The New International Encyclopædia/French, Alice

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FRENCH, Alice (1850—). An American novelist, better known as Octave Thanet. She was born at Andover, Mass., and began her literary career, about 1878, with studies of a social and economic bent, but soon turned to short stories, in which she achieved much success, especially after her removal to the West, Iowa und Arkansas, gave her opportunities for exploiting regions hitherto little attempted in fiction. Noteworthy among her stories are The Bishop's Vagabond (1884), Whitsun Harp, The Regulator, and The Mortgage on Jeffy. Knitters in the Sun, a collection of stories (1887), Otto the Knight, and other trans-Mississippi stories (1891), A Book of True Lovers, and Stories of a Western Town (1893), are volumes characteristic of her work in this field. A longer novel, Expiation (1890), won, and deserved, high praise for its nervous vitality, truth to life, and vivid local color. We All (1891) is a story for children. “Octave Thanet” has also edited The Best Letters of Mary Wortley Montague.