Irwin was born in Brooklyn, to William Henry Irwin and Josephina Augusta Easton. Her father was a cotton merchant. She attended the Packer Collegiate Institute and received her A.B. from Smith College in 1903, and her M.A. from Columbia University in 1923. She was a member of the feminist intellectual club Heterodoxy.
In 1912 while a member of the staff of the Public Education Association, she began work at revising the curriculum for the children at Public School 64. She founded the Little Red School House curriculum, in Manhattan in 1921, in the red-painted annex of Public School 61. Her work there, and then at Public School 41, a New York Times article describes as an experiment to demonstrate that "...the broader, more active program of the so-called progressive schools could be carried out under public school conditions."
Elisabeth Irwin and a Little Red School House student, circa 1933.
Katharine Susan Anthony (1877-1965) was a US biographer best known for The Lambs (1945), a controversial study of the British writers Charles and Mary Lamb. From the 1920s, she lived in Manhattan with her life-partner Elisabeth Irwin (1880–1942), the founder of the Little Red School House, with whom she raised several adopted children. In Gaylordsville, Connecticut Anthony and Irwin maintained a summer home, and from that they called themselves the "gay ladies of Gaylordsville".
Elisabeth Irwin & Katharine Anthony are buried together at Morningside Cemetery, Gaylordsville. Irwin died in 1942, survived by Anthony and their two adopted daughters, Mrs. Howard Gresens of Plandome, New York and Mrs. R.O. Bogue of Pensacola, Florida. She was buried at Gaylordsville, where Katharine joined her when she died in 1965 at 87.
Faced with funding cuts, it appeared the experiment would end, but a group of parents came together in an ice cream parlor, urging her to start her own school and promising financial support. In September 1932 the "Little Red School House" got its own building at Bleecker Street. At first only primary education was available, but in 1940 a high school was added.
She died in the New York Hospital in October 1942. She was survived by her partner, Katharine Anthony, and their two adopted daughters, Mrs Howard Gresens of Plandome, New York and Mrs R.O. Bogue of Pensacola, Florida. Her funeral was conducted in Gaylordsville, Connecticut where she and Miss Anthony maintained a summer home, having called themselves the "gay ladies of Gaylordsville". She was buried there.
Katharine Susan Anthony, sometimes also spelled Katherine (November 27, 1877 – November 20, 1965), was a US biographer best known for The Lambs (1945), a controversial study of the British writers Charles and Mary Lamb. From the 1920s, she lived in Manhattan with her life-partner Elisabeth Irwin (1880–1942), the founder of the Little Red School House, with whom she raised several adopted children. In Gaylordsville, Connecticut Anthony and Irwin maintained a summer home, and from that they called themselves the "gay ladies of Gaylordsville".
Katharine Anthony was born in Roseville, Logan County, Arkansas, the third daughter of Ernest Augustus Anthony 1846-1904 and Susan Jane Cathey 1845-1917. Her father was a grocer and later a police officer.
She studied at Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, the Universities of Heidelberg and Freiburg, and the University of Chicago. She received a Ph.B degree from Chicago in 1905 and taught at Wellesley College in 1907. She became a public school teacher by 1910 and worked at that time in Fort Smith, Sebastian County, Arkansas. She moved from Arkansas perhaps because her mother had died in 1917.
Her book Catherine the Great was positively reviewed in the New York Times (Dec 20, 1925, pg BR8), which notes that Miss Anthony had, apparently for the first time, access to all of Catherine's private memoirs. Her book Marie Antoinette was called a "...fresh and original life of Marie ..." by the New York Times reviewer (Jan 29, 1933 pg BR5).
Her books Catherine the Great and Queen Elizabeth each sold more than 100,000 copies.
She died at St. Vincent's Hospital, two weeks after having a heart attack. Her obituary appeared in the New York Times on Nov 22, 1965 (pg 37). She was survived by a sister, Mrs. Blanche Brown of Berkeley, California. Her funeral was in New York City, and burial at Gaylordsville, Connecticut, near Elisabeth Irwin.
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=e
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=e
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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