Elswyth Thane

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Helen Elswyth Thane Ricker Beebe (May 16, 1900 – July 31, 1984) was an American romance novelist. Born in Burlington, Iowa, she was the daughter of a local teacher and high school principal." The family moved to New York City in 1918, and "Helen Ricker" changed her name to "Elswyth Thane". She began working as a freelance writer in the 20s, and became a newspaper writer and a Hollywood screenwriter. Her first novel, Riders of the Wind, was published in 1926. Her novel, The Tudor Wench, about Elizabeth I of England, was made into a play. She was a collector of scarves.

On September 22, 1927, at 27 years old she married 50-year-old naturalist and explorer William Beebe; it was his second marriage.[1] Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt was one of the guests at the wedding.

'Will' Beebe (2nd from left) and wife Elswyth Thane (far right) with friends at home near Wilmington, Vermont in 1957

Beebe died in 1962, leaving only half of his estate to his widow. She lived on the couple's farm in Wilmington, Vermont. Her last work, Fighting Quaker: Nathaniel Greene, was published in 1972. When she died, she left her papers to the University of Iowa.

Thane is most famous for her "Williamsburg" series of historical fiction. The books cover several generations of two families from the American Revolutionary War up to World War II. In later books, the action moves from Williamsburg to New York City, Richmond, Virginia and England. The novels are, in chronological order:

Other works[edit]

(alphabetically)

Footnotes[edit]