Kate Chopin was born in St. Louis in 1850 to a Creole mother and an Irish father. Educated at St Louis’ Sacred Heart Academy, Chopin went on to reject her Catholic faith and embraced a free-thinking philosophy inspired by writers such as Darwin and Huxley. In 1870 she married Oscar Chopin, who died in 1882 of yellow fever. A widow at only 32 with six children, she eventually moved home to St Louis where she began writing fiction. She completed three novels and close to one hundred short stories which were published in prominent magazines such as Atlantic Monthly and Vogue. She died in 1904.