Mary Louisa Molesworth

by manyinterestingfacts

Mary Louisa Molesworth (born Stewart) was pretty famous writer in the field of fiction for children in the late 19 th century. She was Scottish but born in Rotterdam in 1839. Her father was a merchant and the family traveled a lot. Mary Louisa had three brothers and two sisters and got part of education in Switzerland.

Her first books were romantic novels and signed by pen name Ennis Graham. This is true for her first books for children too, but after 1877 she started to use her real name or sometimes MLM, MLS Molesworth or simply Mrs. Molesworth, so her first big hits Carrots (1876) and The Cuckoo Clock (1877) were first published under pen name and reprints under real one.

Her style is typical late Victorian, for today’s standards slightly too moralistic, propagating the values of those time (self-sacrifice, strong working ethic etc.). Mrs. Molesworth’s audience was primarily consisted of girls too old for fairy tales but too young for adult novels. We can say Mrs. Molesworth’s books prepared them to become mothers.

She worked with top illustrators of her time and for this post I selected illustrations of Walter Crane (1845-1915) who illustrated 16 of her books!

Mrs. Molesworth later started writing supernatural stories and died in 1921 in London, where she is buried.

Let’s start with today still famous The Cuckoo Clock:

It was a little boat

It was a little boat

Vignette

Vignette

Why won't you speak to me?

Why won’t you speak to me?

Mandarin's nodding

Mandarin’s nodding

My aunts must have come back

My aunts must have come back

She looked like a fairy queen

She looked like a fairy queen

Where are that cuckoo?

Where are that cuckoo?

How could I be tired cuckoo?

How could I be tired cuckoo?

Next one is Christmas Tree Land published in 1884:

And another big hit by Mrs. Molesworth: The Adventures of Herr Baby, published in 1886:

Oh look, look!

Oh look, look!

He sat with one arm propped

He sat with one arm propped

There was one trunk...

There was one trunk…

What happened?

What happened?

Never to forget!

Never to forget!

Poor little boys

Poor little boys

Is this jography?

Is this jography?

Oh auntie!

Oh auntie!

Baby ventured to peep round

Baby ventured to peep round

There was baby

There was baby

Auntie stood still

Auntie stood still

Baby was found!

Baby was found!

Next year (1887) was the year of Little Miss Peggy:

"What is the matter, little girls?" said the lady.

“What is the matter, little girls?” said the lady.

Vignette

Vignette
On the rug

On the rug

At the window

At the window

Old woman

Old woman

Peggy stood still

Peggy stood still

Suddenly a window above opened

Suddenly a window above opened

The beautiful pipes I have

The beautiful pipes I have

Nnow you probably got the feeling, right? So we can skip a decade or something and go to 1898 with two more picture books. Remember, illustrations are still made by Walter Crane.

This is Grandmother Dear:

I hope it is not haunted

I hope it is not haunted

Vignette

Vignette

Sylvia lost in the Louvre

Sylvia lost in the Louvre

Whos drawer is this?

Who’s drawer is this?

Under the apple tree

Under the apple tree

Twenty schelling that cup

Twenty schelling that cup

In the coppice

In the coppice

Good-bye again, my boy, and God bless you!

Good-bye again, my boy, and God bless you!

And the final one for this post: Two Little Waifs

What are you playing at?

What are you playing at?

 

Vignette

Vignette

 

The station

The station

 

Table close to bed

Table close to bed

 

Don't cross the street!

Don’t cross the street!

 

Ann opened the door

Ann opened the door

 

At the corner

At the corner

 

Walter was having a tea party

Walter was having a tea party

Yep, this is it. All illustrations are in Public domain, but my text belongs to https://manyinterestingfacts.wordpress.com.

I hope you found some useful info about Mrs. Molesworth and her collaboration with Walter Crane.