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Faith Baldwin (October 1, 1893 – March 18, 1978) was an American author of romance and fiction,[1] often concentrating on women juggling career and family. The New York Times wrote that her books had "never a pretense at literary significance" and were popular because they "enabled lonely working people, young and old, to identify with her glamorous and wealthy characters."[2]

Faith Baldwin
Baldwin circa 1913
Baldwin circa 1913
Born(1893-10-01)October 1, 1893
New Rochelle, New York, U.S.
DiedMarch 18, 1978(1978-03-18) (aged 84)
Norwalk, Connecticut, U.S.
OccupationNovelist
NationalityAmerican
Period1920s–1970s
GenreRomance, women's fiction
SpouseHugh Hamlin Cuthrell (1920–1953) (his death) (4 children)

Contents

Early LifeEdit

 
An example of a brownstone in Brooklyn Heights, similar to one at which Baldwin might have lived, an indication of her lavish lifestyle.

Faith Baldwin, born on October 1, 1893, in New Rochelle, N. Y., was the daughter of a well-known trial lawyer, Stephen Baldwin, and Edith Baldwin. After several years, her family moved to Manhattan and finally settling in Brooklyn Heights, a wealthy neighborhood in New York City, during which her younger sister Esther was born. Here, she lived an upscale childhood which would influence the settings and scenarios of her later work. She learned how to read at the age of three and wanted to become an actress, sending letter to actresses she admired and occasionally meeting them. According to Baldwin, her parents were startled by her interest in reading yet she continued to indulge herself. She expressed that she never intended to become a writer despite her frequent practice, since she viewed acting as a way to become independent. In 1914, she continued to practice a lavish lifestyle and lived with a friend of her mother in Dresden, Germany, while attending cooking school. After returning to the United States in 1916 at the beginning of World War I, she began working for the War Camp Community Service and met Hugh H. Cuthrell, a Navy pilot and executive of Brooklyn Union Gas Company, who she married in 1920. Shortly after this in 1921, she published her first novel Mavis of Green Hill, leading to a fruitful career of publishing many novels and a multitude of short stories in various New York newspapers and magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, and The Ladies Home Journal.[3] Her popularity with the middle-class and working women audience grew quickly.

BiographyEdit

She began her career writing for "women's magazines" that produced romance novels as six-part serials.[1] In 1935, she was described as the newest of the "highly paid" women romance writers by Time magazine.[4] Her popularity was at its peak in the 1930s, and in 1936 she earned over $300,000 (approximately equivalent to $4 million in 2005).[5] However, in the 1950s, she was going strong, with earnings over $2 million, sales over 10 million in all editions, and "one of the handful of living novelists to complete a five-foot shelf." [6] She continued writing novels until her death in 1978.

Many of her books were made into films,[7] and in the early days of television, she hosted a weekly anthology series on Saturday afternoons, titled "Faith Baldwin Romance Theater." [8][9] From 1958 to 1965, she wrote a column that was published in Woman's Day called "The Open Door."[citation needed] Her comments are often found in books of quotes and in web sites that offer quotes.[10] When asked about her life philosophy, she responded that her belief was simple: "It is in God and His spirit in mankind. It is in man and his struggle. It is in the Golden Rule and in the valor of men, however ignoble their shortcomings."

In the 1960s, Baldwin became familiar as one of the "guiding faculty members" of the Famous Writers School, a correspondence school that drew criticism for allegedly deceptive advertising.[11] The "faculty" included Baldwin, Bennett Cerf, Bergen Evans, Bruce Catton, Mignon G. Eberhart, John Caples, J. D. Ratcliff, Mark Wiseman, Max Shulman, Rudolf Flesch, Red Smith, and Rod Serling. An inattentive reader mistakenly could have inferred from the ad copy that these writers personally reviewed and provided critiques of students' work.[12]

Baldwin died of a heart attack in 1978.[13]

