Childhood and Early Life
Bonner's father was an Irish immigrant who married the daughter of a rich plantation family during the antebellum period. However, the Bonner family luck changed drastically during the American Civil War when her home was occupied by Union soldiers. A childhood of luxury and privilege gave way to an early womanhood of decreased possibilities and genteel poverty. Despite being "innately literary" from early childhood and the fact that Bonner wrote several stories that were published in small periodicals before she turned fifteen, her traditional upbringing and the prevailing societal attitudes offered Bonner little recourse other than marriage, and she married Edward McDowell on Valentines Day in 1871 at the age of twenty-one. She moved with her new husband to Texas shorty thereafter. Edward McDowell, however, emerged as a weak man unable to support his wife financially, and the birth of a daughter, Lilian, in November of that year left the family lodged first with the father of the bride and later with the mother of the groom.
Read more about this topic: Katherine Sherwood Bonner Mc Dowell
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