Livingston Family

Grace Livingston Hill wasn't the only writer in the family.

From her earliest days, Grace Livingston Hill was surrounded by an atmosphere of literature. Reading and writing was happening all around her, all the time. Both of her parents were writers, as were several members of her close-knit extended family.

Often the family read aloud together, whether it was from the newspaper, classic literature, or the latest chapter fresh from the typewriter of a family author. Grace's daughters later took up the family pen and the gift goes on... 

This great family photo from the 1890's is of Grace holding her daughter Margaret, along with her mother and father—reading, of course!

Two inseparable sisters, Marcia and Isabella Macdonald, are at the heart of this family of authors. Marcia Macdonald married Rev. Charles Livingston in 1855 and Isabella Macdonald married Rev. G.R. Alden in 1866 and the Livingston and Alden families were very close.  Not only did they enjoy each others' company, they often wrote together. Click an author's name to learn more about the members of this close-knit family.

Both of Grace's parents, Rev. Charles Livingston and Marcia Macdonald Livingston, were writers. While both wrote pieces for various periodicals and "The Pansy", Marcia wrote a few books of her own (usually as Mrs. C.M. Livingston) and collaborated on several with her sister, Isabella Macdonald Alden.

a sevenfold trouble and kaleidoscopeThe entire family circle and a few close friends collaborated on two books: A Sevenfold Trouble in 1889 and The Kaleidoscope in 1892. These unique books were written in connection with "The Pansy" magazine, which was edited by Grace's aunt. All of the family wrote for this popular children's magazine. A Sevenfold Trouble tells a story from seven authors' perspectives, while The Kaleidoscope is a collection of stories told about a single picture of a girl and her cat—and each author's idea of what they were up to. You can read A Sevenfold Trouble online.

Grace's first husband, the Rev. Thomas Guthrie Franklin Hill, wrote for Christian Endeavor. Together with Grace, he wrote two volumes of "Christian Endeavor Hour with Light for the Leader". This was a guide book for leaders of Christian Endeavor youth groups.

Grace's daughters, Margaret Livingston Hill and Ruth Glover Hill (her pen name was Ruth Livingston Hill), published books as well. Margaret published three books, but Ruth was a bit more prolific. Ruth finished Grace's last book, "Mary Arden". She went on to write several more novels in a similar style. Later in life, she wrote Bible study curriculum and was a noted Bible teacher and Missionary.

Grace's grandson, Robert Livingston Munce, wrote the definitive GLH biography and founded Munce Marketing Group, the largest independent Christian bookstore marketing firm in the industry. 

Pansy 1895

Grace's aunt, Isabella Macdonald Alden was better known to millions of readers as "Pansy". She was a beloved writer of Christian literature and a popular speaker at Chautauqua meetings and Sunday School conferences. Not only did she author nearly twice as many books as Grace, she was editor and writer for her own magazine called "The Pansy". You can read more about Grace's "Auntie Belle" at our Pansy website.

Aunt Isabella's son and Grace's cousin, Raymond Macdonald Alden, was an author and a professor of literature at Leland Stanford University. Dr. Alden was known for his scholarly work and authored a number of college textbooks on poetry and literature. He was also a well-respected authority on Shakespeare. Many readers remember his classic Christmas tale, "Why the Chimes Rang". This popular story was written when his mother was too ill to finish a writing assignment. She asked him to write a story in her place and a classic was born. He also wrote for "The Pansy" under the pen name "Paranete".

Grace's uncle, the Rev. G. R. Alden was a writer and helped edit "The Pansy" weekly magazine. He wrote as G.R.A. in its pages. Uncle Ross also wrote a small book, "Glimpses of Boyhood" which is a companion to his wife's book "Glimpses of Girlhood". It tells of his boyhood in Maine.

Grace's Half-Grand Uncle Horatio Gates Spafford is best known for writing the hymn "It Is Well With My Soul" as well as writing other works. And yes, the "Spafford" name in "Marcia Schuyler" comes from Grace's family tree—her grandmother's name was Myra Spafford.

Cousin Frances Livingston Wells Henry wrote a beautiful memorial sketch of her husband, E.L. Henry, who was a famous artist in the 1800's. Several of his paintings were used to illustrate Marcia Schuyler, Phoebe Deane, and Miranda. You can learn more about the art of the Marcia Schuyler Trilogy at our E. L. Henry website.

Words most definitely run in the family!