Handbill for Anna Katharine Green book

Here is an 1888 handbill advertising the publication of Anna Katharine Green's latest mystery: Behind Closed Doors.

Anna Katharine Green helped develop the genre of detective fiction in America. Though a pioneering woman in mystery writing in the 19th century, she was not very progressive when it came to women and politics. She refused to support Women's Suffrage. But she did introduce, in The Golden Slippers and Other Problems, the character Violet Strange, one of the first, if not the first, female detectives in the genre.

Green, whose image is found at online-literature.com, lived from 1846-1935. She was an aspiring poet, a correspondent with Emerson, and an influence on Agatha Christie. She published her first book in 1878, The Leavenworth Case: A Lawyer's Story, to critical and popular success and is best known for that work. By the end of her life, her work was all but forgotten.

Patricia D. Maida has written about her life and work in The Life and Works of Anna Katharine Green.


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