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Rosalie F. Baker (1945–) Biography

Personal, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

Born 1945; children: one son.


Author, editor, and publisher. Formerly worked as a teacher; Ivy Close Publishing Company, cofounder with husband, Charles F. Baker III, beginning 1980; Classical Calliope (now Calliope magazine), co-editor and writer, beginning 1981.

Honors Awards

(All with Charles F. Baker III; for Calliope magazine) Best New Magazine designation, Library Journal, 1991; EdPress Golden Lamp Award, 1998.


In a Word: 750 Words and Their Fascinating Stories and Origins, illustrated by Tom Lopes, Cobblestone (Peterborough, NH), 2003.


The Classical Companion, 1988.

Myths and Legends of Mount Olympos, illustrated by Joyce Audy Zarins, Cobblestone (Peterborough, NH), 1992.

Classical Ingenuity: The Legacy of the Ancient Greek and Roman Architects, Artists, and Inventors, 1992.

Ancient Greeks: Creating the Classical Tradition, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Ancient Romans: Expanding the Classical Tradition, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Ancient Egyptians: People of the Pyramids, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2001.

(Coauthor with Charles F. Baker III and Winfred Rembert) Don't Hold Me Back: My Life and Art, Cricket Books (Chicago, IL), 2003.

Companion to Ancient Greece, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Work anthologized in Of Cabbages and Kings 1991: The Year's Best Magazine Writing for Kids, Bowker, 1991. Contributor to educational materials, including textbooks for Harcourt Brace and Cobblestone Publishing; contributor of articles to numerous publications, including Cricket, Calliope, Odyssey, and Boston Globe.


Writer, teacher, and editor Rosalie F. Baker, together with her husband Charles F. Baker III, co-founded Classical Calliope magazine in 1981. Now simply known as Calliope, the magazine fulfills Baker's goal as a publisher: to heighten awareness among middle-school and high-school students of the importance and influence of Greek and Roman civilizations on modern society. In addition to her work on the award-winning magazine, Baker is also the author of several nonfiction titles focusing on ancient civilizations, among them Ancient Egyptians: People of the Pyramids and Ancient Romans: Expanding the Classical Tradition. In addition to each of these books, which have been coauthored with her husband, Baker has also penned In a Word: 750 Words and Their Fascinating Stories and Origins, an illustrated guide to etymology.

In Ancient Egyptians the coauthors chronicle the lives of twenty-eight famous Egyptians, organizing these subjects by historical period. In addition to the biographies—largely of ancient ruling kings and queens—Baker includes three appendices outlining the five names of each ruler, a list of foreign rulers other than native Egyptians, and lastly, a conclusive time line of the Egyptian civilization. "The text is readable and should be accessible to most students," commented a Booklist reviewer, while Cynthia M. Sturgis wrote in School Library Journal that Ancient Egyptians should serve as "a useful addition for report writers and subject enthusiasts."

Ancient Romans adopts a similar format, this time exploring forty individuals, including: emperors, high-ranking state officials, writers, and generals throughout Rome. Noting that the Bakers describe Roman society and culture "without sensationalizing its brutal aspects," Booklist contributor Randy Meyer added that the volume "admits the violent legacy of warfare and assassination while affirming the political and academic achievements that laid the foundation for our own culture."

Baker told SATA: "When my husband and I founded the magazine Classical Calliope (now Calliope) in 1981, a chief goal was to heighten awareness among young people of the importance and merits of studying Greek and Roman civilization. We felt that one of the ways to accomplish this goal would be to include a department that focused on the origins of English words derived from Greek and Latin. Since the first Calliope issue in January of 1981, we have done just that—even after we expanded the scope of Calliope from classical civilizations to world history. Today, the department is called 'Fun with Words.'

For years, we considered a book that would take all the word origins and expressions we had included in Calliope and arrange them somehow in book form. Our son, Chip and his friend, Jennifer Parker, took on the project when they worked for us as college interns. They created a mock-up of the potential designs, chose the words to include, and presented their idea of introducing fun facts to complement words, at spaced intervals, throughout the book. Everyone loved their ideas—and so, the work of collating and editing, as well as researching the facts, began. It was a great family project!"

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, August, 1997, Karen Hutt, review of Ancient Greeks: Creating the Classic Tradition, p. 1889; September 15, 1997, review of Ancient Greeks, p. 262; May 1, 1998, Mary Ellen Quinn, review of Ancient Romans: Expanding the Classical Tradition, p. 1550; June 1, 1998, Randy Meyer, review of Ancient Romans, p. 1738; February 1, 2002, review of Ancient Egyptians: People of the Pyramids, p. 958.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, December, 2001, review of Ancient Egyptians, p. 129.

Reference and Research Book News, February, 1998, review of Ancient Greeks, p. 21; August, 1998, review of Ancient Romans, p. 27.

School Library Journal, September, 1997, Cynthia M. Sturgis, review of Ancient Greeks, p. 228; August, 1998, David N. Pauli, review of Ancient Romans, p. 169; November, 2001, Cynthia M. Sturgis, review of Ancient Egyptians, p. 168; November, 2001, review of Ancient Egyptians, p. 168.


Oxford University Press Web site, http://www.oup.com/ (November 6, 2005).

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