Author Information At the Circulating Library
Author: Anna Cogswell Wood (1850–1940)
Alternate Name(s): Algernon Ridgeway (pseudonym)
Biography: Anna Cogswell Wood was born in 1850 in Winchester, Virginia, U.S.A., the daughter of Algernon Ridgeway Wood. At eighteen she was sent to the Valley Female Seminary where she met Irene Leache (b. 1839) who taught there. The two remained committed partners for the next thirty years until Leache's death in 1901. They opened a school for girls in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1871 and they traveled widely. Under the pseudonym "Algernon Ridgeway," Wood wrote a novel Westover's Ward (1892): set in America, the book chronicles the love of the rich Westover for a Mexican half-breed actress. She followed this with The Westovers (1894). After Leache's death, Wood wrote the memoir The Story of a Friendship (1901) and the travel book Idylls and Impressions of Travel (1904).
References: Jane Turner Censer, The Reconstruction of White Southern Womanhood, 1865-1895 (Louisiana State UP, 2003); JoAnn Mervis Hofheimer Anne Wood, a Portrait (Norfolk, VA, 1996)