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Mary Mapes Dodge (January 26, 1831 – August 21, 1905) was an American children's writer and editor, best known for her novel Hans Brinker.

Mary Mapes Dodge
Portrait of Mary Mapes Dodge.jpg
Born Mary Elizabeth Mapes
(1831-01-26)January 26, 1831
New York City
Died August 21, 1905(1905-08-21) (aged 74)
Tannersville, New York
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Spouse William Dodge
Children James Mapes Dodge, Harrington M. Dodge.



Mary was born Mary Elizabeth Mapes to Prof. James Jay Mapes and Sophia Furman in New York City. She acquired a good education under private tutors. In 1851 she married the lawyer William Dodge. Within the next four years she gave birth to two sons, James and Harrington. In 1857, William faced serious financial difficulties and left his family in 1858. A month after his disappearance his body was found dead from an apparent drowning, and Mary Mapes Dodge became a widow.

In 1859 she began writing and editing, working with her father to publish two magazines, the Working Farmer and the United States Journal. Within a few years she had great success with a collection of short stories, The Irvington Stories (1864), and a novel was solicited. Dodge then wrote Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates, which became an instant bestseller and was awarded a prize of fifteen hundred francs by the French Academy.

Her daughter-in-law, Mrs. James Mapes Dodge (Josephine Kern), was the sculptor of The Good Fairy Statue in 1916.[1]

Later in life Mary was an associate editor of Hearth and Home, edited by Harriet Beecher Stowe.[2] She had charge of the household and children's departments of that paper for many years. She became an editor in her own right with the children's St. Nicholas Magazine, for which she was able to solicit stories from a number of well-known writers including Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, and Robert Louis Stevenson. St. Nicholas became one of the most successful magazines for children during the second half of the nineteenth century, with a circulation of almost 70,000 copies.

Dodge died at her summer cottage in Tannersville, New York, in 1905.[3]

Selected worksEdit


  • The Irvington Stories (1864)
  • Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates (1865)
  • A Few Friends and How They Amused Themselves (1869)
  • Baby Days (1876)
  • Theophilus and Others (1876)
  • Donald and Dorothy (1883)
  • Baby World (1884)
  • The Land of Pluck (1894)


  • Rhymes and Jingles (1874)
  • Along the Way (1879)
  • When Life Is Young (1894)


  1. ^ Cavert, Mary Beth (2009). "The Good Fairy Statue."
  2. ^ Okker, Patricia (2008). Our Sister Editors: Sarah J. Hale and the Tradition of Nineteenth-century American Women Editors, University of Georgia Press, p. 10.
  3. ^ "Mary Mapes Dodge Dead. The Poet, Author, and Editor of St. Nicholas Magazine". The New York Times. August 22, 1905. Retrieved June 2, 2010. 


  • Howard Brown, John, (1904). "Dodge, Mary Mapes." In The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. III, The Biographical Society, p. 274.
  • Jasspon Kunitz, Stanley; Howard Haycraft (1938). "Dodge, Mary Elizabeth (Mapes)" American Authors 1600–1900, The H. W. Wilson Company, New York, p. 220.

Further readingEdit

  • Ellsworth, William Webster (1905). "In Memory of Mary Mapes Dodge," St. Nicholas Magazine, Vol. XXXII.
  • Ellsworth, William Webster (1919). A Golden Age of Authors, Chap. VI, Houghton Mifflin Company, p. 88.
  • Gannon, Susan R.; Ruth Anne Thompson (1992). Mary Mapes Dodge, Twayne.
  • Gannon, Susan R.; Ruth Anne Thompson (1992). "Mr. Scudder and Mrs. Dodge: An Editorial Correspondence and What it Tells Us," American Periodicals, Vol. 2.
  • Gannon, Susan R.; Ruth Anne Thompson and Suzanne Rahn (2004). St. Nicholas and Mary Mapes Dodge, MacFarland & Co., Inc.
  • Halsey, Francis W. (1903). "Mary Mapes Dodge, In New York City." In Women Authors of Our Day in Their Homes, James Pott & Company.
  • Howard, Alice Barrett (1943). Mary Mapes Dodge of St. Nicholas, Julian Messner.
  • McEnery, S. S. (1905). "Mary Mapes Dodge: Intimate Tribute," The Critic, Vol. XLVII.
  • Mason, Miriam Evangeline (1962). Mary Mapes Dodge: Jolly Girl, Bobbs-Merrill.
  • Runkle, Lucia Gilbert (1884). "Mary Mapes Dodge." In Our Famous Women, A. D. Worthington & Co., Publishers, pp. 276–294.
  • Satterie, Mattie Griffith (1912). "Personal Recollections of a Teacher III: Ms. Mary Mapes Dodge," Educational Foundations, Vol. XXIII, pp. 171–172.
  • Sorby, Angela (1998). "A Visit from St. Nicholas: The Poetics of Peer Culture, 1872-1900," American Studies, Vol. 39, No. 1.
  • Wright, Catharine Morris (1979). Lady of the Silver Skates: the Life and Correspondence of Mary Mapes Dodge, 1830-1905, Clingstone Press.

External linksEdit