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 perhaps 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
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.
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.
Whitaker and her sisters (Katherine and Emily Jane) also founded The Buttercups, a convalescent home for children.
Updated: I have acquired two letters by the
hand of Evelyn Whitaker.
Two letters by the hand of Evelyn Whitaker. photos
Chestnutwood Perkins is the author of Honor Bright, a romance, (1870) and Malbrook (1868) both published by
S. Low, Son & Co. (London) and by Carleton, (New York) and her identity as the author of both books is confirmed
by an 1883 reference to her in The Literary World. Despite frequent attribtuion to her including
by Google digitized books, Perkins is not the author of Honor Bright or the four-leaved shamrock, Gilly Flower, etc.
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
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.
"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'
The page for each novel includes:
photo of the binding or frontis
- "blurbs" from the publishers' advertisements
- links to on-line versions of the text
- synopsis of the novel, with
- key words
- quotations illustrating aspects of 19th century life
- selected illustrations
Visit the librarian's blog: The Life I Read by K Cummings Pipes
Evelyn Whitaker Library is a physical archive of print materials concerning a late Victorian
author. This website is a digital exhibition of that archive. It is also the place where I publish the results of my
research into the life and writings of Evelyn Whitaker.
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.
Permission is hereby granted for non-profit
use which should include a citation to this website.
If you are a scholar and need a hard copy citation to
this information please contact me.
If you make use of this material, I'd appreciate
a note as a courtesy. Thank you.