Authors: Anne Morrow Lindbergh

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American travel writer, essayist, and memoirist

Author Works

Nonfiction:

North to the Orient, 1935

Listen! The Wind, 1938

The Wave of the Future: A Confession of Faith, 1940

Gift from the Sea, 1955

Earth Shine, 1969

Bring Me a Unicorn: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1922-1928, 1972

Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1929-1932, 1973

Locked Rooms and Open Doors: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1933-1935, 1974

The Flower and the Nettle: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1936-1939, 1976

War Within and Without: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1939-1944, 1980

Long Fiction:

The Steep Ascent, 1944

Dearly Beloved, 1962

Poetry:

The Unicorn, and Other Poems, 1935-1955, 1956

Biography

Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s diverse literary work reveals her distinctive outlook on the self, relationships, and life. As the daughter of two highly energetic, ambitious, and successful parents, she grew up in an atmosphere that was at once protective and full of the expectation for achievement; high value was placed on education, both intellectual and moral. Travel, reading and discussion in the home, and the best private schools nurtured her intellectual life and gave rise to her literary aspirations.{$I[AN]9810001708}{$I[A]Lindbergh, Anne Morrow}{$S[A]Morrow Lindbergh, Anne;Lindbergh, Anne Morrow}{$I[geo]WOMEN;Lindbergh, Anne Morrow}{$I[geo]UNITED STATES;Lindbergh, Anne Morrow}{$I[tim]1906;Lindbergh, Anne Morrow}

When Charles A. Lindbergh made his solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927, becoming an international hero overnight, Anne Morrow was a shy, contemplative student at Smith College. Oblivious to the whirlwind created by Lindbergh’s exploit, Morrow was focused on her own literary aspirations; she won two writing awards for her work at Smith. Their subsequent courtship is chronicled in the first of Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s published diaries and letters, Bring Me a Unicorn.

Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead, the second, and perhaps most popular, volume of her published diaries and letters, covers Charles Lindbergh’s early flying days as well as the subsequent horror when the couple’s first-born son was kidnapped and murdered. To cope with the pain of her loss, Anne turned to her writing. The journal entries of this time reveal a sensitive, honest, and insightful woman’s struggle to live through her grief.

The next phase of Lindbergh’s life, documented in the diaries and letters of Locked Rooms and Open Doors, is a poignant one, for she continued to grieve for the loss of her son while also struggling against the circumstances of her life. The fame that had surrounded the Lindberghs from the beginning, bringing first annoyance and inconvenience and later tragedy, was becoming increasingly oppressive. The Lindberghs continued to go on exploratory flights together, and when they took to the air for remote parts of the world they experienced some escape from publicity. During this time, Lindbergh channeled her creative energy into her first published book, North to the Orient.

During the early 1930’s, the Lindberghs, realizing that they could not lead their lives as quietly as they wished in America, left for Europe. In the English countryside and then on an island off the coast of Brittany, Lindbergh found the peace she craved. Listen! The Wind, written and published during this time, was her second book to recount a flying trip shared with her husband. This work, which was even more enthusiastically received than her first, reveals her deepening as a writer.

The tranquillity of this time did not last long. After Charles Lindbergh, at the request of the U.S. embassy in Berlin, visited Nazi Germany to assess its airpower, rumors accusing him of pro-Nazi sympathies began to circulate in the United States. In The Flower and the Nettle, Anne offers a glimpse into the private and government circles in which the Lindberghs moved during this turbulent period in history. The conflict of the war years would, unfortunately, open yet another chapter of pain in Lindbergh’s life.

The Lindberghs returned to America shortly before war broke out in Europe in 1939. As a pacifist, Lindbergh supported her husband’s efforts to prevent the United States from entering the war in Europe. Their position was highly unpopular among their family and friends, however, and the Lindberghs found themselves shunned by many. The press, which had worshipped Charles Lindbergh, now turned against him. War Within and Without is Anne’s record of the prewar and war years in America.

During the war years, Lindbergh turned to fiction for the first time. The Steep Ascent, the story of a near-death flying experience shared by a husband and wife, is a powerful allegory of her understanding of life, fear, death, and spiritual rebirth. In her diary, she wrote that all that she “knew” went into this book. Her own experience of descent into death after the loss of her child and her subsequent rebirth into life taught her that life is a gift. The Steep Ascent epitomizes Lindbergh’s life-affirming philosophy.

By the end of the 1940’s, Lindbergh had borne five children and was immersed in her life as a suburban Connecticut housewife and mother. Her struggle to reconcile the needs of her family with her own need for creative personal expression evolved into the book for which she is best known, Gift from the Sea. In this small volume of essays, she addresses the perpetual problem of women, how to attend to their own needs when faced with the demands and needs of others. The book was enormously popular when it was published in 1955. Lindbergh’s insight that attention to an inner life is the key to fulfillment and balance in life is of timeless relevance, and Gift from the Sea endures as a spiritual classic.

The publications of Lindbergh’s later years include a volume of poetry, a novel that explores the nature of marriage, and the five volumes of diaries and letters from 1922 through 1945. Beyond their obvious value as a historical record, the diaries and letters offer a window into the rich inner life of a gifted woman.

BibliographyEisenhower, Julie Nixon. “Anne Morrow Lindbergh.” In Special People. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1977. Offers insight into Lindbergh’s marriage and transition into widowhood.Herrmann, Dorothy. Anne Morrow Lindbergh: A Gift for Life. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1993. A well-researched biography; however, Herrman’s conclusion that Lindbergh sacrificed her talent to be Charles Lindbergh’s “public relations woman” reflects a shallow misunderstanding of the woman and the writer.Hertog, Susan. Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Her Life. New York: Nan A. Talese, 1999. A portrait of Lindbergh as wife, mother, aviator, and author. Hertog drew on five years of exclusive interviews with her subject as well as on diaries, letters, and other documents.Lindbergh, Reeve. No More Words: A Journal of My Mother, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001. Reeve’s memoir records the physical decline and dementia of her mother.Milton, Joyce. Loss of Eden: A Biography of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. 4th ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1993. Focuses more on Charles Lindbergh than on Anne Morrow and places the kidnapping of their son at the center of the narrative, claiming this event shaped the rest of their lives.Saint-Exupery, Antoine de. “A Fertile Anguish.” In A Sense of Life. Translated by Adrienne Foulke. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1965. Originally published in 1939 as the introduction to the French edition of Lindbergh’s Listen! The Wind, this work is among the most perceptive analyses of Lindbergh’s work.Vaughn, David Kirk. Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Boston: Twayne, 1988. Focuses on the artistic expression that grew out of Charles Lindbergh’s aerial exploration.
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