Grace Livingston Hill: Gracious Writer for God


Written by Betty Steele Everett, this book was published in 1997 by Christian Literature Crusade. It's a retelling or paraphrase of the earlier Karr and Munce biographies. If you read them back to back, you'll notice the similarity.

 Corrections to keep in mind as you read:

  • Grace's "Auntie Belle", Isabella Macdonald Alden, is incorrectly called Isabelle.

  • Ms. Everett writes that "Belle had gotten her own publisher to print and bind just one copy of The Esselstynes, especially for Grace." As noted on our page about the Munce biography, 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. Several more copies of this rare treasure have been located and the story also appears in many other Pansy Books, including "Mother's Boys and Girls" and "Getting Ahead". Grace's story was used for this children's book as a surprise to her, but the author in the front of the book is listed as "Pansy". It's only inside the book that the true identity of the author is revealed to be Grace!

  • She speaks of "a little" insurance money following Rev. Frank Hill's death, but $3,000 was a lot of money in 1899. By some inflation calculators, that's the same buying power as $83,000! She was able to move the family to Swarthmore and purchase a home after his death.

  • The book seems to mix up the timeline in the changes of publishers and also seems to imply that Grace left J.B. Lippincott to publish "The Girl from Montana" with The Golden Rule Co. and then came back and then left again to publish "A Voice in the Wilderness" with Harper & Brothers. While it's thought that she may have parted ways with J.B. Lippincott briefly over "creative differences", the Golden Rule books were part of her work with Christian Endeavor World. In fact, J. B. Lippincott turned down several of these stories as unsuitable.

  • Everett mistakenly calls biographer Jean Karr a woman, but Karr was a man.

  • In her account of "Marcia Schuyler", the author writes as though Marcia Schuyler and David Spafford actually existed, but they did not. Grace took the last name "Spafford" from her mother's family (it was Grace's grandmother's maiden name) and "Schuyler" from the Livingston family tree. She loved to use family names for her characters, but these two are definitely fictional. The basis for the book was taken from family lore, but it is not a literal re-telling of these family events.