Elizabeth Madox Roberts was born in Perryville, Kentucky, near Springfield, at the southern edge of the Bluegrass -- what she called her Little Country. Her father was a Confederate soldier who became an engineer. Elizabeth attended local schools in Springfield and went to high school in Covington, where she lived with her maternal grandparents. Her health was poor and she was unable to attend college, except for a brief spell at the University of Kentucky, until age 36, when she enrolled at the University of Chicago. There she befriended a group of writers and artists who helped her launch a late-blooming but productive writing career. She was the author of seven novels, three volumes of poems, and two collections of short stories, many of them featuring the Kentucky people she grew up with. Her first published work was Under the Tree, a collection of poems for children (1922). Her best-known novels are The Time of Man (1926) and The Great Meadow (1930).