About the Author -- Susan Glaspell
Susan Glaspell was born in 1882 in Davenport, Iowa. She
graduated from Drake University and worked as a journalist
on the staff of the Des Moines Daily News. When
her stories began appearing in magazines such as Harper's
and The Ladies' Home Journal, she gave up the
newspaper business. In 1915 Glaspell met George Cook,
a talented stage director. Together they founded the Provincetown
Players on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The Players were a
remarkable gathering of actors, directors and writers.
The troupe included Eugene O'Neill and Edna St. Vincent
Much of Glaspell's writing is strongly feminist, dealing
with the roles that women play, or are forced to play,
in society and the relationships between men and women.
She wrote more than ten plays for the Provincetown Players,
including Women's Honor (1918), Bernice
(1919), Inheritors (1921), and The Verge (1922).
In 1922 Glaspell married George Cook and moved to New
York City, where she continued to write, mostly fiction.
In 1931 she won the Pulitzer Prize for Alison's House,
a play based loosely on the life and family of Emily Dickinson.
Glaspell spent the latter part of her life on Cape Cod
About "A Jury of
Susan Glaspell originally wrote "A Jury of Her Peers"
as a play entitled Trifles. She wrote the play
for the Provincetown Players in a very short period of
time: ten days. It was produced in 1916. A year later
she rewrote it as the short story "A Jury of Her Peers."
The play and the story were inspired by a murder that
Glaspell covered while working as a reporter for the Des
Moines Daily News. Although "A Jury of Her Peers"
concerns a murder investigation, the story is not a whodunit
as much as it is a mystery of motive. As the women in
the story discover the motive by paying close attention
to "women's trifles," the theme of the story is revealed.
When "A Jury of Her Peers" was first published, it was
considered quite controversial and disturbing. It continues