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Elizabeth Robins (1862–1952)

Author of The Convert

Includes the names: Elizabeth Robbind

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Elizabeth Robins was the eldest daughter of a metallurgist and an opera singer. During her childhood, her father left Kentucky for Colorado to work, leaving the children in the care of their mother Hannah. When Hannah was committed to a psychiatric institution, the siblings were divided among relatives and Elizabeth was sent to live with her grandmother in Ohio. Elizabeth wanted to become an actress, and left home at age 18 to join a touring theatre company. In 1885, she married George Richmond Parks, another actor. He committed suicide two years later and Elizabeth went to England. There she established herself as a leading stage actress, starring in the premiere of Hedda Gabbler in 1891. She also starred in several other Henrik Ibsen plays, including John Gabriel Borkman. She retired from the stage in 1902 to become more involved in the women's suffrage movement. She assisted with the establishment of the Actresses Franchise League and became the first president of the Women Writers’ Suffrage League, founded in 1908. Elizabeth Robins remained unmarried but had a longterm relationship with Octavia Wilberforce, a physician and fellow suffragist. She wrote two plays and published several novels, sometimes using the pseudonym "C.E. Raimond." Among these works were the bestselling The Magnetic North (1904), The Convert (1907), Way Stations (1913) and Ancilla’s Share (1924). Her semi-autobiographical novel, The Open Question, was published in 1898.
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