Nebraska Authors

Dorothy Canfield Fisher

AKA: Dorothy Canfield or Dorothea Frances Canfield

Born 1879-02-17 Lawrence, KS (USA)

Died 1958-11-09
Arlington, VT (USA)

Arlington, VT (USA)
Saint James Episcopal Church Cemetery
Image of Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Image of Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Fisher's father was Chancellor of the University of Nebraska, 1891-1895. At the University, in Lincoln, she and classmate Willa Cather became friends and maintained an occasionally troubled but lasting friendship and correspondence over more that 50 years. She had a varied career as an editor and writer. She was on the first editorial board of the Book-of-the-Month Club. She played a leading role in bringing the teachings of Maria Montessori to the United States. Perhaps she is best known for Understood Betsy, 1919, a children's book. The Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award, an annual award co-sponsored by the Vermont Department of Libraries and the Vermont Congress of Parents and Teachers, is the second oldest selected children's book award in the country. In the early twentieth century, Dorothy Canfield was considered to be one of the best-selling American authors of the period.

Places Lived

Lawrence, KS
Lincoln, NE
Columbus, OH
New York, NY
Arlington, VT

Author Of

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction


Novels; Children's Fiction; Adolescent Psychology; Montessori Method; Education;


Bachelor of Arts Degree, 1899, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Graduate Study, University of Paris, Paris, FRANCE
Ph.D. in French, 1904, Columbia University, New York, NY




1944, second prize, O. Henry Memorial Award for "The Knot-Hole"
1946, winner, O. Henry Memorial Awards for "Sex Education"
She was the first woman to receive an Honorary Degree from Dartmouth College and the University of Nebraska.
Honorary Degrees from Middlebury College, Swarthmore College, Smith College, Williams College, Ohio State University, and the University of Vermont
She was called "one of the ten most influential women in the country" by Eleanor Roosevelt.
Her novel The Brimming Cup was the second best-selling novel of 1921.


Book-of-the-Month Club
Adult Education Association, Founder


Gunhild. 1907.
A Montessori Mother. 1912.
The Squirrel-Cage. 1912.
A Montessori Manual. 1913.
Mothers and Children. 1914.
Hillsboro People. 1915.
The Bent Twig. 1915.
The Real Motive. 1916.
Fellow Captains. 1916. (with Sarah N. Cleghorn)
Self-Reliance. 1916.
Understood Betsy. 1917.
Home Fires in France. 1918.
The Day of Glory. 1919.
The Brimming Cup. 1921.
Rough-Hewn. 1922.
What Grandmother Did Not Know. 1922.
Raw Material. 1923.
The Home-Maker. 1924.
Made-to-Order Stories. 1925.
Her Son's Wife. 1926.
Why Stop Learning?. 1927.
Learn or Perish. 1930.
The Deepening Stream. 1930.
Basque People. 1931.
Tourists Accommodated. 1932.
Bonfire. 1933.
Fables for Parents. 1937.
On a Rainy Day. 1938.
Seasoned Timber. 1939.
Runaway Toys. 1940.
Nothing Ever Happens and How It Does. 1940. (with Sarah N. Cleghorn)
Tell Me a Story. 1940.
In the City and on the Farm. 1941.
To School and Home Again. 1941.
Under the Roof. 1941.
Under the Sun. 1941.
Our Young Folks. 1943.
American Portraits. 1946.
Four-Square. 1949.
Our Independence and the Constitution. 1950.
Paul Revere and the Minute Men. 1950.
A Fair World for All. 1952.
Vermont Tradition: The Biography of an Outlook on Life. 1953.
A Harvest of Stories. 1956.
Memories of Arlington, Vermont. 1957.
And Long Remember. 1959.

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Dorothy Canfield Fisher

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)