The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

April 9, 2017

April 9, 1905

Sarah Chauncey Woolsey (January 29, 1835 to April 9, 1905) wrote children's stories under the pen name Susan Coolidge.

Woolsey had connections with a literary world before she began writing. From her Britannica biography we note:

In 1855 she moved with her family to New Haven, Connecticut (her uncle, Theodore Dwight Woolsey, was president of Yale College). During the Civil War she was active in hospital work. In 1870, after her father’s death, the family settled in Newport, Rhode Island. By that time Sarah Woolsey had already published a few magazine articles, and, in part through the influence of her close friend Helen Hunt (Jackson), she began to write in earnest.

We quote from one of her stories in Mischief's Thanksgiving, and other stories (1874)

.....On the handle of the basket was a card. It only said, “ St. Valentine’s compliments to Richie Brook.” But I don’t think the longest letter could have made Richie’s eyes sparkle more joyously. You see the poor fellow had never had a valentine before in his life.

.... Richie ...[read from a note in the basket]
“ I am a little mouse,
Only that —
Chased about the house
By the cat.
“ But small as I am,
Weak and shy,
I have sharp little teeth
And bright eye.

“ I can see when the great
Are in pain,
I can gnaw for a friend
At a chain.
“Dear lion, you are
You are strong,
But the day may
Before long,
When in vain you shall roar
In a net;
Then your small mousie friend
Won’t forget.”

This and Coolidge's other stories are available for free at

A Guernsey lily, or How the feud was healed; a story for girls and boys,
Eyebright : a story  (1894),
Uncle and aunt  (1901) .
Mischief's Thanksgiving : and other stories (1874).
The Barberry bush : and eight other stories about girls for girls  (1893).

Sarah Chauncey Woolsey wrote non-fiction also, including a translation of Theophile Gautier’s My Household of Pets (1882).  About this last, you will have to go to to read it.  Google Books has four copies but they are all locked up in some fake republishing deal, and Hathitrust does not have that book. 

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