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Mary Warnock Makes Presentation on WIU History Alumna

Nov 18, 2008

Mary Warnock, WIU alumna and retired WIU History faculty member, recently reviewed the achievements of a former Western Illinois University classmate for XXMD, a local woman's reading group in Macomb. Lyn May Cote was born in Waukegan, Illinois, and received her BA and MA in History at Western Illinois University, the latter in 1972. She wrote a graduate thesis about nineteenth-century novels called "Prairie Novels, 1830-1910: Societal Attitudes." She studied the writings of various authors whose subjects were women, Indians, religious sects, and other minority groups. Indians, for example, were pictured in various ways: noble, savage, gullible, or stoic, depending on an author's point of view and proximity to the Indians.

After teaching for a few years, Cote turned to writing novels of her own and now has a vast array of publications. She uses an effective technique with some of her works by following characters from novel to novel, incorporating well known events of American history such as the Chicago fire or the San Francisco earthquake to spice up the story. This plethora of novels and her literary success brought her to the attention of the WIU History Department and resulted in her winning one of the prestigious Department of History Distinguished Alumnus Awards.

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