Search - List of Books by Catherine Drinker Bowen
"Writers seldom choose as friends those self-contained characters who are never in trouble, never unhappy or ill, never make mistakes and always count their change when it is handed to them." -- Catherine Drinker Bowen
Catherine Drinker Bowen (January 1, 1897 in Haverford, PA — November 1, 1973 in Haverford) was born as Catherine Drinker on the Haverford College campus on January 1, 1897, to a prominent Quaker family. She was an accomplished violinist who studied for a musical career at the Peabody Institute and the Juilliard School of Music, but ultimately decided to become a writer. She had no formal writing education and no academic career, but became a bestselling American biographer and writer despite criticism from academics. Her earliest biographies were about musicians. Bowen did all her own research, without hiring research assistants, and sometimes took the controversial step of interviewing subjects without taking notes.
Total Books: 26
In 1958, she won the National Book Award in nonfiction for The Lion and the Throne: The Life and Times of Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634), a biography of the prominent lawyer of Elizabeth England. In addition, Ms. Bowen received the 1957 Philadelphia Award and the 1962 Women's National Book Association award. Her last book, Family Portrait, received critical acclaim, and was a Literary Guild selection. During her lifetime, she was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Philadelphia Award. At the time of her death in 1973, she was working on a biography of Benjamin Franklin, which was published posthumously.
Catherine married Ezra Bowen, Chair of Economics at Lehigh University and author of "Social Economics." Survived by her son, Ezra Bowen (died Westport, CT, 1996), Sports Illustrated and Time-Life writer and editor; grandson, Ezra D. Bowen, and now great-grandchildren, Leslie R. Bowen and Elizabeth D. Bowen. She is buried in West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.