Prentiss was born on October 26, 1818, in Portland, Maine to a third generation Congregational minister and his wife. Frail and troubled with chronic insomnia, Prentiss nonetheless worked hard to overcome her illnesses. Inspired to write, as a young woman she contributed poems and stories to a religious magazine called The Youth's Companion. When she grew older, Prentiss also opened their home to female school children and offered Bible studies on Sundays. Later she travelled to Virginia, taking the position of department head at a girls' boarding school. For two years she lived away from home, but ill health forced her back to Maine.
Shortly after her return she developed a relationship with the brother of a very close friend. The two married and moved to Massachusetts so her husband could pastor the South Trinitarian Church. Compelled to hide or disguise the grumpiness resulting from her sickness and fatigue, Prentiss showed a positive face to those around her. As a children's author she found success first with Little Susy's Six Birthdays. Her subsequent books continued to appeal to children and adults partly because Prentiss chose to show the mischievous behavior of kids. More widely known though was Stepping Heavenward, something of an autobiography, which originally appeared in the Chicago Advance serially and caused a large public response. Not only an author for children, Prentiss also wrote hymns which were collected in a volume known as Golden Hours. Inspiring for her determination to stay positive and focus on the Lord during times of hardship, sickness, and trouble, Prentiss left behind works that benefit people today. Prentiss passed away at age sixty on August 13, 1878.
Did you find this review helpful?