On July 28, 1874, Alice Duer Miller — who, through her feminist poetry, would grow up to influence political opinion and the suffrage movement— was born to wealthy parents in New York City. Miller grew up on the family estate in Weehawken, New Jersey. However, a banking failure depleted the family fortune. She sold stories, poems, and essays to Scribner’s and Harper’s magazines to finance her mathematics studies at Barnard College, from which she graduated in 1899, the same year she married the Wall Street broker Henry Miller. Until 1903, they lived in Costa Rica. Even after returning to New York, the sales of her stories were the family’s primary source of income. Her first successful novel, Come out of the Kitchen, and what many consider to be her best, Forsaking All Others, were published in 1916 and 1933, respectively. During the 1920s and 1930s, she contributed to many Hollywood screenplays, and a number of her stories were adapted into motion pictures, including The White Cliffs of Dover, released two years after her death in 1942. The novel, Winston Churchill believed, played an important role in encouraging the American public to enter World War II. By the time the war ended, over 700,000 copies had been sold.
She is best known now for her series of satirical poems in the New York Tribune, which were later published as Are Women People?, the title of which became something of a feminist mantra. In addition, she belonged to both the Congressional Union for Women Suffrage, which often demonstrated outside the White House, and the group of writers called the Algonquin Round Table, of which she was the eldest member. She also served as an advisory editor for the first issue of The New Yorker. However, despite her achievements, due to the nature of popular literature, her work is not well-known today.
Works Cited for Bibliography:
Miller, Alice Duer. Are Women People?: A Book of Rhymes for Suffrage Times. George H. Doran Company, 1915.
—–. The Beauty and the Bolshevist. Harpers & Brothers, 1920.
—–. Calderon’s Prisoner. Scribner’s Sons, 1903.
—–. Come out of the Pantry and Other Tales. Phillip Allan, 1936.
—–. Forsaking All Others, A Story by Enid Bell. Simon & Schuster, 1932.
—–. Gowns by Roberta. Mead & Company, 1938.
—–. I Have Loved England. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1941.
—–. Instruments of Darkness and Other Stories. Grosset & Dunlap, 1926.
—–. Less than Kin. Henry Holt & Company, 1909.
—–. The Modern Obstacle. Langton & Hall, 1905.
—–. The Priceless Pearl. Grosset & Dunlap, 1924.
—–. The Reluctant Duchess. Mead & Company, 1926.
—–. The White Cliffs. Coward-McCann, Inc., 1940.
—–. Women are People!. George Doran Company, 1917.
Miller, Alice Duer, and Nina Valentine. Forsaking All Others. Hear-a-Book, 1984.
Miller, Alice Duer. Are Women People?: A Book of Rhymes for Suffrage Times. Nabu Press, 2010.
Miller, Alice Duer. Come Out of the Kitchen!: A Romance. Hardpress Publishing, 2012.
Miller, Alice Duer. The Beauty and the Bolshevist. Nabu Press, 2012.
Miller, Alice Duer. Forsaking All Others: A Story. Simon & Schuster, 1933.
Miller, Alice Duer. “Forsaking All Others,” Alice Duer Miller, https://aliceduermiller.com/forsakingallothers.htm. Accessed 3 May 2020.
Miller, Alice Duer. Manslaughter. BLURB, 2017.
Miller, Alice Duer. The White Cliffs. Benediction Classics, 2012.
Miller, Alice Duer. “Wings in the Night,” Alice Duer Miller, https://aliceduermiller.com/wcontents.htm. Accessed 3 May 2020.
Chapman, Mary. “’Are Women People?’: Alice Duer Miller’s Poetry and Politics.” American Literary History, vol. 18, no. 1, 2006, pp. 59- 85. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3568047. Accessed 4 May 2020.
Miller, Henry Wise. All Our Lives: Alice Duer Miller. Coward-McCann, 1945.
Walker, Nancy. “American Women Humorists.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, vol. 1., no. 1, 1982, p. 87. https://www.jstor.org/stable/464096. Accessed 4 May 2020.
Alice Duer Miller Papers, 1779-1949; Box and Folder; Barnard Archives and Special Collections, Barnard Library, Barnard College. http://collections.barnard.edu/public/repositories/2/resources/355. Accessed 5 May 2020.
Agnes Morgenthau Newborg Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass. https://findingaids.smith.edu/repositories/2/resources/642. Accessed 5 May 2020.
And One Was Beautiful (1940)
Are Parents People? (1925)
Ladies Must Live (1921)
Someone to Love (1928)