Grace Livingston Hill: The Life Story of One of America's Best-Loved Writers, As Told by Her Grandson

1986

This book was written by Grace's grandson, Robert L. Munce, with help from his mother, Ruth. It's filled with first-hand family stories and photos that you won't find in any other biography. This is THE definitive GLH Biography (so far, but stay tuned) and if you were only able to read one, forget all the rest and read this one.

Its first edition was published in April 1986 by Tyndale House Publishers with several printings. It was also available through the Christian Herald Book Club. This book was re-released under the titles Grace Livingston Hill: The Biography and The Grace Livingston Hill Story.

Our extensive GLH research over 30+ years has brought to light a number of corrections. We won't list them all, but here are a few to keep in mind while you're reading:

  • Munce writes that the Livingstons' first child (a son, Percy) was born in 1863 and lived only one day. This is incorrect. Percy was born in May 1859 and died in October 1860. Details are not known, but he is memorialized in his aunt's autobiography by a single sentence: "Sacred to the memory of Percy."

  • Grace's "Auntie Belle" was the youngest of the Macdonald sisters. Grace's mother, Marcia, was born nine years earlier. The book goes on to say that Marcia's only full-length children's book was The Story of Puff (1883), but she had previously written Katy Hunter's Homes (1876).

  • We have learned in the years after this bio was published that Grace's first book, The Esselstynes, was not produced as a single gift copy as originally thought. Numerous copies of this rare treasure have been located and the story also appears in many of her aunt's "Pansy Books," including its first appearance in Mother's Boys and Girls in 1877. It was subsequently printed as an individual story book for one of the "Pansy Libraries." This is where Grace's own copy originated. While Grace's story was used for this children's book as a surprise to her, the author in the front of the book is listed as "Pansy". It's only at the end of the story that the true identity of the author is revealed! Read more about it here.

  • Grace wrote a bit of poetry, but she did NOT write The Bridal Veil mentioned in Chapter 6. It was simply a favorite of Grace's and it's pasted into one of her scrapbooks. We have learned that it was written by Alice Cary and appears often in literary compilations as early as 1875 (when Grace was just 10 years old), so it would have still been popular when she was a young bride, herself, in 1892. 

  • In the account of the writing of The Girl from Montana, Mr. Munce tells us that Grace "had never been west of Pennsylvania". In our travels through history following her family's path, we've found record of Grace as far west as Chillicothe, Missouri and as far north as Minneapolis, Minnesota. More accurately, Grace had never visited the far western states, including Montana and Arizona, where she set her western novels.

  • The book says that E.L. Henry drew "five or six pen and ink drawings" for the book Marcia Schuyler, but it's more likely that he sketched some of his existing paintings for her that might fit book's theme and could be used for publication. The paintings used as illustrations in the first editions were painted many years before Grace even learned about the family story. This mistake is quoted in Everett's biography. You can see these paintings at our companion site: E.L. Henry: Illustrations from the Marcia Schuyler Trilogy .