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[288] the book, ‘Why cannot I write a novel?’ She remained in Norridgewock and vicinity for several years, and on her return to Massachusetts took up her abode with her brother at Watertown. He encouraged her literary tastes, and it was in his study that she commenced her first story, Hobomok, which she published in the twenty-first year of her age. The success it met with induced her to give to the public, soon after, The Rebels: a Tale of the Revolution, which was at once received into popular favor, and ran rapidly through several editions. Then followed in close succession The Mother's Book, running through eight American editions, twelve English, and one German, The Girl's Book, the History of Women, and the Frugal Housewife, of which thirty-five editions were published. Her Juvenile Miscellany was commenced in 1826.

It is not too much to say that half a century ago she was the most popular literary woman in the United States. She had published historical novels of unquestioned power of description and characterization, and was widely and favorably known as the editor of the Juvenile Miscellany, which was probably the first periodical in the English tongue devoted exclusively to children, and to which she was by far the largest contributor. Some of the tales and poems from her pen were extensively copied and greatly admired. It was at this period that the North American Review, the highest literary authority of the country, said of her, ‘We are not sure that any woman of our country could outrank Mrs. Child. This lady has been long ’

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