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Her immersion in the artistic milieu of the Village encouraged a move away from journalism toward creative writing.

In the early months of 1920, she succeeded in publishing three stories "retold" from myth and legend in , a magazine for children.

The couple first lived in Louisiana, then moved to Houston and later Corpus Christi.

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She found solitude and wrote a great deal but was not able to complete the Mather biography.

In fact, the book was never completed, despite extensive research and nearly fifty years of sporadic writing efforts, including another contract in 1965 with Seymour Lawrence. During her visit, she made progress on one of her best stories, "Flowering Judas," which was published in in 1930.

Porter undertook a major project in 1927 when she signed a contract to write a biography of Cotton Mather with the publishing house of Boni and Liveright.

In late 1927 and early 1928, she lived in Salem, Massachusetts, for several months, while researching Mather's life.

Although she later taught at colleges and universities, she never had any formal higher education.

She acquired wide-ranging knowledge through a lifetime of extensive reading on varied topics; she often annotated her books and journals as she read them, evidence of which survives in her personal library.

In spring 1929, her friends funded a trip to Bermuda so that she could complete the biography.

Porter was seriously ill at the time, partly from emotional distress, and the trip aided her recovery.

It also includes over 1,500 photographs from her personal collection, dating from the 1890s to 1979.

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