Elizabeth Jane Coatsworth (May 31, 1893 – August 31, 1986) was an American author of fiction and poetry for children and adults. Her children's novel, The Cat Who Went to Heaven, won the 1931 Newbery Medal.
Elizabeth Coatsworth was born May 31, 1893, to Ida Reid and William T. Coatsworth, a prosperous grain merchant in Buffalo, New York. Coatsworth attended Buffalo Seminary, a private girl's school, and spent summers with her family on the Canadian shore of Lake Erie. She began traveling as a child, vising the Alps and Egypt at age five. Coatsworth graduated from Vassar College in 1915 as Salutatorian. In 1916 she received a Master of Arts from Columbia University. She then traveled to the Orient, riding horseback through the Philippines, exploring Indonesia and China, and sleeping in a Buddhist monastery. These travels would later influence her writing.
In 1929, she married writer Henry Beston, with whom she had two daughters, Margaret and Catherine. They lived at Hingham, Massachusetts, and Chimney Farm, Maine.
Elizabeth Coatsworth died at her home in Nobleboro, Maine, August 31, 1986. Her papers are held in the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota and Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine.
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