Alice French (March 19, 1850 - January 9, 1934), better known as Octave Thanet, was an American novelist and short fiction writer.Alice French was born at Andover, Massachusetts, a daughter of George Henry French, a successful leather merchant, and his wife Frances Morton French. Frances Morton French was the daughter of Massachusetts Governor Marcus Morton. Alice had four brothers: George, Morton, Nathaniel, and Robert.
In 1856 the French family moved to Davenport, Iowa, where the father engaged in manufacturing agricultural implements. Alice progressed through the public schools, then studied at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She later transferred to Abbot Academy in Andover, graduating in 1868, and returning to Davenport.