May Kendall

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May Kendall (Born Emma Goldworth Kendall) (1861 – 1943) was an English poet, novelist, and satirist. She is best known as the co-author of the novel That Very Mab and the poetry collections Dreams to Sell and Songs from Dreamland.

Possibly her most anthologized poem, "Lay of the Trilobite," is a satire of the popular English response to Darwin's evolutionary theory.

Much of her literary output focuses on evolution and other scientific discoveries, the New Woman, and satirical portraits of British society and its hypocrisy.[1]

In 1895 Kendall partially gave up professional writing in order to more fully devote her life to social reform. She worked predominantly with the Rowntree Family in York.[2][3]

Kendall died in poverty at a public assistance institution in York. The death certificate stated that she was suffering from dementia. Her unmarked grave is in York Cemetery.[4]


  • (with Andrew Lang) That Very Mab (1885)[5]
  • Dreams to Sell (1887)
  • Songs from Dreamland (1894)
  • Turkish Bonds (1895)
  • (with Benjamin Rowntree) How the Labourer Lives: A Study of the Rural Labour Problem (1913)


  1. ^ Brown, Susan. "May Kenall". Orlando Project. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Maltz, Diana. "Sympathy, Humor, and the Abject Poor in the Word of May Kendall." English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920. 50. 3 (2007), 313-332.
  3. ^ "Project MUSE - English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920 - Sympathy, Humor, and the Abject Poor in the Work of May Kendall". Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  4. ^ Brown, Susan. "Mary Kendall Life". Orlando Project. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "'That Very Mab' by May Kendall and Andrew Lang - Project Gutenberg". Retrieved 2008-10-08. 

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