Read by Christopher Ragland (Unabridged: 47mins)
Edward Payson Roe was born on 17th March 1838 in the village of Moodna, now part of New Windsor, in New York State.
He received his education at Williams College and thence entered Auburn Theological Seminary.
In 1862 he was appointed as chaplain to the Second New York Cavalry, U.S.V., and a couple of years later, as the chaplain of Hampton Hospital, in Virginia.
During the American Civil War, he wrote weekly letters to the New York Evangelist, published in other periodicals and lectured on the Civil war. This also proved the background for one of his most popular and enduring works – ‘Christmas Eve in War Times’.
In 1866 he became the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church at Highland Falls, New York before in 1874 moving to Cornwall-on-Hudson, where he was at last able to spend all his time writing fiction and pursuing his love of horticulture.
His novels found a wide and engaged audience in the English speaking world and most were translated into several European languages. With his religious background and strong moral purpose he helped influence his audience against the puritan prejudice of enjoying works of fiction.
Edward Payson Roe died at the age of only 50 on 19th July 1888 at Cornwall-on-Hudson and is buried at the local Willow Dell Cemetery