List of worksEdit

  • Mavis of Green Hill (1921)
  • Those Difficult Years (1925)
  • Laurel of Stonystream (1923)
  • Magic and Mary Rose (1924)
  • Sign Posts (1924) Poems
  • Thresholds (1925)
  • Three Women (1926)
  • Departing Wings (1927)
  • Alimony (1928)
  • Betty (1928)
  • Rosalie’s Career (1928)
  • Broadway Interlude (1929) (with Achmed Abdullah)
  • Garden Oats (1929)
  • Incredible Year (1929)
  • Broadway Sensation (1930) (with Achmed Abdullah)
  • Judy: A Story of Divine Corners (1930)
  • Make-Believe (1930)
  • The Office Wife (1929)
  • Babs, A Story of Devine Corners (1931)
  • Mary Lou, A Story of Divine Corners (1931)
  • Skyscraper (1931)
  • Today’s Virtue (1931)
  • District Nurse (1932)
  • Girl on the Make (1932) (with Achmed Abdullah)
  • Myra, A Story of Divine Corners (1932)
  • Self-Made Woman (1932)
  • Weekend Marriage (1932)
  • Beauty (1933)
  • Love’s a Puzzle (1933)
  • White Collar Girl (1933)
  • American Family (1934)
  • Honor Bound (1934)
  • Innocent Bystander (1934)
  • Within a Year (1934)
  • Wife vs. Secretary (1935)
  • The Puritan Strain (1935)
  • Men Are Such Fools! (1936)
  • The Moon's Our Home (1936)
  • Private Duty (1936)
  • Heart Has Wings (1937)
  • Manhattan Nights (1937)
  • That Man Is Mine (1937)
  • Twenty-Four Hours a Day (1937)
  • Enchanted Oasis (1938)[14][15]
  • Hotel Hostess (1938)
  • Rich Girl, Poor Girl (1938)
  • Comet Over Broadway (1938)
  • Career by Proxy (1939)
  • High Road (1939)
  • Station Wagon Set (1939)
  • White Magic (1939)
  • Arizona Star (1940)
  • Letty and the Law (1940)
  • Medical Center (1940)
  • Rehearsal for Love (1940)
  • Something Special (1940)
  • And New Stars Burn (1941)
  • Heart Remembers (1941)
  • Temporary Address: Reno (1941)
  • Blue Horizons (1942)
  • Breath of Life (1942)
  • Rest of My Life with You (1942)
  • Washington USA (1943)
  • You Can't Escape (1943)
  • Change of Heart (1944)
  • He Married a Doctor (1944)
  • A Job for Jenny (1945)
  • No Private Heaven (1946)
  • Woman on Her Way (1946)
  • Give Love the Air (1947)
  • Sleeping Beauty (1947)
  • An Apartment for Peggy (1948)
  • Marry for Money (1948)
  • Golden Shoestring (1949)
  • For Richer, For Poorer (1949)
  • Look Out for Liza (1950)
  • Tell Me My Heart (1950) UK title
  • The Whole Armour (1951)
  • Juniper Tree (1952)
  • Widow’s Walk, Variations on a Theme (1954) Poems
  • Face Towards the Spring (1956)
  • Many Windows: Seasons of the Heart (1958)
  • Three Faces of Love (1958)
  • Blaze of Sunlight (1960)
  • Testament of Trust (1960)
  • Harvest of Hope (1962)
  • The West Wind (1963)
  • Living by Faith (1964)
  • Lonely Man (1964)
  • The Lonely Doctor (1964)
  • Search For Tomorrow (1966) – novel based on the long-running TV serial
  • Evening Star (1966)
  • There Is a Season (1966)
  • Velvet Hammer (1969)
  • Take What You Want (1971)
  • Any Village (1972)
  • One More Time (1972)
  • No Bed of Roses (1973)
  • New Girl in Town (1975)
  • Time and the Hour (1975)
  • Hold on to Your Heart (1976) UK title
  • Thursday's Child (1976)
  • Adam's Eden (1977)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Potato People," Time Magazine, July 20, 1962
  2. ^ "Faith Baldwin, Author of 85 Books and Many Stories, Is Dead at 84." The New York Times, March 19, 1978, p. 38
  3. ^ "Faith Baldwin, Author of 85 Books and Many Stories, Is Dead at 84." The New York Times, March 19, 1978, p. 38
  4. ^ "Brooklyn Bestseller," Time Magazine, July 8, 1935.
  5. ^ Clarence A. Andrews (1995): "Faith Baldwin, 1893–1978," Dictionary of American Biography, Supplement 10: 1976–1980. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1995.
  6. ^ "Amazing Faith," Time Magazine, May 1, 1950
  7. ^ Faith Baldwin on IMDb
  8. ^ "The Rosy View," Time Magazine, January 29, 1951.
  9. ^ TV.com listing
  10. ^ Think Exist.com Quote from Faith Baldwin, retrieved 11 April 2007
  11. ^ Ad: "We want to test your writing aptitude," The New York Times, January 22, 1967; p. 240.
  12. ^ "4 Schools Agree to Shun Deceptive Advertising", The New York Times, June 18, 1971, p. 32
  13. ^ "Faith Baldwin, Author of 85 Books and Many Stories, Is Dead at 84. A Flight into Fancy Most Successful in 1930's Money and High Morals Wanted to Be Actress". The New York Times. March 19, 1978. Retrieved 2009-08-03. Faith Baldwin, the doyenne of American light fiction writers, died in her home here this evening after a 17-month-long illness. She was 84 years old.
  14. ^ OCLC 33325644
  15. ^ For commentary on this book, see: Wild, Peter (2011). Paradise of Desire: Eleven Palm Springs Novels. Tucson, AZ: Estate of Peter Wild. p. 281. OCLC 748584112.

External linksEdit