A Chautauqua Idyl was Grace's second book, but the first book published under her own name.
It was written to earn the money for a family trip from their home in Florida to New York for the 1887 Recognition Day at Chautauqua. Grace, her father, and her aunt (Pansy) were slated to graduate from its Literary Circle and she was determined to be there in person for the all of the pageantry of the celebration. She even read a poem written for the occasion as part of the ceremony.
Grace hand-painted the cover of her own personal copy of the book to reflect its subject—the trees, the flowers, and the animals meeting for their own Chautauqua.