Jane G. Austin

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Not to be confused with Jane Austen.
Jane Goodwin Austin
Jane Goodwin Austin.jpg
Born Mary Jane Goodwin
(1831-02-25)February 25, 1831
Worcester, Massachusetts
Died March 30, 1894(1894-03-30) (aged 63)
Boston, Massachusetts
Occupation Author
Language English
Nationality American
Genre Historical fiction
Notable works Betty Alden: the first-born daughter of the Pilgrims[1]
Spouse Henry Austin
Children Rose Standish Austin, Le Baron Loring Austin, Lilian Ivers De Silva

Jane Goodwin Austin (Feb. 25, 1831 - March 30, 1894), born Mary Jane Goodwin, was an American writer, notable for her popular stories of the time. During her lifetime, she was the author of 24 books and numerous short stories.[2] Her friends throughout her life were some of the most well-known American authors, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott.[3]


Austin was born on February 25, 1831, in Worcester, Massachusetts, to Isaac Goodwin and Elizabeth Hammatt.[4] Her parents were from Plymouth and could trace eight distinct family lines back to the Pilgrims.[5] Jane's father, a lawyer, antiquary and genealogist, died in 1833, when she was only two. Behind him, he left a large archive of historical and legal documents from the Pilgrims, the whereabouts of which are unknown today. Her brother, John A. Goodwin, had also written a book on the Pilgrims, The Pilgrim Republic. Her mother was a poet and songwriter, and told Jane many stories of her ancestors, especially of Francis Le Baron — the nameless nobleman — and his descendants.[5] As a child, she was educated at nine different private schools in Boston.[1] Austin's most popular works were her Pilgrim stories, for which she relied on family lore, archival research, and a creative imagination.

In 1850, she married Loring H. Austin, a classmate of James Russell Lowell. She lived for several years in Cambridge, and afterward in Concord, but her later life was chiefly spent in Boston.[6]


  • Fairy Dreams; or, Wanderings in Elf-Land. Boston: Tilton, 1859.
  • Kinah's Curse! Or, The Downfall of Carnaby Cedars. Boston: Elliott, Thomes & Talbot, 1864.
  • The Tailor Boy. Tifton & Co, 1865.
  • Dora Darling: The Daughter of the Regiment. Boston: Tilton, 1865.
  • The Novice; or, Mother Church Thwarted. Boston: Elliott, Thomes & Talbot, 1865.
  • The Outcast; or, The Master of Falcon's Eyrie. Boston: Elliott, Thomes & Talbot, 1865.
  • Outpost. Boston: Tilton, 1867.
  • Cipher: A Romance. New York: Sheldon, 1869.
  • The Shadow of Moloch Mountain. New York: Sheldon, 1870.
  • Moonfolk: A True Account of the Home of the Fairy Tales. New York: Putnam, 1874.
  • Mrs. Beauchamp Brown. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1880.
  • A Nameless Nobleman. Boston: Osgood, 1881.
  • The Desmond Hundred. Boston: Osgood, 1882.
  • Nantucket Scraps: Being the Experiences of an Off-Islander, in Season and Out of Season, Among a Passing People. Boston: Osgood, 1883.
  • The Story of a Storm. New York: Lupton, 1886.
  • Standish of Standish: A Story of the Pilgrims. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1889.
  • Dolores. New York: Lupton, 1890.
  • Dr. LeBaron and His Daughters. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1890.
  • Betty Alden: The First Born Daughter of the Pilgrims. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1891.
  • David Alden's Daughter and Other Stories of Colonial Times. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1892.
  • It Never Did Run Smooth. New York: Lupton, 1892.
  • Queen Tempest. New York: Ivers, 1892.
  • The Twelve Great Diamonds. New York: Lupton, 1892.
  • The Cedar Swamp Mystery. New York: Lupton, Lovell, 1901.

She also wrote a great number of magazine stories and some poems.


  1. ^ a b "Jane G. Austin-with-an-"i"". Pilgrim Hall Museum. May 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  2. ^ "Jane Goodwin Austin: Introduction". Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. 1996. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  3. ^ "Jane Goodwin Austin: Literary Friendships". Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. 1996. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  4. ^ "Jane Goodwin Austin: Biography". Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. 1996. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  5. ^ a b Frances E. Willard; Mary A. R. Livermore (1897). American women. 1. p. 36. 
  6. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Austin, Jane Goodwin". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. Supplement. New York: D. Appleton. 
  7. ^ Kari Miller, PhD. "Jane Goodwin Austin". edublogs. Georgia State University. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 

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