Mary Mapes Dodge attained much success during her multifaceted writing career, though only after passing through tragedy and hardship. A New York native, Mary was born in 1831, and when she was only twenty, was married to William Dodge. The marriage was to last but seven years. Her husband, a lawyer, encountered financial trouble, while their six-year-old son was diagnosed as fatally ill, and in 1858, William Dodge left his wife and two sons. Mary was confirmed a widow after William's drowned body was found a month later. The following year Mary and her father published two magazines, for which Mary garnered success by her writing and editing. So popular were her short stories that audiences supplicated her to write a novel, and the bestselling Hans Brinker made its appearence. Mary's writing extended to other journals, including a position with Hearth and Home as associate editor to Harriet Beecher Stowe's editor. Additionally, Mary's own magazine, the St. Nicholas Magazine for children, was one of the most popular in its day and was a venue for stories from authors such as Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Mary provided thousands of children with amusement through her magazine, until her death in 1905.