(1777–1844), British educational writer. After having ten children, Maria Barton Hack published her first book, First Lessons in English Grammar, in 1812. Many others followed, and she became one of Quaker publisher William Darton’s most important authors. Hack's pedagogical strategy, characteristic of her era, was to incorporate facts with fiction, using a frame story, as in Winter Evenings (1818), where a mother tells travellers’ tales to spark her children's interest in geography. Hack's history books, such as Grecian Stories (1819), brought out moral lessons reflected in the lives of the great. Her most famous work, Harry Beaufoy; or the Pupil of Nature (1821), attempted to inspire awareness of God through a fictional boy's observations of the natural world. Harry’s parents point out the workings of a beehive, hoping he will deduce the presence of God from its perfect form and functionality. Hack's later works, like Familiar Illustrations of the Principal Evidences and Design of Christianity (1824), became more theological, as she moved away from Quakerism.
From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature in Oxford Reference.