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Cornelia Meigs
Frontispiece in book "The Windy Hill" by Cornelia Meigs
Frontispiece in book "The Windy Hill" by Cornelia Meigs
Born (1884-12-06)December 6, 1884
Rock Island, Illinois
Died September 10, 1973(1973-09-10)
Havre de Grace, Maryland
Pen name Adair Aldon
Occupation Writer, teacher
Period 1915–1970 (as author)
Genre Children's fiction, biography
Subject History of children's literature, literary criticism
Notable works
Notable awards Newbery Medal

Cornelia Lynde Meigs (1884-1973) was an American writer of fiction and biography for children, teacher of English and writing, historian and critic of children's literature. She won the Newbery Medal Medal for her 1933 biography of Louisa May Alcott, titled Invincible Louisa. She also wrote three Newbery Honor Books.


Cornelia Meigs was born December 6, 1884, to civil engineer Montgomery "Monty" Meigs and Grace Lynde Meigs in Rock Island, Illinois, the fifth of six daughters. The family moved to Keokuk, Iowa when she was one month old. After graduating from Keokuk High School in 1901 she attended Bryn Mawr College, receiving an A.B. degree in 1907.

Meigs began writing children's books while an English teacher at St. Katherine's School in Davenport, Iowa. Her first book, The Kingdom of the Winding Road, was published by Macmillan US in 1915.

In 1932, Meigs became a professor of English at Bryn Mawr, where she remained until her retirement in 1950. During World War II she took a year of absence for three years to work for the War Department. After leaving Bryn Mawr, Meigs taught writing at the New School of Social Research in New York City. She was the lead editor and one writer of A Critical History of Children's Literature, published by Macmillan in 1953, which has been called "a landmark in the field of children's literature". It was revised under Meigs leadership and re-issued in 1969. In her lifetime Meigs wrote over 30 fiction books for children, as well as two plays, two biographies, and several books and articles for adults.


  • 1915 Drama League prize, The Steadfast Princess
  • 1922 Newbery runner-up, Windy Hill
  • 1928 Newbery runner-up, Clearing Weather
  • 1933 Newbery runner-up, Swift Rivers
  • 1927 Beacon Hill Bookshelf Prize, The Trade Wind
  • 1934 Newbery Medal, Invincible Louisa
  • 1963 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, Invincible Louisa

Some books that Cornelia Meigs wrote

Made-up stories for children

  • The Kingdom of the Winding Road, Macmillan, 1915
  • Master Simon's Garden, Macmillan, 1916
  • The Windy Hill, Macmillan, 1921
  • The Trade Wind, Little Brown, 1927
  • Clearing Weather, Little Brown, 1928
  • The Crooked Apple Tree, Little Brown, 1929
  • Swift Rivers, Macmillan, 1934
  • Young Americans, Ginn, 1936
  • The Scarlet Oak, Macmillan, 1938
  • The Two Arrows, Macmillan, 1949
  • The Dutch Colt, Macmillan, 1952
  • Wild Geese Flying, Macmillan, 1957
  • Mystery at the Red House, Macmillan, 1961

Made-up stories using the name "Adair Aldon"

  • The Island of Appledore, Macmillan, 1917
  • The Pirate of Jasper Peak, Macmillan, 1918
  • At the Sign of the Two Heroes, Century, 1920
  • The Hill of Adventure, Century, 1922


  • The Steadfast Princess, Macmillan, 1916
  • Helga and the White Peacock, Macmillan, 1922


  • Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of "Little Women", Little, Brown, 1933
  • Jane Adams: Pioneer for Social Justice: A Biography, Little Brown, 1970
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