Elizabeth Choate Spykman (1896-1965) was born and raised in Southborough, Massachusetts, and was the fourth child in a family of four boys and two girls. Following her graduation from the Westover School in 1914, she traveled widely and adventurously, spending a year in Germany and another in England. In the 1920s, she wrote for The Atlantic Monthly, describing a journey to the South Seas by tramp steamer and life in small-town New England, among other subjects, but it was not until 1955 that she published a book, A Lemon and a Star, the first of four novels about the Cares family, which include The Wild Angel (1957), Terrible, Horrible Edie (1960), and Edie on the Warpath (1966). Elizabeth Choate Spykman was married to the co-founder of Yale’s Department of International Relations, Nicholas J. Spykman, with whom she had two daughters.
May 18, 2010
It’s not easy being Edie, and at only ten years old, there’s nothing fair about being a middle kid in the Cares family. But you have to be an indomitable character if you want to survive a parentless summer by the seaside with snooty brothers, a show-off sister, a pair of very small half-siblings (that you must take sailing), some stolen things, an oncoming hurricane, and, of course, a mystery that needs solving. With the publication of The New York Review Children’s Collection edition of E.C. Spykman’s classic, Terrible, Horrible Edie, she’s back, standing shoulder to shoulder with all the gutsy girls from American juvenile fiction.