A Look Backward

Like Mother, Like Son

Edward Bellamy was said to be his mother’s favorite son following the death of his oldest brother, Packer, but his biographers describe her as stern and somewhat cold.  What do we know about their relationship, and about Maria Bellamy as a mother?…Read More

The Warners of Chicopee Falls: Carrie

Researching women in the 19th and early 20th centuries can be challenging.  More limited in the occupations and interests they could pursue, women were often overshadowed and left out of the historical record…Read More

Making Headlines: Edward Bellamy the Journalist

Edward Bellamy began his writing career in newspapers, penning editorials and literature reviews for newspapers in New York City and Springfield, Massachusetts, before co-founding two newspapers of his own…Read More

How did our garden grow?

A lot can be learned about what the exterior of a house used to look like by examining it for signs of old paint colors, different foundations, and ghosts of features that were removed long ago.  However, it is much more difficult to know what its gardens may have looked like—especially in the years before photography became accessible to the general public…Read More

The Art of the Short Story

Best known for his novel, Looking Backward, Edward Bellamy, like many other notable authors of his time, began his career in fiction by writing short stories. He continued to produce short stories even as his novels brought increasing success, publishing a total of 23 between 1875 and 1889…Read More

The Warners of Chicopee Falls: John, Part 2

In The Warners of Chicopee Falls: John, Part 1, we met John Warner and learned about his time farming in the Dakota Territory in the 1880s. Read on to find out where he went next, and if he ever returned to Massachusetts…Read More

The Warners of Chicopee Falls: John, Part 1

For those familiar with Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, in the 1880s, it probably wouldn’t be surprising to learn that some of Edward Bellamy’s neighbors were connected to manufacturing or farming. But what about connections to the Dakota Territory and Alaska?…Read More

The Strength of the Vote

Equal wages for all, improvements in education, the abolition of political parties: Edward Bellamy’s bestselling utopian novel, Looking Backward, is full of what his contemporaries considered radical ideas. In fact, Bellamy openly expressed less-than-traditional ideas throughout his writing career. It stands to reason, then, that women’s suffrage would have been among the many social changes his novel proposed—except it wasn’t…Read More

Thinker, Writer, Father

We know a lot about Edward Bellamy’s worldview from his published works. But what about his personal life?

Family was an important influence on Bellamy and his writing. For example, his parents—a Baptist minister and the daughter of a Baptist minister—set the moral examples that he followed throughout his life. However, it was a different pair of relatives that had a more immediate impact on his best-known work. In an essay published in the Ladies’ Home Journal, Bellamy explained…Read More