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Robins, Elizabeth, 1862-1952

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1862 - 1952

Elizabeth Robins was born on August 6, 1862 in Louisville, Kentucky, the eldest daughter of Charles Ephraim Robins (1832-1893) and his cousin and wife, Hannah Maria Crow Robins (1836-1901). Due to financial difficulties, her father moved to Colorado to work for a mining company. When their mother became too ill to care for them, the children moved to Zanesville, Ohio to live with their grandmother, Jane Hussey Robins (1807-1885). Elizabeth traveled with her father in the summer of 1880, attending the theater when possible. Enthralled with the plays she saw, she sought work as an actress and became successful. She married actor George Parks in 1885; after his death in 1887 she toured with Edwin Booth’s theater company and then moved to London where she lived the rest of her life except during visits to family in the United States. Acting was not enough to allow her financial success and she turned to writing novels under the name C. E. Raimond. Two of her earliest novels, Magnetic North (written in 1904) and Come and Find Me (1908) were based on her experiences searching for her brother, Raymond, in Alaska and remaining with him the summer of 1900. She also published serialized excerpts from her 1900 diary. The Alaska-Klondike Diary of Elizabeth Robins, 1900 based on these experiences was published from the diary (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 1999).

As a member of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies and the Women’s Social and Political Union, Elizabeth Robins became an advocate of women’s rights, writing and speaking on behalf of the suffrage movement. Her 1907 book The Convert was revised as a successful suffrage play, Votes for Women. In her final visit to the U.S. in October 1944 she registered to vote, but she became very ill and was unable to go the polls in November. She kept a diary for most of her life and used her observations in her published writing. Close friends included Dr. Octavia Wilberforce and Virginia and Leonard Woolf. She died in Brighton, England on May 8, 1952.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Elizabeth Robins Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS105
Overview Elizabeth Robins was born on August 6, 1862 in Louisville, Kentucky, the eldest daughter of Charles Ephraim Robins (1832-1893) and his cousin and wife, Hannah Maria Crow Robins (1836-1901). This small collection consists primarily of correspondence between members of Elizabeth Robins' family or from her friends (1876-1938); a few family photographs; correspondence regarding a lecture series at Bedford College for Women, University of London, in 1926; some autobiographical notes; and early...