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Anna Katharine Green was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 11th, 1846.
Anna’s initial ambition was to be a poet. However that path failed to ignite any significant interest and she turned to fiction writing. She published her first―and most famous work in 1878―‘The Leavenworth Case’. Wilkie Collins praised it and it sold extremely well.
It led to Anna writing 40 novels and to becoming known as ‘the mother of the detective novel.’
In helping to shape the genre she brought many other innovations including a series detective: her main character was detective Ebenezer Gryce of the New York Metropolitan Police Force, but in three novels he is assisted by the nosy society spinster Amelia Butterworth, another innovation and a prototype for Miss Marple, Miss Silver and others.
She also invented the 'girl detective': in the character of Violet Strange, a debutante with a secret life as a sleuth. Anna’s other innovations included the now familiar dead bodies in libraries, newspaper clippings as "clews," the coroner's inquest, and expert witnesses. Yale Law School once used her books to demonstrate how damaging it can be to rely on circumstantial evidence.
Her career was now well advanced and she was much admired.
On November 25, 1884, Green married the actor and stove designer, and later noted furniture maker, Charles Rohlfs, who was seven years her junior. They had three children; Rosamund, Roland and Sterling.
Although Anna was a progressive she did not approve of many of her feminist contemporaries, and was opposed to women's suffrage.
On November 25, 1884, Anna married the actor and noted furniture maker, Charles Rohlfs, who was seven years her junior. They had three children; Rosamund, Roland and Sterling.
Anna Katharine Green died on April 11, 1935 in Buffalo, New York, at the age of 88.