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Edward Payson Roe

(1838 - 1888)

Edward Payson Roe was an American novelist and Presbyterian minister known for his works of fiction that blended Christian moral undertones with romantic realism. Born in Moodna, Orange County, New York, Roe served as a chaplain in the Union Army during the American Civil War, an experience that influenced much of his later writing. His first novel, "Barriers Burned Away" (1872), became an instant success, largely due to its vivid portrayal of the Great Chicago Fire and its integration of religious and ethical considerations.

Roe's novels often revolved around themes of nature, domestic life, and Christian faith, focusing on characters' moral dilemmas and personal growth. Notable works include "A Face Illumined," "His Sombre Rivals," and "Without a Home." He was also a prolific writer of short stories and articles on nature and gardening, passions that he pursued alongside his literary career.

His writing style, which combined engaging storytelling with didactic aims, attracted a sizeable readership, making him one of the most popular authors of his time. Roe's ability to resonate with the values of his audience helped sustain his popularity during his lifetime, although his fame has since faded. However, he remains a notable figure in 19th-century American literature for his contributions to didactic and religious fiction.

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