Cynthia Griffin Wolff was born in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a graduate of Radcliffe College, attended Harvard Medical School, and in 1965 received her Ph.D. in English at Harvard University. For many years, Professor Wolff taught English and American literature at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Presently, she holds the Class of 1922 Professorship of the Humanities at M.I.T. Ms. Wolff is the author of the highly acclaimed biographies A Feast of Words: The Triumph of Edith Wharton and Samuel Richardson and the Eighteenth Century Puritan Character. She now lives in Belmont Massachusetts.