Originally serialised in a magazine under the title ‘The Randolphs of Redwood: A Romance’, Gertrude Atherton’s ‘A Daughter of the Vine’ was published as a full-length book in 1899. So scandalous was the serialisation at the time that it caused much friction between Atherton and her family when she revealed herself to be the author. The story centres around the Randolph family and their move from England to San Francisco. Full of strong female characters, it was a novel which shocked readers of the time, and which today is a compelling romance and an American classic. Gertrude Atherton (1857-1948) was an American novelist, short story writer and early feminist. Born in California, Gertrude attended schools in California and Kentucky and became widely read. She married George H.B. Atherton in 1876, and lived with him and his mother in San Francisco, where they had two children. Atherton struggled with married life, her husband did not support her writing ambitions and Gertrude found life as a wife and mother stifling. When her husband died at sea in 1887, Atherton felt free to pursue her burgeoning career as an author and went on to publish over 50 novels. She is best known for her California series of novels which explored the social history of California and included popular works such as ‘The Californians’ and the controversial ‘Black Oxen’ which was adapted into a silent movie in 1923. Feminist themes and strong female characters are common in her novels. She died in San Francisco in 1948.