Anne Moncure Crane - Biography


Crane was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1838, daughter of William and Jean Crane. Her family were merchants and led a comfortable middle class lifestyle. An ancestor, Thomas Stone, had signed the Declaration of Independence - an illustrious connection that would later be attached to one of Crane's literary characters. Crane was taught by a local pastor, the Reverend N.A. Morrison. Her physical characteristics are described in a book on Southern writers thus:

"Miss Crane looks the 'woman of genius,' having large features, her nose aquiline and prominent, her mouth large, but rather pleasant, her chin firm, her brow moderate and well arched : her eyes are dark, and have a bright outlook on this world ; her hair is dark and very luxuriant she wears it piled up according to the present 'Japanese' style. She is tall, but not ungraceful. She prides herself on making all her own clothes, and being able to do everything for herself, which is very commendable. A friend calls her 'an universal genius' who is very ambitious, thinking 'an intellectual woman ought to do everything.'"

Crane married Augustus Seemüller, a New York merchant, in 1869. They left Baltimore to settle in New York City. Crane thereafter lived in relative comfort and was able to afford several tours of Europe. She died in Stuttgart, Germany, where she had gone to "take the waters" in the hope of relief from chronic hepatitis. Her remains, as well as her husband's, are interred beside her father's in Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore.

Prior to the publication of her three novels, Crane wrote several short stories for the Galaxy and Putnam's Monthly. In 1873, a collection of miscellaneous essays was published posthumously.

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