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Latimer, Mary Elizabeth Wormeley (1822–1904) - Popular History

wrote century nineteenth writing

Mary Elizabeth Wormeley Latimer was born on July 26, 1822, to Rear Admiral Ralph Randolph Wormeley of the British Navy and Caroline (Preble) Wormeley in London, England. Her father was descended from Ralphe Wormeley, who received a grant of land in Virginia in 1649, and from Ralphe Wormeley of Middlesex County, Virginia, one of the first trustees of the College of William and Mary.

The Wormeley family traveled extensively, and Mary was educated by tutors or “parlor boarded” in the school of Mrs. Cockle of Ipswich, Massachusetts. She attended the funeral of William IV, saw Victoria enter Westminster for her coronation, witnessed the funeral of Napoleon, and counted among her family’s friends William Makepeace Thackeray and Julia Ward Howe. In the 1840s the family moved permanently to Boston and Newport, Rhode Island, where Mary wrote poetry and fiction and nursed soldiers during the Civil War. She married Randolph Brandt Latimer of Baltimore in 1856.

In the 1890s Mary Latimer began writing popular history. In 1892 she wrote France in the Nineteenth Century and followed it with books in the same mode on Russia and Turkey in 1893. She wrote one on England in 1894, on Europe in Africa in 1895, and on Spain in 1897. In between, in 1896, she wrote Italy in the Nineteenth Century and the Making of Austro-Hungary and Germany . She dropped the series after 1897, and in 1898 wrote My Scrap Book of the French Revolution , followed by Judea from Cyrus to Titus: 1537 B.C.-70 A.D . the next year. Her last book, The Last Year of the Nineteenth Century , was published in 1900. She was writing a history of Germany in the nineteenth century when ill health and the death of her husband brought a halt to her writing.

During her productive years, Mary Latimer also translated a wide variety of books: A History of the People of Israel (1888–1896) with J. H. Allen; The Steel Hammer (1888); Nanon (1890); The Italian Republic (1901); The Love Letters of Victor Hugo, 1820–22 (1901); and Talks of Napoleon at St. Helena with General Baron Gourgaud (1903). Latimer died on January 4, 1904, in Baltimore.

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