Raymond Macdonald Alden was the son of Isabella and her husband, Rev. G. R. Alden. He was born March 30, 1873. He was a bright child, and began writing at an early age. As a young teen, using his pen name "Paranete," Raymond headed a department in "The Pansy" magazine, and contributed to family writing projects like "A Sevenfold Trouble." One Christmas when his mother was particularly ill, she asked him to write a story. He spent the night writing "Why the Chimes Rang," one of the most enduring works of the Alden family. This lovely story, the first in a wonderful line of children's books, stayed in print for over 75 years, and is quite often found on the shelves of children's libraries even today.
Raymond was more than just an author—he was a scholar. He briefly attended Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania as valedictorian in 1894. He earned an M.A. from Harvard and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He served as a professor of literature at Leland Stanford University and the University of Illinois, and as an exchange professor at Columbia University.
The Rollins Alumni Record notes that "professionally, he was recognized as an authority on Shakespeare, Tennyson and Thoreau; history of the drama; and the prose literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries." He wrote more than a dozen scholarly works from "Thoreau's Walden" to "The Rise of Formal Satire in England."
Raymond married Barbara Hitt on May 24, 1904 and together they had five children. He died tragically in 1924 and his mother continued to live with Barbara and the children after his death in Palo Alto, California.