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Mary Pilkington

(1761—1839) educational and children's writer


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(1766–1839), prolific British writer of fiction for young people between the ages of fourteen and twenty. Published by Elizabeth Newbery, John Harris, and Vernor and Hood, Pilkington's works were also translated into Italian, French, and Portuguese. Her novels Edward Barnard (1797) and Henry (1799) follow the plights of apparently poor orphans who patiently endure the insults of youngsters in their foster families and who nevertheless behave charitably and benevolently; both orphans are eventually reunited with their noble parents. In The Force of Example (1797), orphans benefit from the good example and instructive conversations of their aunt and uncle and from interaction with their cousins. Interspersed are discussions of historical figures and geography. Pilkington's New Tales of the Castle (1800) describes the experiences in Wales of aristocratic refugees from the French Revolution. The industry of the family and their attention to the distressed prevail in spite of their own straitened circumstances.

From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.


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