About the Author
On October 1, 1759, in York, Maine, Sarah (Sally) Sayward Barrell was born to a well-known family. Her father, Nathaniel Barrell, was an officer in the British army, and her maternal grandfather, Jonathan Sayward, was known as the richest man in York. On October 23, 1778, Sally married Richard Keating, and after his death Sally began to write, claiming that her writing "soothed many melancholy, and sweetened many bitter hours." Though her poetry first appeared in print in 1797, "Julia and the Illuminated Baron," her first novel, was not published until 1800. In the time between the death of her first husband in 1783 and her marriage to her second husband, General Abiel Wood in 1804, Sally Wood wrote four novels, of which "Julia and the Illuminated Baron" is the best known. She lived in Maine until her death on January 6, 1855.