Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth (1819-1899) was an American writer of more than 60 novels in the latter part of the 19th century. She was probably the most widely read author of that era. Southworth s first story, The Irish Refugee, was published in the Baltimore Saturday Visitor. Some of her earliest works appeared in The National Era, the newspaper that printed Uncle Tom s Cabin. The bulk of her work appeared as a serial in Robert Bonner s The New York Ledger, which was widely read in the 1850s and 1860s. Her first novel, Retribution, a serial for the National Era, published in book form in 1846, was so well received that she gave up teaching and became a regular contributor to various periodicals, especially the New York Ledger. Her best known work was The Hidden Hand. It first appeared in serial form in the New York Ledger in 1859, and was serialized twice more (1868-69, 1883) before first appearing in book form in 1888. Most of her novels deal with the Southern United States during the post-American Civil War era.