While Edward Bellamy’s best-known work focuses on the future, he was also interested in the past. Nearly a decade before the publication of Looking Backward, he wrote a novel that challenged the generally accepted narrative about a turbulent time in American history…Read More
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
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
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
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
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