Maria Louisa Charlesworth
Maria Charlesworth was the daughter of John Charlesworth (1782-1864), an Evangelical clergyman who was rector of Flowton when Maria was born and later rector of a London parish. A visitor in her father's parish from a young age, Maria Charlesworth drew on her experiences for The Female Visitor to the Poor (1846), as well as the fictionalised Ministering Children (1854). Ministering Children, set in a town modelled on Ipswich, sold over 170,000 copies during her lifetime – designed to teach children by example, it was especially popular as a 'reward book' for Sunday school prizes – and was translated into French, German and Swedish.
On her father's death in 1864 Maria Charlesworth lived for a while with her clergyman brother in Limehouse and then sent up a ragged school and a mission in Bermondsey. She retired to Nutfield in Surrey, where she died on 16 October 1880.
- The Female Visitor to the Poor, 1846
- Ministering children, 1854
- Africa's Mountain Valley, 1865
- A Sequel to Ministering Children, 1867
- Oliver of the Mill, 1876
- The Old Looking-Glass; or Mrs. Dorothy Cope's Recollections of Service, 1877
- Sunday Afternoons in the Nursery, or Familiar Narratives from the Book of Genesis, 1885.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Boase, George Clement (1887). "Charlesworth, Maria Louisa". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography. 10. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
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