues to Force Howes to Quit Second Wife" New York Times (January 4, 1930): 4. via ProQuest
  21. ^ "Poetess Propitiated" Brooklyn Daily Eagle (May 8, 1930): 3. via Newspapers.comopen access

Further reading

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