Happy birthday, Taylor Caldwell.
The bestselling Taylor Caldwell, author of Dear and Glorious Physician (about St. Luke), and family sagas such as The Captains and the Kings (later a miniseries starring the late Richard Jordan), Testimony of Two Men (later a miniseries starring David Birney and Steve Forrest), and numerous other novels, was born today in 1900. She died in 1985.
Caldwell, who was born in England, served in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War I as a "yeomanette." Her first editor was the legendary Max Perkins of Scribner; Scribner published her first novel, Dynasty of Death, in 1938 and nine novels after that. Some letters from Perkins to Caldwell are reproduced in Editor to Author: The Letters of Maxwell E. Perkins (ed. John Hall Wheelock, 1950).
Caldwell's books are estimated to have sold more than 30 million copies. Caldwell, who struggled for many years to be published and was often criticized for overblown prose, once said her greatest inspiration was "the anticipation of big checks." More on her life can be found in her autobiography, On Growing Up Tough (1971).