Mary Mackie

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Mary Mackie (née Kathleen Mary Whitlam)[1] is an English writer of over 70 fiction and non-fiction books since 1971. Her work has been translated into twenty languages.


Born in Lincoln during the Second World War,[2] Mary was the daughter of Charles William Edward Whitlam,[3] and lived in Carholme Road. She was educated at Lincoln Christ's Hospital High School, but left at 16 with six "0" levels,[4] and worked for a time as an accounts clerk.[5] She now lives at Heacham near Hunstanton on the Norfolk coast of England with her ex-RAF husband Christopher. She has two children and four grandchildren.[6]


The family spent some time stationed in West Germany and West Berlin, where she began writing. Her books Cobwebs and Cream Teas (1990), Dry Rot and Daffodils (1994) and Frogspawn and Floor Polish (2003) are light-hearted accounts of life in the North Norfolk National Trust property Felbrigg Hall, where her husband was houseman (administrator) for seven years up to 1990.[7]

Another non-fiction book of hers that attracted notice was The Prince's Thorn (2008), about Louisa Mary Cresswell (1830–1916), whose autobiographical Eighteen Years on Sandringham Estate by "The Lady Farmer" (1887)[8] was bitterly critical of Edward, Prince of Wales and his circle.[9] Chris (2013) is a biography of Mackie's husband. She wrote a commissioned history of Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service entitled Sky Wards (2001 revised edition Wards in the Sky, 2014). Her historical novel The People of the Horse (1987), about Queen Boudicca of the Iceni, was translated into Czech and Hungarian. Three set in Victorian Norfolk were Sandringham Rose (1992), A Child of Secrets (1993) and The Clouded Land (1994).[10]

Some of her earlier romantic novels were written under the pseudonyms Cathy Christopher, Alex Andrews, Cathy Charles and Caroline Charles.[11]


  1. ^ Lincoln Christ's Hospital School site. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  2. ^ Hachette Australia website. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  3. ^ Dedication in Cobwebs and Cream Teas. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  4. ^ Lincoln Christ's Hospital School site.
  5. ^ "About the Author" in a reissue of Cobwebs and Cream Teas (London: Hachette UK, 2013). Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  6. ^ Author site. [1]; blog site. [2]. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  7. ^ Hachette site.
  8. ^ British Library Catalogue entry: Retrieved 18 February 2014. Cresswell had already written two other non-controversial books: Norfolk and the Squires, Clergy, Farmers and Labourers, etc. (1875) and How the Farming in Great Britain Can Be Made to Pay (2nd e. 1881). An earlier account of the scandal was by David Skene Duff: Whisper Louise. Edward VII and Mrs Cresswell (1974).
  9. ^ Publisher's site. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  10. ^ Author's website. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  11. ^ Author's website.

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