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:
Next one is Christmas Tree Land published in 1884:
And another big hit by Mrs. Molesworth: The Adventures of Herr Baby, published in 1886:
Next year (1887) was the year of Little Miss Peggy:
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:
And the final one for this post: Two Little Waifs
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.