Gertrude Atherton

Hansen, James

Gertrude Atherton, a famed author during the early 1900s, was always more a novelist than a screenwriter, but, amid her fame as a novelist, she was given major opportunities during the silent era when studios began turning to literary properties to adapt for the screen. A 1932 Los Angeles Times article says that after her husband died in 1887 and was shipped back to Chile in a barrel of rum, the writer left the Atherton estate and, dismissing her dead husband as “the second rate offspring of the Athertons,” moved to San Francisco. Eventually, she relocated to New York with a completed novel that shocked publishers and was derided by critics, but immediately made Atherton famous (B14).


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Women Film Pioneers Project
Published Here
October 15, 2019


This resource was changed in February 2024 with updated birth and death dates for Gertrude Atherton.