A. M. W. Stirling

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A. M. W. Stirling
Mrs AMW Stirling.jpg
Born(1865-08-26)26 August 1865
London, England
Died11 August 1965(1965-08-11) (aged 99)
Heidelberg, Germany
OccupationAuthor and art benefactor

A.M.W. Stirling (26 August 1865, London – 11 August 1965) was the author of several books dealing mostly with the lives and reminiscences of the British landed gentry of Yorkshire. She was also the founder of the De Morgan Centre for the Study of 19th Century Art and Society.


Her name at birth was Anna Marie Diana Wilhelmina Pickering, the daughter of Anna Marie Wilhelmina Spencer-Stanhope and her husband, Percival Pickering. She was the sister of Evelyn Pickering de Morgan and the niece of John Roddam Spencer-Stanhope, both pre-Raphaelite painters, and her writings are a uniquely valuable if sometimes questionable source of biographical information for them.

Ghost hunting[edit]

In her later years, Sterling took interest in ghost hunting. She wrote the book Ghosts Vivisected (1957). A review in Western Folklore concluded that "the book is not terribly strong, and it falls short of presenting a convincing argument that will win over a skeptical reader."[1]


The published books of A.M.W. Stirling include:

  • The Adventures of Prince Almero (1890, as A. M. D. Wilhelmina Pickering)
  • Queen of the Goblins (1892, as A. M. D. Wilhelmina Pickering)
  • A Life Awry (1893, as "Percival" Pickering)
  • A Pliable Marriage (1895, as "Percival" Pickering)
  • The Spirit is Willing (1898, as "Percival" Pickering)
  • Toy-Gods (1904, as "Percival" Pickering)
  • Annals of a Yorkshire House, from the Papers of a Macaroni & His Kindred (1911)
  • Coke of Norfolk and His Friends: The Life of Thomas William Coke, First Earl of Leicester of Holkham (1912)
  • The Letter-Bag of Lady Elizabeth Spencer-Stanhope (1913)
  • Macdonald of the Isles: A Romance of the Past and Present (1914)
  • A Painter of Dreams, and Other Biographical Studies (1916)
  • The Hothams; Being the Chronicles of the Hothams of Scorborough and South Dalton from Their Hitherto Unpublished Family Papers (1918)
  • Pages & Portraits from the Past, Being the Private Papers of Sir William Hotham (1919)
  • William De Morgan and His Wife (1922), called "biased, limited and sometimes erroneous" despite its "valuable insight"[2]
  • Life's Little Day: Some Tales and Other Reminiscences (1925)
  • The Richmond Papers from the Correspondence and Manuscripts of George Richmond … and His Son, Sir William Richmond (1926)
  • Fyvie Castle: Its Lairds and Their Times (1928)
  • The Ways of Yesterday; Being the Chronicles of the Way Family from 1307 to 1885 (1930)
  • Life's Mosaic: Memories Canny and Uncanny (1934)
  • Victorian Sidelights (1954)
  • The Merry Wives of Battersea and Gossip of Three Centuries (1956)
  • Ghosts Vivisected: An Impartial Inquiry into Their Manners, Habits, Mentality, Motives and Physical Construction (1957/58)
  • A Scrapheap of Memories (1960)



  1. ^ Sackett, S. J. (1959). Reviewed Works: Deals with the Devil by Basil Davenport; Ghosts Vivisected by A. M. W. Stirling. Western Folklore. Vol. 18, No 2. pp. 186-187.
  2. ^ Lawton Smith 2002, p. 17.


  • Lawton Smith, Elise. Evelyn Pickering De Morgan and the Allegorical Body. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2002. limited preview

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