Mary Traill Spence Lowell Putnam

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Mary Traill Spence Lowell Putnam
Born (1810-12-03)December 3, 1810
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died June 1, 1898(1898-06-01) (aged 87)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Mary Traill Spence Lowell Putnam (3 December 1810 – 1 June 1898) was a United States author.


She was a sister of James Russell Lowell, and their father, the Rev. Charles Lowell, was pastor of a Unitarian church from 1806 until he died in 1861. She had an aptitude for acquiring languages: she was eventually fluent in French, Italian, German, Polish, Swedish and Hungarian, and familiar with many other languages. She married Samuel R. Putnam in 1832 and later traveled abroad for several years.

Putnam's literary work was confined to magazine writing until 1844, when she translated from the Swedish Fredrika Bremer's The Handmaid.[note 1] She contributed to the North American Review articles on Polish and Hungarian literature (1848–50), and to the Christian Examiner on the history of Hungary (1850–51). Her name became widely known when she became involved in a controversy with Francis Bowen, editor of the North American Review, regarding the war in Hungary. Bowen attacked the Hungarian revolutionists, whom she upheld.


  • History of the Constitution of Hungary, published the year before the 1851 visit of Louis Kossuth to the United States (1850)
  • Record of an Obscure Man, a novel, published anonymously (1861)
  • The Tragedy of Errors and The Tragedy of Success, a dramatic poem in two parts on slavery in the southern United States (1862)
  • Memoir of William Lowell Putnam, on her son (1840-1861), who died at Ball's Bluff in the Civil War (1862)
  • Fifteen Days (1866)
  • Memoir of Charles Lowell, her father (1885)


  1. ^ Mary Howitt had done an earlier English translation in 1842 from a German version.


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