Sarah Chauncey (1835?-1905), pseudonym Susan Coolidge, American writer
best remembered for her so-called Katy books for girls: What Katy Did
(1872), What Katy Did at School (1873), and What Katy Did Next (1886).
Many of her works have a domestic setting and advocate traditional home
values, a characteristic of the genre of girls' books, which began with
The Daisy Chain (1856), by English writer Charlotte Yonge, and was popularized
by American writer Louisa May Alcott, author of the classic novel Little
Women (1868), and American writer Elizabeth Wetherell.
Woolsey was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to a large family on which the Carr
family of her Katy books was modeled. She spent much of her childhood
in New Haven, Connecticut, as her family was closely connected with Yale
University there. Woolsey worked as a nurse during the American Civil
War (1861-1865), after which she turned to writing. Her first book, A
New Year's Bargain, appeared in 1871, and was edited by Louisa May Alcott.
Woolsey's other works include two books about the sister of her Katy character,
Clover: Clover (1888) and In the High Valley (1891). She also wrote poetry
and edited the various correspondences of English novelists Fanny Burney
and Jane Austen.