|NW Quadrant, West of Rock Creek, Female, LGBTQ, Radicals, Showbiz|
Alice Tisdale Hobart
3031 Sedgwick St. NW, Van Ness neighborhood, DC.
Alice Tisdale Hobart was the author of over a dozen novels and a memoir, Gusty's Child (1959). Many of her novels are set in China, where she taught, and met her husband, a Standard Oil executive posted to that country, including her most famous book, Oil for the Lamps of China (1933), which was also made into a film. Other novels include Pioneering Where the World is Old (1917), Within the Walls of Nanking (1928), and Pidgin Cargo (1929). After moving to California, Hobart set later novels there and in Mexico, such as The Cup and the Sword (1942), The Peacock Sheds His Tail (1945), and The Cleft Rock (1948).
In 1935, Hobart hired another writer, Ruth Moore, as her personal assistant. Hobart survived spinal meningitis in infancy, but was in frail health her whole life, at times living in confined circumstances due to back pain. Moore moved with the Hobarts, first to DC, then to Berkeley, CA.
Moore was the author of 14 novels, three books of poems, and co-author (with Eleanor Mayo) of a collection of short fiction, published posthumously. The setting for her work is Maine, where she grew up and where she returned later in adulthood, and she is remembered today primarily as a "regional" writer. Her second novel, Spoonhandle (1946), is perhaps her best-known work; it was listed on The New York Times bestseller list for 14 weeks.
In addition to her work for Hobart, Moore served as Assistant Campaign Manager with the NAACP, working directly with James Weldon Johnson, and later as a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Moore's books include the novels The Weir (1943), Candlemas Bay (1950), A Walk Down Maine Street (1960), and Sarah Walked Over the Mountain (1979). Her poetry books are Cold as a Dog and the Wind Northeast (1958), Time's Web (1972), and The Tired Apple Tree (1990). Her correspondence was published posthumously, as was her collection of short fiction, When Foley Craddock Tore Off My Grandfather's Thumb (2004), which includes stories by both Moore and her lover Eleanor Mayo, who lived together for 49 years, until the end of Moore's life.