Anonymous Author Evelyn Whitaker
Biography: Evelyn Whitaker
The Buttercups
by the author of Honor Bright
Collection Catalog
Topical Index
Digitized Titles by Evelyn Whitaker
Miss Toosey's Mission
Laddie & Lassie
Tip Cat
Gay, a Story
Lassie & Laddie
Letters to Our Working Party
My Honey
Our Little Ann
Rob [Rob and Kit]
Tom's Boy
For the Fourth Time of Asking
Whitaker Citings
K Cummings Pipes
The Woman Novelist as Theologian
Unlisted pages
Evelyn Whitaker,
1844-1929, anonymous author of:
Miss Toosey's Mission, Laddie, Letters to Our Working Party, Tip Cat, Zoe, Our Little Ann,  Belle, Ward's Cross, Dear, Don, For the Fourth Time of Asking, , Lil, Pen, Pomona, Pris, Rob [Rob & Kit in US editions], Rose and Lavender, Tom's Boy, My Honey, Baby Bob, Baby John, Faithful, Gay, Lassie, Phoebe's Hero, and other books "by the author of Honor Bright."    

Our logo is from the book jacket of
Miss Toosey's Mission & Laddie issued by M.A. Donohue & Co., 1903

Late Victorian author Evelyn Whitaker,  a British woman, wrote "stories" and "tales" intended for young people although her books were widely read by adults, particularly women.  Her books were popular prizes given to school children and were reissued and read well into to the 20th Century. 

Tip Cat
was selected as a text for students studying English in German and French universities.  
Her writing "style is noteworthy for its fluency and ease, and the diction is pure English, a study in English for its conciseness, simplicity, and elegance."     Providence Journal.
The novels were issued anonymously until 1903 when the identity of Evelyn Whitaker as the author of the beloved Miss Toosey's Mission and Laddie was revealed on the title page of Gay. A Story.
Evelyn Whitaker is also the anonymous author of a number of books published "by the author of Honor Bright." Many of these stories were reprinted from The Monthly Packet of Evening Readings for Members of the English Church edited by Charlotte M. Yonge.
Whitaker's books were issued by multiple publishers in Britain and the United States.  Better editions were well illustrated.  In the U.S. there are some rather stunning examples of pirated releases.

Evelyn Whitaker also founded The Buttercups, a convalescent home for children.
A major revision and update of this website is in progress.

New biographical information: The Ladies College in Bedford Square.

Information re. The Buttercups

Messr. Robert Brothers Publishers by Raymond L. Kilgour (1952) EW's US publisher during 1880s & 1890s.
A History of Bedford College for Women 1849 - 1937 by Margaret J. Tuke. 1939. EW and her sister Florence matriculated 1858 and 1861.

Evelyn Whitaker's dates (1857-1903)  taken from the Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature and from  library card catalogs are not birth/death years but publishing career years.  1903 is the year that author's name was revealed.  The 1857 date is probably a cataloging error resulting from a confusion of titles. Evelyn Whitaker was born in 1844 and died in 1929.
K Cummings Pipes

"The art of dealing with domestic scenes and subjects in a tender, sympathetic way without passing the line dividing sentiment from sentimentality gives relish to whatever falls from this gifted writer's pen."  

Edward Jewitt Wheeler, editor, Current Opinion, Vol. XI September-December, 1892. p. 388.

These "little stories... astonish the critic, who sees how well it is done and how direct is its appeal to the average reader, and yet how entirely simple and commonplace it is.... 

"English women novelists seem to have a boundless capacity for this sort of thing, and the mass of the public seems to respond instantly to the human nature so quietly and gently portrayed.

"the story is told with such touches of the nature that makes the whole world kind, such shrewd, kindly common sense, that the simple tale holds the interest to the end and we are made to feel that the quiet, hidden life of the commonplace woman is capable of more glory than we knew."

 Herbert Welsh, editor, City and State, Vol. XIV No. 1,  1903. p. 97


Browse the annotated catalog of the collection
which includes binding descriptions and listings of publishers' advertisements.   

The page for each novel includes:

  •  a photo of the binding or frontis
  • "blurbs" from the publishers' advertisements
  • links to on-line versions of the text
  • synopsis of the novel, with quotations 
  • quotations illustrating aspects of 19th century life
  • selected illustrations

Visit the librarian's blog: The Life I Read by K Cummings Pipes

The collection was developed & this website is maintained by
K Cummings Pipes. 
I strive to comply with copyright law.  I believe all the quotations and illustrations on this website are either in the public domain or comply with standards of fair use.  My original materials, including my synopses, my notes on Victorian life, and articles bearing my byline,  are copyrighted (K Cummings Pipes, 2007.)  Permission is hereby granted for non-profit use which should include a citation to this website.
If you are in university and need a hard copy citation to this information please contact email address below.
If you make use of this material, I'd appreciate a note as a courtesy.