- If I See Green (1929) Poems
- Next Besters (1920)
- Miss Dulcie from Dixie (1917)
- A Shadow’s Shadow (1893)
- The Crime of Philip Guthrie (1892)
Tallulah (Lulah) Ragsdale was born in 1862 near Brookhaven, Lawrence County (now Lincoln County), Mississippi. Her father was a Confederate soldier who was killed when Lula was only four months old.
She attended Whitworth College in Brookhaven, graduating in 1878. Shortly after graduation, she moved to New York City to study acting. She acted in minor roles in several plays while living in New York, and she began to write and publish poetry in local papers.
She returned to Brookhaven, where she wrote her first novel, The Crime of Philip Guthrie, published in 1892. Her second novel, A Shadow’s Shadow, was published the following year. She continued to publish many short stories and poems in the New Orleans Times-Democrat, Harper’s Monthly, Harper’s Weekly, Young’s Magazine, Arena, The Mississippi Poets, and Today’s Housewife.
For the next two decades, she taught at Whitworth College in Brookhaven, Belhaven College in Jackson, and in the Gulfport and Brookhaven public schools.
Her third novel, Miss Dulcie from Dixie was published in 1917 and was later adapted into a movie. Two of her poems and one of her short stores were awarded prizes in the Mississippi Federation of Women’s Clubs literary contest in 1917.
Her fourth novel, The Next Besters, was published in 1920. Ragsdale suffered a nervous breakdown in 1921. Despite suffering from loss of vision, she published her final book, a collection of poetry entitled If I See Green in 1929.
One of the first women Mississippi writers, Ragsdale died at the age of 91 in 1953. She is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Brookhaven, Mississippi.