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WHATELY, Mary Louisa

WHATELY, Mary Louisa, pseud. ?M.L.W.? (known as M.L. Whately and Mary L. Whately), b. Hailesworth (Suffolk) 1824, d. Egypt 1889. Missionary, poet and religious writer, MLW was the daughter of Richard Whately* , DD, archbishop of Dublin, and his wife Elizabeth Pope Whately* and sister of Elizabeth Jane Whately* . She spent her formative years in Dublin, to where the family moved in 1831 when her father was appointed archbishop. They divided their time between a residence in Dublin and a country seat at Redesdale (near Stillorgan, Co. Dublin). Her sister described her as ?impulsive, hot-tempered, and generous?, and a good storyteller. Her parents encouraged reading, contact with poor neighbours, assistance with the school founded by her father, and the writing of ?simple tales?. MLW went to Nice and Italy in 1849 and 1850. Around this time, some members of the family were drawn toward supporting the work of the Irish Missions to the Catholics and numerous poor Italians in Dublin. In 1856 MLW made her first visit to the East, spent the winter at Cairo (her diaries of this trip were lost later), and visited the Holy Land. After the death of her mother and younger sister, she returned to Egypt in 1861 to recover her health, where, using mostly her own funds, she established Christian schools for the purpose of proselytizing Muslim girls -- and later boys -- and to teach them reading and some crafts. For several decades she lived mostly in Egypt, returning to England only on occasion (her last visit was in 1888). She added a medical mission to her work in 1879. Among her autobiographical sketches are Ragged life in Egypt (London, 1863), followed by More about ragged life in Egypt (London, 1864). From the 1860s to the 1880s she wrote fiction concerning Egypt for the Religious Tract Society. Her sister Elizabeth Jane Whately* wrote her biography. Source Allibone, iii, pp 2662-3; Allibone Suppl., ii, p. 1507; Boase, iii, p. 1295; Leslie & Wallace, p. 1168; B. MacMahon, Eccentric archbishop. Richard Whately of Redesdale (Stillorgan, 2005); E.J. Whately*, The life and work of Mary Louisa Whately (London, [1890]).

  • W45
    The story of a diamond: Illustrative of Egyptian manners and customs. [anon.]
    • London: Religious Tract Society, [1867]. Source Allibone, iii, p. 2663; COPAC. Location L (destroyed), ICU.
    • Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, 1868. Source OCLC. Location Univ. of Florida.
  • W46
    Among the huts in Egypt: scenes from real life (M.L. Whately)
    • Philadelphia: [publisher?], 1868. Source Allibone Suppl., ii, p. 1507.
    • New York: Dodd & Mead, [187-] (as Among the huts in Egypt). Source RLIN. Location NN.
    • + London: Seeley, Jackson, & Halliday, 1871. Source Allibone Suppl., ii, p. 1507; OCLC. Location L, CtY.
    COMMENTARY No copy of the Philadelphia edn located. Interrelated stories, told in the present tense, about life for ordinary Egyptians [ML].
  • W47
    The prism: Unequally yoked; a tale of Egyptian life, Life in a Swiss chalet; or, the good stepmother, From darkness to light; A tale of Spanish life (by ?M.L.W.?, and two members of her family, H.W [Wale] and E. M. [Moore]), ed., with a preface by E. Jane Whately*).
    • + London: Religious Tract Society, [1878]. Source Allibone Suppl., p. 1507; COPAC. Location L.
    COMMENTARY ?Life in a Swiss chalet? is by H.W. [i.e. Henrietta Wale]; ?From darkness to light? is by E.M. [i.e., Elizabeth Moore], and other stories are by M.L. Whately [COPAC].
  • W48
    Lost in Egypt, a story from life (Miss E.J. [or rather, M.L.] Whately)
    • London: Religious Tract Society, [1881]. Source Allibone Suppl., ii, p. 1507; COPAC. Location L (destroyed).
    COMMENTARY No copy located. Allibone lists this under MLW [Allibone; RL].
  • W49
    Scenes from life at Cair, behind the curtain (Mary L. Whately)
    • London: Jackson & Halliday, 1883 Source Allibone Suppl., ii, p. 1507 (1882 edn); OCLC. Location L.
    COMMENTARY Novel set in Egypt [ML].
  • W50
    Stories of peasant life on the Nile (M.L. Whately)
    • London: Religious Tract Society, 1888. Source Allibone Suppl., ii, p. 1507; COPAC. Location Univ. of Liverpool.
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