Howitt, Mary and William

(1792-1888)
   • Mary, 1799-1888
   Mary Botham was born in Coleford, Gloucestershire, to a Quaker family and was educated at home.
   She married William Howitt in 1821 and lived in Staffordshire, where they began a career of joint authorship. Their poems were published chiefly in periodicals, and their first selection, The Desolation of Eyam and Other Poems, was published in 1827. When living in Esher, Surrey (1837), she began her successful series of tales for children. While living in Heidelberg in 1840, she learned Swedish and Danish, translated Fredrika Bremer's 18 novels (18421863) into English, and translated many of Hans Andersen's tales. Among her other works is the Popular History of the United States (1859). She joined the church of Rome and was one of the English deputation who was received by the pope on 10 January 1888. She died in Rome. She authored, edited, or translated more than a hundred works. Some of her poems: "America. A Story of the Indian War," "Birds and Flowers," "Marien's Pilgrimage," "The Blind Boy and his Sister," "The Sale of the Pet Lamb," "The Soldier's Story," "The Spider and the Fly."
   • William, 1792-1879
   William was born at Heanor, Derbyshire, of Quaker parents. His poem "An Address to Spring," written when he was thirteen, was published in the Monthly Magazine. Although he studied chemistry and natural philosophy at school, his main education came from private reading and a natural aptitude for acquiring foreign languages. He wrote several books on Australia based on his travels and practical experience of working in a gold field (18521854). Between 1856 and 1862 he wrote five large volumes of a Popular History of England (from the reign of Edward II). He died in Rome and was buried in the Protestant cemetery. Some of his other publications: Book of the Seasons, or Calendar of Nature, 1831. Pantika, or Traditions of the Most Ancient Times, 1835 (2 volumes). The Boys' Country Book, 1838. Visits to Remarkable Places, 1839 (a series). Homes and Haunts of the Most Eminent British Poets, 1847. The Year-Book of the Country, 1850. The Mad War-Planet, and Other Poems, 1871. Some of his poems: "The Migration of the Grey Squirrels," "The Wind in a Frolic," "Invitation," "Summer and the Poet," "The Departure of the Swallow."
   Sources: Best Loved Story Poems. Walter E. Thwing, ed. Garden City, 1941. Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Moon is Shining Bright as Day: An Anthology of Goodhumoured Verse. Ogden Nash, ed. J.B. Lippincott, 1953. Oldpoetry (www.oldpoetry.com). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Forest Minstrel and Other Poems of William and Mary Howitt. Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 1823. The Home Book of Modern Verse. Burton Egbert Stevenson, ed. Henry Holt, 1953. The Oxford Book of Children's Verse. Iona Opie, and Peter Opie, ed. Oxford University Press, 1973. The Poetical Works of Mary Howitt, Eliza Cook, and L.E.L. Phillips, Sampson, and Company, 1857.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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