Mary Noailles Murfree (1850-1922) was an American fiction writer of novels and short stories who wrote under the pen name Charles Egbert Craddock. Being lame from childhood, she turned to reading the novels of Walter Scott and George Eliot. For fifteen successive summers the family stayed in Beersheeba Springs in the Cumberland Mountains of East Tennessee, giving her the opportunity to study the mountains closely. In the 1870's she had begun writing stories for Appleton's Journal under the penname of "Charles Egbert Craddock" and by 1878 she was contributing to the Atlantic Monthly. It was not until seven years later, in May, 1885, that Murfree divulged that she was Charles Egbert Craddock to Thomas Bailey Aldrich, an editor at the Atlantic Monthly. She is considered by many to be Appalachia's first significant female writer and her work a necessity for the study of Appalachian literature. Her other works include Down the Ravine (1885), In the Clouds (1886), The Young Mountaineers (1897), The Frontiersmen (1904), and The Ordeal: A Mountain Romance of Tennessee (1912).