- A Sherwood Bonner Sampler, 1869-1884: What a Bright, Educated, Witty, Lively, Snappy Young Woman Can Say on a Variety of Topics
- Suwanee River Tales (1884)
- Dialect Tales (1883)
Katharine Sherwood Bonner McDowell was born in Mississippi on February 26, 1849, to Dr. Charles and Mary Wilson Bonner, a planter family who lived in Holly Springs. Katharine married Edward McDowell in 1871, who took his family (a daughter had been born to them) to Texas. After it became clear that McDowell could not support the family, Katharine took the child home to Holly Springs, Mississippi, and then set out alone for Boston in search of both educational opportunities and employment at time when women were supposed to stay home and raise a family.
In Boston she found the literary world she wanted and formed a lifelong connection with poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. As a teenager, she sold her first romance for publication to the Massachusetts Ploughman and New England Journal of Agriculture, and her short fiction was published in national magazines between 1875 and 1884 under the name of Sherwood Bonner.
She is considered an important writer of humorous and local-color dialect fiction by literary scholars. Anne Razey Gowdy has compiled a collection of work by this unusual woman, which include travel columns and letters; essays, profiles, and sketches; tales and stories; and poetry. Bonner loved to tell stories, loved to write, and loved observing the world around her and the people she met. Sadly, she returned home to die of breast cancer at the age of thirty-four.
- Ole Miss Writers Site gives biography of Sherwood Bonner McDowell
- Complete biography of Sherwood Bonner McDowell on Wikipedia
- Papers of McDowell are available at the Dept. of Archives and Collections, the University of Mississippi Libraries
- Harper’s Magazine subscribers’ can read reviews and actual articles and stories