Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (October 31, 1852 - March 13, 1930) was a prominent 19th century American author.
She was born in Randolph, Massachusetts and attended Mount Holyoke College (then Mount Holyoke Female Seminary) for one year from 1870-71. She later finished her education at West Brattleboro Seminary.
Freeman began writing stories and verse for children while still a teenager to help support her family and was quickly successful. Her best known work was written in the 1880s and 1890s while she lived in Randolph. She produced more than a two dozen volumes of published short stories and novels. She is best known for two collections of stories -- A Humble Romance and Other Stories, published in 1887, and A New England Nun and Other Stories, published in 1891 -- as well as for the novel Pembroke, published in 1894.
In April of 1926, Freeman became the first recipient of the William Dean Howells Medal for Distinction in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She died on March 13, 1930, in Metuchen, New Jersey and was interred in Hillside Cemetery located in Scotch Plains, New Jersey.